Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Third Child Care visit

Last week Clyde, Barb, Gina and I conducted our last IPM Child Care visit. This was a smaller facility than earlier ones we visited, but it also had its own kitchen and laundry room. It had several classrooms where daycare and after school care is provided.

We met with the owner and director, who said they hadn't really seen many pest problems. They have had no issues with bed bugs, but we gave them tips about what to do if a bed bug situation ever occurs. As with other child care facilities, they have had occasional instances of head lice, and we also gave them tips on the best way to handle these.

Upon inspecting the facility, the only pests we found were a ground beetle and some house flies. This time of year, the beetles commonly come in and aren't a huge concern. The flies were found mainly in the kitchen but also elsewhere in the building. The kitchen had an exterior door that led to the trash area, which was really close to the door. We explained that many of the flies could be coming in from there (mainly when staff open and close the door to take out the trash), so recommended they move the trash to the other side of the door and further away, which in itself would probably cut down on the number of flies. Also, we recommended installing yellow lights outside, and inside, putting up fly paper or a fly light to capture flies.

Other recommendations we had for the facility were general ones we have given to other schools and child care centers...sealing cracks and crevices, good sanitation (especially counters, behind appliances, and wherever food is cooked or served),installing and maintaining doorsweeps, screening windows, hanging mops and brooms,and locking cabinets that contain chemicals. Although overall the facility didn't have a lot of clutter, there were a few storage spaces where clutter could be minimized, thus reducing potential harborage for pests.

The owner explained that they have a pest control company come in and do preventive sprays, and we encouraged her to talk with them about doing IPM strategies instead, such as inspection and monitoring. In addition, we provided the staff with sticky traps to put out in the kitchen under sinks and in corners near appliances. Although they have not seen any cockroaches, this is a good way to monitor for pests and make sure there isn't a problem!

Outside we found that some plants were growing into the air conditioner unit and recommended they cut these away from the AC unit and the building to help reduce pest harborage and keep the AC running smoothly!

We were happy to see that none of the child care centers we visited had major pest issues. We are providing all the facilities with written recommendations to help them implement IPM and solve minor pest problems they currently have as well as prevent future pest problems.

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