School District Responsibilities for Pest Control in the School Environment
Texas law requires all school districts are required to have an integrated pest management program (IPM) and a designated IPM Coordinator. IPM combines the best available pest control tactics, with an emphasis on the least hazardous methods, to effectively and economically reduce pests. IPM relies heavily on information about the pest and its changes in population to devise control strategies that require minimal or no pesticide use.
Schools should follow guidelines in Section 7.150 of the Texas Administrative Code. You can find further information in the Environmental Protection Agency document, "Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management" and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension School IPM website.
Each school district superintendent must appoint an IPM Coordinator to implement the district's IPM program. Within 90 days of the appointment, the district must report to TDA the coordinator's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and the appointment effective date . A district that appoints more than one IPM Coordinator must designate a responsible IPM Coordinator who will have overall responsibility for IPM program decisions and oversiee subordinate IPM Coordinators.
The school districts must document their pest management policy and efforts to comply with IPM standards. Districts are required to share these files with TDA investigators upon request.
The IPM Coordinator(s) is responsible for:
Implementing the school district's IPM program and ensuring district compliance with IPM program rules.
Completing an approved IPM coordinator training course within six months of appointment.
Completing at least six hours of IPM continuing education units (CEUs) every three years.
Retaining copies of written approvals for each use of "Yellow" or "Red " category products (see next section) for at least two years.
All pesticides and herbicides used on school district property must be classified as Green, Yellow or Red.
"Green" products are those approved for use at any time at the discretion of any licensed pesticide applicator.
"Yellow" products require the IPM Coordinator to obtain written approval from a certified applicator (commercial or noncommercial).
"Red" products require written approval from both a certified applicator and the IPM Coordinator.
See Division 7 of Structural Pest Control Regulations of the Texas Administrative Code for complete regulations for applying pesticides on school property, posting rules, and re-entry requirements.
Compliance with the Structural Pest Control Act
TDA's Structural Pest Control Service (SPCS) is responsible for ensuring that all Texas school districts comply with the Structural Pest Control Act. SPCS Representatives may routinely, or in response to a complaint, investigate a school district to determine whether it is in compliance with the SPCS Act.