IPM Oklahoma!

School No. 2

School #2 Pilot Demonstration

A voluntary IPM program was initiated at School Number 2 to serve as a pilot demonstration in order to provide a working model of school IPM for other schools to see and possible emulate. School #2 was selected through consultation with a cooperating pest control company who suggested them as having an ongoing pest problem and that the school's personnel would be willing to cooperate. The main pest problem here was an abundance of house mice (Mus musculus L.).

Meetings with school personnel ensued and the piloe project began in April, 2006. An extensive inspection was conducted at the school and Dr. Jones prepared a report (attachment #1) for the school with recommendations about how to exclude rodents from the buildings. Pest surveys with glue boards were conducted from April 2006 through February 1, 2007. Dr. Jones conducted an in-service training workshop in August 2006 for school personnel and made numerous personal contacts with school officials throughout the project.School 2 Figure 1

Building repairs to exlude rodents by the school plant manager's personnel were delayed, so Dr. Jones offered to perform the exclusionary tactics for the School 2 Figure 2district if the school would buy the materials. The offer was accepted and Dr. Jones spent four days at the school in late October, 2006, installing the recommended repairs. The results were dramaic, with mouse School 2 Figure 3catches and reports dropping from 2-7 and 2-212 per month respectively to no mice caught and only one mouse sign reported in the subsequent three months (Fig. 1). This can further be compared to the 60-70 mice caught at the school during the 2005-2006 school year (Fig. 2). An additional benefit to the exclusionary procedures performed at School #2 was that ground beetle invasions declined as well (Fig. 3).

The principal of School #2 stated that she and her constituents were very pleased with the program. She thought that the workshops we conducted were informative and helpful. When asked whether the school district would adopt IPM as their primary method of pest control, she stated that once our report showing the success of our exclusion methods and cost analysis were received, they would be presented to the school superintendent and the school board for their consideration. She further stated that she didn't see the school not adopting IPM due to the cost savings in addition to its effectiveness in controlling the rodent problem they were experiencing.

The biggest downside to IPM from her perspective was the need for assigning it to somebody in the school. Ultimately, she thought it might get assigned to the custodial staff, who are less prepared to conduct such a program. I asked her if it might be better to subcontract IPM to a pest control company. On whether the school would be interested in subcontracting IPM procedures to a pest control company, she thought it would be no different than when the school subcontracted with a pest control company to apply control methods (pesticides usually) for a pest problem.

She also thought that a maintenance program with the pest control company would be a very viable program. One very important item that she stressed was that in order for any program to be successful in the school system, the school board and the administration had to understand and support the program. To conclude the interview, I asked if they would welcome our program again now that this pilot demonstration was coming to a close. She responded, "We would welcome you with open arms!"

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