Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Adverse effects of pesticide exposure range from mild symptoms of dizziness and nausea to serious, long-term disorders.  Pesticides have been linked to cancer, neurological, developmental, behavioral and immunological disorders, as well as asthma.  Children are especially vulnerable and have unique susceptibilities and disproportionate exposure to pesticides.  Alternative methods of pest control, such as Integrated Pest Management, are often more effective and, over time, less expensive than chemical pesticides.

As of December 2011, 39 states and the District of Columbia now have some type of school pest management law or regulation in place. Many school districts restrict the application of pesticides in schools, even products one could buy "over the counter." 

What Is IPM?
The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program uses regular inspections to prevent pest damage.  IPM staff identifies and correct conditions that encourage pests by reducing food, water and shelter for pests, and by eliminating unnecessary pesticide applications.  This integrated approach results in the most economical long-term solution with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.

Play video, produced by the Colorado Coalition for School IPM, describes the basics of integrated pest management in schools.

General information from

Overuse of pesticides can have other negative effects.  Read this Report on Honey Bee Health  and what the experts are thinking have caused the decline in the population for these pollinators essential to our ecosystem.

American Academy of Pediatrics - health effects of pesticides

IPM Institute of North America

EPA information about IPM

National Pest Management Association  - Link to school regulations by state

National Pesticide Information Center

Midwest Pesticide Action Center

IPM Education for Adults

Checklist of Pest Prevention Items for School Staff

University of Florida - Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - Resources on IPM for schools

University of Florida Entomology and Nematology - Extension Services

University of Maryland - Dept of Entomology

Purdue University - Entomology

Maine Schools IPM Program

University of Nevada -Pesticide Education Program

University of Arizona - Pest Management Center