Welcome to the Texas IPM Foundation.

Protecting Children

IPM in Schools  
IPM helps protect our children from pests in an environmentally safe and responsible manner.  

When trying to control pests, schools must take extra precautions to keep from harming the other little ones buzzing around the playgrounds and in classrooms: our children. A school resource center is available to teach school employees how to control pests and reduce the risks that are posed by pesticides.

The Southwestern Technical Resource Center for IPM in Schools and Daycare Centers is dedicated to keeping schools clean and safe for our children. The center is located at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center at Dallas, and it serves as a clearinghouse for all IPM in Schools resources, such as posters, videos, books, and training programs for schools and daycare centers in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

The mission of the resource center is to provide the best professional integrated pest management training and advice for school districts and other environmentally sensitive institutions in Texas and the Southwest. Training programs and educational resources available through the center help keep playgrounds and classrooms safe from bullying pests.

"Our children deserve to be protected from both pests and unnecessary pesticide exposure," said Dr. Mike Merchant, urban entomologist at the Texas A&M Center at Dallas. "Unfortunately, public schools are not immune to the disease and allergy risks from pests, especially in food service areas. And studies have shown high incidences of allergies and asthma in young children that are directly attributed to insects."

However, the wholesale use of pesticides in schools isn't good for students, either. In a responsible, proactive effort to protect schoolchildren, the Texas Legislature passed a law in the early 1990's requiring that IPM practices be used to manage pests in and around school facilities. Some school districts are doing a good job of implementing IPM, but there is always room for improvement. Schools must have available to them the necessary pest control resources and expertise that can only be provided by experts in IPM technologies.

The center maintains and informational web site for the general public, offers numerous training exercises and has an established program to recognize schools that excel in implementing IPM programs. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service.has developed several educational resources that are available through the IPM center.

School IPM coordinators, and those who work for them, are given the weighty responsibility of keeping school districts pest-free while balancing pesticide risks. This isn’t easy. Coordinators have to master a dozen or so pages of laws and regulations; they have to learn tongue-twisting pesticide names and their properties; they have to organize reams of records; they have to fight for scarce budget dollars; they have to counsel frustrated principals, teachers and sometimes parents; and they have to be ready for unannounced visits from state inspectors. The function of the IPM resource center is to cooperate with these individuals to implement a feasible program that addresses the pest management needs of school districts.

The Texas IPM Foundation works with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service to emphasize the importance of implementation of sound IPM principles in Texas schools. After all, our children are our greatest resource.

Why use IPM in schools?



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