The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of a number of groups that took part in creating a plan to reduce pest- and pesticide-related risks in all U.S. public schools by 2015. Development and implementation of “School IPM 2015: a Strategic Plan for Integrated Pest Management in Schools in the United States” is also supported by the USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), in partnership with the Regional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Centers, the University of Arizona, and the IPM Institute of North America.
“School IPM 2015” calls for a 70% reduction in both pest complaints and pesticide use in schools. It relies on the coordinated efforts of teachers, custodians, food service staff, school administrators, pest management professionals, Agricultural Extension staff, regulators, architects, and parents to reduce pesticide risk in schools.
Pests and pest management can have long-term health effects and affect school attendance. Schools that adopt IPM should have less pesticide residue, fewer pest problems, and lower pest-related allergens. Studies show that IPM reduces pest complaints and pesticide use in schools by 70% to 90%, with no long-term increase in costs.