sealPurdue News

September 3, 2002

Purdue program keeps school pests out

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Children in Indiana have Integrated Pest Management in Schools (IPMIS) to thank for keeping bugs out of their classrooms and making schools safer.

Pests such as cockroaches, termites, mice, rats and spiders, and the pesticides used to control them, can be harmful to children. To keep school children from being exposed to these dangers, Purdue University has established a technical resource center for IPMIS in the Department of Entomology to assist school corporations in adopting and implementing this program.

"More than 90 percent of the schools in Indiana have adopted our program, and it could be considered the most successful program in the nation," said Tim Gibb, a specialist and director of IPMIS.

Integrated pest management teaches children, teachers and building custodians what pests look like, where they live, what they eat and how they can be controlled using simple methods. Although Indiana currently does not require the use of integrated pest management, voluntary implementation of IPMIS or a similar program is strongly encouraged.

Pests can be controlled through many ways. IPM specialists suggest commonsense approaches of keeping entryways closed, putting sweeps on thresholds and cutting back trees from touching the building to keep a handle on pest populations.

"If pests can't enter the school to become pests, they will never require pesticide treatments," said Gibb. "It is as simple as that."

Benton Central Community Schools in Oxford, Ind., have been using the IPM program since August 2000 and have seen their pest problem drastically reduced.

"Because we are in a rural location, pests are more of a problem for us than other schools," said Mike Dexter, director of physical plants. "Since we adopted the program, the pest population has been reduced by 60 to 70 percent."

To learn more about IPM visit the web site.

Writer: Andrea Campbell, (765) 743-6175,

Sources: Tim Gibb, (765) 494 4570,

Mike Dexter, (765) 884-0850,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Related Web site:

Integrated Pest Management Resource Center

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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