08/08/2019 | How to Develop an IPM Program for Your School
As a school official, you're responsible for the health and wellness of hundreds or thousands of students. That's a big responsibility. Maintaining health and wellness includes dietary programs, cleaning procedures, and - of course - proper pest prevention. Pest infestations can cause a lot of problems for an educational facility. Not only are pests a significant hygiene problem, but they could even expose students to disease.
The best way to protect your school (and students) from pest problems is to create a prevention plan. A successful integrated pest management program will keep pests away without disrupting your school or exposing your students to harmful pesticides. With the right pest management plan, you’ll prevent pest problems, comply with legal mandates, and create a more positive educational environment.
Draft an official policy statement.
As an official at an educational facility, your main job is serving your students and their families. To truly implement an IPM program, you need to share your intentions with the public. This statement should include a few key components: a promise to avoid pesticides, a commitment to improving sanitation, and your intentions to improve pest-related training.
Any changes you’re making to the way your school runs will be better received if you provide backing information. It’ll be easy to convince everyone to follow new procedures if you present them with a dedicated, detailed plan explaining how these procedures will improve student happiness and safety. Pest control is a good idea, and you should explain why.
Make a plan for who does what.
In order for an integrated pest management plan to be successfully implemented, you need to delegate responsibility. Decide who will be in charge of what and how they will be trained accordingly. There are potential pest management roles for everything, including students, teachers, sanitation staff, office staff, and leaders. During this step, consider how you will best keep them invested in the program's success.
Create area-specific objectives.
A school or educational facility has a lot of different areas. There will be different pest exclusion needs and practices based on each area. You’ll have to do different things to keep pests out of the library than you will in the cafeteria. Create a list of different areas and create pest management objectives for each.
Make a visual inspection to determine any existing problems.
Take a look at your school grounds and buildings. You want to take a thorough and honest look at how things are before you implement your IPM program. This will allow you to have these problems addressed by a commercial pest control company. Once they've been taken care of, your IPM practices will allow you to prevent future problems. Document and report any pest activity you find.
Once you've removed any existing pests and made plans for preventing future ones, you're not done. In such a busy, bustling place, you have to be constantly vigilant. Make sure that you're always considering the risk of pests when making changes. This includes when redesigning buildings, making changes to waste management, and introducing landscaping.
Keep records of everything so that you can track the ongoing effectiveness of your IPM program. You can tweak accordingly based on how readily goals and objectives are being met. the more frequently you assess your program, the more effective you can make it.
A big part of a successful IPM program is a relationship with a trusted local pest control company. If you want to start forming the sort of relationship that is integral to program success, give Assured Environments a call. We’d love to help you create a pest prevention success plan for your school.