Supporting Reasonable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Schools and Other Public Facilities

The term “integrated pest management” (IPM) refers to broadly defined pest management measures intended to effectively manage pest populations to acceptable levels, while reducing or minimizing the use of pesticide products. These measures include: using non-chemical controls, redesigning and repairing structures, improving sanitation, employing pest resistant plant varieties, altering watering and mowing practices in landscapes and applying pesticides judiciously.

In response to concerns of parents regarding excessive and unnecessary use of pesticide products in the schools, at least nine states now mandate IPM programs for public schools. In addition, four states recommend schools implement such programs. Policymakers have also sought to expand the scope of mandatory IPM programs to include other public facilities within states including child care facilities, senior centers, hospitals and state buildings and grounds.

CSPA supports the adoption of IPM measures in the school and other institutional settings, provided that the term “IPM” is defined to include the judicious use of pesticides, according to label directions, in conjunction with other scientifically proven means of eradicating and preventing pest infestations in an integrated program of pest management. CSPA opposes the adoption of IPM policies that arbitrarily or needlessly restrict pesticide use, establish arbitrary criteria for evaluating and using pesticide products, or engender fear or suspicion of pesticide products that are safe when used in accordance with label directions.

CSPA supports IPM programs that allow the use of products such as disinfectants, insecticidal and/or rodenticidal baits, or other products that are vital to effectively maintaining hygienic and sanitary conditions in the school setting. In addition, CSPA supports IPM programs that provide for appropriate and unrestricted use of pesticide products to remedy emergency situations in schools or institutions (e.g., use of wasp/hornet spray).

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