October is National Children’s Health Month
Understanding children’s lung health, as well as their healthy lifestyle needs, is critical to improving children’s overall health. Using IPM in schools and homes potentially decreases harmful exposures from indoor air quality, mold, pesticides cockroaches, mouse droppings, chemicals, and other asthma triggers.
Children’s breathing needs are different from adults. Infants take 30-60 breaths per minute, compared to adults who take 12-20. Additionally, children take in more air per unit of body weight at a given level of exertion than adults do. When a child is exercising at maximum levels, such as during a soccer game or other sports event, they may take in 20 to 50 percent more air — and more air pollution — than would an adult during a comparable activity. Children’s airways are also narrower than adults, which can make them more susceptible to the harmful effects of pollutants in the air, both outdoors and indoors.
Children need and deserve our focused attention and care. Protecting children’s health goes hand in hand with improving our indoor and outdoor environments, both during Children’s Health Month and throughout the year. You can learn more about protecting children’s environmental health on the EPA website.
National Bat Week
Bats are a valuable component of our environment. In Colorado and throughout North America they are the main predators of night-flying insects, consuming thousands of insect pests of crops and forests. The Colorado Bat Working Group has a newly revised key to help identify bats. All 19 species of bats in the state are classified by Colorado Parks and Wildlife as nongame mammals and are protected by law. National Bat Week is October 26 to November 1, 2014!
Bats host virulent diseases that afflict humans, although the bats may not have any symptoms of disease. In schools and home, exclusion is the soundest long-term solution. Do not use exclusions during the summer breeding season, as mothers cannot get back to feed their infants in the roost and they will die. For the common bats along the Front Range, proper exclusion techniques can only be used between the months of October through March when bats are hibernating elsewhere. Seal openings with sealant, hardware cloth, or wood after all bats have exited.
Project Edubat is an engaging educational program designed to prepare, inspire, excite, and motivate people to take part in conserving our bats. This project is led by the U. S. Forest Service.
What are Action Thresholds?
Integrated pest management is a system of controlling pests that does not depend on automatic application of pesticides. A school IPM program consists of a cycle of monitoring, control, and evaluation. Pest levels and other factors are monitored through documented, systematic inspections conducted at regular intervals.
A key difference between IPM and traditional pest control is that IPM often uses “action thresholds.” An action threshold is the point at which an IPM technician takes action to reduce a pest’s numbers. Sometimes an action threshold is a number: five yellow jackets at a trash can, 10 percent feeding damage to a plant, three flies in a classroom. Sometimes it is qualitative: light or no infestation versus heavy infestation. Below the threshold level, the IPM technician does not apply pesticides or set traps or take any other direct control action. (Although the technician should continue to monitor and do sanitation inspections, pest proofing, and take other steps to prevent pest problems.) However, if a pest is at or above the action threshold, the technician acts to control the pest.
The idea behind the action threshold is that most pests can be tolerated at some low level. An occasional ground beetle in a school hallway, for example, would bother few people. The costs and risks of taking action because of that one beetle–replacing door sweeps, caulking cracks in walls, or applying pesticide–would far outweigh any benefits. Besides, a lone beetle is likely a temporary guest rather than a serious pest. But thirty ground beetles in a hallway would be a different story, and an IPM technician would need to take some kind of pest management action.
To learn more about action thresholds, see eXtension’s School IPM Thresholds.
Don’t Let Mice Move Into Your School!
It’s that time of year when mice are looking for a nice warm winter home. Add food smells from kitchens and cafeterias, and mice move in.
Why control mice? Consider these facts:
- Mice can transmit Hantavirus as well as Salmonella, one of the bacteria species responsible for food poisoning.
- Mice urinate several hundred – even several thousand – “micro droplets” per day.
- Mice can produce from 25 to 60 young each year.
- Mice chewing on wires can cause electrical fires.
The first step to keeping mice out of schools and homes is to repair or replace damaged or missing door sweeps on exterior doors, and seal all other openings that allow entrance. Watch this “one minute video” on repairing exterior doors. Any hole ¼” or larger can accommodate a mouse. Other things you can do include:
- Removing indoor and outdoor debris that could harbor mice such as woodpiles, clutter and mulch piles.
