Overview of New IPM Standard for Ohio
If you offer IPM services, or make claims that your program is an integrated pest management program, you must meet standards set in Ohio Administrative Code for what components/activities must be included. And, legal action can be taken against you if you make false claims. This applies to any company or agency such as pest control companies, lawn care or landscape companies, schools, and public agencies but not to agricultural uses. However, there is no requirement to implement an IPM plan in schools or elsewhere. Integrated pest management activities fall under the authority of the Ohio Department of Agriculture as the enforcement agency.
Why was this law created?
These new regulations are designed to protect consumers and the public including children. If consumers and school or agency personnel contract for an integrated management approach to controlling pests, then, they are assured that certain recognized guidelines are being followed.
What are the required elements of IPM?
Under Ohio law, there are four major components to an IPM program. You must:
- Conduct a comprehensive site assessment
- Determine needs and develop a comprehensive plan for pest control with the customer
- Establish a schedule for on-going pest monitoring and site assessment
- Evaluate the results of the IPM plan
Step one: the site assessment
Most major pest problems exist because conditions at the site are conducive for pests to thrive. Pests need food, water and places to hide, rest, reproduce. A comprehensive site assessment includes looking not only for pests and their activity but the conditions/activities that favor their development. The components of the assessment include:
a) Structural, mechanical, storage or sanitation conditions that are producing or could produce pest problems. These include identifying pest entry points and areas prone to harboring pests.
b) Type and extent of pest activity.
c) Potential pest impacts to humans, animals or the environment
Step two: develop a comprehensive plan
The pest manager should work with the customer to develop an approach that takes into consideration not just reacting to the immediate needs for pest control but also measures that will aid in long-term control. Key elements of the plan should include:
a) Identifying structural, mechanical, storage or sanitation measures that will aid in elimination or control of pests
b) Setting priorities for pest control and elimination (within the budget and timeframe and exposure risks)
c) Determining whether chemical control is necessary
d) Determine the most effective measures, application methods and products to maximize control of pests while minimizing hazards to human, pets and the environment.
Step three: monitor
The pest manager and customer should set a schedule, strategy and recommendations for ongoing monitoring of pests and site conditions.
Step four: evaluate results
It’s important to assess whether the management plan is working and go back through the preceding steps again. The evaluation should include:
a) Was the correction of structural, mechanical and storage or sanitation problems complete and effective?
b) Were methods used to control, prevent or eliminate the pests effective?
c) Were risks to humans and the environment minimized?
d) Should other measures, products or methods be considered?
For the actual language of this new regulation, please refer to Ohio Administrative Code, OAC 901: 5-11-14 on the ODA website at www.agri.ohio.gov