Monday, December 3, 2012

IPM in Child Care Centers

Last week Clyde, IPM coalition member Gina from Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, and I went to visit a child care center in Lincoln that was interested in hearing more about IPM and a possible "no-pesticide" approach to pests after a board member had expressed concern over pesticide use in the day care. 

After talking with the director, we found that other than a few ants and spiders, they hadn't seen or had many insect problems. Their primary issue was with mice in the back storage room. We asked about their pest control company, and the director explained that they had had two different companies in recent years, one that made preventative (spraying) visits more often than the other. For the mice, they had placed bait boxes, glue traps, and live traps out. After investigating, we saw definite signs of mice...droppings, chewing, and a sticky trap full of fur from which a mouse had escaped. We gave the director some tips about putting snap traps out, since the storage room isn't accessible to children, and about sealing up places where mice could enter.

Outside, we found two vents that needed screening, and that alone would probably reduce mouse entrance points.

 We also explained that the child care center could write up an IPM policy to fit their needs and account for potential circumstances. For example, a statement in their policy might indicate that pesticides (least toxic ones) would only be used if absolutely necessary (such as gels or boric acid for cockroaches), and otherwise they would use non-toxic methods. The director seemed pleased with our suggestions and we told her that we'd provide her with some written recommendations for their facility.

Do you have other suggestions that might help this child care facility? Be sure to comment on this post!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Calling all IPMers!

IPM Colleagues,

The end of 2012 is fast approaching! I am thinking of revamping my blog a bit and I'd like to know what topic areas you would like to see covered! I always talk about the programs and events we do here in Nebraska, but if there is any general pest information or aspects of IPM you'd like to see posted here in the future, please let me know!

Leave a comment here on this post and let's get some discussion going :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October IPM Coalition

Yesterday we held our last IPM Coalition meeting for 2012. Eighteen coalition members attended, including representatives from Extension, health care, child care, EPA, tribes, school districts, and industry.

We had two speakers, Bill McCoy and Jerry Steckly, both from Lincoln Public Schools. They discussed the history of their district's pest management program and how they began using IPM. Then they spoke about what IPM strategies they currently have in place, such as maintaining a pest log book. They also gave some great examples of how IPM has been effective in LPS. One significant impact was the decrease in cockroaches after the kitchen floor and drains were deep cleaned.

Clyde and I also asked members to think about what topics they'd like to see for coalition meetings in 2013. One suggestion was having a discussion about how to do small heat treatments for bedbugs. We also encouraged members to attend the Urban Pest Management Conference this year in February.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bed Bug Interactive Publication Now Available!

A new interactive bed bug publication is now available from UNL! Through text, links, and videos, Managing Bed Bugs, by Barb Ogg, Fred Baxendale, and Clyde Ogg, covers information about bed bugs such as biology, prevention techniques, and methods for control. It also covers the use of bed bug sniffing dogs to detect the presence of bedbugs.

In addition, the individual videos found in this electronic publication can be viewed on our PSEP YouTube Channel:

How Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs Work
Meet Spots, the only bed bug sniffing dog in Nebraska. James Pelowski, his owner, trainer, and handler, talks about the use of dogs for detecting bed bugs.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Infesting a Bed
This video highlights a few different ways to prevent bed bugs from accessing and infesting a bed and mattress.

How to Inspect a Bed for Bed Bugs
Learn where to look and what to look for when inspecting a bed for possible bed bug infestation.

How to Build a Bed Bug Monitoring Trap
Dr. Barb Ogg from UNL Extension in Lancaster County walks you through the process of creating a bed bug trap from common household supplies.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall Invaders

It's that time of year again...pests will be coming inside to escape the cooler weather. Millipedes, Multicolored Asian Ladybird Beetles, boxelder bugs, and wolf spiders are just some of the uninvited guests that will try to share our homes and schools with us this fall. Most of these pests are harmless, but all are a nuisance and some make people uncomfortable when they find them in the house.

House mice can also be worse in the fall. Since rodents can carry disease, it is essential to prevent entry of these pests.

By applying IPM methods such as exclusion, you can keep the pests outside where they belong!

Learn more about these pests and how to control them by visiting the following resources:
Boxelder Bugs
Fall Invaders
House Mice
Multicolored Asian Ladybird Beetles
Nuisance Pests
Rodent-Proof Construction
Wolf Spiders in Nebraska

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How-To Dramatization Webinar and Video

On Tuesday Pierce and I held a professional development webinar for AAPSE (American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators) about how to create and use dramatization videos in PSEP and IPM programs. We had a great turnout and received a lot of positive feedback!

In addition to our powerpoint presentation, we showed the "How-To" Dramatization video, filmed a few months ago, which outlined the steps for making a dramatization video. To view the video, please visit:

Monday, August 20, 2012

NCRPECW in Michigan

Our PSEP Office just got back from the biennial North Central Region Pesticide Education and Certification Workshop (last held in Nebraska City!) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Paul Hay, one of our Extension Educators, also joined us.

