The Integrated Pest Management in Schools and on School Grounds Law defines IPM
as "a managed pest control program in which methods are integrated and used to keep
pests from causing economic, health related, or aesthetic injury through the utilization
of site or pest inspections, pest population monitoring, evaluating the need for control,
and the use of one or more pest control methods including sanitation, structural repair,
non-chemical methods, and, when nontoxic options are unreasonable or have been exhausted,
pesticides in order to minimize the use of pesticides and minimize the risk to human health
and the environment associated with pesticide applications."
Pest control in schools is essential to protect both the health and safety of the
children and staff, minimize pest damage to structures and personal property, and improve
the quality of the educational environment. To meet these goals, the Maryland Department
of Agriculture works cooperatively with Maryland public school systems to implement an IPM
program to control pests in schools. In order to have a successful IPM program, teachers,
parents and students should have an understanding of what an IPM program is and what role
they have in helping to ensure that the IPM program will be effective.
Practices such as sanitation, excluding pests through structural repairs, and education
comprise the routine IPM service. A combination of these practices achieve an effective
long term pest control program. The basic components of IPM are:
Integrated Pest Management is different from a traditional pest control service. IPM programs
can significantly reduce the use of pesticides through the use of technical expertise in identifying
and encouraging the use of more permanent non-pesticidal control practices that are proactive in
preventing pest problems.
Each IPM program is specifically designed to meet the individual needs of the area serviced.
The success of a school IPM program depends on the assistance and cooperation of the administration,
staff and students in each facility. Improvements in sanitation, housekeeping, and facility structure
can only be initiated by the occupants of each facility.
IPM does work and is a safe and effective way to control pests. IPM is a program, but unlike
traditional pest control programs, IPM cannot be used intermittently to solve a single pest problem
and then be discontinued. IPM must be a continuing program in order to manage the environment where
pests live and address future pest management needs.
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