Monday, November 29, 2010

School IPM Videos now available online!

School IPM videos are now available for download. The videos were developed by Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya and funded by the Southern Region IPM Program. They will be available on CD in January 2011. The videos can be found at:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sugarcane Beetles

Adult sugarcane beetle (Photo: Cotinis,
We recently got a call from a NC school reporting that several buildings were being invaded by small black beetles. The insects, as it turns out, were sugarcane beetles (Euetheola humilis), a type of scarab beetle that can become a problem in the fall as it searches for a suitable place to spend the winter. The beetles are common insects, but their populations are usually so low that they go largely unnoticed. Sugarcane beetles can actually damage caulk or other sealants at expansion joints and other junctures as they attempt to dig into the area.

One thing to keep in mind about sugarcane beetles is that they are occasional pests that are normally present at relatively low levels. The beetles are attracted to light, so using sodium vapor lights in fixtures near buildings and mercury vapor lights for fixtures away from buildings can reduce the number of invading beetles; however, this may not be practical in school settings.

Sugarcane beetles gathering around expansion joint (Photo: Chris Mills, Union Co. Schools)

Insecticides are not very useful in controlling sugarcane beetles. The beetles may be sprayed directly in order to kill them, but the residual may not be sufficient to kill beetles that show up later. Any invading beetles should simply be vacuumed or swept up. In addition, replacing caulk that is damaged or missing should help decrease numbers of invading beetles.

For more information on sugarcane beetles, please see:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Suggested Protocol for Bed Bugs Found in NC Schools

The NCSU School IPM Program has recently developed a suggested protocol for bed bugs found in North Carolina schools. These guidelines have been developed to help NC school systems to become more aware of the problem and to be prepared to deal with situations where a suspected bed bug is found on school premises and/or on an individual (child, staff or visitor) or his/her belongings.

Below is a summary of the suggested protocol for bed bugs found in schools. Please visit and click on “Bed Bug Protocol for Schools” to see the complete protocol, which includes a sample parent notification letter as well as bed bug fact sheets.
In the event that bed bugs (or what is presumed to be bed bugs) are found in a school building, the priority should be to address the situation as quickly as possible while minimizing disruption to the learning environment. Always avoid bringing undue attention to any individuals directly involved. The individual does not need to be removed from the classroom/office unless it facilitates the inspection. If the situation involves a student, inform the parents as soon as possible. The child does not need to be excluded from school.

First, verify that the problem is due to bed bugs. Several insect pests may be confused with bed bugs, such as bat bugs, swallow bugs, and carpet beetle larvae. Reports of bites should be taken seriously, but bites alone are not enough to declare that there is a bed bug infestation. Second, determine the extent of any infestation in the school facility. Third, attempt to determine whether the current finding suggests that the school has an infestation or if the problem is associated with one individual (or group of individuals) who may have accidentally brought the insects to school. Next, take appropriate control measures bearing in mind the safety of all. Finally, educate parents and staff as to precautions they can take to reduce the likelihood of accidentally moving bed bugs between school and their homes.

Bed bug treatments, as with any pest control procedures, should follow the school’s IPM policies as closely as possible. The IPM Coordinator or a designate should contact the school’s pest control service (contracted or in-house). In-house pest control services should be used only if the employees have adequate training and knowledge of bed bug control. Otherwise, the school should contract the services of a licensed pest control company if a bed bug treatment is deemed necessary. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are Causing a Stink!

Adult brown marmorated stink bug (Photo: Susan Ellis)
We have been getting a lot of reports of structures being inundated with what is likely the brown marmorated stink bug. This insect is a pest of a wide variety of agricultural and horticultural crops including soybeans, fruits, and ornamentals. During the fall, as things begin to cool down, adult stink bugs begin to search for a place to overwinter. Unfortunately, if school grounds are located near agricultural crops or orchards, or have  extensive plantings of ornamental trees, you may begin to see large numbers of this bug trying to invade buildings. Although their presence may be alarming to some, the stink bugs are not harmful. However, they do put off an unpleasant odor (they don’t call them stink bugs for nothing!).

This situation is virtually identical to the problems many of you have seen with boxelder bugs and the Asian lady beetles in that little can be done to stop them. With the upcoming frosts, particularly in western NC, we're likely to see the annual movement of lady bugs indoors by the time you’re reading this. It will progress in the Piedmont and eastern parts of the start likely towards the end of October.

