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Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Schools: Operations
Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Reasons for Change
Barriers to Change
Case Studies
Environmental Regulations
P2 Opportunities
Glossary of Terms
Key Contacts
Complete List of Links

Essential Links:

Administrator Information, School IPM
Administrator Information includes sample policy statements, organization directories, sample...

California School Integrated Pest Management Program
A variety of documents, Web links, and other resources related to the California Healthy Schools Act...

General Pesticide Information
Contents include a pesticide overview, pesticide safety, evaluating your pesticide risk, pesticide l...

How To Develop an IPM Program
Simple guidelines for developing a school IPM program; start-up and operational phases are described...

Introduction to IPM (Michigan)
Requirements, procedures, and policies for IPM in public buildings, including schools, and applicato...

IPM for Pennylvania Schools: A How-to Manual
In the two years since this manual was first published, legislation has been passed requiring each P...

IPM for Your School
Guidelines for understanding IPM and for adapting the process into the school are offered, complete ...

IPM in Schools
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and the University of Minnesota, because of the intere...

IPM Learning Modules
The IPM Learning Modules from Nebraska include an introduction to integrated pest management, assess...

IPM Technical Resource Center
The Midwest Technical Resource Center for IPM in schools and day cares offers information on improve...

National Pest Management Association, Inc.
National trade association for the professional pest control industry. The Web site serves as a res...

Pesticide Information Profiles
This is a cooperative effort of University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan St...

Selecting Treatment Strategies
Pest managers need to consider many strategies for control and effective programs. This offers a s...

Technical Information
Technical information includes IPM design, pests, pesticides, and non-pesticides.

The Pied Piper
Basic biology, great photographs, and links for rats, mice, cockroaches, fleas, bugs, flies, ants, a...

<big><b>Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Schools: Operations</b></big>

Pest management issues are found throughout the school (interior) and outside the school (exterior) on the campus. They involve every aspect of the school, from the obvious locations (cafeteria) to the less conspicuous (lockers and desks).

Different pests (insects, weeds, molds, rodents, or other animals) require different conditions to thrive, but all creatures need food, water, and shelter to survive. As a result, key concern areas include places where pests have access to food, water, and hiding places (harborage). Pest-prone areas include the following:

  • Cafeteria: Pests are attracted to food and water in conspicuous locations as well as between appliances, in cracks, and cabinets. Pests enter through openings in exterior walls and doors, and are transported in on packaging. Pests will remain in places of harborage (i.e. stacks of boxes).

  • Classrooms: Pests are attracted to food in desks and areas around classroom pets. Pest populations increase in protected areas where papers and clutter accumulate. Some classrooms have even higher levels of vulnerability, such as home economics classrooms, and they will reproduce in these safe spaces.

  • Lockers: Large amounts of clutter and food can easily and quickly accumulate in lockers throughout a school year.

  • Loading Areas and Docks: Well-managed schools are often introduced to pest problems through deliveries of goods and supplies that have been stored in uncontrolled warehouses. Open spaces over and around garage doors also provide year-round access.

  • Dumpsters: Waste receptacles (all varieties) and surrounding areas are especially vulnerable to pest problems.

  • Exterior Conduits: All openings from the outside, including gaps around pipes, electrical lines, ventilation ducts, air conditioners, and windows, provide invitations to pests.

  • Landscaping: Foundation plantings attract a great variety of insects, including those that destroy structures. Overhanging tree branches are known for providing pest access. Rotting fruit from fruit trees attract flies and stinging insects. Nuts and seeds from trees can attract rodents such as squirrels.

  • Schools Grounds and Athletic Fields: Herbicides are used to control weeds found in landscapes and athletic fields, and insecticides are used to control insects in both areas. Often well-intentioned parents, volunteers, or staff will apply pesticides to control or eliminate problems, unknowingly creating risks for students involved in athletic activities.

Additional locations in schools that are vulnerable to increased pest activity include areas surrounding vending machines, recycling centers, teacher lounges, locker rooms, and theater/back stage areas including dressing rooms.

School administration needs to work with all of their staff to create and manage their own individualized checklist or inspection form for IPM. Many checklists and forms are available (two examples are offered) for schools to use. While they might not satisfy site-specific needs, they can often be modified.

School IPM Inspection Checklist

Sample Monitoring Forms


The Topic Hub™ is a product of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx)

The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Schools Topic Hub™ was developed by:

Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Contact email:

Hub Last Updated: 5/2/2009