Schools must include mosquito control...

May 18, 2006

Schools must include mosquito control in their IPM Plans if pesticide spraying  for mosquitoes is likely
Mark Buffone, State Entomologist

Schools must include mosquito control in their Outdoor IPM plans if they intend to request mosquito control service(s) on and around school property.  Schools may find it necessary to have school property treated to reduce either the annoyance of adult mosquitoes and/or the risk of those mosquitoes that may be carrying virus such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV). Although these ultra-low-volume pesticide applications (“adulticiding”) are usually done in the evening, night, and/or early morning, the fact that pesticides are being used on school property triggers compliance with the Children and Families Protection Act. What does this mean?
Non –Emergency Situations

In a non-emergency situation, mosquito control adulticiding can be legally done if the school, day care center, and /or school child care aged program ensures that the following conditions are satisfied:

1. They have completed and submitted both an indoor and outdoor Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan to the Department of Agricultural Resources. Specifically, the name of the mosquito control district or project and the pesticides (such as trade name, EPA number and active ingredient) anticipated to be used must be outlined in the outdoor plan;

2. Any pesticide applicator(s) involved with the mosquito control treatment(s) are certified and/or appropriately licensed to use pesticides outlined in IPM plan;

3. Students, staff, and parents receive, prior to the use of pesticides to control mosquitoes, standard written notification at least 2 working days before pesticides are used;

Note: Information to be included in the standard written notification shall be provided to the school, day care center, or school age child care program by the certified commercial applicator, or licensed applicator, or the mosquito control district or project carrying out the pesticide application and be posted for 72 hours in a central location.

4. Treated areas will be posted with clear and conspicuous warning signs such as the main and/or side entrances

5. A record of the application is maintained by the school.
Emergency Situations

If the school determines that an immediate public health threat exists to its students and staff, and that the situation would require pesticide use to school property sooner than the law would allow, the school can apply for an Emergency Waiver from the local Board of Health (Note: It is only for a single use)
If an Emergency Waiver is approved, schools and the mosquito control project working together would be required to:

1. Post clear and conspicuous warning signs near and along the perimeter of the site of the treatment such as the main and/or side entrances
2. Leave the warning signs posted for a reasonable period of time to prevent exposure to children
3.  Provide standard written notification to employees, pupils, and parents immediately prior to or immediately following emergency treatment
4. Maintain and make available to the public upon request written or electronic records of the emergency, the cause, and actions taken on site for 5 years.

Protecting children from unnecessary exposure to pesticides is foremost. However, during this time of year, there may be situations that warrant area wide adulticiding on school property to protect children from mosquitoes and arbovirus (arthropod borne viruses) transmitted by them. Therefore, all parties concerned including but not limited to schools, day care centers, school aged child care programs, board of health's, mosquito control districts and projects should be proactive and remain vigilant in order to avoid conflicts and undue delay in protecting children.