Pasco School District
IPM STAR Certified 2012
February 1, 2012
Pasco School District #1 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.
Roy McCoskey helped start Pasco’s IPM program in 2008, and now serves as the district’s IPM Coordinator. He is responsible for managing IPM practices in the district’s 19 facilities and 124 portable classrooms. Organizing such a large IPM program can be a challenge, and McCoskey relies on monthly inspections and monitoring reports from the contracted pest management company as well as pest sighting logs from staff and students. “It’s difficult to manage,” he said, “but we can trust everyone to do their part.” About 13,000 students and 1,800 staff members benefit from Pasco’s safe and healthy pest management practices.
Pasco School District #1 makes every effort to keep pesticides away from children. From sanitation and exclusion to inspection and monitoring, students, staff and parents work together to keep PSD’s schools safe and healthy.
Children are more vulnerable to pesticides than adults. Pound for pound, they consume more air, water and food, and have more contact with walls and floors where pesticide residue may build up. At PSD, children rarely come into contact with pesticides during the limited number of applications that do occur.
Outdoors, general perimeter applications are not used. Instead, weeds are managed through good turf practices like aerating, hand weeding and mowing. Landscape fabric and mulch are used in landscaped areas to prevent weeds from sprouting. Furthermore, only native and other low-maintenance plants are allowed to remain in planted beds. Since the plants are already adapted to the conditions and pests that may be present, less irrigation and fertilization is necessary and fewer pest problems arise. Indoors, good sanitation practices ensure that pests aren’t attracted to lingering crumbs or spills. Pests are also excluded from buildings by installing door sweeps and molding and keeping kitchen doors closed. Facilities are inspected monthly to ensure that any pest problems are taken care of right away.
IPM STAR Certification is presented by the IPM Institute of North America in partnership with the US Environmental Protection Agency Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.