Asthma, Pests, and Children’s Health
16
October

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , /


Pests & Pest Control are Hard to Talk About: Some folks find it “gross”. It is also private and not something we usually chat about with parents or with each other. It often seems unimportant because more important things demand our attention. Sometimes it is “gross” and it is sometimes private. BUT it is NOT unimportant because: WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PEST CONTROL WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CHILDREN’S HEALTH! FURTHERMORE: Today we will do our best to disregard the icky factor and the private factor so that we are talking realistically and honestly about pest problems and their related health impacts. So why should we learn about pest control? The three main reasons we must talk about pest control are: 1. because some pests and the pesticides we frequently use to control the pests are dangerous and can harm children’s health. 2. because everyone must contribute and work together to accomplish safer pest control practices in a childcare facility. It is a team effort, and not just the responsibility of the pest control operator or the exterminator. And 3. because Pennsylvania – and many other states – require schools and childcare programs to use Integrated Pest Management, or for short, IPM. After Today’s Presentation, you will: 1. Understand the link between pests, pesticides, and children’s health. 2. Know what things you must do to safely and effectively control pests inside of a facility. 3. Know what IPM is and what it is not. Act 35, adopted by the Pennsylvania legislature in 2002, requires schools to: Adopt an IPM Plan, and to Maintain a Hypersensitivity Registry (which is a list of students and/or staff who must be notified of pesticide applications for health reasons. Click on the link on this slide for more information). Schools must also have an IPM structural pest control agreement with a PA licensed and insured pest control company. These regulations were developed and are enforced by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Health & Safety Division of the Bureau of Plant Industry. It is important to note, that in Pennsylvania most pesticide applications are agricultural. Act 36 – requires prior notification of pesticide application in schools, including
Notification of staff and parents. In 2012, the Department of Agriculture, division of Health & Safety determined that these regulations apply to childcare centers as well as K-12 schools. Only a Pennsylvania licensed pest control operator (PCO) can apply a pesticide in a school or childcare facility, as specified in the Pennsylvania Pesticide Control Act of 1973, which established the legal basis of pest control in Pennsylvania. Remember that regulations only set MINIMUM standards. Many schools, districts, and childcare facilities choose to be more protective of their children’s health. A pest is a living thing in a place where we don’t want it! A mouse on an old log may be cute, but not in your kitchen or a school! A squirrel in a tree may be funny, but it’s not when it’s in your attic! Some common household and workplace pests may include cockroaches, rats and mice, flies, fleas, and head lice. Remember, these “pests” are here because they need food, water, and shelter the same as us, and we have made it very comfortable for some of them to live with us. Think about the problems associated with pests? Pests are unpleasant. There are stigmas associated with having pests, although these ideas are not necessarily true. You can have the cleanest house or facility and still have an occasional pest problem. Pests can also damage property: Mice can chew through wires and cause fires. Termites damage structural wood in homes and buildings. Most importantly, pests, such as cockroaches and mice, can spread diseases and trigger asthma. Some known health problems that have been associated with pests are: spreading bacterial diseases – A roach can walk across the toilet or in the trash on uncooked meat or rotting food, and then across plates and tables where we eat. Pests eat what we eat and can contaminate our food. Roaches can trigger asthma because of allergens in their feces. Mice have also been shown to trigger asthma because of their fur and allergens in their urine. Mice can spread LCMV (lymphocytic coriomeningitis virus) through their urine, feces, and saliva. This virus causes a type of meningitis that has been shown to be a possible cause of neurological damage to a developing human fetus or even still-birth. Some pests cause other diseases, such as the Black-legged ticks (formerly called deer tick) that can carry and spread Lyme Disease Others are a nuisance, such as a bed bug because although they are not known to currently be spreading any diseases, they do bite and can cause the site to itch which may then lead to a secondary infection from scratching. Their presence (or suspected presence) is also known to cause sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, isolation, and withdrawl. Philadelphia consistently ranks among the worst asthma cities in the nation, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Philadelphia is not alone, as many other cities across Pennsylvania also have high rates of asthma. More than 25% of Philadelphia school-aged children have been diagnosed with asthma; this is more than three times the national average. Why? There are many things that can trigger asthma and each person needs to understand what his or her triggers are. We have little to no personal control over some triggers, such as what comes out of a factory’s smoke stack. However, there are some that we have complete control over, such as pest presence, and the tools & tactics we use to control them. African American children are diagnosed, hospitalized, and die from asthma 2x more often than white children. Latino children are diagnosed, hospitalized, and die from asthma 3x more often than white children. A recent study found that children exposed to herbicides (weed killers) during their 1st year of life are 4 1/2 times more likely to be diagnosed with asthma before the age of five. It also found that toddlers who were exposed to insecticides (insect killers) are more than twice as likely to develop asthma. An explanation and the citation of this study can be found in “Asthma, Children, and Pesticides: What you should know to Protect your Family” Click the link to learn more. Minority and Ethnic groups are diagnosed with asthma more often than their white peers for many reasons. Some reasons include living in older houses which often provide easier access for pests to enter, and the cultural norms of using pesticides. A pesticide is a chemical that is designed to kill a pest. Here are a few examples of common types of pesticides: Insecticide – kills insects Rodenticide – kills rodents Fungicide – kills fungi Herbicide – kills plants You also need to consider antibacterials and antimicrobials such as Triclosan, which are frequently found in many personal care and household products. Pesticides – The suffix “–CIDE” as in the word “pestiCIDE”, means “to kill” so these are chemicals that are made on purpose to be harmful to life processes in some way. This may be by interfering with nerve and/or muscle function, stomach poisoning, thinning the blood, or other mechanisms. Studies have shown that most people DO NOT READ THE LABEL instructions when using a pesticide This is partly because people assume that because a pesticide is for sale, it is automatically “safe”. Following instructions can reduce some of the risks associated with pesticide use. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) regulates pesticide registration. To be registered by EPA, a pesticide product must be tested by the manufacturer to measure potential risk to humans and other animals. The manufacturer submits their data to EPA on what levels of toxicity the products have on rats and other test animals. They also measure levels of mutations, birth defects, cancer etc. EPA decides what level of risk is “acceptable” whether the product can be registered, and what instructions should go with the product. However all products present some level of risk and we do not know for sure all the effects of all of these chemicals, and what might happen over time or in combination with other chemicals. Caution is strongly advised when using any pesticide. Exposures to pesticides can have short- and/or long-term negative health effects. Routine use indoors leads to residues on surfaces and in the air. Studies have shown that both childcare centers and homes have widespread detectable levels of multiple pesticides on surfaces indoors. This can only come from repeated use of many chemicals, over time, indoors where the products do not break down from sun, rain and wind as they would outdoors. Some of these chemicals can volatilize move into the air as a gas and be redistributed on surfaces throughout. For more information, refer to these studies Pesticide Measurements from the First National Environmental Health Survey of Child Care Centers Using a Multi-Residue GC/MS Analysis Method. and American Healthy Homes Survey A National Study of Residential Pesticides Measured from Floor Wipes (2005-2006) It is important to remember that pesticides are dangerous for children. Children are not little adults. They eat, drink, and breathe more, pound per pound than adults. They “Live Low” and put everything in their mouths! and they have a lifetime of exposures to chemicals starting from before birth avoidable exposures should be avoided. In addition to these differences, young children have “hand-to-mouth” behaviors. It is part of how they “explore” their environments and TASTE is one of the senses they often use. Unfortunately, it is also one way for pesticides, which have settled to the ground and in their living and breathing space remember, children “live low” to get into their systems. children’s bodies, brains, and other vital organs are still growing