What is school IPM?

IPM is simply a process for achieving long term, low risk pest suppression through the use of a wide variety of practices. A good school IPM program uses routine scouting for pests, building or procedural modifications that prevent pest build up, and selecting the least hazardous and most effective pesticide for a targeted pest after all other strategies have been implemented. Several states have already passed laws requiring schools to practice IPM.

For more information on school IPM issues, visit these sites:

Why Practice School IPM?

IPM programs can provide health and economic benefits to schools. The impacts of pests and pesticides on human health are well documented. IPM can protect human health by:

  • Suppressing pests that may carry allergens or disease pathogens
  • Reducing human exposure to pesticides
  • Reducing environmental pollution

Costs associated with pest control can be reduced using an IPM approach. Implementing IPM provides economic benefits by:

  • Decreasing pest damage
  • Reducing unnecessary pesticide applications
  • Improving maintenance and sanitation
  • Reducing waste caused by infested food products

A well-planned and documented IPM program may offer protection from liabilities concerning exposure to pests and pesticides while enhancing public confidence and trust.

School IPM in Vermont

Vermont law does not mandate that schools practice IPM. However, in July 2000, the Vermont legislature passed ACT 125. This Act relates to toxic materials and indoor air quality in Vermont public schools and is aimed at reducing pesticide exposure and other air quality risks to school children. The goal of ACT 125 is to have at least 50% of Vermont schools qualify for an environmental health certification by January 2005.

Pesticides in Vermont Schools

  • Over 70% of Vermont public schools use pesticides according to a recent survey and report done by Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG).

    To view the report: http://www.vpirg.org/campaigns/environmentalHealth/pesticide_report.pdf

  • By law, ANYONE applying Class A or B pesticides (this includes weed n' feed products) in Vermont schools or on Vermont school grounds MUST have a Vermont pesticide license. Commercial pest control companies would have a Commercial Pesticide License. Custodians or school staff applying pesticides should have a Non-Commercial Pesticide License.

    To find out how to get a Vermont Pesticide Applicator's License: http://pss.uvm.edu/pd/pdc/pat.htm#PvsC

  • Although Vermont does not have a law mandating School IPM to be practiced, ACT 125, an act relating to toxic materials and indoor air quality in Vermont Public Schools aimed at reducing pesticide exposure and other air quality risks to school children, passed in the July 2000, legislative session

    For further information: http://www.healthyvermonters.info/hp/act125/act125.shtml

Tools for Implementing IPM in Your School


Technical Information for School IPM


  • Sheri Lynn
    IAQ/Environmental Health in Schools Program Coordinator
    Vermont Department of Health

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