Troublesome Pests In School Buildings

Category: Education

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Troublesome Pests In School Buildings: 

Troublesome Pests In School Buildings IPM in Schools Program Contact: Kenneth Matheny Elite Pest Management Inc. 1-877-4BADBUG

Structural or Indoor Pests in Michigan Schools : 

Structural or Indoor Pests in Michigan Schools Ants Flies Mice/Rats Wasps Headlice Silverfish Spiders Cockroaches Other: centipedes, crickets, boxelder bugs, aphids, millepedes, bats, fruit flies, shrews

Sanitation – any pest, all pests: 

Sanitation – any pest, all pests Sweep and mop floors Drain all sinks and remove any food debris Vacuum and/or mop classrooms daily Periodically, clean food prep areas thoroughly drains, vents, deep fat fryers and hard-to-reach areas Remove all food garbage from building daily Rinse recycling materials Seal garbage in bags before placing in dumpster

Outdoor Waste Management: 

Outdoor Waste Management No garbage on ground Place dumpsters upwind of outside doors, kitchen or cafeteria especially Remove wastes from site weekly Twice/week during warmer weather (insects breed faster) Close lids Clean containers regularly High pressure water or brush and soapy water. Borax and water to eliminate odors Hose or scrub out dumpsters with drains Flies can develop in soil soaked with dumpster rinse water

Non-Chemical Pest Management: 

Non-Chemical Pest Management Entry Screen Patch cracks Inspect incoming products Food Vacuum Dispose of garbage Replace decaying wood Climate Moisture Clutter Shelf paper

4 steps of IPM: 

4 steps of IPM Inspect Identify Take action (action thresholds) Evaluate

If Chemical Treatment Is Needed: 

If Chemical Treatment Is Needed Follow EPA approved label directions Use Personal Protective Equipment as noted on label Maintain a file of labels and MSDS (material data safety sheets)


Ants In food areas, contaminate food; other areas, nuisance If not migrating into building, not detrimental If high numbers foraging into building, locate and treat outdoor nests Differ in habits and food preferences May build nest in soil, rotting wood, concealed areas outdoor or in buildings Feed on starches, meats, fats or sweets Honeydew from houseplant pests Baits tempt workers into returning to nest with poisonous food Identify type to determine biology and most effective method of management

Ants in Michigan schools : 

Ants in Michigan schools Cornfield lt to dk brown, workers ~ 1/10 “ long; very abundant outdoors Field Ants Black, brown, red, or combo, workers ~ 1/8 to 1/4’” long Pavement Ants Reddish-brown to black; workers ~ 1/8 inch long Thief Ants yellow to light brown; workers ~1/20 “ long tend to curl up when die ID important; confused for Pharaoh ants Pharaoh ants light yellow to red ~ 1/16 “ long thorax on workers darker colored Photo by Jim Kalisch. UNL Entomology

Pharaoh Ants: 

Pharaoh Ants Do not survive outdoors. Nest in small spaces often near dark, warm sites near moisture source; very difficult to find. Produce new nests by budding. When colony too large or under stress, moves to new site Photo by Jim Kalisch. UNL Entomology Can nest in any heated building; most commonly found in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and apartments. Persistent numbers of very small ants in winter likely Pharaoh

Managing pharaoh ants usually requires experienced pest control company: 

Managing pharaoh ants usually requires experienced pest control company Insecticides and household cleaning products can cause BUDDING, create new colonies. Use of baits preferred, but homeowner products may not be effective Professionals have experience and more effective products Photo by Jim Kalisch. UNL Entomology

Ways to Reduce Ant Problems: 

Ways to Reduce Ant Problems Weather strip around doors and windows Always carry caulk on inspections Use mildew resistant caulk in moist areas Begin caulking at access point of current ant trail Vacuum ant trails Vacuum up a tbsp corn starch to kill ants in bag Spray with detergent and water