and developing. It can be difficult for their not yet fully-developed liver and kidneys to adequately process and eliminate toxins such as pesticides, thus increasing their exposure and the potential for short- and long-term health impacts. Because of all of this, chemicals in the indoor environment can have an impact on children‘s health, especially fetuses and those under the age of six. Children are exposed to pesticides By what goes into their mouths (the oral route), including food, water, toys, fingers, and other objects put into their mouths. By what they touch (dermal exposure), from any chemical that comes in contact with and is absorbed through their skin. By the air they breathe (respiratory) And even before they are born (pre-natal). One study tracked 316 urban minority women, African American and Dominican, in New York City The women wore an air sample monitor for 2 consecutive days during their 3rd trimester. 100% had detectable levels of 3 insecticides (organophosphates and chlorpyrifos) 30% had levels of 8 additional insecticides Blood samples were also taken from mothers and newborns at delivery. All had detectable levels of 3 insecticides, indicating that pesticides had been transferred from mother to fetus during pregnancy. Additionally, levels of these insecticides in human umbilical cord plasma were shown to be inversely associated with birth weight, length, and head circumference. So the higher the level of insecticide detected in the cord plasma, the lower the birth weight, shorter the length, and smaller the head circumference. This is important because small head size has been found to be predictive of cognitive ability. Prenatal exposures have also been shown to contribute to fetal growth deficits and to a decrease in brain DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is a nucleic acid containing the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms), and RNA synthesis Ribonucleic acid is one of the three major macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life). Several other studies have confirmed these findings. This study and others accounted for other contributing factors to low birth weight and premature birth. Confounding factors accounted for in the study included smoking, income, and alcohol consumption. For more information, refer to the study An Intervention to Reduce Residential Insecticide Exposure during Pregnancy among an Inner-City Cohort This diagram, Identifying Critical Windows of Exposure for Children’s Health, appears a bit complicated. However, let’s take a look: the vertical blocks are weeks of pregnancy, and the horizontal bars show during which times critical fetal defects can be formed as a result of exposure to chemicals. Note that most important organs are at the most risk before six weeks of pregnancy. These include the central nervous system, including the brain, but also the heart, the eyes, and the arms and legs. Since many women do not know they are pregnant before the fifth week, it is important to minimize chemical exposures at all times for women of childbearing age. Young children may spend up to 90% of their time indoors and indoor air is three to five times more polluted than outside air. Children’s systems are still developing and growing, including: The brain, which may be permanently damaged by lead; The Immune system, The kidneys & liver, And, the endocrine system, which produces the hormones that control growth and sexual maturation, mong other things. Children have been shown to be up to 16x more sensitive to toxicity of pyrethroids For more information, refer to the study Developmental neurotoxicity of pyrethroid insecticides: critical review and future research needs. It is also important to remember to protect children by the way we store chemicals, including, but not limited to cleaners and pesticides. Under the sink? the most common place people store pesticides! is NOT a safe place! Nor is an open cabinet in a child care center. Because children are naturally curious, are good and fast climbers, and are likely to open and empty the contents of cabinets It is very important to store these products up high at least 5 feet off the ground and in a locked cabinet. So, how do we handle these problems? Well, for a long time we have used pesticides, but they may not be the only or the best option. Integrated Pest Management is common sense pest control. IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management. It uses common sense practices to eliminate the reasons pests come into our spaces: Food, Water, and Shelter. We all need these things to survive, even the pests. Integrated Pest Management is economical, effective, as well as human health and environmentally-sensitive. IPM is a systematic and scientific approach to pest management. When you use IPM, you, first understand a pest’s identity and habits. Use non-toxic, preventative measures, and Use several different tactics for better results. And, if needed, the least-risky chemicals are carefully selected. So how do we do IPM? IPM is a safer method of pest control that emphasizes pest prevention and coordinates several different approaches to pest problems into one strategy. coordinates several different approaches to pest problems into one strategy. It sounds fancy but it is very simple you are probably already doing it. 1. Keep pests out How do most pests enter a facility – they walk, fly in, or hitchike in; some are even born inside. BUT if we keep pests out they can’t become our pests. 