We had 2 1/2 days of meetings with some interesting talks about sharing manuals and exams, pollinators, social media (given by Pierce and me), inversions, pesticide measurements, risk communication, mini bulk tanks, and soil fumigation label requirements. There were also presentations about pests such as bed bugs and emerald ash borer.

One afternoon we took a tour to Ottawa to learn about mini bulk tanks and pesticide roadside applications, and then to Grand Haven, where we explored the shops, museums, and restaurants, and took a walk along the famous boardwalk!

In addition, the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE) had a meeting for its membership to provide updates and discuss the latest issues, including who will host the next regional meeting (Purdue volunteered).

This interesting and productive meeting was a great opportunity to see and network with other midwest colleagues who work in the PSEP and IPM fields!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tribal In-services

Last week, Clyde and I met with Christina Lee, the new Pesticide Circuit Rider for the Winnebago and Omaha tribes in NE, and conducted IPM in-services for the 4 tribal schools we have been working with.

Each school had custodial or kitchen staff representatives with whom we discussed pest problems and conducive conditions, and we also provided them with a variety of print resources, including two identification books for common pests (Inspector's Field Guide for Pest Identification and Common Pests Found in Schools and Day Care Centers) and UNL publications on cockroaches, IPM in sensitive environments, and ants (one-node and two node). After each discussion, we toured the school, visiting areas that were more likely to have pests or conditions conducive to them, such as kitchens, custodial closets, and teacher's lounges.

We are going to revise and update the previous recommendations for each school and then prioritize which issues are most important to address in each location.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Half-Day IPM Coalition Meeting

It's been awhile since I've updated my blog, but we have quite a few IPM events coming up, so I hope to remedy that!

Yesterday we had our second annual half-day educational workshop for our IPM coalition. We had participants from OPS, EPA, Lancaster County Health Department, NDA, USDA-APHIS, tribes, and UNL Extension.

Omaha Public Schools gave an excellent presentation about their use of IPM from its conception to the current goal of getting IPM Star Certification for their 84 schools by 2016. The thorough and dedicated job this school district is doing generated a lot of great discussion amongst the group!

In addition, Clyde and I updated coalition members about our IPM assessments in day cares last year and our upcoming in-service with the tribes in Winnebago and Omaha next week. Katie Howard spoke about EPA's IPM program, Dennis Ferraro talked about IPM techniques such as exclusion to pest-proof the perimeter of  buildings, and Stephen Vantassel talked about birds, ground squirrels, pocket gophers, moles, and voles, and how best to control these pests. The workshop was very informative and engaging, resulting in a lot of interest and questions. We will also be distributing the PDF versions of the Powerpoint presentations to the coalition email list for those who couldn't join us.

On October 24th, we will have our last IPM coalition meeting of the year. Our speakers will be Lincoln Public Schools, who will, like OPS did at this meeting, discuss use of IPM in their district.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pest PI in School 2015 newsletter

The word is spreading about our free Pest Private Eye game on the web! I recently was interviewed about the game by the IPM Institute for their School IPM 2015 newsletter. Check it out!

Please also let educators who might be interested in incorporating Pest PI into their science curricula know about the game's availability. It's a great way to teach the next generation about IPM!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pest Private Eye is Free Online!

I am pleased to announce that the full version of Pest Private Eye and the Case of IPM in Schools (Pest PI), our educational first person role playing video game, is now available free on our website at Pest PI teaches children and the educators who work with them about pests and how to control them using Integrated Pest Management.

Also on the website you’ll find links to online versions of a Teacher's guide and comic book, a user’s survey, and other resources about pests and IPM. 

We have also recently developed an educator’s survey to determine how the game is being used in classrooms, libraries, and other educational venues. Please pass this information along to anyone you think might be interested! 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment here or email me at!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We're on Flickr!

Recently our UNL Pesticide Education Office has completed work on a new Flickr page. In it you'll find categories for PSEP and IPM videos (including dramatizations); insects, birds, and mammals (pests or otherwise); plants and diseases; IPM coalition and demonstrations; conferences; calibration and equipment; and many other related topics.

These photos are available to download for free and you can search them by category at OR by tags at .

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

International IPM Symposium

Greetings IPMers! Clyde and I just returned from the 7th International IPM Symposium, which is held every three years. For 2012, it was held in Memphis, TN (home of Elvis Presley's Graceland, shown above!)

When I say international, I mean international! I enjoyed the opportunity to meet or participate in presentations given by people from many different countries, including New Zealand, Israel, Japan, Scotland, Germany, and India!

Clyde and I each gave two presentations, the first of which was a joint session with Darrel Deneke from South Dakota and Anastasia Becker from Missouri about IPM in Schools demonstration projects. We had a great turnout (no small feat since during each time period there were about 6 concurrent sessions to choose from!) and lots of feedback. During the session we talked about Nebraska's work with the Omaha and Lincoln Public Schools as well as the tribal work with Winnebago and Macy schools. Darrell and Anastasia then talked about the projects in their states, including the work in South Dakota that involved Clyde, Mark Shour from IA State, Darrell, Jim Wilson from SD, myself, and others. We then opened it up for questions, and received a lot of participation. In addition, many people came up to us afterwards, commenting on our session. We were pleased to have so much interest!

