Just in time for school: New pest control calculator now available for maintenance professionals

In Texas School Pest News

By Steve Byrns, Communication Specialist

Maintenance professionals gearing up for the start of school now have a new tool to help defend students from the inevitable summer influx of undesirables roaming the halls.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s new integrated pest management website, http://ipmcalculator.com, offers school staff members in charge of pest control a wealth of practical information on managing rodents, birds, cockroaches, ants and a plethora of other unwelcome denizens, said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management program specialist at Dallas.

The cost calculator, available free on the website, allows the user to assess various pest risks on their school and district levels,” Hurley said. “The resulting information will be a big help for those responsible for developing a budget for a school integrated pest management program.”

Funding for the IPM Risk Calculator came from a combination of grants from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Southern IPM Center.

Hurley said using the calculator is as simple as entering the school’s location, presence of pests and the facility’s condition. The calculator then gives an overall pest risk estimate for the school.

“The calculator also has features that allow you to create your own budget to see how improving certain features will affect the overall pest risk,” she said.

The cost calculator doubles as an excellent teaching tool because many aspects of general building maintenance also relate to pest issues, Hurley said.

“The bottom line with this calculator is that it allows the user to see the impact different building budgeting plans, past, present or future, have had or will have on the facility’s pest risk profile,” she said. “Just as investors use spreadsheets to study the impact of various investment strategies, the pest calculator helps pest management coordinators maximize the most ‘bang for their buck’ of currently budgeted dollars, or in some cases, helps them to justify requests for adding to those budgets.”

Hurley said the IPM Cost Calculator is part of a website developed by the Southwest Technical Resource Center for School Integrated Pest Management, and cooperating states with financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southern Region Integrated Pest Management program, http://www.sripmc.org/. She suggested visiting the integrated pest management site at http://ipm.tamu.edu/ to learn more about integrated pest management.

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