IPM or Integrated Pest Management is the best way to manage pests in any situation. The concept of IPM originated in agricultural environments, but IPM principles can be applied to any environment. Some non-agricultural environments created by humans for specific needs and activities, are described as “community environments”. These are different from agricultural or natural environments, and therefore IPM strategies in these environments also varies, although IPM principles are the same. IPM in community environments is Community IPM.
The UA Community IPM Program has Indoor and Outdoor components.
The Arizona School IPM Program
Although my introduction to school IPM was through the “School IPM Inside and Out” program, over the years, I consider other related projects (the EPA Stop School Pests project and the State Signature Program Initiative) also to be part of the larger Arizona School IPM Program. Over the past year (2017), I worked intensively with our program schools in the “School IPM Inside and Out” project, conducting site visits, addressing their IPM needs and collecting data related to IPM implementation in these schools. I also worked extensively with other (non-program) schools and other organizations in an effort to add new schools to our program, and to invite them to our educational resources and events. We now have a total of 7 school sites in 6 school districts in our Inside & Out program.
The most important achievement of our “School IPM Inside and Out” program in 2017, was the IPM STAR certification earned by Maricopa Unified School District, which is one of our excellent partnering school districts. Their success story is available at https://goo.gl/VjzAuQ. It was also covered by various media channels. Most recently, the story was featured on the Western IPM Center website http://westernipm.org/index.cfm/ipm-in-the-west/communities/school-district-creates-a-healthier-environment-by-adopting-ipm/, highlighting our work all over the western region.