Tips for Making Your School IPM Plan Complete

Tim Stock, Alyssa Cain, Emily Braithwaite, Alec Kowalewski, Brian McDonald and Clint Mattox
EM 9357 | August 2022 |


The Oregon Department of Agriculture Pesticides Program Enforcement Team investigated a number of schools around the state over a three-year period. During the OSU School Integrated Pest Management Program’s annual school IPM coordinator training, attendees worked together in groups to share and discuss ways to improve the most common deficiencies found by the ODA team. Over 300 IPM coordinators and other school staff from Oregon school districts, education service districts, community colleges, private K-12 schools and federal Head Start programs participated in this process. This publication is a compilation and synthesis of that work.

This publication includes suggestions and tips that enable schools to create and conduct more site- and situation-specific materials, education and outreach to comply with Oregon’s school IPM law (ORS 634.700 – 634.750).

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1. Educating staff and conducting outreach to the school community

Important: Document everything you do. Keep copies of emails, notes on handouts you distribute, agendas, attendance records, etc. Write in your IPM Plan exactly HOW you will document these items and WHERE the documentation will be stored.

Remember: Oregon law states that an IPM Plan is a proactive strategy that “includes school staff education about sanitation, monitoring and inspection and about pest control measures.” (ORS 634.700 (3) (I)). The governing body responsible for a school shall adopt provisions for “conducting outreach to the school community about the school’s integrated pest management plan.” (ORS 634.705 (f)).

Ideas and suggestions

  1. Put IPM information in packets at student registration time. The materials in the packets should direct readers to information on the school district website and the OSU School IPM Program website.
  2. Provide information and training at staff meetings at the start of the year.
  3. Train all new staff on IPM within the first two weeks on the job.
  4. At back-to-school events, include something about IPM and pest prevention. Hand out fact sheets and talk about pest problems that you had last year and how the school can prevent them this year.
  5. Include IPM in your mandatory annual training or mandatory safety fair. Revise or change information each year depending on what happened during the past year. Include new information and lessons learned when possible. Include an IPM station at the safety fair.
  6. Include IPM procedures in staff manual for teachers. Include a flow chart outlining steps to take when someone finds a particular pest.
  7. Use Vector Solutions’ Integrated Pest Management course for annual staff training (if your school has a Vector Solutions contract). Caution: People may “tune out” if they have seen this more than once or twice.
  8. Put the legally required Healthy and Safe Schools Plan on your school district’s website. The healthy and safe schools plan should include a link to your IPM plan and give the IPM plan coordinator’s name.
  9. Devote a webpage to IPM. Update it when you learn something new or have some kind of new pest problem you are dealing with.
  10. Email staff information on pest-prevention measures. Forward emails from the OSU school IPM program director to staff when appropriate.
  11. Post information about your IPM plan in local newspapers and on your website. Include lots of information about pest prevention and pest management on your website for staff and the public to access.
  12. Use PowerPoint files available at the OSU's School IPM website (Resources & Forms page):
    1. PowerPoint to Educate Staff (by David Parsons, North Santiam SD)
    2. PowerPoint to Educate Staff (by Vicki Williams, McMinnville SD)
  13. Download and edit or modify the Template for IPM Parent Notification Letter to parents from the OSU School IPM Program's website (Resources & Forms page).
  14. Think about “teachable moments” when you discover a pest issue during an inspection or you get a pest complaint from staff. Take pictures and share with your superintendent, principal, staff or all. Educate staff with a “photo bank” of both good and bad prevention and management practices. Share short fact sheets from the OSU School IPM Program’s website (Pests page) via email, physical distribution or bulletin boards.
  15. Email staff a short fact sheet about small ants early in the spring, a fact sheet about pest-proofing just before a school break and other fact sheets just before pests or pest conditions typically become a problem.
  16. Create a monthly IPM email newsletter. Ask your school’s IT manager to help you to determine the “read date” of the newsletter.
  17. If using a commercial applicator or pest control contractor, take the time to introduce him to a few staff. That way he becomes a person they can relate to and not a threat.
  18. Make use of safety committees.
    1. Use the safety committee to discuss IPM.
    2. Safety committee reps can be ambassadors for IPM.
    3. Include IPM as a standing item on each safety committee meeting agenda.
  19. Educate kitchen staff
    1. Post reminders in kitchens to keep the place clean and store food in airtight containers to prevent pests.
    2. Post Pest Logs or Alternative Pest Logs from the OSU School IPM Program’s website (Resources and Forms page) and inform kitchen staff how to use them.
    3. File monthly reports.
    4. Follow up to see if penetrations and openings have been sealed and that staff members use airtight containers provided to them.
  20. On teachers’ in-service days, custodians combine safety inspections and IPM inspections in classrooms. Custodians show teachers what they find and educate them on causes, prevention, actions and next steps. Custodians can hand out pest fact sheets when applicable.
  21. Include items related to pest prevention on teachers’ checkout list at the end of the year. Include things like taking food home or putting it in plastic containers and reducing clutter by removing unneeded items.
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2. Notifications and postings of pesticide applications

Important: Whatever you do, make sure to document it — keep copies of emails or other ways you notified people and records of when and where you posted applications. Write in your IPM Plan specifically HOW you will document it and WHERE the documentation will be stored.

