AgriLife Extension program bolsters Texas schools’ pest management approach

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

More than a decade of work alongside Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts in integrated pest management, or IPM, has culminated in the national certification of four Texas school districts as “IPM Stars,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension school IPM specialist in Dallas.

IPM Star certification from the IPM Institute of North America was awarded in April to Plano, Conroe, East Central and Killeen independent school districts for consistent exemplary marks on the institute’s 37-point evaluation. Continue reading

Four Texas school districts receive national IPM certifications

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

More than a decade of work alongside Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts in integrated pest management, or IPM, has culminated in national certification of four Texas school districts as “IPM Stars,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension school IPM specialist in Dallas.

IPM Star certification from the IPM Institute of North America was awarded in April to Plano, Conroe, East Central and Killeen independent school districts for consistent exemplary marks on the institute’s 37-point evaluation. Continue reading

How IPM can help prevent the flu

Flu season is upon us, and good pest management can prevent more than pests–it can also help keep germs to a minimum in your school or office. Janet Hurley, school IPM expert with Texas A&M AgriLife, shares some tips on how to prevent the flu with an IPM program.

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Between the news, my social media feeds, email, and phone calls I know it’s flu season, how about you? Many who work in the IPM program are also involved in the school environmental health program as well, and there are lots of questions. The three big questions I get asked is what can we use, can we use disinfecting wipes, and do we need to post? Below are some of the best guidelines I can give you, along with some tips and documents to print and post. Continue reading

City of New Orleans Pest Academy, October 10-12, 2017

Join the City of New Orleans Mosquito & Termite Control Board for a great learning experience at the City of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Pest Control Association’s 9th Annual Pest Control Academy.  The Academy will be held in New Orleans on October 10-12, 2017. The Academy will feature interactive and hands-on programs regarding identification, biology, and control methods of many urban pests. The Academy is accredited for Louisiana in a variety of categories. Featured speakers this year will be Dr. Roberto Pereira from the University of Florida, Ms. Janet Hurley from Texas AgriLife, and Dr. Mohamed Sallam from the EPA.     Continue reading

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.” Continue reading

Online IPM Resources to assist IPM Professionals with their Programs

by Janet Hurley, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

In 2014, a number of collaborating institutions led by Dawn Gouge, University of Arizona and Janet Hurley , Texas A&M AgriLife Extension received two separate grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide online resources on integrated pest management (IPM) for school personnel. The Stop School Pests team used their grant to focus on education and training for personnel, while Hurley and collaborating scientists created a one-stop online “big box store” of IPM resources, including documents, training, pest ID pamphlets, state legislation and more.

The training website, Stop School Pests (stopschoolpests.org), resulted from a collaboration of 42 people from federal and state agencies, universities, school districts, tribes, advocacy organizations and industry. Together they proposed to build a resource that would increase IPM adoption in K-12 schools and reduce the risks from pests and repeated pesticide use. Continue reading

Two new online resources provide a wealth of information on managing pests in schools

Three years ago, the principal at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans knew he needed help with multiple pest problems at the school but wasn’t sure where to start. Now two websites exist that provide any school personnel with materials on how to use integrated pest management to handle a pest problem.

In 2014, Dawn Gouge at the University of Arizona and Janet Hurley at Texas A&M AgriLife received two separate grants from the Environmental Protection Agency to provide online resources on integrated pest management for school personnel. Gouge used her grant to focus on education and training for personnel, while Hurley planned a one-stop online “big box store” of IPM resources, including documents, training, pest ID pamphlets, state legislation and more. Continue reading

Stop School Pests and iSchool Pest Manager webinar

When:  Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Time:  2:00 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time (US and Canada)

Join the Center of Expertise for School IPM as we get a sneak-peek at two new, free, online school IPM resources.

Dr. Dawn Gouge of the University of Arizona will describe the Stop School Pests program, a standardized, peer-reviewed, national IPM training program for school communities. Training materials include online and in-class teaching materials for all school community groups including administrators, facility managers, pest management professionals, IPM coordinators, landscape and grounds staff, custodians, maintenance staff, nurses, food service staff and teachers. Proficiency exams allow students to print certificates upon successful completion of the courses. Continue reading

Online pest risk school IPM tool helps schools locate pest problems

A new online pest risk evaluation tool will help school integrated pest management (IPM) coordinators around the country assess what pest problems exist in their school and where they are. The tool is featured in an article in the Journal of Extension.

Adoption of IPM in a school often happens reluctantly, after IPM practices are mandated or after numerous reports of pests in the school. Many schools contract with pest control companies to do a monthly treatment, but results can be uneven if the source of the pest problem is not addressed. Continue reading

AgriLife Extension experts provide crabgrass control advice for homeowners

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

Given the recent warm temperatures in North Texas, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts have put out the word that now is the time to treat for crabgrass.

“With soil temperatures rising to the upper 50s and low 60s, we may see crabgrass germination very soon, especially if we get rain,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension program specialist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas. “Now is a great time to apply pre-emergent herbicides.” Continue reading