Recommendations for Pest Control
Adopt an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for building interiors and grounds as described in "Healthy Hospitals, Controlling Pests Without Harmful Pesticides" (17). The Los Angeles Unified School District also has an exemplary plan for an IPM program (18).
IPM is a program of prevention, monitoring, record-keeping, and control that eliminates or drastically reduces the use of pesticides. The focus of IPM is to prevent pest problems by reducing or eliminating sources of pest food, water, and shelter and by maintaining healthy lawns (19) and landscapes.
The first approach in controlling a pest outbreak is to improve sanitation, make structural repairs (such as fixing leaky pipes and caulking cracks), and using physical or mechanical controls such as screens, traps, vacuums, and mechanical weed cutters. Increased sanitation measures include more frequent trash removal, restricting eating to designated areas, securing trash container lids, and steam cleaning trash containers. The IPM approach uses knowledge of a pest's biology, habitat, and needs to time specific interventions to prevent and control pests. A least hazardous chemical is used only when other strategies have failed.
Pesticide use is discouraged in a true IPM program. If pesticides are used indoors or outdoors, however, the following precautions should be taken—notification of applications (even for "spot" or crack & crevice treatments) should be given through posting of signs (before, during, and after applications) and by other means to building occupants, especially those on a pesticide notification registry (20), applications should only be made by a licensed applicator, applications should not be made inside buildings by spraying, fogging, bombing, or tenting, and applications should not be made 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.
The 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.