School IPM and Childcare Home Page

   Roles in School IPM

DPR logo

Architects, Designers,
Construction Managers & Business Directors

Back to School IPM Home

About the Healthy Schools Act and IPM

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.

Designing Pests Out

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.


IPM in Existing Facilities

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.


  • 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).