Friday, June 3, 2011

Final OPS and LPS visits

On June 1 and 2, Clyde, Barb, Stephen and I conducted the final (fifth) visits at our OPS and LPS schools for the IPM demonstration project. First we met to discuss any questions the school representatives had. We also learned about some novel approaches the schools had taken to address pests. The IPM Coordinator at OPS has, for example, turned his dust buster into a "bug buster," and uses it to suck up wasps. In addition, sand that is applied to OPS' driveways in the winter to prevent slippage is swept up in the spring and used to create weed free zones. LPS has posted our recommendations on kitchen bulletin boards to help staff know what to look for and what IPM strategies to use in their areas.

Both schools have made significant strides in reducing pests and pesticide use and increasing monitoring, sanitation, recordkeeping, and other IPM principles. It is our hope that both school districts establish written IPM policies and maintain IPM efforts through good communication between pest management professionals and the school staff.

The UNL Extension team will be providing LPS and OPS with a final "checklist" of information about progress made throughout the demonstration process, and also emphasized that we will be available to help both school districts with questions or concerns as they move toward IPM STAR Certification. Many of the school staff and PMPs we worked with in LPS and OPS will also continue to be involved in the IPM coalition.

Props goes to LPS and OPS for all their hard work and efforts in making IPM a reality in these Nebraska school districts!

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