Dear Parent, Guardian, or Staff Member,
I am writing about three subjects that can affect children’s health in school: pests, pesticides and your right to know. Pest Control Because pesticides pose risks, the school uses an alternative approach to merely applying pesticides.
Control of insects, rodents, and weeds at our school focuses on making the school buildings and grounds an unfavorable place for pests to live and breed. Through maintenance and cleaning, we will reduce or eliminate available food and water sources and hiding places for the pests. We will also routinely monitor the school area to detect pest problems and prevent the pests from becoming established.
Some techniques we will use include pest monitoring, sanitation, pest exclusion, proper food storage, pest removal and —as a last resort—pesticides. This holistic approach is often called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Pesticide Use Sometimes pesticide use may be necessary to
control a pest problem. When that happens, the school will use the lowest risk products available. If higher risk pesticides must be used, notices will be posted at application sites and parents, guardians and staff have the right to know. Your Right to Know Parent, legal guardians, and school staff will be notified of specific pesticide applications made at the school. Notification will be given at least five days before planned pesticide applications during the regular school year. In addition, for pesticides applied anytime during the year, notices will also be posted in the school and on school grounds two working days before until 48 hours after the application. Notification need not be given for pesticide applications recognized by law to pose little or no risk of exposure to children or staff. The school also keeps records of prior pesticide applications and information about the pesticides used. You may review the records, a copy of the School’s Integrated Pest Management Policy and the Pesticides in Schools regulation (CMR 01-026 Chapter 27) by contacting our IPM coordinator, Larry Ring at 207-584-3012.
If you have any questions, please contact Larry Ring. For further information about pests, pesticides and your right to know, call the Board of Pesticides Control at 207-287-2731 or visit the Maine School IPM web site at www.thinkfirstspraylast.org/schoolipm.