Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Educators

IPM is a scientific, ecological approach to managing all types of "pests", from deer in your fruit trees, to "bugs" in your basement, to diseases in crop plants and weeds in your lawn.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Educators - Articles


IPM Checklist for Teachers

  • Be familiar with IPM in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards. IPM is found under Subject Area 4: Environment and Ecology, and Subject Area 4.5: Humans and the Environment.
  • Be familiar with the PA School IPM Manual 
  • Recognize that IPM has elements of many different subjects including biology, social studies, math, chemistry, so teaching IPM across the curriculum is the best approach.
  • Work with your colleagues & administrators to integrate IPM into the existing curriculum.
  • Review curriculum resources on Penn State Extension website
  • Attend an IPM training session
  • Contact PA IPM for help with any training or curricular needs.
  • Look for service learning opportunities for your students

How Can IPM Be Used in Teaching?

IPM relies on information on the identity and biology of a pest species, combined with the agreed upon needs of people. For example, a few flies are usually not a problem, but a few mosquitoes carrying a disease is a potential threat. If a potential problem exists, an IPM approach considers how to use multiple tactics to prevent pests first. If direct action must be taken, the safest, most effective way to suppress pests is chosen. Thus, IPM is also a real-world ecological problem-solving model. Young children can begin simply by learning how to observe the details of the world around them and identify the different organisms involved. Older children can investigate details more closely and engage in experiments. An IPM activity can touch on many disciplines and be adapted to many areas in pre-existing curriculum.

Service learning

Service-learning projects can teach students IPM tactics through real-world, hands-on practice within their school or community. Students can work with a school IPM coordinator or facility manager to develop and implement an IPM plan for their school building, grounds or playing fields.

Educational Opportunities and Resources for Educators

PA IPM Program staff are working together with students and teachers in PA to help them learn about IPM and how to use IPM concepts effectively in class by giving talks, workshops and short courses.