Texas School District
Recognized for Excellence in Pest Control
The average parent may not give much thought to what dangerous insect,
rodent or poisonous plant might be lurking on their child's school
this fall. But at La Vega ISD, a small school district north of
Texas, school maintenance staff thinks about it a lot.
La Vega ISD is the first recipient of the new "IPM Pride
Award" given by
the Southwest Technical Resource Center for IPM in Schools.
management, or IPM, is widely recognized as the most effective and
way to control pest problems around schools, homes and businesses.
"Pest problems occur at schools, just like around homes," says
Hurley, coordinator of the Center, which is located at the Texas A&M
University Research and Extension Center in Dallas. "La Vega
ISD did the
best job of anyone we know this year controlling pests safely and
"Schools who use IPM are committed not only to the best pest
program, but also to reducing the amount and hazard associated with
pesticide applications," said Hurley. "Pest control is a
part of school
maintenance that doesn't receive much attention. We want parents
how good a job their schools are doing in this important task."
"La Vega showed the most organized and efficient IPM system out of
nominees," she adds. Becky Thomas, La Vega Safety &
Compliance Specialist, credits a team approach and an organized system
their success. Her system includes a sophisticated record-keeping system
monitoring pest activity, facility repair needs, inspection results and
pesticide applications for each campus. Thomas also has an email account
up for each school, so problems can be addressed as soon as they are
The team work Thomas refers to comes, in large part, from her certified
applicator Glen Kroll. "It's great to have someone working with me
IPM as well as, if not better than I do," says Thomas. "He
sees things that
we can address before they ever become problems," she adds.
When the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District department came to
investigate a pest problem at one of the middle schools, the inspector
reported La Vega's IPM system to be the "best, most proactive
had seen. In addition to the recognition, Thomas is now receiving calls
other schools, asking for advice on their IPM programs.
The IPM Pride Award is more than just a pat on the back. The
maintenance department receives a cash prize of $1,000. According
Thomas, her department will put the award to good use by purchasing more
The second place winner, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, located in
Carrollton, Texas and consisting of 54 buildings, received a cash prize
$500. Irving, Katy, Pilot Point and Rogers school districts received
honorable mentions for their IPM efforts.
Integrated pest management is pest control method of choice according to
literature published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
is also a key component in the EPA "Tools for Schools" indoor
program. The Center was established in 2001, with help from EPA,
awareness of IPM and provide technical support to schools and childcare
facilities in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
According to Hurley, the IPM Pride Awards will be given by the Center
annually to Texas school districts with the best IPM programs. To
more about the award program and School IPM, visit the Center's website
For more information, contact:
Angela Bendorf Jamison, Communicopia, 919-719-2081
Janet A. Hurley
School IPM Program Coordinator (SWTRC)
Southwest Technical Resource Center for IPM in Schools & Child Care
Texas Cooperative Extension
Texas A & M University System
17360 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75252
Toll Free 877-747-6872