IPM offers several benefits. It helps to:
- Reduce the number of pests.
- Reduce the number of pesticide applications.
- Save money while protecting human health.
Did you know that children in the United States continue to face serious risks arising from pests and the use of pesticides in certain cases?
- Continue to contract diseases carried by biting insects.
- Suffer respiratory attacks from exposure to asthma triggers and allergens attributed to cockroach and rodent infestations.
- Be exposed unnecessarily to pesticides that have been over-applied or misused in settings they frequent, such as schools.
In the United States, more than 53 million children and 6 million adults spend a significant portion of their days in more than 120,000 public and private schools. IPM provides an opportunity to create a safer learning environment – to reduce children’s exposure to pesticides as well as eliminate pests.
A school IPM program prescribes common sense strategies to reduce sources of food, water and shelter for pests in school buildings and grounds. Put simply, IPM is a safer and usually less costly option for effective pest management in the school community.
Adopting IPM reduces exposure to both pests and pesticides. Two health concerns faced throughout the country by children and adults are:
Rodents, cockroaches, and dust mites are often present in buildings and can cause or inflame serious allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Studies in New York City
- Revealed a significant association between the prevalence of asthma among children and adults, and the incidence of pests, allergens (high cockroach and mouse allergen levels) and pesticides found in public housing; and
- Demonstrated the effectiveness of IPM in controlling these allergens.
While pesticides can play a key role in IPM programs, by their very nature most pesticides pose some risk. They are powerful tools for controlling pests but need to be used carefully and judiciously.
There are cost savings associated with using IPM. IPM may be more labor intensive than conventional pest control and may require more up front resources. However, costs are generally lower over time because the underlying cause of the pest problem has been addressed. IPM practices also provide financial benefits unrelated to pests. For example, weatherization of buildings not only excludes pests but also saves energy and reduces moisture problems.
Integrated pest management offers many benefits for schools, including:
- Fewer pests.
- Fewer pesticide applications.
- Money savings.
- Improved environmental health.
Sources: EPA Introduction to Integrated pest Management: Principles and benefits of IPM