2. Food & Water: If you have an existing pest problem in your facility one MAJOR reason — there is enough food and water to allow them survive and thrive. Remove the food and water, and many pest problems will shrink or go away. 3. Remove Pests’ Shelter: These are the little nooks and crannies that pests love to hide, live and reproduce in. Take away hiding, and pests don’t like to stay around. 4. Monitor for Pests. This is KEY. Sticky traps and pest sighting logs help us know if there is a pest problem that requires attention IF there is not a problem, hen just stay on top of steps 1-4 and don’t do anything else: NO monthly spraying; NO baiting; JUST cleaning and sanitation, maintenance, and monitoring. 5. Treat Pest Problems, only if they exist. Use non-chemical (traps and vacuums) and least toxic (gels and baits) to handle the problem. Monthly spraying is NOT IPM. Why not? Because monthly spraying is not solving the problem. It can be compared to just “harvesting the pest” on a monthly basis. If one does not get to the REASON (food, water, shelter) the pest is there, then the pest problem will NOT be SOLVED by monthly spraying. Additionally, it does not follow the IPM protocol of starting with PREVENTION. Spraying is an intervention, and should only be used with an IPM plan that includes prevention or when all other methods of pest management have failed. Keep in mind that pesticides, sprays, foggers, “bombs” and dusts are poisonous, and were designed to interrupt basic life function and cause harm or death to a living animal or plant. When a pesticide is used, the most specific one should be chosen and applied to minimize human and environmental exposure: use it only when and where only the pest will come in contact with the pesticide. WHY IPM? First, it is more effective and economical overtime because it eliminates the root cause of the pest problems. As a result, pest issues will get smaller over time. It also protects kids from pesticide exposure. Let’s look at these 5 steps a little more in detail: Step One: Keep Pests Out start with the picture at the bottom left, and work your way around clock-wise Notice the space under the door (bottom left). Door sweeps should be on all exterior doors and make sure they are in good repair All doors need them ESPECIALLY backdoors to the dumpster area. Also, the doors into kitchen storage, basements, and mechanical rooms should all have door sweeps. Do the dime or pencil test this will determine if the space is big enough for a mouse to enter. The head of an adult mouse is the biggest part of their body, so if that can fit through, then the rest will follow. So, if you can fit a dime into the hole, or a pencil under a door, then a mouse can fit too! Seal up the hole by using copper mesh, silicone caulk, plaster or another patching material. Don’t prop open doors (top left). Every pest can walk right through this open invitation! Check windows (top middle) to be sure they are properly fit. Make sure screens are in good repair and properly installed. You may need to caulk the outside of the windows, using a silicone caulk to fill the small gaps, and thereby preventing many pests from entering. Look at the exterior of the building where pipes and wires come in (middle right). Seal any spaces off here too. It is like a highway for a pest, right into the building! Also, be sure to place dumpsters as far from the building as possible and keep the lids and other access points to dumpsters closed at all times. Some pests hitchhike (bottom right) in with students in their backpacks and other belongings. Is there a solution to this? Deliveries (bottom middle right) Cockroaches LOVE corrugated cardboard. We all save boxes, but it is better to dispose of them as soon as the delivery is unpacked and properly put away. Boxes provide great hiding places and shelter, and the glue is a source of food because it is often starch based. WHOSE JOB IS IT TO DO ALL OF THIS? Step Two: Remove Pests’ Food and Water Cleaning and Sanitation are KEY! FOCUS IN AREAS WHERE FOOD IS PREPPED, SERVED, EATEN OR STORED (including where staff eat) CLEAN TO THE CORNER especially in hard to reach places; clearing shelves and cleaning before putting things back, not every week, but on a regular and consistent basis Limit eating to one easily cleaned part of the facility Clean up spills immediately Periodically clean drains 1/2 Cup of baking soda followed by 1/2 Cup of vinegar, Let sit 5 minutes then flush with Hot water Food Storage is also crucial: Store food in pest proof containers, such as hard