Techniques for Baiting Ants : 

Techniques for Baiting Ants May require Elite Pest Management to identify species and habits Differ in food preference for baiting Sweet, protein or oily attractants Food preferences may change Differ in nesting and foraging habits Affects bait acceptance and management techniques In dry areas, may prefer more moist baits Bait along foraging trails, but do not disturb trails between nest and bait Place baits out of sight and REACH of children If competition present, non-target ant may prevent target ant from feeding Remove “bait stations” when not needed or will attract cockroaches

Common Small Flies: 

Common Small Flies Moth fly (drain fly) 1/12” long, dark-colored; long black hairs on wings and body, fuzzy moth-like appearance Fruit Flies 1/16 to 1/8” long, red eyes, tan body, striped abdomen Humpbacked fly Also called phorid flies: 1/8” long with humpbacked body; often found running along counters or walls Fungus gnats 1/8” long with slender body and long legs


Flies May contaminate food in prep or serving areas In others areas, nuisance, but large numbers indicate sanitation problem Eggs laid in food waste, kitchen drains, decomposing organic matter, ripe fruit and vegetables, fermenting water from refrigerators, humidifiers, spoiled animal food, damp sour mops or rags and other locations, including areas adjacent to building Identify flies to determine breeding sites and effective control measures

Where can flies can be found?: 

Where can flies can be found? drains moist, decaying organic matter food residues in trash around kitchen equipment bottom of pet cages or potting soil slimy layer in floor drains and sinks near sump pumps and broken sewage lines in soil of over-watered houseplants, or high organic soil

Reduce Fly Populations: 

Reduce Fly Populations Eat or refrigerate fresh foods no ripe (overripe) produce left out Separate food waste from other garbage, drain, store in sealed plastic bags before disposing Flush sink and floor drains regularly Rinse materials before recycling Keep mops clean and dry


Mice/Rats Norway rat Large, robust, blunt muzzle, small eyes, short rounded ears; 7-18 oz, adults up to 11” House mouse Smaller, more slender than Norway, eyes small, ears prominent, muzzle pointed; 1 oz or less, 3” long Deer mouse—seasonal problem in fall and winter; ~ size as house mouse, but bicolored, white bellies and feet, large eyes

Mouse clues: 

Mouse clues Sounds at night of squeaks, scrambling or gnawing Droppings Similar to large cockroaches and bats Urine pillars of grease, urine and dirt visible under blacklight Grease marks of dirt and oil from fur Runways, not easily detectable Tracks footprints or tail marks use nontoxic dust to help locate (talc) Gnawing damage Sightings Nest sites Mouse odors

Rodent cultural practices: 

Rodent cultural practices Good Sanitation Eliminate food, water and shelter Exclude Identify and seal all entry points Never prop open doors or windows Trim shrubs grass and vines and maintain a 12-18” gravel border adjacent to building foundations

Mouse Trap Tips: 

Mouse Trap Tips Rarely go more than 30 ft from nest, usually only 10 ft Place Glue Boards in 10 ft in diameter around mouse signs Good climbers; live above or below food sources, ceilings or crawl spaces Best trapping sites where mice spend time Note droppings along walls, behind objects, dark corners Good mouse baits -- peanut butter, bacon, cereal cotton ball for nest material May require professional assistance to deal with high mouse populations A pair of mice can produce 50 offspring in one year

B ees and Wasps: 

B ees and Wasps Characteristics Bees: fuzzy, robust Wasps: Smooth skinned and shiny Identify to learn biology and habits Wasp and bumble bee colonies live only 1 season Old queen and workers die in fall, new queens survive in protected sites Build new nest in spring; old nest not reused Honey bee colonies perennial in same nest location

Sting Reactions: 

Sting Reactions Mild allergic: hives or rash, swelling in area away from sting, headache, minor respiratory/stomach upset, treat with antihistamine Severe: Anaphylactic shock, fainting, immediate difficulty breathing, swelling or blockage in throat Local: burning itching, redness, tenderness or massive swelling and itch. Ice or topical ointment, remove stinger

