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New AgriLife Extension Service graphic guides target school pests

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

Three new infographics and two detailed publications from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service help demystify the best practices for controlling pests in schools, universities and other areas where humans occupy close quarters.

“The average person, while not a pest control expert, is definitely affected when an infestation occurs,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension specialist in school integrated pest management, Dallas. “That means the average person is integral to controlling pests, especially where large groups of people converge.”

Hurley, co-author of the new educational materials, called the infographics and publications “a few quick resources that anyone can use to learn simple practices for deterring pests and infestation.”

Each of the new offerings includes science-backed tips for integrated pest management, or IPM — the strategy of managing pests with multiple control tactics, emphasizing lower costs and lower environmental impact.

One infographic in the poster series, “How Students and Teachers Can Stop School Pests,” is a double-sided checklist on measures for pre-empting pest infestation in schools. Another, “How Kitchen Staff can Stop School Pests,” features graphic illustrations on staying ahead of pest problems with regular maintenance and cleanliness habits. The third, “Don’t let the Bedbugs Bite,” is an illustration on four steps for monitoring and controlling bedbugs.

Meanwhile, the seven-page publication “Green Category Pesticides for Use in Texas Schools” is a detailed document on the most current “green category” pest control products for schools and other environments where control measures must account for human safety, Hurley said.

“The publication is a great resource for anyone who works with a pollinator protection or LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, program,” she said. “It can really help determine what low-impact products to use in specific settings.”

Finally, “An Introduction to IPM in Schools: A Manual for Facilities Maintenance Professionals” is an in-depth manual on the steps to successful IPM. It covers how to implement an IPM program in a school or business. The manual is available at the Texas A&M AgriLife Bookstore webpage http://www.agrilifebookstore.org/Intro-to-IPM-in-Schools-p/b-6015.htm for purchase.

Go to http://bit.ly/2hiPgvb for electronic files of the poster series and the seven-page “Green Category Pesticides for Use in Texas Schools.”

Go to https://www.agrilifebookstore.org/category-s/1999.htm to purchase hard copies of the infographic poster series.

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