Friday, December 17, 2010

2010: The Year in Review

It's hard to believe that 2010 is almost at a close. We've had a great year with many IPM activities including:
  • Four coalition meetings. Highlights include attendance at the Nebraska Urban Pest Management Conference, Mark Shour speaking about Iowa School IPM, and Tom Green's presentation on IPM Star Certification.

  • IPM In-services for Omaha and Lincoln Public Schools food service staff, cafeteria managers, custodians, and IAQ liaisons.

  • Demonstration visits at OPS (3) and LPS (2)

  • Hosting the North Central Region Pesticide Safety Education and Certification Workshop and North Central IPM Working Group in Nebraska City.

  • IPM Youth Programs at the Earth Wellness Festival, Natural Resource District Nature Nights, and 4-H in Aurora and Central City

  • Healthy Tribal Communities IPM presentations
Thanks to everyone who was involved in these projects!

I'll be heading on Christmas break after today, so look for my next blog, which will feature the IPM projects planned for 2011, in early January.

In the meantime, enjoy this story about Chocolate Cockroaches, and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who wants cake?!

One of my favorite blogs is "Cake Wrecks," which features pictures and commentary about cake designs gone horribly wrong. The blogs are usually themed and I recently came across an old post about "creepy crawly" cakes. As much as I love insects, eating a cake full of bed bugs or one that looks like a cockroach or a fly "creature" would not really appeal to me unless I was on Fear Factor. Still, I couldn't resist posting about it here and you gotta love the size differential between the bugs and the bed :-0!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Your Very Own Stuffed Bed Bug!

OK, I couldn't resist. I found this listed as one of the most "unwanted" gifts for 2010. But what good entomologist wouldn't want one? And it's a great way to teach children about bed bugs! Maybe this is one of the items all good IPM teams should add to their kit for teaching schools about pests. ;-)

Third OPS IPM Visit

Clyde and I visited our Omaha Public Schools IPM demonstration school for the third time on Dec 9th. The school has recently employed a new pest management company, and a representative from that company was in attendance. We spent some time initiating him on the project, and also talked with the whole group more about IPM Star Certification. In addition, we provided the head custodian with a box of sticky traps so that he can continue monitoring on his own, and gave recommendations of where to purchase more traps when he needs them.

After a short meeting, we consulted the written recommendations we had provided after the second visit and looked at locations such as the kitchen, staff lounge, custodial closets, boiler room, and home ec room where there had been issues. The school had definitely paid attention. Some highlights included:
  • Wallpaper removal in the staff lounge, which had been a concern because it could harbor cockroaches. Although German roaches have been found in the room before (especially near the pop machine and fridge) and we found new ones on traps, the school is taking measures towards reducing the conducive conditions that attract these pests and will continue to monitor.

  • The kitchen had Oriental roaches, but no Germans! This was great news since in earlier visits we had found Germans in the kitchen. We continue to emphasize the importance of deep cleaning...both floors, under appliances, and in drains, and the reduction of moisture to discourage the Orientals.

  • The boiler room was especially Oriental roaches were seen on traps as they had been in the past. The dirt pile in the corner of the back room had been cleaned up and moisture issues had been addressed.

  • In the main custodial office, all the pesticides had been removed.

With all of these improvements, the school is well on its way to fixing issues mentioned in the recommendations.

Finally, Clyde and I also reminded the group that they are welcome to attend the Urban Pest Management Conference coming up February 7-8. They thought both school reps as well as people from the pest management company would be interested in going. With topics covering various pests, research, and IPM, this conference should provide some good information for the school staff and their pest management company as the move forward in the IPM process.