Read Notification, Posting, Recordkeeping Requirements in ORS 634.740.


  • You must give written notice of proposed pesticide applications. Consider which methods for transmitting the notice are most likely to reach the intended recipients.
  • Intended recipients are parents and guardians of minor students, adult students, school administrators, faculty members and staff members.
  • Notification and posting are still required during summer when school is not in session.

Ideas and suggestions for written notifications and postings:

  1. This is also considered community outreach/education: In the informational packet that goes out to parents and teachers at beginning of the school year, include a letter that explains how you approach IPM and what people can expect. In the letter, inform them how, where and when you are going to notify them of applications. Consider using the annual Template for IPM Parent Notification Letter from the OSU School IPM Program's website (Resources & Forms page).
  2. Notify parents, teachers and other staff by email, school website, text messages, flyers, bulletin board notices or reader boards at school entry areas — whichever method or combination of methods is most effective or agreed upon by the school board.
  3. Use the same system that you use to announce school closures due to inclement weather.
  4. Use platforms such as Google calendar or ParentSquare.
  5. Give parents options for how they want to be notified. Some parents may want to receive physical letters while others may want emails, texts or both.
  6. The IPM coordinator can send a “pest alert.” Have faculty, staff, parents and students sign up for alerts.
  7. Send out emails or mass texts encouraging people to look at a specific web page for information.
  8. Read the “NOTIFICATION & POSTING” section of the Frequently Asked Questions on the OSU School IPM Program’s website (IPM Law page) to learn about posting in summer, the application of gel baits in attics and kitchens, when to post and when to take down signs.
  9. Post notices at all fence entry points (such as the main entrance gate, main door and side gates).
  10. It’s acceptable to post application notifications on school doors if that is the main way of getting important information out to intended recipients. Application warning signs must be posted at the application site as well.
  11. You can put notification information on the same sign you use for the posting of applications.The OSU School IPM Program created a Pesticide Application Posting Poster/Template with Notification & Record-Keeping form, which is available on the Program’s website (Pesticides page).This posting sign can be used to supplement your notifications and record-keeping.
  12. Document that you correctly posted warning signs. Keep a photo record (with a landmark in the background and date-time stamp) of posted warning signs.
  13. The IPM coordinator can designate someone to send out notifications. But the coordinator must follow up to ensure the notification went out and was documented.
  14. If your school engages an outside contractor, there must be a written agreement in the contract as to who (the school or the contractor) will notify and post applications and who will take down the signs.
  15. On leased property, work with landlords to ensure proper notification and posting are carried out as required by law. Ensure the lease agreement specifies who, how and when notification and posting will be carried out.
  16. Read and follow Declaring a Pest Emergency on the OSU School IPM Program’s website (Pesticides page). Include the exact text of the law related to the declaration of a “pest emergency” in your IPM Plan (See ORS 634.700 (3) (L); ORS 634.700 (6); ORS 634.730 (3); and ORS 634.740 (4) at Full text of ORS 634.700 – 634.750. Include who declares an emergency and who posts the warning signs. Give some examples of possible emergencies that might occur. Remember: “pest emergency” means an urgent need to eliminate or mitigate a pest situation that threatens the health and safety of students and others or the structural integrity of campus facilities.
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3. Record-keeping

Important: Make sure you write in your IPM Plan where your records will be stored.

Read ORS 634.750, Pesticide application records.

Remember: ODA Pesticide Application Recordkeeping Forms (with instructions) are on the OSU School IPM Program's website (Pesticides page).

The ODA form includes many things. Follow the instructions closely.

Here are just a few of the key items:

  • Product names and EPA numbers. These can be long, so consider using coding (an example is given in ODA Form Version 2).
  • Equipment being used.
  • Go back and check that your application was necessary and did what it was supposed to. Write a short note about it on your record-keeping form.
  • Keep both a hard copy and a scanned copy of records or notes about applications.
  • Include copies of notices you sent out.
  • Keep records of when signs go up and are taken down.
  • Application records must be kept at the school where the application took place.
  • You can keep records on a computer, a flash drive or both if it is easily accessed by someone at the school where the application took place.
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) should be kept at the school, not just in the maintenance office.
  • Keep records for at least four years.

Note: All of the documents referred to in this publication can be found at the OSU School IPM Program’s website.

About the authors

Alyssa Cain
Emily Braithwaite
Clint Mattox

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