plastic with tight-fitting lids, or glass jars with screw-top lids. Also, think of the “food” in the art closet – such as beans and macaroni. Don’t leave food and drinks out overnight. Don’t leave water standing in sinks buckets, or pots and pans overnight. Step Three: Remove Pest Harborage their SHELTER and HIDING SPACES. Do these pictures LOOK FAMILIAR? Clutter is a BIG Challenge in schools and childcare facilities: The benefits to controlling clutter is that there are: Fewer hiding spots – the Ability to see evidence of pest infestations a Cleaner, safer facility Teachers will be able to find what they need for class and the added Mental health benefits of order and clear visual spaces Another harborage challenge is corrugated cardboard roaches love it! They can live in it, and they can eat it! Try to keep it out of your facility especially if you’re dealing with a roach problem. Piles of newspaper and stored recycling can also be a problem; get rid of it before is creates a problem! It will make the facility run better as well. Even shelving has issues: Metal or wire shelving is best, especially in kitchen and storage, because it doesn’t absorb oil and scents. be sure that the bottom shelf is at least 2 inches above the floor (and six inches in kitchen and food storage areas) so that you can clean under Step Four: Keep Watch! Monitor for Pests Monitoring is the KEY to successful IPM because it allows you to address pest issues early, often before they become an infestation. If there is NO problem – simply continue with prevention (steps 1-3) and monitoring (step 4) and there is no need to DO ANYTHING ELSE!!! To monitor for insects, use sticky traps: Place them on the floor, against walls in pest prone areas such as: kitchens, storage rooms, and bathrooms. If you are using a Pest Control Operator (PCO), they should decide where monitoring stations need to go, AND they should check them as part of their routine monitoring service. Glue boards – which are larger than sticky traps can be used to monitor for mice but are not to be used as a means to control mice! Place on the floor against walls in pest prone areas or where you have seen evidence of mice such as feces or gnawed food Talk with your PCO about placing them in plastic boxes if need be to keep them out of sight of children. Keep a Pest Sighting Log Create a simple log to keep track of pests. Important information to include is the: Date, What was thought to be seen and How Many? Ant, mouse, Where was it? kitchen, classroom, Name of person who reported it? communicating this type of information on the pest sighting log is essential to a good partnership with your PCO Step Five: Take the appropriate action for pest problems to eliminate the existing pests. For each pest there are a number of actions that can be taken. The action should be the most effective and the least-risky to children and the environment. The next slide shows how to combine these actions using the “IPM Pyramid of Tactics” The IPM Pyramid rests on its base with good Design and effective Maintenance of facilities. Good cleaning and sanitation are essential for pest-free buildings. A free resource called Pest Prevention by Design includes specifications for design and construction. A link is provided in the Resources at the end of this presentation. The next level is Physical & Mechanical and includes traps, screens, door sweeps, caulking and sealing, plumbing repairs, and similar measures, all of which are non-toxic. In some cases, IPM uses biological or bio-controls cats are a familiar example, but since cats are an allergen and asthma trigger and can carry harmful bacteria in their saliva and feces, they are not appropriate for use in schools. At the top of the pyramid are Chemicals the highest level of intervention, and the highest risk. Even here, a distinction is made between “bio-rational” chemical products, that are “less risky,” including boric acid, cockroach baits and gels, and “more risky” chemical products that are usually formulated as sprays and liquids and are toxic on contact. These would be a last choice, and used only when tactics from lower down the pyramid have not resolved the problem. Formulation means what product forms, and which types of mixtures are for sale. Products can vary by: Type of chemicals mixed into product. Many products contain more than one “active ingredient” (AI) – which is the actual pesticide that is claimed by the manufacturer to be doing the killing, and other “inactive or inert ingredients” which are the carriers, synergists, and wetting agents, etc. Type of medium used such as an aerosol, liquid, or solid. While easy to use, aerosols are very high risk. The stream from a trigger-spray is much more directive, and less likely to be breathed. Solids may present risks if young children play with them or put them in their mouths. Mix products can also be described as a concentrate or one that needs to be diluted. Concentrates are very high risk, both because of the large amount of actual pesticide present, but