New Free IPM Resource for School Districts to Improve Student Health and Performance

Madison, Wisconsin — School districts throughout the US now have a free training tool
to ensure all school staff – custodians, maintenance, food service, teachers, grounds
staff and more – understand how they can reduce pest problems and asthma, and
boost student and staff performance, as they go about their daily tasks.
Did you know that exposure to mice, cockroaches, dust mites and pesticides can
trigger asthma attacks? Increasing awareness of the pest connection to asthma is one
of the key goals of the free training. Asthma is the number one reason why children
miss school, and attendance is one of the most critical contributors to student

Due to their behavior and biology, school-aged children are particularly susceptible to exposure to pests and pesticides. The Pest Defense for Health Schools offers free, on-
line professional development to address this challenge. School districts are using the program for new staff training as well as ongoing continuing education. Users describe
the program as “informative” and “very helpful.” A typical response: “Thank you for
the information presented clearly and concisely. It was great information.”

The Pest Defense, formerly Stop School Pests, is focused on preventing pest problems
including head lice, bed bugs, mice, cockroaches and ants. Simply ensuring all exterior
doors have well-maintained door sweeps that seal the gap between the bottom of the
door and the sill can reduce pest complaints by 65%! Everyone working in schools has
an important role to play.

To learn more or to sponsor an in-person training, please contact Julian Cooper, Visit to view the
training. The training was developed with support from the US EPA and the USDA
North Central Region IPM Center, and with contributions from experts in the National
School IPM Working Group.

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