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An Integrated Pest Management survey of Texas school districts
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Texas school district personnel were surveyed using a mailed questionnaire to determine the status of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs and the efficacy of conventional pest control practices. Of the 517 survey participants, 12.4% had procedures for IPM, and almost 28% had official procedures for pesticide use (N=1047). Over 75% of Texas school districts contracted their general pest control activities to professionally licensed pest control firms. Specialty services such as termite control were contracted with licensed companies for almost 90% of Texas districts. The principle in-house pest control practices (77.3%) were for weed control. A majority of districts (56.3%) were considered small (< three schools per district), and most (67.8%) budget $5000 or less for all pest control services. Present pest control practices were considered to be moderately to extremely effective by 87.4% of responding districts. The most important indoor pests, reported by the questionnaire responses, were cockroaches, ants, rodents, termites and head lice. Outdoor pests included fire ants (Solenopsis spp.), stinging (bees, wasps and hornets), flying (mosquitoes and gnats) and turfgrass insects (June beetles and mole crickets) and weeds. Control measures used by schools were categorized as non-chemical and chemical. Non-chemical pest control measures (mechanical and cultural controls) were used by at least 42% of Texas schools. Results of the survey indicated that many different pesticides were used by school systems. When asked about specific pests and control measures, respondents frequently indicated that either the pest was not a problem or no chemicals were used for-their control. The most commonly selected insecticides by school district personnel were Dursban [chlorpyrifos], diazinon, and pyrethr-um products. Ten schools from different districts, representing all Texas regions and demographics, were selected for site visits and sticky trap sampling. The sampling program indicated that the most frequently encountered indoor pests, in order of importance, were German cockroaches [Blattella gerinanica (Linnaeus)], Pharaoh [Monomotium pharaonis (L.)] or crazy ants [Paratrechina longicomis (Latreille)], followed by house crickets [Acheta domesticus (L.)] and American cockroaches [Periplaneta atneiicana (L.)]. High incidences of insects were detected in areas where food was stored and processed, such as food preparation equipment, vending machines, ovens and stoves.
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Shodrock, Damon Leon (1994). An Integrated Pest Management survey of Texas school districts. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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