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Integrated Pest Management

1.3.3 Integrated Pest Management Policy*

Pests can pose significant problems to people, property, and the environment.  Pesticides pose similar risks.  Children, faculty and staff spend a great deal of time in schools and on school grounds.  Thus they face potentially significant health problems resulting from both pests and/or pesticide exposure.  By reducing, or eliminating reliance on pesticides and incorporating alternative control options that emphasize pest prevention, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) reduces both pests and pesticide risks.

It is the policy of the Iowa City Community School District to create and maintain a healthy environment for our children, faculty, staff, visitors and others using our properties.  The District implemented IPM procedures to protect human health by reducing pests that may cause health problems, reducing  human exposures (especially for children) to pesticides and other toxins, reducing losses from pest damage to maintain the integrity of the school building and grounds, reducing environmental pollution, and potentially reducing fixed costs of pest control. Pests, defined here, are living organisms that present a significant hazard to human uses of school sites or by disrupting the learning environment in schools.

Integrated Pest Management

The District is committed to the sustainable management of pests through the use of sound IPM principles, relying on scientific evidence and appropriate application of the Precautionary Principle. The Precautionary Principle is a strategy to cope with possible risks where scientific understanding is yet incomplete. IPM manages pest problems by applying our knowledge about pests to reduce the risk of them harming humans, damaging landscape plants, infesting buildings or otherwise interfering with our livelihood or enjoyment of life. 

IPM uses effective and low-risk protocols in responding to pest problems.  Prevention of infestation is emphasized, and actions are taken to control pests only when their numbers exceed defined levels. Actions taken are designed to target the troublesome pest while limiting or eliminating the impact on humans, other organisms and the environment. 

Using least-hazardous control methods (cultural, physical, biological, or chemical) IPM relies on pest monitoring and prevention methods to mitigate unacceptable levels of pest activity and damage. Nonchemical methods will be used as the first means of pest prevention and control. If non-chemical methods are ineffective based on documented post-procedural evaluations, only then may chemical controls be considered for use. 

Objectives of IPM include:

  • Maintaining a safe and sustainable school environment so as to enhance the quality of life for students, staff, visitors, and others using the property
  • Protecting human health by suppressing pests that threaten public health and safety
  • Ensuring minimal or no exposure to humans, particularly children, to any known toxic substance used to control or kill pest organisms on district property
  • Reducing environmental pollution
  • Controlling the cost of pest management
  • Educating staff and students on strategies to create a healthy environment
  • Preventing loss or damage to school resources, structures or property
  • Preventing pests from spreading beyond school property

IPM Committee and Coordinator

The District will actively manage the IPM program by establishing a committee composed of district employees and community volunteers whose responsibilities include reviewing pest management actions taken by the District and providing guidance, education, and support on program procedures and processes. Also, an IPM Coordinator will be appointed by the District leadership to provide oversight, implementation and accountability of the IPM program including record maintenance, committee minutes, staff training, and pest mitigation documentation.

IPM Notification and Recordkeeping

The District will notify students, parents/guardians, and staff of upcoming pesticide treatments.  A 48 hour notice will be given to all parents/guardians, and staff members for internal pesticide treatments. For emergency applications where an imminent threat to health exists, students, parents/guardians and staff will be notified within 24 hours after the pesticide application. 

The District will maintain records of the IPM program and all monitoring and mitigation efforts. Students, parents/guardians and staff will have access to this information upon request.

Guidelines and Operating Procedures

The District will establish guidelines and operating procedures that address the following topics. 

  • IPM Committee
  • IPM Coordinator
  • Communications
  • Education / Training
  • Inspection, Monitoring and Action Thresholds
  • Pesticide Use, Scheduling, Storage, and Certified Applicators
  • Product Selection
  • Notifications, Postings, and Re-entry times
  • Record Keeping
  • Program Evaluation

For additional information, contact the IPM Coordinator at (319) 688-1020.

*This section contains the text of the ICCSD School Board approved IPM Policy.