Guidlines for IPM for Pest Management Contracts in Childcare Centers
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is common-sense pest control. It relies on pest prevention, monitoring for pest problems, and control methods like traps, gels and baits to help eliminate or drastically reduce pesticide exposures. Using IPM in your facility will control pests more effectively and protect the children from the health risks associated with exposure to pests and pesticides
An official policy requiring Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to be practiced in your childcare facility makes it clear to employees and contractors that they must comply with the IPM program for the most effective and safest pest control possible. The policy also serves as a guide for the pest manager as he or she makes decisions on pest control.
These guidelines are intended to help you incorporate IPM specifications into an existing pest management contract. More comprehensive contract guidelines can be found on page 17 of the “IPM for Pennsylvania Schools: A How to Manual”.
A competent integrated pest management (IPM) professional will become your partner. They will provide quality least-hazardous pest control and provide recommendations for sanitation, maintenance and organization that prevent pest problems in the future.
Use these three questions as a guide to determine if you are receiving IPM services: 1. Does your contractor routinely monitor for pests so that problems can be avoided? 2. Are baits and traps used instead of pesticide sprays and ONLY when pests are present? 3. Does your pest control technician provide suggestions to prevent future pest problems?
Pesticides are poisonous chemicals designed to kill or eliminate pests. Exposure to certain pesticides during childhood is linked to asthma, some reproductive, developmental and behavioral disorders, and cancer. Although pesticides can endanger the health of any child, children with asthma, and other medically or chemically-sensitive children are more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides. The PA Department of Agriculture maintains a Pesticide Hypersensitivity Registry listing individuals who are medically documented as chemically sensitive. Pest control companies are required to notify sensitive individuals prior to spraying.
Providing safe and effective pest control in environments housing young children is important. PA IPM developed a series of presentations that can help centers understand how to keep kids safe from both pests and pesticides.