Pest Management in Schools

The School Committee recognizes that structural and landscape pests can pose significant problems for people and school unit property, but that use of some pesticides may raise concerns among parents, students, and staff. It is therefore the policy of Yarmouth School Department to incorporate Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles and procedures for the control of structural and landscape pests. A copy of this policy shall be kept in the Yarmouth School Department, at Yarmouth Community Services in each school, and made available upon request to staff, parents, students, and the public.

IPM is a systematic approach to pest management that combines a variety of methods for managing pests, including monitoring; improved horticultural, sanitation, and food storage practices; pest exclusion and removal; biological control; and pesticides.

For the purpose of this policy, “pests” are populations of living organisms (animals, plants or microorganisms) that interfere with use of school facilities and grounds. “Pesticide” is defined as any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pests and any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant.

The objective of the school unit’s IPM program is to provide effective pest control while minimizing pesticide use. The goals of the IPM program include managing pests to reduce any potential hazards to human health; preventing loss or damage to school structures or property; preventing pests from spreading beyond the site of infestation to other school property; and enhancing the quality of life for students, staff and others.

The Superintendent and/or designee shall develop and implement a Pest Management Plan consistent with the following IPM principles and procedures:

A.            Appointment of an IPM Coordinator

The Superintendent/designee will appoint an IPM Coordinator for the school unit. The IPM Coordinator will act as the lead person in implementing the school unit’s IPM policy.  He/she will be responsible for coordinating pest monitoring and pesticide applications; and making sure that all notice requirements set forth in Maine Committee of Pesticides Control Rule Chapter 27, Standards for Pesticide Applications and Public Notification in Schools, are met; keeping records of pesticide applications as required by rule; authorize any pesticide applications that are not exempted by rule; and implementing the notification provisions required by rule.

The IPM Coordinator will complete the training requirements established in Committee of Pesticides Control Rule Chapter 27, Standards for Pesticide Applications and Public Notification in Schools. 

The school unit will provide the Committee of Pesticides Control with the identity and contact information for any person appointed as IPM Coordinator in the schools.

The IPM Coordinator will consult with the building Principal and/or Superintendent before a decision is made to do a pesticide application for which notice is required and before providing notification of the planned application.

B.             Identification of Specific Pest Thresholds

Routine inspection and accurate identification of pests are needed to recognize potential problems and determine when action should be taken.

Action thresholds for specific sites will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the IMP Coordinator in consultation with the building Principal and/or Superintendent, and if necessary, with the advice of a professional pest control expert.

As pest management objectives will differ from site to site (e.g., maintaining healthy turf and specific playing surfaces on athletic fields; carpenter ant control in buildings or maintenance of ornamental plants), differences should be considered before setting an action threshold.

C.             Pesticide Applicators

Any person who applies pesticides in school buildings or on school grounds, including school personnel, must possess a Maine pesticide applicators license (when available) and should be trained in the principles and practices of IPM. All pesticide use must be approved by the school unit’s IPM Coordinator. Applicators must follow state regulations and label precautions and must comply with the IPM policy and pest management plan.

D.            Selection, Use, and Storage of Pesticides

Pesticides should be used only when needed. Non-chemical pest management methods will be implemented whenever possible to provide the desired control. The choice of using a pesticide will be based on a review of other available options (sanitation, exclusion, mechanical means, trapping, biological control) and a determination that these options have not worked or are not feasible. When it has been determined that a pesticide must be used to achieve pest management goals, the least hazardous effective pesticide should be selected. Application should be conducted in a manner that, to the extent practicable using currently available technology, minimizes human risk.

Decisions concerning the particular pesticide to be used and the timing of pesticide application should take into consideration the use of the buildings or grounds to be treated.

Pesticide purchases should be limited to the amount expected to be used for a specific application or during the year. Pesticides will be stored and disposed of in accordance with label directions and state and federal regulations. Pesticides must be stored in an appropriate, secured location not accessible to students or unauthorized personnel.

E.             Notification of Students, Staff, and Parents of Use of Pesticides

When school is in session the school shall provide notification of each application not exempted by rule, whether inside a school building or on school grounds, to all school staff and parents/guardians of students.  Such notices shall state, at a minimum: a) the trade name and EPA registration number of the pesticide to be applied; b) the approximate date and time of the application; c) the location of the application; d) the reasons for the application; and e) the name and phone number of person to whom further inquiry regarding the application may be made.  Notices must be provided at least five days prior to the planned application.  In addition, signage will be posted at each point of access to the treated area and in a common area of the school at least two working days prior to the application and for at least 48 hours following the application.

When school is not in session, signage will be posted at each point of access to the treated area and in a common area of the school at least two working days prior to the application and for at least 48 hours following the application.

In accordance with Maine Committee of Pesticides Rule Chapter 27, school is considered to be in session during the school year including weekends.  School is not considered to be in session during any vacation of at least one week.

The IPM Coordinator for the Yarmouth School Department is Bruce Bickford, who may be contacted at 207-846-5535.  This IPM policy and Committee of Pesticides Control Rule Chapter 27, Standards for Pesticide Applications and Public Notification in Public Schools is available for inspection and copying at every school.

Legal Reference:
7 MRSA §§ 601-625
22 MRSA §§ 1471-A-1471-X
Ch. 27 Me. Dept. of Agriculture Committee of Pesticides Control Rules
(Standards for Pesticide Applications and Public Notification in Schools)

Cross Reference:
EBAA - Chemical Hazards

Adopted: March 25, 2004
Revised:  October 13, 2016