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May pesticides be used in schools?
Pesticides may only be legally applied at Maine public or private K - 12 schools or any areas used by the schools by persons having a valid commercial pesticide applicators license in the proper category for the intended purpose. The exceptions to this regulation are the use of disinfectants used for routine cleaning, the use of insect repellents for personal protection, and emergency use of over-the-counter insecticides for control of stinging or biting insects that pose an immediate threat to human health.
What is required by the new pesticide regulation effective August 31, 2003?
Does this new regulation apply to childcare programs and preschools, too?
Yes, if the childcare program is in a school or shares facilities with any grades K through 12.
Why did the Board of Pesticides Control adopt this regulation?
The Board convened a diverse stakeholder committee representing school administrators and staff, pest management professionals, environmental organizations and others who developed the regulation to address potential health risks posed by the use of pesticides in schools.
Must the school hire an outside contractor to do pest management?
No. Many pest management solutions can be done by school staff. The most effective solutions include keeping facilities clean and well maintained, regularly inspecting buildings and grounds for evidence of pests and pest prevention needs, and the use of non-pesticide pest traps. Pesticides may not be needed.
Does the Board of Pesticides Control recommend any specific pest control companies or have any companies been contracted to help with compliance?
No. The BPC does not recommend any specific pest control company and no company has been contracted to help with compliance with this rule. The Board can make available a list of licensed companies and recommends that schools use the contracting guidelines.
What is required of the Integrated Pest Management Coordinator?
How must the initial notification be done?
We recommend it be included in the school’s handbook given out at the start of each year. Or, the notice can be sent home in backpacks, by e-mail or any other way as long as the school is assured that all staff, parents and guardians receive it. Sample notices
If the school does not use any pesticides, must the initial notice be given?
Yes. The regulation requires that all schools adopt an IPM policy and that all schools notify staff, parents and guardians about the policy, where it may be reviewed and how the school plans to notify parents and staff before a pesticide is applied.
How is specific pesticide application notification given?
Do licensed school staff have to follow the same regulations as contracted pest management professionals?
How much will it cost to comply with this regulation?
Unless a school chooses to send notices via U.S. mail, there should be minimal costs for printing the required notices and signs. Other infrequent costs include optional training sessions, optional licensing of school staff to apply pesticides and the resource materials associated with training and licensing. In the long term, Integrated Pest Management programs usually cost less than traditional monthly pesticide applications. Cost of non-compliance could be much higher!
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