also because mixing them exposes risks from splashing or spills. On the contrary, ready-to-use (RTU) products do not carry those risks. Type of packaging that a chemical pesticide comes in may be kid-proof tamper resistant, or a tamper proof container. Many pesticides are packaged in containers that may look like familiar food or drink containers. A few may be available in kid-safe packaging, but all pesticides should always be stored up high, and in a locked cabinet. To choose safer pest control – think of the traffic light: Stop and AVOID the “Red” products; Allow professionals to use “Yellow” products; And Anyone is free to use “Green” methods Products that are considered “Red” and “Yellow” are registered pesticides. Only licensed pesticide applicators may apply a pesticide in Pennsylvania schools or childcare facilities. Pesticides should never be applied by staff, unless they are licensed. Teachers, parents and volunteers should NEVER apply pesticides in a school for any reason. Red formulations are the highest risk and their use should be avoided. They include: Aerosols, whose very small droplets are an irritant and a possible asthma trigger; Foggers, which coat all surfaces in the room with poison, and are not very effective; Liquid concentrates, which as explained earlier, are very hazardous to handle both because of the large amount of actual pesticide present, but also because mixing them exposes risks from splashing or spills; Ready to Use Sprays (RTUs), which are less hazardous to use then concentrates, but still tend to have higher risk of exposure; Poisons for rodents are called rodenticides. It is important to note that rodents are mammals and people are mammals, so anything that can kill a mouse or rat, can kill or harm a human being. Modern rodenticides are highly toxic, and even small amounts may make children very sick. According to recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), rodenticides should not be used in homes nor in schools. They may be used in trash rooms, commercial garages, mechanical rooms, and other non-residential spaces. Enclosed bait stations for cockroaches and ants, and bait gels are effective, very low-risk, and their use does not require notification. However, they should only be placed by licensed pesticide applicators. Pellets and granules for insects are considered low-risk, but should be used with extreme caution because they do contain pesticides are hazardous to children because they can be mistaken for food. ANYONE can use green methods. Cleaning and sanitizing are the base for pest prevention, and EVERYONE should help clean up! Vacuuming is very effective for removing both individual insects and when large colonies are discovered. However, do not attempt to vacuum stinging insects! Clutter can collect dust and provide shelter to pests, both of which are asthma triggers. To control and contain dust, the use of clear plastic bins with snap lids may help. Building maintenance must keep up with: checking door sweeps, screen and window repair, the quick resolution of moisture issues, and other structural deficiencies. Barriers, including glue boards and other traps that do not contain poisons, may be placed by anyone. As we have discussed, there are risks associated with using any chemical or a pesticide. So, if pesticides are to be used, be sure it is one that is less risky such as traps, baits, and gel, and avoid using the more risky ones such as sprays and foggers. And remember, only licensed pesticide applicators may apply a pesticide in Pennsylvania schools or childcare facilities. Pesticides should never be applied by staff, unless they are licensed. Teachers, parents and volunteers should NEVER apply pesticides in a school for any reason. These are three examples of illegal pesticides that people may find. These are not registered by the US EPA for use, and many contain highly toxic pesticides that can harm people or other non-target animals. The first is a pesticide that looks like candy, but is actually mothballs. There is no label explaining how they are to be used safely. It is not EPA Registered and they are illegal to be sold or used. The second is Chinese chalk. People illegally use this unregistered pesticide to keep cockroaches out. But the chalk could seriously hurt people, especially children, because it contains a highly toxic pesticide that can be absorbed through the skin, but it looks like ordinary chalkboard or sidewalk chalk. The plastic baggy contains Tres Pasitos which means “three little steps” in Spanish. That is how many steps a mouse takes after eating it before it dies. It is illegally imported, and sold on the street or in corner stores in unmarked bags. PESTICIDES AND HEALTH Pesticides are poison – they are designed to interrupt basic life functions. They usually work well on our target pests, but it gets complicated when we share similar biological processes – because it works on us too. There are two Categories of Health Effects of Pesticide Exposure: First, Acute exposure, which is lots