Section: Support Services
Title: School Pest Management Procedure
SCHOOL PEST MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE
- INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES
The overall objective of the Portland Public Schools IPM program is to provide effective pest control while minimizing pesticide use. More specific objectives include:
A. Maintaining a safe and sustainable school environment;
B. Protecting human health by suppressing pests that threaten public health and safety;
C. Reducing the exposure of humans—particularly children—to pesticides;
D. Reducing or preventing pest damage to school properties;
E. Reducing environmental pollution;
F. Reducing costs of pest management;
G. Preventing pests from spreading beyond school property; and
H. Enhancing the quality of life for students, staff, and others using school property.
The full range of management options, including no action at all, will be considered. The decision to use a pesticide shall be based on a review of all other available options (sanitation, exclusion, mechanical means, trapping, biological control) and a determination that these options have not worked or are not feasible. Non-chemical pest management methods should be used whenever possible. If the determination is made that a pesticide must be used, the least hazardous material and method of application that will be effective, shall be chosen. Pesticide applications must be timed to minimize their impact on school grounds and will be handled according to state and federal law.
II. IPM COORDINATORS
The Superintendent or his/her designee shall appoint the custodial supervisor as the IPM coordinator for the school district to develop and implement a pest management plan consistent with IPM procedures and this policy. Building supervisors and principals shall act in accordance with this policy and report any action taken or reports of pests to the IPM coordinator. Parks and Recreation Department staff involved with maintaining school grounds shall likewise make reports to the IPM coordinator. The IPM coordinator is the primary contact for pest control matters and will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the IPM plan, including making pest control decisions and fulfilling the following duties:
A. Coordinate IPM activities and individual responsibilities;
B. Consult with the building principal/supervisor and Superintendent before a decision is made to apply pesticides;
C. Record all pest sightings by Portland Public Schools staff and students as well as park and recreation staff;
D. Record all pesticide use by either a professional applicator, parks and recreation staff, or Portland Public Schools staff.
E. Maintain all data relating to pest control and pesticide use as set forth in this policy;
F. Coordinate management activities with pest control contractors or licensed staff;
G. Approve appropriate pesticide applications-methods, materials, timing, and location;
H. Ensure that all pest control contractor’s recommendations on maintenance and sanitation are carried out;
I. Provide notification of pesticide application as set forth in this policy;
J. Determine when an emergency situation exists that requires immediate action;
K. Evaluate the school’s IPM procedures;
L. Ensure that any pesticide use is done according to the Portland Public Schools Pest Management Plan and Chapter 27 Me. Dept. of Agriculture Board of Pesticides Control Rules (“Standards for Pesticide Applications and Public Notification in Schools”);
M. Ensure that pesticides are only used by licensed applicators, with the exceptions noted in paragraph “IV.” below;
N. Make the school system’s pest management policy available in every school building; and
- Have available for parents and staff a copy of the Maine regulation pertaining to pesticide applications in schools (Chapter 27 Me. Dept. of Agriculture Board of Pesticides Control “Standards for Pesticide Applications and Public Notification in Maine Schools”) and a record of prior pesticide applications and information about the pesticides used.
- IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIFIC PEST THRESHOLDS
Routine inspection and accurate identification of pests are needed to recognize potential problems and determine when action should be taken.
Action thresholds for specific sites will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the IPM coordinator in consultation with the building principal/supervisor and/or Superintendent and, if necessary, with the advice of a professional pest control expert.
As pest management objectives will differ from site to site (e.g., maintaining healthy turf and specific playing surfaces on athletic fields, carpenter ant control in buildings, or maintenance of ornamental plants) differences should be considered before setting an action threshold.
- PESTICIDE APPLICATORS/APPLICATIONS
Any person including school personnel who applies pesticides in school buildings or on school grounds must possess a Maine pesticide applicator’s license and should be trained in the principles and practices of IPM. All pesticide use must be approved by the IPM coordinator. Applicators must follow state regulations and label precautions and must comply with the IPM policy and pest management plan.
(Note: School personnel do not need to be licensed for normal or routine cleaning practices, for emergency stinging insect control, or use of repellants for personal protection. However, school personnel do need to be licensed if they will be using pesticides for any other purposes in school facilities or on school grounds).
Application should be conducted in a manner that, to the extent practicable using currently available technology, minimizes human risk. Decisions concerning the particular pesticide to be used and the timing of pesticide application should take into consideration the use of the buildings or grounds to be treated.
Pesticide purchases should be limited to the amount expected to be used for a specific application or during the year. Pesticides will be stored and disposed of in accordance with label directions and state and federal regulations. Pesticides must be stored in an appropriate, secured location not accessible to students or unauthorized personnel.
- NOTIFICATION OF STUDENTS, STAFF, AND PARENTS OF USE OF PESTICIDES
A notice will be provided to staff, students, and parents/guardians within the first two weeks of the school year briefly explaining the pesticide use policy of the school, including provisions for notification to parents and staff of specific planned pesticide applications in school buildings or on school grounds.
When required by regulations, the school will notify staff, students, and parents/guardians at least five days in advance of planned pesticide treatments in the school or on school grounds, including playgrounds and playing fields.
Notification shall include the name of the product being used, the purpose for its use, the approximate date and time of application, and the location of the application.
When required by regulations, signs will be posted at each point of access to the
treated area and in a common area of the school at least two working days prior to the application and for at least 48 hours following the application in accordance with applicable Maine Board of Pesticides Control regulations.
Pest sighting data and pest control records will be kept current and accessible to verify the need for treatments and track the effectiveness of management activities. Pesticide records shall be maintained on site and meet the requirements of the Maine Board of Pesticide Control. Records of pesticide use will be completed on the day of application and will be maintained on-site for two years. Copies of current pesticide labels, consumer information sheets, and material safety data sheets will also be maintained.