Weeds: Nature’s Graffiti – How IPM Can Fix That

Weeds of concern and their control varies widely by state. The attitudes of school districts toward weeds also differ depending on whether the weeds are in the recess yard or athletic field. How do school facility managers or contracted turf management firms contend with weeds?

Learn how to observe your school grounds with an eye toward identifying weeds and their locations. This webinar, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, will provide you with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) based control tactics for common weeds. IPM is an approach that uses a hierarchy of practices, including exclusion, sanitation, biological, and mechanical methods, to reduce unnecessary pesticide exposure while providing sustainable pest control. Continue reading

Trainings for School IPM Coordinators in Texas

Even if you don’t need to meet requirements for school IPM training, if you’re anywhere near these areas in Texas, I encourage you to go to one of these workshops. You will get some very good information that will help you with your school IPM implementation wherever you are. Continue reading

School IPM Roundtable meeting creates linkages, resources

by Janet Hurley, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

On May 25, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened 29 representatives of 17 national school, health and pest management associations and federal government agencies in Washington, DC to discuss ideas for implementing a set of principles promoting the adoption of IPM practices in the nation’s schools. A meeting summary documents the event, captures key discussion and presentation points, and provides links to resources referenced. A blog by EPA Assistant Administrator Jim Jones, Endorsing a Path to Healthier Schools, provides context for the event and highlights its importance to the school community.

The 2016 School IPM Roundtable brought together disparate groups to pursue a voluntary enterprise that addresses pest problems proactively and reduces unnecessary exposure to pesticides.  These organizations provided their endorsement of a Principles of Agreement on school IPM.  They also committed to disseminate the endorsement, along with information on resources available to support school IPM implementation, to their members and associates. The event included an exchange of ideas on how the participants could track implementation of school IPM as a result of the endorsement. Continue reading

Bid and Contract Guidance for Securing IPM Based Services in Schools

If you are in the business of bidding for IPM services in schools, then this webinar is for you. Tune in to More Than Just a Firm Handshake – Bid and Contract Guidance for Securing IPM Based Services in Schools. Please note that space is limited to the first 1,000 to sign in, so sign in early if you want to participate.

Tuesday, February, 21, 2017 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET

Followed by a live and Q&A session, 3:00–3:30 p.m. ET Continue reading

Register for January 24 Webinar on Controlling Public Health Pests

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. ET, EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM will offer a webinar titled, “Pests of Public Health Importance and the Role of Integrated Pest Management in Schools.” Recent developments in pest-borne diseases, such as the emergence of Zika virus and spread of Lyme disease, signal the need to continually assess the threat of pests to public health. Illnesses carried by insects, rodents, and other pests affect all races, ethnicities, ages and cultures. Vector-borne illnesses are an ever-present threat and efforts to prevent them are critical to protecting public health. Continue reading

Video: Challenges in School IPM

Growers and consultants on the farm typically use integrated pest management to save money and prevent unneeded pesticide applications. In schools, however, IPM is seen as “extra” expenses and work. As Auburn University Extension Specialist Lawrence C. “Fudd” Graham explains, school IPM is an ongoing challenge in every state, including in those that have active laws.

School IPM videoIn this video of his presentation to the Southern IPM Center Advisory Council, Dr. Graham explains how pest management in a school differs from pest management on a farm. In schools, he says, IPM is successful only if staff, administration, teachers and students contribute. And when schools are well-maintained and clean, pest complaints decrease and food safety ratings increase. Continue reading

Why people resort to the silver bullet: using psychology to teach IPM

I’ve had many discussions with my colleagues about the best way to sell integrated pest management, or IPM, to the public. Although I don’t usually work with people directly on their pest management practices, I have heard some of our IPM Coordinators say, and have read in several news articles, that IPM is easier to sell to some people than to others. Why is that? Why is the organic community so successful at selling organic goods to the general public, while most people I know outside of my job don’t know what “IPM” stands for?

The answer may lie in an article that appeared in Perspectives on Psychological Science in 2015, titled “Improving Public Engagement With Climate Change: Five ‘Best Practice’ Insights from Psychological Science.” Although the article focuses on climate change policymaking, we can use similar principles in IPM to assist our “integrated people management,” as some of my school IPM colleagues call it. Continue reading