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IPM Inspections

There are 2 types of IPM inspections. The first is an initial, detailed inspection that serves as the starting point for the IPM program. The second type is an ongoing (often monthly) inspection used to determine if any pests are present and if any pest management action may be needed to control or discourage pests. Both types of inspections should be performed by someone who is knowledgeable about pests and the conditions that favor pest infestations. Professional pest management services can provide this level of inspection. Both types of inspections should focus on pest vulnerable areas of the school or facility. These are the areas where all of a pest's basic needs come together: food, water or moisture, warmth, living space (harborage) and (for indoor pests) a way into the facility. In each of these areas, the inspector needs to identify any signs of current pest infestation and also note any existing conditions that may potentially support pest populations or make it difficult to adequately inspect.


Pest Vulnerable Areas 90% of the inspection, monitoring, and pest management effort should focus on pest vulnerable areas. In schools and childcare centers, pest vulnerable areas may include: - Kitchens (including storeroom and dishwasher room) - Teachers lounges - Concessions or other areas with food sources - Vending machines - Custodial closets - Pools and locker rooms - Certain classroom situations (such as Home Economics classrooms, classrooms where food and water are present, and any cluttered closets or other areas) Return to top of page


Tools and Access Ideally, inspections should be performed with someone who is familiar with the building and grounds and who knows the staff and the way things are done. The inspection involves both looking and asking. Looking for signs of pests and potential pest problems and asking questions about practices that might affect pest activity. To perform an adequate inspection, the following tools/items are essential: - Keys to provide access to all areas of the school - A building map or someone who knows their way around the school. The map can be used to mark areas that may need follow-up control or regular ongoing inspection - A powerful flashlight - A toolbelt including a screwdriver, a spatula for crack and crevice inspection, and a mechanic's mirror for seeing around tight corners - A hard hat and knee pads - A hand lens or magnifying glass for insect identification and a vial for collecting specimens - Field guides and/or expert advice for accurate identification of pests Return to top of page


Inspection Questions In each of these areas, pest management inspectors need to ask themselves the following questions: 1. Are pests present? 2. How are pests getting in? 3. Where are pests hiding and living? 4. What factors are attracting pests? 5. How can pest entry, attraction, and harborage be eliminated? The answer to question number 5 will provide the basis for IPM recommendations. Return to top of page

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