Every child deserves to learn in an environment free from harmful exposure to pesticides and pollutants. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles ensure that children are not exposed to harmful products. The Healthy Schools Act (HSA) enacted into law in 2000 was designed to reduce the risk of exposure of pesticides to children in K-12 schools. The law requires notification to parents regarding what types of products each district intends to use during the year, written posting of areas to be treated 72 hours in advance of application, parental option of notification of pesticide applications, and mandatory record keeping of all products used at schools for four years. In 2007, the Healthy Schools Act was extended to include child care centers.
According to the HSA, pest management professionals must have written documentation in place that outlines their Integrated Pest Management program to ensure full compliance with the law. According to the HSA IPM is defined as
A pest management strategy that focuses on long-term prevention or suppression of pest problems through a combination of techniques such as monitoring for pest presence and establishing treatment threshold levels, using non-chemical practices to make the habitat less conducive to pest development, improving sanitation, and employing mechanical and physical controls. Pesticides that pose the least risks to people, property and the environment are used only after careful monitoring indicates that they are needed according to pre-established guidelines and treatment thresholds.
Preventing pest activity in and around structures can be accomplished through partnership between school districts and experienced pest management professionals (PMP). Communication between districts and PMP’s at each service interval is critical to ensuring action is taken where needed. Certech Environmental Services professionals have decades of experience identifying conditions that are conducive to current and future pest activity. We perform routine structural assessments to identify pest access points and communicate sanitation deficiencies that could lead to pest activity. Our approach to IPM effectively limits the need to use traditional pesticides and ensures lower risk to children.