District Finds Success in Implementing IPM
Three middle schools in the Kyrene School District, Maricopa County, Arizona have been successfully implementing an integrated pest management (IPM) program that has reduced pesticide use by more than 90% and reduced pest populations by 85%. Dawn Gouge, urban entomologist with the University of Arizona and director of the pilot project, stated that their "IPM in schools project is aimed at offering a better alternative to the routine chemical spraying currently used by most of [their] school districts."
"Frequently the routine sprays are ineffective and increasing numbers of parents are keeping students home for a day or two after the monthly sprays," reports Ms. Gouge. Project coordinators reported no significant changes in the cost of implementing the IPM program at the three schools. Teachers and students are involved in the program as they check and monitor traps and identify insect pests. Common pest problems identified by the program include bark scorpions, Culex mosquitoes, southern fire ants and Turkestan cockroaches.
The IPM program is being expanded in Spring 2001 to all 27 schools in the Kyrene School District because of its incredible success. Ms. Gouge also states that the project coordinators plan to start additional pilot programs in the Navajo Nation, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Beyond Pesticides/NCAMP has identified over 100 school districts that are implementing alternatives to conventional hazardous pesticides around the country, proving that alternatives work. Kyrene School District's push to go IPM is yet another example that the tools and experience to control school pests without using toxic chemicals are available and have proven to be effective and economical.
For information on
how-to get your school to adopt an IPM program and provide right-to-know
information regarding pesticide use or for information on the list of
school districts implementing such programs, contact Beyond Pesticides/NCAMP
or see www.beyondpesticides.org.