Caution! Wasps and Bees: 

Caution! Wasps and Bees Will attack if physically threatened and to protect their nests Wear protective clothing bee veil and bee suit USE CAUTION! Photos by Jim Kalisch. UNL Entomology

Wasp Nests: 

Wasp Nests If nest not a threat, wait for freeze Capture and release or swat individuals May nest in ground, tree and shrubs, under horizontal surfaces such as eaves, in buildings in wall spaces

Treating Nests : 

Treating Nests Exposed nests: apply “Wasp and Hornet” ready-to-use aerosol to entrance of nest. Repeat if live wasps found Ground nests and hidden nests may require applications of insecticide by professional pest control technician If nest entrance in wall void sealed before insects dead, insects will be forced indoors Professional can vacuum nest if in area where insecticides can not be used Do not pour gasoline or fuel oil in ground nest contaminates environment, use soapy water plug entrance hole with dirt after insects killed


Cockroaches Zero tolerance anywhere Can carry pathogens and cause problems such as salmonella and asthma Prefer to be in warm, moist areas near food and water

Cockroach Species: 

Cockroach Species German Adults live 6 months, each female produces 28 nymphs from an egg case, produces 4-8 egg cases, new generation every four weeks Small, adults less than ¾” long, gold with two dark streaks behind the head. Requires moisture, usually found in kitchen or bath American Can live two years, egg case 1-2 weeks, 20 to 80 egg cases with 15-20 nymphs Glue egg case to hidden, moist surface Larger and heavier, 1 ½ to 1 ¾ ‘ long, reddish brown to black

Defeating Cockroaches: 

Defeating Cockroaches Watch damp areas or available water (Condensation under refrigerator) Store all food in sealed containers; remove garbage daily Remove boxes, newspapers, other clutter Rinse and invert cups, glasses and soda Vacuum cockroaches and egg cases HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter to reduce airborne cockroach debris

Non toxic cockroach trap-: 

Non toxic cockroach trap- Empty jar with rounded inner lip pickle, mayonnaise etc. Coat inner lip with vaseline Bait with quarter slice bread soaked in beer or dog food, apples, cookies, etc. Wrap outside of jar in paper towel Kill trapped insects with dish washing detergent and hot water

Methods of Professional Cockroach Management: 

Methods of Professional Cockroach Management Traps Gel and dust baits Insect growth regulators Disrupt normal development of immatures Very low in toxicity for people and animals Slow working Desiccating dusts


Headlice Do not treat furniture, bedding, floor or walls inside school with insecticide Cannot survive without human host for more than two days Bedding and clothing should be washed and dried at high temperature (150o or higher) Place pillow or other non-washable items in freezer for several days

S piders: 

S piders Beneficial insect; tolerate if possible To reduce numbers, remove hiding places Create vegetation-free zone around building Knock down webs with broom or hard spray of water Remove and destroy egg sacks or spiders when found Caulk or seal cracks Be sure screens ft tightly Change outside lights to avoid attracting other insects as prey yellow lights less attractive than mercury or sodium vapor

Boxelder bugs: 

Boxelder bugs Most abundant during hot, dry summers Live just a few days indoors and do not reproduce May enter buildings on mild, sunny, winter days, Prevent by Vacuum Caulk Soap mixture; ½ cups laundry detergent ot one gallon water in hand sprayer or squirt bottle. Check for staining on building materials No residual, must hit target Photo by Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota


Silverfish Prefer cool, moist, dark places, 70-80oF, high r.h. basements, trapped in bathtubs, sinks Quick movement, active at night; hide during day Feed on paper, grains and starchy foods, Change environment if possible Correct moisture problems, dry out damp areas, improve lighting Remove stored food, books, paper Caulk cracks and crevices

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