- Clearing high weeds – since weeds and seeds serve as food and shelter for mice during warm weather.
- Cleaning up food scraps and storing foods appropriately to prevent easy access to food. All pet foods, birdseed and human food should be stored off the floor and plastic containers with lids.
Once mice get in, trapping is the best strategy. Place multiple snap traps along the base of walls and in corners of rooms where mice are suspected. Chocolate syrup makes a good bait. Set traps in the evening and collect them the following morning prior to the arrival of students. Number each trap so that you are sure to collect them all. Careful inspection should be done before ending trapping, as multiple infestations are not uncommon. From IPM Institute of North America
Bears – A ‘Pest Species’ in Colorado?
Bears are sometimes considered a ‘pest species’ in the foothills and forests of Colorado. Today black bears are trying to share space with an ever-growing human population. In Colorado, most bears are active from mid-March through early November. Black bears are curious, smart and very adaptable. They’re not fussy and will eat just about anything with calories. Bears want to get the most energy they can with the least amount of effort. Every bear’s goal is to get fat enough to live through the winter. Using bear resistant containers for trash is essential. For more information, see the Colorado Parks & Wildlife brochure on bear proofing your school or home.
THE BASICS OF SCHOOL INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT:
OCTOBER 21, 2014, 2 – 3:30 pm EST
The webinar will feature leading IPM experts from around the country and will conclude with a moderated question and answer session. Register for the webinar: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/543684937
Future webinars will address bed bugs, rodents and nuisance birds. See: http://www.epa.gov/pestwise/events/sipm-webinars.html.
Watch this short video from the Colorado School IPM Coalition to learn more about IPM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TSJaDtqAeY.
PROJECT EDUBAT: U. S. FOREST SERVICE WEBINAR
OCTOBER 29, 2 pm EST
Project Edubat is an educational program designed to prepare, inspire, excite, and motivate people to take part in conserving our bats. For more information on how to participate, see http://nctc.fws.gov/broadcasts
COLORADO COALITION FOR SCHOOL IPM FALL MEETING
OCTOBER 30, 2014, 9 am – 12 pm
Fort Collins, CO
All school staff are invited to attend the fall meeting. Held on the CSU campus, our speakers include Whitney Cranshaw, CSU entomologist and Jeannine Riess, CSU Environmental Health Services. Come and learn what other schools are doing to implement IPM. Please contact Deborah Young, firstname.lastname@example.org, to RSVP and for more information.
BIOLOGY & CONTROL OF VECTORS & PUBLIC HEALTH PESTS: THE IMPORTANCE OF INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
NOVEMBER 5-7, 2014
The workshop addresses Integrated Pest Management, vector-borne diseases of public health importance, management of rodents, bed bugs, mosquitoes and ticks. It is presented by the National Environmental Health Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in cooperation with Colorado Environmental Health Association.For more information or to register online, please visit: http://www.neha.org/public-health-pests-conference.html.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE HONEY BEES GONE? HOPE FOR THE FUTURE: eXtension.org WEBINAR:
NOVEMBER 7, 2 pm EST
Why do we have fewer honeybees these days? What caused the decline? What can we do to help? This webinar will be presented by Dr. John Skinner, a Professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee, and moderated by Sallie Lee, Regional Extension Agent, Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Register as a guest for this live event.
“Insects and Diseases of Woody Plants in Colorado”
To introduce this newly revised edition, Dr. Whitney Cranshaw states, “This is a total top/down revision of the bulletin, which was last fully revised in 2000. It is a comprehensive guide to the insect and diseases on woody plants present in the Rocky Mountain States and the new version contains over 1750 color images. Furthermore we have been able to keep the price the same as it was in 2000 ($40) despite having more pages (322), many more illustrations, and a ring binding.”
To order the book, please visit: http://www.csuextstore.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=1#top
The Colorado Coalition for School IPM is a collaborative effort by Colorado State University, U.S. Environmental Protection , USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Education, school districts, National Environmental Health Association and private pest control professionals, committed to implementing IPM principles in schools throughout Colorado.