Pesticide applications to the exterior of school buildings won’t have any real impact on the brown marmorated stink bug. In order to be effective, pesticides must be sprayed directly on the bugs or the bugs must land on a treated surface. If you decided the problem warrants an outdoor pesticide application, limit your treatment to exterior windows and doors, or other openings stink bugs are using to enter the building.

Spraying indoors for stink bugs won’t work because they show up in different places. There is no specific target site and excessive indoor applications are potentially harmful to children, teachers, and staff. Stink bugs are not a true “emergency” and so any spraying indoors would require that you follow the 72 hour notification policy.  Your best option is to use a vacuum cleaner to collect any invading stink bugs. They will stink up a shop-vac or regular vacuum cleaner fast, so use a “Knee-High” or part of panty hose inside the nozzle to collect the stink bugs and then discard it.  If you rely on just a vacuum cleaner bag, be sure to seal the bag inside a trash bag before disposing of it to keep the bugs from escaping.

This problem is relatively new for us but has been occurring north of
our border for some time and we expect it to spread to other counties over timeFor more information on the brown marmorated stink bug, please read NCSU’s publication which can be found at:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NC School IPM Wiggio Group now active!

The NCSU School IPM Program has created an online group for NC School IPM. The online group is limited to individuals that have roles and responsibilities in school IPM and we are the only ones that can add members to the group. If you would like to be added to the group, please contact me by email.

By joining this group, you will have the opportunity to receive important updates regarding school IPM (October 2011 is only a year away). You will also have the ability to join subgroups (e.g., Child Nutrition Directors, Maintenance Directors/IPM Coordinators, Superintendents, Pest Management Professionals) and discuss IPM in NC schools among
other members of the subgroups.
If you choose to join the group, you will always have the option to stop receiving emails from the group or to remove yourself from the group altogether.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Call for nominations for Friend of Southern IPM Awards!


The Southern Region IPM Center is pleased to release this call for nominations for Friend of Southern IPM Awards. This award program recognizes extraordinary achievement in research, Extension and implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the Southern Region of the United States.


As in previous years, the winners will be honored at an event of their choosing. For most awards, winners will receive an honorarium of $2,000. Please read the Call for Nomination to review the terms of the honorarium.

There are six categories for awards:

Bright Idea (for new invention, idea or project)
IPM Educator (can be teaching position or extension)
IPM Implementer (someone who practices IPM, on-the-ground implementation)
Pulling Together (Team award)
Future Leader (someone who is in the beginning of an IPM career, or a promising student)
Lifetime Achievement (someone who has had a long career in IPM)

To nominate someone, please fill out the nomination document and write a 2-page letter explaining why the person or group should receive the award. E-mail the document and letter to by 5 PM ET on Monday, November 1, 2010.

Links to the Call for Nominations and Nomination Document, as well as a list of previous award winners, can be found at

If you have any questions about whether a person or group qualifies for an award, or any other question concerning the award, please e-mail Rosemary Hallberg at, or call at 919-513-8182.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Integrated Pest Management Webcast

Facility Masters Webcast Series is offering an IPM Webcast on Tuesday, September 21 at 12:00pm EST. The Webcast will focus on the importance of inspection.
Facility Masters Webcast: IPM

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Welcome Back to School!

To commemorate the beginning of a new school-year, PESPWire, the monthly e-bulletin of PESP (Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program) is highlighting IPM in Schools: PESPWire E-Bulletin

Friday, August 27, 2010

NSCU School IPM Program - What's Happening Now

NCSU’s School IPM Program continues its role of assisting school systems with their IPM needs. Currently, we are working to ensure that all school districts are prepared for October 1st, 2011 – that’s when it becomes mandatory that all NC public schools implement an IPM Program.

On the horizon for School IPM is our planned distribution of IPM Kits to give to school districts. The purpose of the kits is to provide school systems with the ability to conduct in-house training for teachers, maintenance staff, kitchen staff, parents, etc. The kits will include a School IPM DVD, insect specimens, and Powerpoint presentations with scripts.

We’re also putting together an online forum for School IPM with subgroups for Maintenance Directors, IPM Coordinators, Pest Management Professionals, etc. to discuss various problems, solutions, etc. they've run across in dealing with School IPM. And we’ll also use it to send updates and other important information to the various subgroups. We hope to have the online forum up and running within the next month.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Welcome to the IPM in NC Schools and Childcare Facilities Blog! The purpose of this blog is to discuss the use of Integrated Pest Management in NC school and childcare facilities. Stay tuned for IPM updates, events, training sessions, success stories, and more!
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