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Daily News Archive

School and Childcare IPM Programs Significantly Reduce Pesticide Use And Pest Problems
(Beyond Pesticides, August 13, 2003)
A new report, Implementation of Pilot Integrated Pest Management Programs in Indiana Schools and Child Care Facilities, released in July 2003, documents the success of a multi-school IPM pilot project in Indiana. The report states that the pilot school systems immediately had a "reduction in potential pesticide exposure at all the schools … when the program was implemented, due to the discontinuation of residual insecticide treatments for cockroaches and other insect pests." The report also found that the reduction in pesticide use did no lead to any increases in pest problems.

Written by Al Fournier, IPM in Schools Coordinator at Purdue University, and Tami Johnson, Environmental Health Coordinator at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the report highlights the project objectives, implementation, outcomes, and lessons learned. The goal of the project was to develop an IPM pilot model in three Indiana school corporations and four Indiana childcare facilities. On-site assistance was provided to schools and childcare facilities participating in the pilot program through free workshops for school administrators and child care directors and the development and distribution of IPM materials throughout the course of the project.

According to the report, all of the pilot schools made significant improvements by reducing clutter, eliminating pest entryways by replacing doors, installing door sweeps, and caulking structural gaps. Improvements were also made in sanitation practices, particularly trash handling procedures.

The process for implementing the pilot programs described in the report followed what has become to be known as the Monroe IPM Model, authored by Dr. Marc Lame, Professor, Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs. The Monroe IPM Model outlines a series of implementation steps that have been successfully applied to initiate IPM programs in schools in several states, some of which are highlighted in Beyond Pesticides and the School Pesticide Reform Coalition's recent report Safer Schools: Achieving a Healthy School Environment Through Integrated Pest Management.

The IPM school and childcare pilot project was funded by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in partnership with the Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Purdue University Entomology, and the Monroe County Community School Corporation.

For more information about school IPM programs, policies, laws and resources, see Beyond Pesticides' School and Children program page.