All public schools in the state were required to stop spraying pesticides as of Oct.Â 1. Instead, they must now use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to be in compliance with state laws.
Darrell Gettys, Executive Director of Facilities for Lincoln County Schools, said the school district has actually been in compliance with the new requirement since 2006, when the â€œSchool Childrenâ€™s Health Actâ€ was passed.
â€œBasically what the integrated pest management program entails is controlling the food source for pests,â€ Gettys said.
â€œIf you donâ€™t feed them, they donâ€™t want to come.â€
The emphasis of IPM is pest prevention, which can eliminate the need for pest treatment. Gettys added that the IPM keeps students safe from chemicals that they may be allergic to.
Under the newly effective law, parents should receive annual information about their schoolâ€™s pest management program and they can request to receive 72-hour notice of any potentially hazardous pesticide application on school property.
There are several exclusions to the notification requirement. Application of antimicrobial cleansers, disinfectants, self-contained baits and crack-and-crevice treatments and pesticide products classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as Toxicity Class IV (â€œrelatively nontoxicâ€) do not require 72-hour notification.
The schoolâ€™s policy on pest management â€“ Policy 9205 â€“ is available on the school districtâ€™s website.
MARTHA K. SEAGLE, Staff Writer