Letter of Explanation

Letter to educators about two bills that mandate the adoption of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan for each school/school district in the state.
Letter of Explanation - Articles

Updated:

June 28, 2002

Dear Educator,
In April, the governor of Pennsylvania signed into law two bills that mandate the adoption of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan for each school/school district in the state, and a seventy-two hour notification period prior to pesticide use in schools or on school grounds. IPM is an approach to managing pests that minimizes human health effects and environmental contamination. Over time the efficiencies in an IPM program can save schools money. Specifically, the pesticide notification act (Act 36) requires the following:

  • Prior to any pesticide application either in a school building or on school grounds the pesticide applicator shall supply to the chief school administrator or building manager:
    • A pest control information sheet (containing the date of treatment, the name, address and phone number of the applicator and the pesticide used).
    • A pest control sign at least 8½"x11" in size.
  • Prior to any pesticide application either in a school building or on school grounds the school shall:
    • Post the pest control sign in an area of common access where individuals are likely to view the sign at least three days before and two days after each planned treatment.
    • Provide a copy of the pest control information sheet (hardcopy or email) to every individual working in the school building at least three days before treatment.
    • Provide notice (including name, address and phone number of the applicator providing the treatment) to the parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school at least 3 days before each planned treatment. The notice is to be provided to all parents or guardians utilizing normal school communications or to a list of interested parents or guardians who, at the beginning of each school year, or upon the child's enrollment, requested notification of individual applications of pesticides.
    • Prohibit applications of pesticides within a school building or on school grounds where students are expected to be present within seven hours following the application, except where pests pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of students or employees. In this case, the school may authorize an emergency pesticide application, and then notify by telephone any parent or guardian who has requested such notification.
    • Maintain detailed records of all chemical pest control treatments for at least three years. This can be provided by the pesticide applicator if included in the Request for Proposal (RFP).
    • None of the above applies to the application of disinfectant and antimicrobial products, self containerized baits in areas not accessible to students, gel type baits placed in cracks, crevices or voids, or swimming pool maintenance chemicals. However other state laws require record keeping of the baits and swimming pool maintenance chemicals, but not the disinfectant and antimicrobial products.

The Integrated Pest Management plan act (Act 35) requires that the school/school district
adopt an IPM plan by January 1, 2003.

To aid in the implementation of both acts, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has
prepared materials to help school districts develop and adopt an Integrated Pest
Management plan. The manual, IPM for Pennsylvania Schools: A How-to Manual, is
available to schools, as long as the supply lasts, free from the Entomology department at the address or phone number below or purchased from:

Publications Distribution Center
112 Ag Administration Building,
University Park, PA 16802-2602,
phone 814-865-6713.

The Pennsylvania IPM Program desires to help you establish your IPM plan. If you need further
assistance, please contact us at:

PA IPM Program
Penn State University
501 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building
University Park, PA 16802

or call us at 814-865-1896.

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at 717-772-5204