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New Jersey School Integrated
Pest Management (IPM) Program


On December 12, 2002, Governor James McGreevey signed into law the 2002 NJ School Integrated Pest Management Act, which becomes effective for schools on June 12, 2004. This website was designed to assist public, private and charter schools with the implementation of their individual IPM programs, enabling compliance with this new law. The School IPM Act requires schools to establish an IPM program, which includes adopting a Model IPM Policy and implementing a Model IPM Plan, which is a comprehensive site-specific document, which guides a school's day-to-day activities for controlling pests. The Policy and Plan cover both the management of indoor pests such as rodents and cockroaches, as well as outdoor pests such as weeds or stinging insects. This website also includes various samples or model documents to help schools successfully implement their IPM Policies and Plans. Model documents for such things as IPM Plans, a 72 hour notification form for parental and staff notification of pesticide use, Model Contract bid specifications for pest control contractors and other model documents are included to help schools comply.

What is IPM?

IPM is a thoughtful, holistic approach to controlling pests that uses a wide variety of tools such as sanitation, structural modifications and other management techniques rather than automatically turning to chemical control as a first option. Pesticide use is an important tool in the pest control "toolbox" but often an effective IPM program can reduce the reliance on chemical control. In a typical program, pertinent information about a pest is combined with careful selection of suitable management techniques to eliminate the causes of pest outbreaks or to otherwise manage the pest in an economical manner that also represents the lowest possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. The legal definition for IPM from the state regulations at N.J.A.C. Title 7:30-1 is the following:

"'Integrated pest management' or 'IPM' means a sustainable approach to managing pests by using all appropriate technology and management practices in a way that minimizes health, environmental and economic risks. IPM includes, but is not limited to, monitoring pest populations, consumer education, and when needed cultivation practices, sanitation, solid waste management, structural maintenance, physical, mechanical, biological and chemical controls."

The School IPM Act adds another aspect to the decision-making process for controlling pests as described above. When a school decides after considering all available pest control options, that pesticide use is needed, the law indicates that preference should be given to using a low impact pesticide.

Why Practice IPM in Schools?

Besides the fact that state law is mandating IPM in New Jersey schools, there are a number of potential health and economic benefits to schools. Reducing the potential for pesticide exposure to children is the driving force behind the School IPM Act. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides than adults; the school environment is therefore an ideal place to reduce the potential for pesticide exposure through an IPM program. In addition, pests have their own set of acknowledged risks to personal health, property, and the food supply. An effective IPM program can manage the risks from both pesticide and pest, and protect human health by:

  • Reducing student and staff exposure to pesticides
  • Suppressing pests that may carry allergens or disease pathogens
  • Reducing environmental pollution

Implementing IPM may provide cost savings and other economic benefits by:

  • Reducing pest damage
  • Reducing unnecessary pesticide applications
  • Minimizing emergency repairs
  • Improving maintenance and sanitation
  • Reducing waste caused by infested food products

How to Get Started

IPM begins with learning how to prevent both indoor and outdoor pests from becoming established. Regular communication with the pest control professional hired by the school who must be knowledgeable in IPM is essential to success. With an understanding of how pests live, problems can often be prevented simply by denying them food, shelter, or water - the resources they need to survive and reproduce. Good facilities management is essential to IPM. Preventing an indoor pest may be as simple as blocking the pest's access into buildings or paying extra attention to sanitation and maintenance. Promoting healthy turf on athletic fields may prevent the need for chemical weed or insect control. Buildings must be kept clean, uncluttered, and in good repair to ensure healthy indoor air, maintain structural integrity, and conserve costs and energy. This will also help keep pests below harmful levels. IPM can be a cost-effective way to provide a safe and healthy environment in which students and staff can learn and work. For specifics about the plan your school must follow, see the Model IPM Plan on this website.


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Last Updated: August 22, 2019