The school environment, students, and people working there can affect pests. These pests cause severe damage to human health and structural damage as well. The causes of pests and bugs in school buildings are due to three reasons food, water, and a separate place (nest). The common pests in schools are not the same as in our home, such as:
- Rodents like mice and rats
- Indoor insects like borers, dust mites, and termites
- Outdoor insects, like wasps and bees
- Parasites like fleas, mites, and lice
Several methods can be implemented to control pest infestation in schools. The most effective way is using integrated pest management instead of pesticide applications. The pest population can be reduced, and also decrease the use of pesticides. These methods will make the school environment healthy and safe for the students.
Integrated Pest Management
Integrated pest management is an effective method to reduce the pest population. The first step is to find where, when and what kind of controls should apply to determine the population. Identifying and removing the conditions is an effective method of reducing infestation. Preventive measures can easily be implemented to improve the maintenance of schools. These measures should have:
- Relocating trash bins and food disposal containers from the vicinity of the school
- Limit the area where students are eating
- Maintaining and fixing leaky pipes.
- Cleaning food service areas under pressure.
- Sealing in fissures and cracks.
- Implementing sanitation controls.
- Gutter cleaning and water flow direction to keep structures from becoming saturated
- Teaching employees and students how their behaviour impacts pest management and control.
Evaluation of School's Management Practices
The Integrated pest management approach comprises implementing preventive measures. It assesses a school's pest management procedures and selects lower-risk pest control and prevention strategies. Try to find out more techniques or methods to prevent the risk of pest infestation. To reduce the risk of pest infestation, schools should consider the following ways:
- Minimise health risks to people and the environment
- Minimise interference with the external, natural environment
- Possess the lowest toxicity against non-pest species
- Stop the pest invasion from happening again
- risk-free and straightforward to use
Preventive measures for Pests in the school
Students don't need to worry about getting sick or being exposed to contaminants due to a bug infestation in a school. It should be a place of learning and growth. Cockroaches, rats, bed bugs, and other pests make it simple for anyone. Who comes into contact with them or their nesting locations to contact a pathogen?
- Ensure that all classrooms, lockers, and eating areas have no garbage or waste. Pests of all sizes are attracted to these spaces.
- Be sure the school entrance is free of openings or cracks in windows or doors. Pests and bugs can enter, especially during summer.
- Throughout the summer, maintain athletic fields, playgrounds, and outdoor spaces. Clean and well-maintained to stop pests from establishing a base outside from which to enter the school
- Carefully examine additional potential entry sites near the structure, such as the ventilation, roof shingles, and the area around the foundation, for possible damage that could serve as a place of entry for pests
- Ensure that any books and paper supplies are safely stowed out of sight throughout the summer. Because paper can be a crucial attractant for pests like cockroaches, ants, and rats, as well as pollutants like mould and fungi.
Preventive Measures for Bugs in the School
The best way to get rid of bed bug infestation is to consider the following preventive measures:
- Maintain a clean and clutter-free environment
- Provide staff and parents/guardians with instructional resources. Bed bugs are not linked to filth. But a clean environment makes it simpler to spot bed bugs before an epidemic takes hold.
- If students nap at school, dry their bedding frequently on high for at least 30 minutes. It will halt all bed bug development phases. Dress-up like dramatic costumes should also frequently be dried in the dryer.
- Frequently clean and check the following: wall-mounted objects, upholstered furniture, sleeping spaces, and lost-and-found things (pictures, clocks, signs, mirrors, etc.).
- Store items (bedding, clothes, coats, and bags) in clear plastic containers when feasible.
- If bed bugs exist, think about having a dog regularly investigate the area.
Using pesticides in a school is a great risk to students' health. Research shows that children's chances are higher of getting certain types of cancer. Neurological or neurobehavioral problems and the number of hormones in their bodies can all be significantly impacted by pesticide poisoning.
Because of severe health issues caused by pesticides, integrated pest management using a managed approach where pesticides can be applied. Unless there is an emergency, all pesticide applications should be informed to students and staff 24 to 48 hours in advance.
Pesticides should not be administered when persons are present or expected to be present. According to the pesticide's labelled re-entry restrictions or for at least eight hours following application, whichever is greater. Treated areas should be clearly marked with signs.
Pests can cause sickened students, destroyed textbooks, and a general decline in the quality of the learning environment. None of which contribute to a successful start to the school year. The best way or method to eliminate pets and bugs from school is to adopt an integrated pest management strategy.