Category Archives: Building IPM

Specifically related to reducing pests inside buildings

Protect Your Health When Cleaning Up After Mice

Worldwide, rodents carry approximately ten diseases, most of which we’ve never heard of. Centuries ago, ‘the Plague’ spread via flea bites from infected rats. Today, most diseases spread by direct contact with a rodent or–more likely–it’s excrement (saliva, urine, or feces).

While you may not plan to touch a mouse or its droppings, you may put yourself at risk by simply inhaling microscopic particles that are released into the air when you:

  • remove a dead mouse or its trap
  • sweep or vacuum to remove nesting materials or droppings.

Deer mouse and white-footed mouse usually live outdoors but enter homes to forage for food.

Hantavirus, when dissipated in the air (microscopic virus clings to particles), stays alive after rodent activity. In fact, it may be viable up to fourteen days, but according the the CDC, it is more likely three to four.

How do you know?

It is difficult to determine just how old these signs of activity are, so always take precautions with your health and those around you.

No one wants to see this work ahead of them, but do you know how to protect your health while cleaning up?

Here’s the quick list of what to do to protect yourself:

  1. We repeat: ALWAYS TAKE PRECAUTIONS!
  2. Use snap traps to monitor current activity.
  3. Wear rubber, latex, or vinyl gloves when cleaning.
  4. SPRAY the urine, droppings, nest materials or carcasses with a disinfectant. The CDC recommends 1 part bleach to 10 parts water (10% solution) or a commercial disinfectant. SPRAY ENOUGH TO COMPLETELY MOISTEN THE ITEMS AND AREA.
  5. Use paper towels, and place everything in the garbage. (Double bagging with grocery bags can be helpful. Always double bag dead rodents.)
  6. After all signs of activity are removed, disinfect the area and any thing that might have been contaminated. MOP floors and DISINFECT counters with commercial disinfectant or 10% bleach solution. Toss out gloves that can’t be disinfected.
  7. Steam clean or shampoo upholstered furniture and hot-water wash any bedding, towels or clothing that may have come in contact with rodents. MOISTENING EVERYTHING IN YOUR CLEAN-UP AREA WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR AIRBORNE VIRUS TO ENTER YOUR LUNGS.
  8. When a significant clean-up job comes along, a cheap dust mask will not do the trick. Invest in a proper filtered safety mask. It’s worth the cost!

Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) and Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) are two extremely dangerous conditions you do not want to encounter. These diseases do not affect the rodents that carry (vector) them.

Even without the threat of disease, clean up work often causes breathing problems for those in and around the area. Don’t forget that cockroaches and their excrement and shed skins are also a main cause of childhood asthma.

Make proper clean-up procedures part of your IPM plan.

New York State’s “Clean, Green, & Healthy Schools” website

The NYS Department of Health has organized a website with extensive information on school environmental health, defined as the way the physical environment of school buildings and school grounds influences the overall health and safety of occupants. The key role that IPM plays in protecting school children and staff is prominent and includes resources from the NYS IPM Program. If you have not visited the site in a while, check it out at https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/indoors/healthy_schools/index.htm

Partner with the EPA to assess Economics of School IPM

Health Resources in Action has partnered with the EPA to assess the economics of Implementing an IPM program in schools. To do so, they are looking for partners like you, and will provide funding as well.

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The EPA’s “Keeping the Pests Out” needs schools that now use an IPM program after switching from a more traditional pest extermination strategy.

Why apply?

  1. Economic assessment is free to the selected schools
  2. $6000 to the selected schools
  3. Includes a detailed cost analysis of their IPM program
  4. This will help increase adoption of IPM in schools

The Deadline is May 6th, so we’re here to give you a push… Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Have your superintendent write a letter of commitment. Example: your district  is interested, feels it would be an asset to the research, and agrees to work with (HRIA) Health Resources in Action from Jun 2016-March 2018
  2. Provide the name of your IPM Coordinator
  3. Be contracted with a licensed IPM Provider (Pest Control company that follows IPM procedures)
  4. Show that you’ve implemented IPM
  5. Share 24 months of pest management records from when you used traditional pest treatments and 24 months of records after transitioning to IPM  **see note below
  6. Provide records that may help track incidences of asthma problems with students and staff in your district
  7. Fill out the application online  and hit send! See the link below which shows the application you’d need to fill out.

**IPM means recordkeeping after all, so here’s what they hope you can provide:

 -Records for at least 24 consecutive months of a traditional exterminator model, and at least 24 consecutive months of IPM model.

