Killeen Independent School District
IPM STAR Certified 2018-2021
December 29, 2017
Killeen Independent School District (ISD) has achieved recognition for its safe, sustainable pest management practices via IPM STAR, a nonprofit certification program that examines the pest management risks in schools and recommends alternative solutions. Killeen ISD’s pest management program was inspected by Ms. Janet Hurley, Extension Program Specialist from Texas A&M University, using IPM STAR’s publicly available standards scorecard. To achieve the certification, Killeen ISD went through a rigorous 37-point inspection of its pest management program.
IPM is a decision-making process aimed at minimizing pesticide hazards while effectively preventing or eliminating pests. School District staff practicing IPM first assess pest levels, building conditions and factors influencing pest introduction before acting. They rely on improving sanitation, exclusion, and staff teamwork to combat pests rather than routine application of pesticides. If a pesticide is used in an IPM program, a low-risk option is chosen and applied only when non-chemical methods do not provide adequate control.
Killeen ISD is situated in central Texas, Paul Duerre, Environmental Specialist, was just transitioning from teaching to the environmental health department when school IPM was mandated. He became the school IPM coordinator in a moderate sized school district to one that now serves 8 campuses on Ft. Hood Army Base and 40 other campuses located in Killeen, Harker Heights, and Nolanville. The campus growth has been tough to manage at times. “Managing a snake den that was located on a new middle school campus can be a challenge,” according to Paul.
Killeen was one of the few schools interviewed and inspected for this workgroup project that conducted all their pest control through an outside contractor. Brad Lisenbe, Killeen Pest Control, is an integral part of the IPM program. Through the school district work order system, SchoolDude, Duerre can submit valid pest problems to Killeen Pest Control so that they can send the appropriate person or team to remedy the situation. In the past the most common pest problem were ants, now termites have been an increasing problem in part related to age of buildings; pre-treatment efficacy expiring, plus end of the drought in the region. As this district grows the challenge will be to keep the IPM momentum going.
IPM STAR Certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. The program has been introduced to selected schools with the support and assistance of the University of Arizona, Arizona Pest Management Center and Texas A&M University, Texas AgriLife Extension.