The Arizona "School IPM Inside and Out" Extension program is run by the Community IPM leadership team. This is a multi-disciplinary group with expertise in diverse fields relevant to implementation of sustainable IPM programs. This unique program aims at providing school districts with a "one-stop expert advice system" to establish sustainable IPM programs covering indoor and outdoor school environments; an approach which is widely appreciated by stakeholders.
What has been done?
The University of Arizona Community IPM Leadership Team, part of Cooperative Extension in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, provides multidisciplinary expertise to help schools implement safe and effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs that reduce risks from pests (insects, rodents and weeds) and pesticide use in schools, landscapes and playing fields. IPM is an economically viable and environmentally sound strategy that is the safest and most cost-effective way to reduce pest problems in schools. School personnel are trained to inspect and maintain sanitary conditions in classrooms to prevent pest infestations from occurring in the first place. Only the safest of pest control options are included in sustainable IPM strategies.
Practicing IPM in schools reduces pest incidence by an average of 78 percent and pesticide use by 71 percent. In Arizona, pest incident reports have dropped by 85 percent for all School IPM programs combined. School districts partnering with the School IPM program during 2013 reported reduced pesticide inventories. An analysis of pest control products used in schools showed that all products labeled "Warning" and "Danger" were eliminated from 75 percent of districts partnering on the Indoor and Out program. Roving bed bug incidence was reduced by more than 75 percent as a result of adopting a bed bug IPM policy in one inner-city high school district. The program is a collaborative effort that includes extension, university, government, private and non-profit organizations and individuals. http://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1579-2014.pdf