-Those records should include: pest management contractor invoices, work orders, IPM logs (pest sightings), IPM work plan, IPM contract reports, IPM materials (if purchased by the district), custodian annual cost per square foot, training cost for staff training on IPM, custodian overtime (for addressing pests if they are doing additional IPM work),energy cost, Average Daily Attendance
/Average Daily Membership and annual Occupational Safety and Health Act reports.

They may also collect stories from school personnel regarding changes in pest problems in the schools. Since some of these records may be held by the pest contractor, we assume that each school with request the specific data elements directly

Here is the link! http://asthmaregionalcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/RFQ-for-School-Districts-for-IPM-Economic-Evaluation.pdf

We’d love to see you be part of this important work.

 

Pesticide Misapplications? The Costs Are High

A chemical smell wafting through an upstate middle-school classroom last fall ended up sending six students to the hospital. What happened?

A member of the custodial staff sprayed wasp killer by a fresh-air intake. Some of that spray ended up in a second floor classroom. Fourteen students and two staff members felt ill, according to a newspaper account; in fact, the school was evacuated for more than a half hour.

Need help identifying a pest and what to do about it? What's Bugging You? has the information you need.

Need help identifying a pest and what to do about it? What’s Bugging You? has the information you need.

The school was fined $5,500 for violating three pesticide regulations. But incidents like this are preventable by practicing integrated pest management.

The NYS IPM Program offers resources such as this video about stinging insects and IPM strategies that reduce the risk of stings.

Many state regulations pertain to pesticide use in and around schools. You can find a synopsis here. But first and foremost — anyone who applies pesticides on school property must meet pesticide application certification requirements. (The same applies to child care centers, office buildings, or any other commercial or public property.) If the certified applicator is a school employee, then the school itself must be registered and appropriately insured.

Neither the school’s pesticide-application notification requirements nor the Child Safe Playing Fields Act were violated, since each provides exemptions for the use of small containers of aerosol products in an imminent threat from stinging and biting insects. Regardless, a certified pesticide applicator must apply them, and, if applied by a school staffer, the school must be registered.

School staffers can obtain and maintain commercial pesticide licenses after getting the right education credits and passing their exams. You can find information about pesticide certification on the Pesticide Safety Education Program website, including information about upcoming classes.

Organizations such as BOCES and CASDA often ask NYS IPMers to present at their conferences.

Organizations such as BOCES and CASDA often ask NYS IPMers to present at their conferences, such as this upcoming workshop on ticks and tick-borne diseases.

Consider: without the basic knowledge inherent in getting a license, how can you be sure that staff are aware of the laws that keep incidents such as this from occurring? Who will be qualified to choose a pest management contractor when the need to protect students from the threat of pests — whether increased risk of asthma from mice or cockroaches, rashes from poison ivy, or anaphylactic shock from a wasp sting — relies on an expert’s help? And how will school personnel know what steps they can take to not only deal with existing (and potentially costly) pest issues, but also prevent new ones from taking place?

Answer: Be sure your maintenance staff gets the education needed to stay up to date with the latest pest management information.

The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program has resources to help schools with their pest issues. Visit the NYS IPM Program’s school webpage. Learn about specific pests, including stinging insects. Sign up for our blog, The ABCs of School and Childcare Pest Management. Send staff to classes offered by our experts.

We are here to help address your pest management needs.

Pest Prevention by Design?

Another great EPA webinar is coming up next week. Pest Prevention by Design helps school administrators, engineers, and ‘green’ builders understand how to design pests out of buildings rather than be in a battle to control them after they’ve entered. 2000px-Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svg

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 2:00pm, you can be part of a live webinar (online workshop) simply by registering. From your desk, laptop or tablet, you can watch, listen and interact as desired while two pest exclusion experts share their knowledge. If you’ve never used Adobe Connect, get a quick overview at: http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.htm

For example, where a school may traditionally address a rat infestation with rat poison, the guidelines would recommend sealing the gap in the door frame that let the animals enter in the first place, putting a better lid on the dumpster out back, or removing the English ivy from the landscaping (a preferred rodent habitat). By following these recommendations, we can keep pests out, thereby improving indoor air quality and saving money over the life of the building.DSC01130-B

Join us to learn how you can better incorporate pest prevention in your school district’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

Featured presenters will be:

Chris Geiger, Ph.D., IPM Program Manager, City of San Francisco

ChrisGeiger

Robert Corrigan, Ph.D., Rodent IPM Specialist, RMC Pest Management Consulting

Robert M. Corrigan in downtown Manhattan. (Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times)

Robert M. Corrigan in downtown Manhattan. (Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times)

Space is limited to the first 1,000 to attend, and that number is not unexpected. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar.

REGISTER NOW!