Monday, June 13, 2011


Figure 1. Chris Mills, IPM Coordinator for Union County Schools,
speaking to 1st graders about cockroaches
If you still have doubts that IPM really works, just talk to Chris Mills, IPM Coordinator for Union County Schools (Figure 1). He’s got some pretty solid evidence that IPM does work. Chris was hired by Union County Schools in 2002 and began serving as the school system’s IPM Coordinator in 2006. Since that time, with a lot of support from school administration, Chris has developed a top-notch school IPM program in NC.

Recently, Chris received a call about cockroaches around the dishwasher area at one of his schools. After an initial inspection, he found German cockroaches coming out from the heat booster, from behind nearby wall panels, and packed tight in corners behind the dishwasher tray slide area. In an effort to quickly knock down the roach population, Chris simply vacuumed out the heat booster. Then, he placed multiple glue traps in areas cockroaches were found. He also used cockroach bait in a gel formulation.

One day after the initial trap placement, Chris counted approximately 500 German cockroaches on the glue traps (Figure 2). The following day, the number of roaches trapped decreased substantially to approximately 160 cockroaches (Figure 3). On the third day, Chris followed up with more round of vacuuming and an application of Mother Earth Dust in the heat booster. Two days later, only 2-3 cockroaches were seen.

Figure 2. One day after initial placement of sticky traps. 
Figure 3. Day two of trapping.
Using the principles of IPM, Chris was able to successfully control the roaches in about one week’s time. He used physical and mechanical control options (vacuuming and glue traps). Chris chose pesticides (bait gel and Mother Earth dust) that are least toxic and pose the least hazard to individuals. With a little effort, IPM can and really does work! As Chris said, “Maybe this will open up people’s eyes about IPM.” Thank you Chris for sharing this story and for all your hard work in promoting school IPM.

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