Children's Environmental Health
We all agree it is necessary to protect our children and other school occupants from unnecessary exposure to pest control products, while also ensuring they are not subjected to the health risks associated with pests. Cockroaches can pose a severe health threat. German cockroaches are the most common pests in commercial kitchens and they, along with flies and other pests, may transmit food poisoning agents. Cockroaches and their remains are a leading cause of asthma. Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, rodents and birds are involved in the transmission of such diseases as viral encephalitis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and others. We are all aware that most pests are a nuisance, regardless of their ability to transmit diseases.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally friendly approach to pest management that relies on common-sense practices to manage pests. IPM emphasizes regular inspecting and monitoring of pests to detect them at low population levels, which is a better alternative than the scheduled spraying of pesticides. Information about the life cycle of the pest and its interactions with the environment are used to make a control decision. Thresholds have been developed for some pests. This means no control measures may be needed if the number of pests has not exceeded a given threshold. If control measures are necessary, the pest is managed with a combination of techniques that are economically feasible and that reduce risk to human health, property and the environment. This may include the reasonable use of pesticides.
"PB1603-Suggested Guidelines for Managing Pests in Tennessee's Schools: Adopting Integrated Pest Management," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, PB1603-2M-11/06(Rev) R12-4610-110-003-07 06-0317, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexenvi/1