Kid-Friendly Pest Control for Schools: How to Keep Pests Out With IPM

August 30, 2021

Exposure to pests significantly increases the chances of students getting sick. Therefore, keeping insects and pests out of schools is essential to keeping children safe and parents at ease. Schools are large buildings with many entry points, making effective pest prevention a challenging feat. Our commercial pest control team in Des Moines believes successfully maintaining a pest-free school takes strategic planning and participation from school staff. This way, proactive pest preventative measures can be taken each and every day as opposed to only when pest professionals perform an inspection or treatment.

Preferred Pest Control’s commercial pest control experts want to educate facility staff on the importance of kid-friendly pest control for schools and what steps you and your staff can take to avoid pests on your property. This includes what the most common pests found in schools are, how they get inside, how to get rid of them, how to prevent pests in schools and how to prevent future infestations.

Most Common Pests Found in Schools

Invasive pests of any kind are unwelcome visitors, especially around kids, but some are worse than others. We share the most common pests found in schools so you can have a better idea of what to look out for at your educational facility. Frequent pests found in schools include:

  • Ants are tiny creatures that can get in through small cracks and crevices. However, their colonies can be found indoors or outdoors, making other kid-friendly areas, like the playground, a potential nesting spot. Like most pests, ants invade buildings for food and shelter. School cafeterias are susceptible to ant infestations and preventative measures should be taken seriously to keep food (and ultimately students) safe.
  • Mice are a more serious concern when it comes to common pests found in schools as they can leave disease-ridden droppings on floors and other surfaces which creates an extreme health hazard. Mice are unfortunately difficult pests to keep out as they’re capable of squeezing through unsealed cracks and crevices, some even the size of a dime. To make matters worse, rodents can climb, swim and jump! Once inside, they will chew through anything and everything that resembles food or nesting materials.
  • Cockroaches in schools are unfortunately not uncommon. They reproduce very rapidly, and it takes only one egg case to start an entire population. With hundreds of kids from hundreds of households walking in and out of the building each day, an egg case could very well be carried in. Cockroaches are on the search for warm, humid areas that provide water such as areas where plumbing or pipes are common, like behind kitchen appliances, in bathrooms or locker rooms. These pests pose health concerns for students and staff as they’re considered to be an allergen and asthma trigger. They may also carry certain bacteria that can cause illnesses if left on food.
  • Wasps or a wasp nest on school property are important to get rid of immediately before an infestation develops. They are not aggressive and will usually not sting unless agitated. However, wasp stings can cause pain and discomfort, and even an allergic reaction. Wasps will typically get inside through small cracks and crevices, but they can also hitch a ride in on clothing, bags or through doors left open.
  • Ground Bees are a nuisance on the playground and, like wasps, can be a potential danger to students. As their name suggests, ground bees build their nests in the ground. Their nests resemble an ant hill and are typically found where there is bare soil. Nobody wants to get stung by a bee, however this particular species is harmless. Ground bees are among the few solitary species out of Iowa’s tens of thousands of bee species. This means they typically don’t live in a hive with other bees and aren’t easily disturbed.

Where do insects get inside?

Pests have many access points since schools usually have multiple entrances, but loading docks are the most common culprit for letting pests indoors. The best thing employees can do to avoid pests entering through loading docks and other doors is to try to be efficient when bringing things in and out. Most pests found in schools are small enough to fit through any cracks and crevices around the building and its foundation. Custodial staff should regularly check the perimeter for cracks and crevices where pests can sneak inside. Sealing them will significantly reduce the number of entry points and chances for pests to get inside.

Once inside, pests are going to search for, and set up shop in, the places where they can thrive – anywhere there’s a food source. This would include the cafeteria, concession stands, home economics or food science classrooms and even in teacher’s desks where they store snacks!

Kid-Friendly Pest Control & How to Prevent Pests in Schools

We believe the faculty and staff at a school are just as important in preventing pest issues, if not more important than, the pest control experts performing the treatment. Between treatments, it is crucial your facility has plans and protocols that proactively prevent pests. Treatments can go a long way but teachers and staff are at the school every single day.

Preferred Pest Control holds integrated pest management training for schools every 2-3 years to ensure new staff is informed and existing staff is reminded of the importance of prevention. We recommend schools have special protocols in place for kitchens, concession stands and other places of high risk. This will give student and parent volunteers a plan to follow to maintain cleanliness and a pest-free facility.

When schools work with Preferred Pest Control, we ensure their kids will be safe from pest problems and we address any issues quickly. To stay on top of any issues, we recommend monthly visits to schools and seasonal inspections.

Integrated Pest Management Plans for Schools

At Preferred Pest Control, we provide integrated pest management (IPM) for schools and other commercial properties. With this method, our experts utilize a variety of control methods that may include pesticides, but the difference is that Preferred Pest Control generally only uses pesticides as a last resort. Other pest control companies for schools often turn to pesticides as a first choice to treat infestations. On the occasion that our team would need to use a pesticide, we still practice kid-friendly pest control methods for schools to enhance the safety of the program for students and staff.

Our commercial IPM team carefully considers our options and uses decision-based services for the best solution. Any home or commercial property that’s treated with an integrated pest management plan has a tailored approach to your particular pest infestation and setting. IPM effectively keeps pests out, and, most importantly, keeps anyone inside safe.

Contact Preferred Pest for Commercial Pest Control in Des Moines

The experts at Preferred Pest Control have been serving the commercial pest control needs of property owners in Iowa for decades and know Integrated pest management plans for schools are essential to keeping pests out. With an emphasis on safety, we have helped many school districts within the Des Moines metro eliminate pests and prevent future infestations. Check out all of our commercial pest control services or schedule an appointment with our commercial pest control team today.