of exposure all at once; like a child sitting in the room during spraying. Symptoms may be mostly flu-like; but can be more serious such as an asthma attack. And Second, Low-dose and long-term exposure is also known as chronic exposure. It can result in: Asthma incidence which is different than an asthma attack Cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, brain cancer, and soft-tissue sarcoma have been linked to certain pesticides Neurological damage resulting in motor skill deficiencies, delayed reaction time, depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, aggression, and hyperactivity Immune suppression Permanent chemical sensitivity One squirt of pesticide in the corner and we get all this? No, that’s not how it works. People are exposed to chemicals and pesticides in many ways including the use of air fresheners, antibacterial soap/products, and even in personal-care products such as toothpaste (some contain triclosan) But think about it: cancer rates have increased by at least 10% in the last ten years; learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders are on a rapid rise, and asthma rates are also on a similar rise. something is causing this Pesticides may not be THE cause, but they are part of the cause. When presented with opportunities to protect children why wouldn’t we. REMEMBER: CHILDREN ARE ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE. Let’s try to use an IPM approach on 3 common pests: Ants, Cockroaches, Mice The first step is to properly identify the pest! Not all pests have the same life cycle, and needs or wants. So, know your pest! What do they want? where do they live? What is their life cycle? How did they get in? How can I prevent them? What if I need to use a chemical: Which is most effective? Which has the lowest risk? What are the label directions? Can I follow them properly? Ants? Ask yourself: What do they want? Food, usually (or water) Where do they live? They nest in the ground outside hat is their life cycle? Queen makes “workers” who look for food for the colony and make trails! How did they get in? They come in through holes in walls, cracks under windows. How can I prevent them? Clean up, seal food, Seal holes with caulk, Wipe up their trails with soap and water. Bleach and other disinfectants are not necessary, and may cause other health hazards What if I need to use a chemical? Is it the: most effective? most safe? What are the label directions? What about label directions? Is the label just the front of the package? Turn it over, Read the WHOLE label, including all pull-outs. Baits are most effective; the workers carry the pesticide laden food back to the colony and share it, thus eliminating the entire colony. Sprays and aerosols don’t solve the problem: they may kill the foraging workers, but the colony has more and the queen will make more. Also, the sprays can contaminate objects and surfaces and expose us to the toxins. Cockroaches? Ask yourself: What do they want? Food and warmth Where do they live? They like to live with you! What is their life cycle? Egg cases are carried by females until about to hatch, then they are dropped. Each can contain up to forty eggs. The eggs hatch and baby cockroaches, called nymphs, emerge. The nymphs grow through five stages, and eventually become adults. The process may take 30-60 days. The Photo is of German Cockroaches, clockwise starting from the top left: Adult male, adult female carrying an egg case, 5th stage nymph, 4th stage, 3rd stage, 2nd stage, egg case, and 1st stage nymph (above egg case, between adults) How did they get in? Move in through cracks and crevices, then stay. How can I prevent them? Proper food and trash storage Seal cracks and crevices Place enclosed baits or gels in corners of cabinets, under the kitchen sink, and in other places where roaches like to hide. Puff a light coating of boric acid behind fixtures such as electrical outlets and face plates, and light fixtures where roaches like to hang out because it is warm. Puffing a very light coating of boric acid in the back corners under the sink is also good. Sprays, foggers, and bombs cause roaches to scatter into the walls and just come out later and keep dining in your kitchen so avoid using them!! Again, what about label directions? Is the label just the front of the package? NO, turn it over, read the WHOLE label, including all pull-outs. Mice? Ask yourself: What do they want? Food and nesting material. Where do they live? In your house, if possible! What is their life cycle? They live 1-2 years and can have 5-8 young every 3 weeks! How did they get in? They come in through openings into the building, under doors, around pipe openings, etc. How can I prevent them? Store food & trash properly Seal outside routes of entry, install door sweeps Snap traps are the best way to eliminate mice. Place them with the baited end along walls, and/or in corners. There are many styles and brands available, including easy-setting, and some that are completely enclosed so you don’t see the