Monday, September 19, 2011

Second Child Care Visit

Last Thursday Clyde, Barb, Pierce, Gina and I visited the second of our Lincoln child care centers. This too was a fairly new facility, which included a large basement that is currently being used for storage.

The biggest pest issues that this daycare has experienced is with accidental invaders in the basement, including spiders and millipedes in the basement. The staff has put out sticky traps by the doors and caught many insects that way. At one time there was a "meadow vole" problem, and staff reported seeing "baby" meadow voles entering through the basement. Glue traps were also placed for these. There is no report of problems with cockroaches or mice. The facility has a pest control company come in and do regular preventive sprays. We encouraged them not to do this and to instead work with the pest control company to implement IPM methods.

This facility has its own kitchen, although food is not actually prepared here, just heated up. The cook reported that she sees flies occasionally, but rarely fruit flies. Because there was a service door in the kitchen leading outside and dumpsters were near the building, we would recommend that the cook keep this door closed as much as possible to discourage flies from entering. Also, the service door needed to have its doorsweep replaced. Installing outside security lights with yellow lights would also help cut down on the amount of pests near the building.

The kitchen was clean overall, but needed some extra cleaning around appliances and floor drains. Food such as cereal was in original packaging, so we would recommend it be put in pest-proof containers. We also saw some gaps around pipes here and also in the restrooms.

This child care was unique in that it had a cafeteria in which kids could eat. Most child care centers have children eat in their classrooms. Having a cafeteria will help cut down on the amount of food in other areas and thus help prevent pests in those areas. Staff indicated that they try not to have much food in the classrooms, even for curriculum (i.e. dry pasta). After it's used, they try to move it back to the kitchen whenever possible.

There was a laundry room in this facility. As with the first child care center we visited, we gave them tips about how they could use heat to kill bed bugs if this ever became a problem.

The basement was cluttered, but the staff may convert the basement into more classroom space, so this could be temporary. Still, as a general recommendation we would encourage the facility to reduce clutter whereever possible in classrooms, storage, and the basement.

Because this child care doesn't have a lot of pest issues, we will primarily give them a list of general recommendations to help prevent pests.Through good sanitation, sealing around pipes, keeping doors shut and installed with doorsweeps, and reducing clutter, the facility should be able to reduce potential pest problems.

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