Klein Independent School District
IPM STAR Certified 2011-2013
October 7, 2011
Klein Independent School District has earned IPM STAR certification after passing a rigorous, 37-point inspection. IPM STAR evaluates school systems and childcare centers for Integrated Pest Management, or IPM – a common sense approach to solving pest problems with a minimum amount of pesticide use.
The IPM team consists of Kevin Wieghat, assistant director of maintenance, with Luke Glover and Louis Currie as certified applicators. Kevin noted that with their IPM techniques, “our results were always good, now they are even better and we have the records to prove it.” They always look to non-chemical ways to deal with pests before they use any pesticide products. Louis comments, “if we can solve a problem without chemicals we’ll do it. A fly swatter and soapy water are all that’s needed sometimes. We can get a bat into a box in about three minutes.”
Education is a significant part of any IPM program, particularly when there are so many people involved, such as teachers, staff and students. Louis explains that “it’s important to explain to teachers why a problem is happening and what they can do to stop it. If teachers heard about IPM more regularly and from other sources too it would help.” The IPM team also educates themselves about new developments in IPM and pest management.
Exclusion is an important part of their fight against pests. “We’re looking for why a pest is there,” says Louis. “Is the caulk in the expansion joint in the concrete gone? Ants love to nest in those gaps.” They also trim trees and vegetation away from buildings to prevent pests from gaining easy access to entry points. Since 2003 IPM staff have been putting 18”-wide concrete strips around the perimeter of all buildings and don’t put any shrubs up against the building. “It makes it so much easier to inspect and keeps insects away from the buildings,” explains Louis.
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 Texas schools with the support and assistance of the Southwest Technical Resource Center and Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
– Prepared as part of the IPM STAR Certification process by the IPM Institute of North America for posting on its website with permission from Klein ISD.