Detailed Recommendations for Pest Control
Use Integrated Pest Management:
Use integrated pest management (IPM)—a program of pest prevention, monitoring, record-keeping, and control that eliminates or drastically reduces the use of pesticides.
Follow recommendations for integrated pest management (IPM) in "Healthy Hospitals, Controlling Pests Without Harmful Pesticides". The Los Angeles Unified School District also has an exemplary plan for an IPM Program.
Eliminate the use of chemical pesticides or minimize their use to the greatest possible extent.
Pest management program should be part of an overall Indoor Air & Environmental Quality (IAQ/IEQ) program.
Designate an IPM coordinator.
When contracting for IPM services, give clear instructions on the type of service requested, including which, if any, pesticides are acceptable for use under specific conditions.
Eliminate all scheduled or routine use of pesticides. Use chemical pesticides only as a last resort when non-chemical methods have failed to control a pest problem.
Use organic methods to maintain lawns and landscape vegetation.
Do not use fertilizers that contain herbicides (e.g., "weed and feed" products).
Do not use herbicides to kill grass, shrubs, or other unwanted vegetation prior to removal or replacement.
If control methods are needed, preference should be given to physical (e.g., barriers), mechanical (e.g., mouse traps, pulling weeds, vacuuming, fly swatters, hosing insects off plants), and cultural (e.g., improved soil health, proper watering and pruning) controls, using bio-controls (e.g., natural predator insects) if those methods fail, and only using chemical pesticides as a last resort.
Emphasize pest prevention through non-chemical means.
To avoid creating conditions attractive to pests, clean thoroughly, promptly fix building cracks and plumbing leaks, restrict eating to designated areas, and promptly dispose of waste.
Adopt and adhere to strict maintenance schedules to determine and repair points of possible pest entry, such as torn screens, cracks and holes in walls, and damaged or improperly placed door seals and sweeps.
Initiate additional housekeeping routines to reduce the chances of pest infestation, including more frequent trash removal, securing trash container lids, and steam cleaning trash containers.
Locate trash cans and dumpsters, compactors, and recycling areas away from the building.
Maintain healthy lawns and landscape vegetation to increase resistance to pests.
To maximize health of lawns, develop healthy soils, mow often and with sharp blades, reduce thatch, and water deeply but not too often.
Maintain soil health. Avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers.
Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by draining stagnant water from bird baths, swimming pool covers, buckets, tires and other areas where water may be collecting. Drill holes in bottom of recycling bins that must be kept outside. Check rain gutters to ensure they are draining properly.
Discourage the introduction or presence of indoor plants because they attract pests, encourage pesticide use, and often promote mold growth.
If indoor plants are present, minimize mold growth by being careful not to over water, loosening the top layer of soil every week, and not keeping plants in wicker baskets. Do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on indoor plants.
Change the water in flower vases frequently.
USE PESTICIDES ONLY AS A LAST RESORT WHEN NON-CHEMICAL METHODS HAVE FAILED TO CONTROL A PEST PROBLEM
Use the least toxic pesticide in the least amount necessary to accomplish the job. Spot treatments are preferred.
Least hazardous pest management materials include:
[Note that due to individual variations in sensitivities, some people with allergies, asthma, or chemical sensitivities may not tolerate one or more of the above least hazardous materials.]
Least hazardous physical pest management methods include the use of liquid nitrogen for cold treatment of termites.
Pesticide applications should only be made by a licensed pest control applicator.
The O & M Committee recommends that certain pesticides, such as organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethroids, and other neurotoxic insecticides; 2,4-D, other phenoxy herbicides, and glyphosate; and fungicides such as mancozeb, chlorothalonil, and maneb, never be used.
Do not apply pesticides to buildings by fogging, bombing, or tenting or by space, broadcast, or baseboard spraying.
Do not apply pesticides in occupied areas or areas that may become occupied during the 24 hours (at a minimum) following an application. In buildings that are constantly occupied, pesticide applications should be made when they are least occupied. It is recommended that pesticides be applied when there is the longest time before the area will be re-occupied, such as at the beginning of a weekend or vacation period.
Minimize contamination of the HVAC system by sealing all inlets and outlets to the area where pesticides are applied. When the seals are removed, ventilate the area with 100% outside air with no recirculation at least until the building is re-occupied.
No application of pesticides should be made along paths of travel or in the vicinity of entrances, windows, or outside air intakes.
Do not use pesticides that contain added fragrance.
Ensure proper training of all personnel working with pesticides.
Prohibit other staff and building occupants from using pesticide products.
In the event of a scheduled structural or lawn care pesticide application (including spot or crack & crevice treatments), provide pre-notification and post signage in appropriate disability formats before, during, and after the application.
Signage for pesticide applications should include the name of the pesticide product applied and EPA registration number, date and time of application, name of the applicator, and the name and number of contact person from whom to obtain more information. For examples of notification requirements, see Healthy Hospitals report (17) and New Jersey regulations (20) under References.
Require that pest control applicators provide the building manager or designated agent copies of Material Safety Data Sheet(s) and product label(s) for all pesticides used inside the building or on facility grounds. These documents should be provided to building occupants and the public upon request. Note, however, that neither the MSDS or product label provide complete information on product ingredients or their potential health effects.
Maintain a voluntary registry of persons at increased risk of injury or harm from pesticide exposures who wish to receive individual notification prior to pesticide applications (or notified after an emergency application).
Reasonable accommodation to programs, services, and employment needs to be readily available to people whose disabilities require that they avoid exposures to pesticides.
Maintain secured separate storage for pesticides and limit access to authorized personnel only.
Store any pesticide and disinfectant products away from food, laundry areas, paper product storage, areas occupied by children, and HVAC air intakes.
Maintain separate equipment, including mixing containers, for use with pesticides. Avoid cross contamination with equipment used for cleaning and other maintenance activities.
Establish a reporting procedure and encourage individuals who are experiencing adverse health effects from a pesticide exposure to report the incident to the building manager and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. See EPA Pesticide Health Incident Reporting
IPM for Schools: A How-to Manual, EPA 909-B-97-001, March 1997
Pest Prevention: Maintenance Practices and Facility Design by Sewell Simmons, California School IPM, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
School Integrated Pest Management Program, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003
ExToxNet (Extension Toxicology Network) Pesticide Information Profiles, Cornell University, (Does not include information on all health impacts experienced by people with pesticide/chemical sensitivities)
The Safety Source for Pest Management: A National Directory of Least-Toxic Service Providers
International Pest Management Institute
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Pesticide Information Center