Southern Region Successes, Part 1

Since 2003, the Southern Region IPM Center has worked with stakeholders in the South to improve the economics, environmental impacts and health effects of pest management. For the next few posts, we are going to discuss some of the ways we have supported or funded groups for research or extension to further IPM in the region.

Our first story involves the creation and success of the Southern Region School IPM Working Group.

School IPM Working Group Success Story

In May 2007, the Southern Region Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Center organized a meeting of Land-grant university scientists involved with IPM in schools to share their respective expertise and successes with their counterparts and to establish goals for implementation of IPM in schools within the region.

Since then, the Southern Region School IPM Working Group has grown from less than 20 university and extension personnel to 43 members representing various stakeholder groups and IPM practitioners that are involved with IPM in schools. With funding from the Southern Region IPM Center, this working group continues to form partnerships in schools across the southern region and implement IPM techniques in new school systems. This has been accomplished through forming in-state coalitions, interstate relationships, organizing workshops and training sessions, and by educating personnel involved with maintenance and pest control in individual schools. These efforts have significantly increased the number of school districts in Southern states that have implemented IPM policies.  

For example, in North Carolina, a survey of school maintenance directors completed by the state’s School IPM Program in 2009 showed that 63% of schools had IPM policies, a 47% increase over 2007. Results showed an 18% increase in the number of school districts using written notifications to parents and staff on pesticide applications. As a result of the use of the IPM policies, there was a reduction in pesticide use in more than 72 school districts in the state, impacting about 750,000 students and 57,000 employees. The health benefits of IPM implementation in schools include less exposure of students and employees to pests and pesticide residues. A North Carolina State University study (Nalyanya et al., 2009) shows that using IPM to control pests in public schools (i.e., monitoring for pests and utilizing baits and traps in areas where pests are located) reduces cockroaches and their allergens more effectively than the conventional method of spraying pesticides on a predetermined schedule.
Nalyanya, G., J. C. Gore, H. M. Linker, and C. Schal. 2009. German Cockroach Allergen Levels in North Carolina Schools: Comparison of Integrated Pest Management and Conventional Cockroach Control. J. Med. Entomol. 46(3): 420-427.

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