The school year has begun, and with it, schools are experiencing an influx of dirt, germs and pests. On Aug. 23, the University of Georgia Structural Pest Management Program (SPM) hosted a School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Workshop intended to help pest control operators that manage schools in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The workshop began with presentations from Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) representatives and UGA entomologists. The presentations topics included IPM basics, pesticide regulations, Environmental Protection Agency updates, inspection tips and insect identification.
“The rules of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Act establish requirements to reduce pesticide exposure risk in Georgia schools and child daycare facilities and reduce the impact of pests and pesticides on the health and well-being of children,” said Nancy Collier, outreach and special project coordinator at the GDA. “The school IPM workshop includes discussions about what the regulations require and how to comply with the regulations. It provides participants an opportunity to engage in dialogue and network with GDA staff and others in the regulated community.”
The attendees practiced hands-on insect identification in the SPM insect identification lab and Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Center in Griffin, Georgia. This portion of the training highlights the importance of identifying the larval and adult stages of the most common pests found in schools.
“We offer these workshops to allow pest control operators to receive the most up-to-date training from multiple experts,” said Dan Suiter, the UGA entomologist who coordinates the workshops. “We are the only program that highlights insect identification in an active learning environment.”
Georgia pest control operators received five Household Pest Control (HPC) credits. Alabama operators received ten HPC; Household Pest Control/Branch Supervisor (HPB); or Industrial, Institutional, Household Pest Control/Custodial (IIHC) points. South Carolina operators received one Core and four Category 7A credits. Tennessee operators received five C07, C08, C10 and C12 points.
For more information on upcoming IPM workshops, visit www.gabugs.uga.edu or call Suiter at 770-233-6114.