School Integrated Pest Management: IPM Tools

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on school property is a long-term approach to maintaining healthy landscapes & facilities that minimizes risks to people and the environment. Wherever possible, the School will take a preventive approach by identifying and removing, to the degree feasible, the basic causes of the problem rather than merely attacking the symptoms (the pests). So, control strategies that remove a pest’s food, water, and shelter (harborage), and limit its access into and throughout buildings and on school grounds are favored.

Specifically, IPM uses site assessment, monitoring, and pest prevention in combination with a variety of pest management tactics to keep pests within acceptable limits. Instead of routine chemical applications, cultural, mechanical, physical, and biological controls will be employed with selective use of pesticides when needed. Educational strategies are used to enhance pest prevention, and to build support for the IPM program.

  • Cultural control: e.g., improve sanitation; reducing clutter; people change habits like leaving food in the classroom; maintain plant health by  taking care of the habits and conditions; fertilization, plant selection (right plant/right place), and sanitation to exclude problematic pests and weeds.
  • Physical control: e.g., pest exclusion; removing pest access to the school building by sealing openings with caulk and copper mesh; repairing leaks and screens; removing pests by hand.
  • Mechanical control: e.g., trap rodents; till soil prior to planting to disrupt pest life cycles.
  • Biological control: use of pest’s natural enemies. e.g., conservation and/or augmentation of natural enemies of pests in the landscape; introduce beneficial insects or bacteria to the environment or, if they already exist, provide them with the necessary food and shelter and avoids using broad-spectrum chemicals that will inadvertently kill them.
  • Least hazardous chemical controls with preference given to NEW JERSEY School IPM Act-defined low impact pesticides’ (check out these webpages).

In the practice of IPM, it is important to:

  1. correctly identify the pest,
  2. understand the biology and behavior of the pest,
  3. determine if control is needed,
  4. know the available control measures and evaluate their usage (risks, benefits and effectiveness),
  5. implement safe and effective control tactics, and
  6. evaluate the control efforts.

So, we have compiled topic web links for School IPM coordinators and practitioners of IPM on pests, prevention, and control; this section is a work in progress and is under construction. The successful practice of IPM is community-based.  We have included Rutgers Cooperative Extension New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (RCE) fact sheets whenever available on a given pest. These could be used as outreach tools to the school community if there is a particular problem.

See fact sheets below for:

  1. Indoors: ants, booklice, cockroaches, fleas, general household and structural, termites, wasps.
  2. Outdoors:
    1. Ornamentals: Best Management Practices for Pest Prevention
    2. Ornamentals: Insects and Nematodes
    3. Ornamentals: Diseases
    4. Turf: Best Management Practices for Pest Prevention
    5. Turf Insect Pests: The RCE 'Integrated Approach to Pest Management' fact sheet series
    6. Turf: Diseases
  3. Other pest prevention and controls

Indoors: Pest Prevention and Control


Bedbugs: Posted 6/24/2010





Other Specific Household, Structural, and Human Insect Pests Fact Sheets & Bulletin Posted 6/24/2010.

General Household/Structural Pests:

  • Control Recommendations for Household and Structural Insect Pests, 2007 (12 pp.). RCE E262. 1/1/07. These are pesticide recommendations based on labeled pesticides for New Jersey. It includes general and restricted use materials. Restricted use materials should only be used by a certified applicator.  There are some 'low impact' pesticides included; see the definition of 'low impact' according to the New Jersey School IPM Act.
  • How to Identify Household Insect Pests. Insect Identification Laboratory; Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech Household and Structural Pest Identification. Applicable to school buildings- a simple pictorial dichotomous key to identify your insect pest.
  • The Ugly Guys! Household Pests. 2001. Laminated flip cards! See laminated card set order information online; use ID and price [ICU $9.29] for this item. Does not appear to be online yet; check home page. This project is a collaboration between the Illinois Natural History Survey of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences of the University of Illinois.
  • “Action Thresholds in School IPM Programs” Supplemental Materials for Integrated Pest Management - IPM Training Manual.  Maryland Department of Agriculture Pesticide Regulation Section. Printed May 2000.




Ornamentals: Best Management Practices for Pest Prevention

Ornamentals: Insects and Nematodes

Ornamentals: Diseases

Turf: Best Management Practices for Pest Prevention

Turf Insect Pests: The Rutgers Cooperative Extension 'Integrated Approach to Pest Management '  fact sheet series

Turf: Diseases

Other Pest Prevention and Controls