IPM Oklahoma!

School No. 1

School #1 Pilot Demonstration

A voluntary IPM program was initiated at School Number 1 to serve as pilot demonstrations in order to provide a working model of school IPM for other schools to see and possibly emulate. School #1 was selected through consultation with a cooperating pest control company who suggested the school as being willing to cooperate and also had an ongoing pest problem.

School #1's pilot demonstration began in January 2005. Dr. Pat Bolin conducted in-service workshops for the faculty and staff at the school in February and May of 2005 to educate the participants about what they could do in order to prevent pests in their school and home. Additionally two informative "Pest of the Month" fact sheets were e-mailed to the faculty there.

An extensive cleaning, and selective pesticide application was performed by the schools personnel along with a prfessional pest control company to target brown recluse spiders. The pilor demonstration project was put on hiatus in the summer of 2005 when the project technician position became vacant. In January 2006, Dr. Douglas Jones was hired and resumed glue trap monitoring along with providing advice and support to the school.School1 Figure 1

The brown recluse problem at the school has been greatly curtailed with daily spider catches declining to about half the School1 Figure 2number of spiders caught before IPM was initiated there (Fig. 1).

The spider population has continued to decline into 2007 with School 1 Figure 3daily catches being less than 0.5 spiders per day. (Fig. 2)

The director of plant operations at the school was interviewed. He stated that they were very happy with the program and hoped that it could continue. He stated that the work conducted there helped tremendously with reducing brown recluse spider numbers that have plagued the school. Furthermore, he planned to continue the trapping program because of its diagnostic value, along with the control that sticky traps exerted on the brown recluse spider population. He also stated that he school board/administration were pleased and receptive to his continuing IPM at this school.

The IPM principle of monitor and only treat if necessary is a concept that the school's personnel understand and support. However, this is difficult for the plant manager to achieve. A better solution would be for the pest control professional to supply the monitoring service for a monthly fee. When one considers that this school is paying in excess of $350 each month for pesticide applications (Fig. 3), changing to basic IPM principles of monitoring and treating with pesticides when necessary is appealing to the school plant manager. He stated that this would reduce pesticide exposure to the children and would be suported as long as a major pest problem didn't arise.

The in-service workshop that Dr. Pat Bolin performed in 2005 was well received and very helpful. Clutter control, maintenance and food stashing improved dramatically after the workshop. One of the biggest improvements was that teachers made extensive use of Rubbermaid-like containers for storage and as a result greatly reduced pest harborage areas. In conclusion, I asked the school plant manageer if they would welcome our program again now that this pilot demonstration was coming to a close? He responded with that they would cooperate with us any time.

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