Pests And Schools – What You Need To Know
You don’t have to be a scholar to know that pests are not conducive to a good learning environment for students, teachers, or school administrators.
For one thing, it’s hard for anyone to concentrate when an unwanted intruder makes a classroom appearance. In addition, many pests can be unsanitary, contaminating cafeteria food and bathrooms. Others, such as mosquitoes and flies, can be bothersome and have the potential to carry pathogens that cause diseases. Some can even be destructive.
How Pests Can Affect Schools
What do you need to know about pests and schools? Here are some fundamentals:
- Pests can enter any building through doorways, windows, openings and even the smallest cracks and crevices.
- While there are some cleaning best practices that can help deter them, pests still may invade even clean facilities.
- School facilities can be susceptible to pest infestations due to frequently opened doors and the large numbers of people coming in and out.
- Many types of pests can establish significant infestations quite quickly. By the time pests are noticed in a school, there could be many more – even hundreds – hiding nearby.
- Some infestations can be tricky to identify, requiring professional knowledge and experience.
- Some pests can be vectors for bacteria and diseases, creating unsanitary and unhealthy conditions. Others can cause structural damage to buildings.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these pests can be of concern to schools:
- Bed bugs
- Bees and wasps
- Biting midges (also known as gnats)
- Birds and wildlife are less common, but can also be a concern
The EPA also says that school properties have many areas that can be attractive to pests, including cafeterias, classrooms, lockers, gyms, dumpsters, athletic fields and buses, among other areas.
In addition to attributing to unhygienic conditions and potential structural property damage, pest infestations can cause school scheduling and operational interruptions and delays.
Pest invasions may also violate regulations and health codes that schools must follow. Pest control professionals with experience in treating school facilities should be familiar with the guidelines for federal agency and local health code compliance in regards to pest control and have systems in place to help with the required reporting.
There are some small and relatively easy steps that schools can take to help prevent pest infestations, including restricting areas where food may be consumed, keeping trash and garbage covered, moving trash containers away from buildings, fixing leaks and cleaning up spills right away and sealing cracks and crevices.
It’s helpful for schools to have a plan in place for reporting pest sightings. Teachers and administrators should know who to contact, and that it’s important to relay information in a timely manner to help prevent large infestations from establishing.
EPA Offers School Grants For Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Implementation
The EPA supports using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to help reduce pest populations. In fact, the EPA has established school IPM grants intended to accelerate IPM implementation nationwide. The IPM grants are offered as funds are available. The EPA Center of Expertise for School IPM also holds helpful and informative webinars.
Terminix® Commercial’s IPM program addresses the reasons why pests may be present in the first place to determine the best treatment or removal method and to help prevent future infestations. In addition to treating pests, Terminix Commercial uses IPM to continually evaluate treatment effectiveness, making necessary modifications along the way. Terminix Commercial professionals will also help educate school staff to address any conditions that may affect pest activity, recommending actions that may help.
To make sure your school passes the pest test with flying colors, ask the professionals at Terminix Commercial for a free estimate. Terminix Commercial uses proven, scientific solutions to teach pests a lesson that they won’t forget.