On the evening of the first day of the symposium, there was an "IPM Awards" ceremony given by EPA. The IPM Institute took the "IPM Innovator" award, a result of cooperative IPM efforts among many individuals and school districts. The demonstration projects in Omaha and Lincoln Public Schools was recognized and included in this award!

On the second day in the morning, in a session about youth programming, Clyde gave a presentation about Pest Private Eye, and we brought several copies of the game that were eagerly snatched up :-) In the afternoon I was involved in a session about the use of social media and other technologies for teaching about IPM. I spoke about our use of dramatizations for PSEP and IPM video training, and about how we use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media (including this blog!) to keep subscribers up to date about current events, publications, and other related pesticide safety and IPM information.

The IPM Symposium was a great way to interact with colleagues from across the U.S. and the world who are also working in the IPM field...and getting a few more followers of this blog sure won't hurt, either!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Urban Pest Management Conference

We just got back from the Urban Pest Management Conference (Feb 14-15), which is held every year here in Lincoln and offers recertification opportunities in several pesticide applicator categories. Our office always offers the pesticide safety talk for those who are recertifying.

Bed bugs were understandably a big topic this year (and the UNL saga continues, too!) as well as talks on other common pests such as cockroaches, termites, and grain pests. Bobby Corrigan was also on hand to talk about rodent management!

We had several IPM coalition members attend this year, including representatives from OPS and LPS as well as our new Winnebago/Omaha tribe Pesticide Circuit Rider, Christina Lee. We are working with Christina to schedule more IPM visits, including an educational one, with the Omaha and Winnebago schools. More on this as it develops!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bed Bugs Are Big News!

Although we have had reports of bed bugs here in Lincoln and the rest of Nebraska for years, they have recently been found in UNL dorm rooms. Students returning after Christmas break were pretty alarmed by the news. Being I work at UNL, I can't help but also feel uncomfortable that the pests have been found so close to home.

Adult bed bugs are small, brownish flat insects about the size of an apple seed. They prefer human blood but will also feed on other animals, such as household pets. However, despite their obvious "ick" factor, bed bugs are not known to spread any diseases.

Bed bugs are becoming more prevalent in all sorts of places...shoe stores (the Nike flagship store in New York had issues!), movie theaters, and of course hotels. Multi-unit structures, such as dorms and apartments are especially hard hit since these insects can travel from unit to unit.

So what do we do about this resurging menace? Vigilance is definitely the number one way to protect yourself. When traveling to hotels, always check the room for bed bugs and their feces, especially behind headboards and on the seams of the mattress (and yes, I have personal experience...I once found a bed bug in a hotel room; not only was I moved to another room, but got the night free!).

Keep luggage away from the bed and off the floor--heavily infested rooms may have bugs hiding in numerous places. Storing luggage on a table, dresser, or in the bathtub can be helpful. Avoid luggage racks as there are folds where bed bugs could hide and then hitchhike onto your suitcase.

When you get home, examine your luggage before entering the house and if possible, keep luggage outside in the garage or on the patio for a few days, especially if it is summer. Wash and dry clothes immediately, or at the very least put them in a hot dryer, as the heat will kill bed bugs.

If you suspect an infestation or should find evidence of bed bugs after doing an inspection at home, you can employ some "do-it-yourself" tactics such as vacuuming or using a portable steam cleaner around the bed seams. In addition, you can also install a homemade bed bug trap and put a bed bug encasement on your box springs to make it more difficult for bed bugs to reach you when you are sleeping.If your bed bug problem is severe, you may wish to bring in a bed bug sniffing dog to confirm the presence of this pest in hard to see areas, and then call in a pest control company to manage the problem. Pest control companies may use professional heat or steam treatments, or a variety of insecticides, such as crack and crevice treatments.

For more information on preventing bed bugs or managing them if you should have an infestation, visit the following links:

Bed Bug Prevention

Dealing with Bed Bugs
Managing Bed Bugs
Understanding and Controlling Bed Bugs

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2012! We have a lot of exciting IPM projects coming down the pike this year. Here is a preview:

  • IPM Coalition: We are entering our 4th year! This year, we hope to add more new members to the coalition and expand our educational presentations.We will be holding the half-day meeting in July again with multiple presenters, this was a great success in 2011!

  • IPM Symposium: In March Clyde and I will be attending the 7th International IPM Symposium in Memphis, TN. Joining us will be colleagues from around the world who conduct IPM programs in their countries/states. We will be giving presentations on topics such as IPM in Nebraska Schools, use of social media, and developing video dramatizations.

  • Video Game App: We hope to create and launch a video game app about mutant insect monsters that can be defeated using IPM strategies!

  • IPM Process Video: We have completed the video "How to Conduct IPM in Schools" and hope to distribute this to interested schools this year.

  • IPM Manual: We will be continuing the revision of the IPM Manual, with an emphasis on updating it to include not only schools, but other sensitive environments as well.

  • IPM Surveys: After giving surveys to schools, coalition members, and child care facilities, we hope to report on their responses about the IPM program and how it's helped them use IPM.

Stay tuned for a great new year!