mouse. Are there different kinds of rodent poisons? Rodenticides are poisons made to kill rodents: Rodenticides may not be used anywhere in school where children may have access. Do not use, or allow a pest control operator to use a product if it does not have an EPA registration number, or if the directions on the package are missing or non-existent. It is probably illegal and more dangerous to children and pets. Rodenticides should not be used in homes and apartments. If a rodenticide is used, it must be a solid bait block and enclosed in a tamper-resistant bait station. Toxic Baits: Mouse and rat baits are pesticides and must be used according to label directions. Loose bait is no longer permitted. Pellet and treated-seed baits may not be used in residences. Rodent baits used indoors increases risks to children and pets. Additionally, rodents that die inside of walls or other enclosed spaces will stink and can attract other pests. DO NOT use foggers and sprays. They are designed for insects and do not kill rodents. What about label directions? Is the label just the front of the package? No, turn it over, read the WHOLE label, including all pull-outs. Remember, only a licensed pest control operator can apply a pesticide in a school or a childcare facility. If a pesticide is going to used, it is important to READ THE LABEL. The label is a legal document and it is the LAW to follow it. There is important information on the label including directions on proper use, storage and disposal, and health and safety. If you do hire a pest control operator, make sure they are properly licensed and insured. Ask them to follow an IPM plan. Ask them to not use sprays, foggers, or aerosols in your facility. Ask them, if they are going to use a pesticide, to only use insect baits, gels, and dusts. If you want to know more about the pesticide they want to use, including the known health effects, ask the PCO for the Safety Data Sheet SDS By law, they must give it to you upon request and it must be on their truck if they have the chemical on the truck. Be an advocate for yourself and for the children. PM is a team project everyone has a role! Every pair of eyes must keep a lookout and report pests and conducive conditions to the IPM Coordinator, who works with the Pest Control Contractor to resolve issues. Only the PCO applies pesticides, and only as necessary. IPM for PA Schools: A How-to Manual This manual was developed by Penn State University and the PA Department of Agriculture. It was recently revised and the new, third edition is available from Penn State University. It contains an explanation of state laws, sample policies, plans, pest information sheets, and other helpful materials. If you have a poisoning emergency, and if the person is unconscious or severely disoriented, you should call 911. You should also call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Poison control centers offer free, confidential, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to managing poisoning emergencies, poison control centers also track and respond to public health crises. This is a national 800 number but it is answered by the nearest poison control center It is recommended to post this number near phones and also put it in your cell phone, so that you have it in case of an emergency. Another resource is your county’s household hazardous waste (HHW) drop-off collection site. Check your county’s website for information about what products are considered HHW and why it is crucial to dispose of them properly. Please note that it is ill-advised to dump any chemicals or medications down the drain or toilet or into the sewers, because many sewers and storm drains go directly to the river, while only some go through the sewage treatment plants. Even so, many of the chemicals cannot be removed and therefore end up back in the rivers which are the sources of our drinking water. Other resources mentioned in this presentation are presented in the next few slides. Pest Prevention by Design is a free set of construction specifications, compiled by an expert committee. Use it to guide renovations and new construction to build pests out. California has produced excellent resources on IPM, and cleaning and sanitizing. they are geared toward child care facilities, but are useful in all environments. The EPA has a very robust program the Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) Program. It has many guides, checklists and other resources all free – and available on their website. The EPA also conducts FREE monthly IPM webinars during the school year. Previous webinars are recorded and can also be accessed via their website. The development of this training module was funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Thank you for your interest and attention! We hope this has been a useful presentation. If you have any further questions or need clarifications, please contact us at 215-471-2200, Extension 8, or by email at [email protected]


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