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Last Updated Date: 05/09/2023

Adoption Date: 06/22/2021

Revision History: 05/24/22 (reviewed), 5/9/23 (updated)

Integrated pest management is a comprehensive process that utilizes information about plants, pests and the environment to plan and implement management tactics in overall strategies to keep pests below levels that cause damage. Integrated pest management specifically involves regular monitoring of plant material and pest levels, and using pesticides only when other means of control are ineffective, or economically unfeasible.

Proper grounds management techniques reduce stress and encourage good health in plants. These include avoidance of problems, proper planning and cultural practices, such as watering, fertilizing, mowing, core aeration, pruning and mulching. It is important these practices be done at proper times and intervals.

A pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate pests or used as a plant growth regulator. This includes insecticides used against insects, herbicides used against weedy or other plants, fungicides used against fungi, and antibiotics or bactericides used against bacteria.

Pesticides may be used when:

  1. Students or employees are experiencing discomfort or unsafe conditions.
  2. Damage is occurring to a tree, shrub, plant, grounds or facilities.
  3. After cultural and biological methods have been used and population dynamics of pests indicate that significant increases in pest problems are inevitable and pesticide use will decrease the pest population.

The district's grounds maintenance contractor/staff must:

  1. Hold an Iowa Commercial Pesticide Applicators License.
  2. Require employees applying pesticides to be certified pesticide applicators.
  3. Institute a grounds management program which encourages healthy plants. This will include proper timing and scheduling of watering, fertilizing, mowing, core aeration, pruning, mulching (to minimize stress of plants thus reducing susceptibility to insects, disease and weeds).
  4. Evaluate grounds management practices and pest control procedures on an ongoing basis. Revise practices as needed to gain from past experiences and new techniques.

When it is necessary that pesticides be applied, the contractor/staff must:

  1. Keep records regarding the application, as required by Iowa law.
  2. Use the "least toxic" pest control measures when economically feasible.
  3. When possible, the contractor/staff will apply pesticides when school is not in session.
  4. Post notification signs in accordance with Iowa law.
  5. Notify building administrators.
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