Monroe County Community School Expels Pesticides
A decade ago, pest control at Monroe County Community School Corp. (MCCSC) in Indiana consisted of an unsuccessful, routine spray program. Despite the constant stream of pesticides, roaches and rodents were flourishing, and, because of the constant stream of pesticides, students were becoming ill.
John Carter and Jerry Jochim manage the MCCSC Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Jochim works with school custodians and teachers to eliminate opportunities for pests to enter schools and implement cultural controls, such as cleaning cluttered rooms that provide shelter for pests and storing food in airtight containers as not to attract insects and rodents. Under their guidance, the MCCSC IPM program has become a model for school corporations nationwide.
MCCSC began to change its pest management practices after a review completed by a group of Indiana University (IU) School of Public and Environmental Affairs students. After the review, they formed a partnership with IU and the Purdue University Extension Service. They now avoid pesticide use whenever possible.
The IPM program has resulted in a 92 percent reduction in pesticide applications and an 80 percent reduction in pest complaints at schools, even though teachers are better trained to identify pests.