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Construction Managers & Business Directors
Enacted in 2001, the Healthy Schools Act (HSA) is a right-to-know law that makes information about pesticide use at public schools and public and private child care centers more accessible to parents, staff, and the general public. Notification, posting, and recordkeeping are required when pesticides are used at schoolsites. The HSA also set forth integrated pest management (IPM) as the preferred method for managing pests at schoolsites. IPM is a problem-solving approach to pest management that focuses first on prevention, exclusion and sanitation and then uses least hazardous pesticides only after monitoring indicates the need.
Thoughtful planning, design, and construction of school sites, including buildings and landscapes, will reduce the amount of food, water, and harborage available to pests, encourage good sanitation practices, and create conditions that prevent pest development. An effective pest management program begins with facility design and continues throughout the facility’s functional life.
Prevention is the key to effective, least-hazardous pest management programs in schools. If the conditions that attract and support pests, including food, water, shelter and access, are not eliminated, then other pest management practices will fail. Pests can be designed out of school facilities by taking IPM into consideration during the planning, design, construction, remodeling, and retrofit phases. The design of school facilities can have a positive influence on long-term pest prevention and exclusion by reducing shelter and access into buildings, removing food and moisture sources, encouraging proper sanitation procedures, and improving drainage.
The resources below will best serve individuals who are responsible for the planning, design, construction, remodeling, and retrofit of school facilities, such as school architects, designers, construction managers, and business directors.
- Pest Prevention: Construction Guidelines and Practices - specific construction tips for the long-term prevention of pests at schools. School areas of focus include: foundations, windows, doors, ceilings, and more. See article, PDF (151 kb).
- Pest Prevention by Design: Authoritative guidelines for designing pests out of structures - Chris A. Geiger PhD., Carolyn Cox MS. Relatively simple pest prevention and pest proofing design strategies for structures. These design strategies can substantially reduce long-term pest control costs in buildings and landscapes, while also cutting the health and environmental impacts of pesticide use.
- Healthy School Environments: Building Maintenance and Construction - U.S. EPA guidance regarding school maintenance and construction to improve the quality of school buildings and learning environments for students and staff.
- Facility Design - Pest Prevention, PDF (695 kb) - facility design principles that incorporate pest prevention techniques to exclude pests, minimize pest habitat, promote proper sanitation, and facilitate inspection.
- Architectural Guidelines: Integrated Pest Management - Design Considerations for Schools, PDF (175 kb), Dawn H. Gouge, Marc L. Lame, Sherry Glick. General design and construction guidelines for discouraging a variety of arthropod and vertebrate pests.
Pest management is a continual process at schoolsites. Pests are dependent upon biotic factors to provide nourishment and moisture and abiotic factors to provide harborage and access into buildings. IPM is a pest management strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pest problems through a combination of techniques such as monitoring for pest presence and establishing treatment threshold levels, using nonchemical practices to make the habitat less conducive to pest development, improving sanitation, and employing mechanical and physical controls.
The resources below will best serve individuals who are responsible for pest prevention and management at school facilities including, but not limited to, building managers, custodial staff, maintenance staff, building occupants, and pest management professionals.
- Integrated Pest Management in Buildings, PDF (812 kb), United States Environmental Protection Agency. This document serves to define IPM, describe proper IPM implementation in buildings, and outline the roles and responsibilities necessary for a successful IPM program.
- Pest Prevention: Maintenance Practices and Facility Design - a checklist of pest prevention techniques useful for anyone making and carrying out pest management decisions at schools, such as IPM coordinators, maintenance staff, and pest management professionals.
- Essential IPM practices for the prevention of pests at schools.
- Pest Prevention: Indoor Maintenance Practices, PDF (521 kb) - indoor areas include classrooms, storage rooms, and food preparation, serving areas, and more.
- Pest Prevention: Outdoor Maintenance Practices, PDF (719 kb) - outdoor areas include building exteriors, athletic fields, refuse/recycling areas, and more.
- Recommendations for Selecting and Using Caulks and Sealants, PDF (29 kb), Bob Corrigan. Guidelines for choosing caulks and sealants to pest-proof openings in structures.
- School IPM Publications - includes IPM curricula, practices for common pests, posters, recordkeeping calendar and more.
- School IPM Guidebook - a useful resource to provide practical, hands-on steps to having a successful school IPM program.
- Pest Notes - fact sheets on a variety of structural and landscape pests from the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UCIPM).