The Louisiana Pesticide Law regulates the use of pesticides in schools. The types of pesticides commonly used by schools include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides. The purpose of the law is to protect children and school staff from exposure to pesticides used in and around schools. The law encourages schools to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
IPM relies on information about the life cycle of pests and their interaction with the environment. “Pests seek habitats that provide basic needs such as air, moisture, food, and shelter. Pest populations can be prevented or controlled by creating inhospitable environments, by removing some basic elements pests need to survive or simply by blocking their access into buildings” (Environmental Protection Agency – EPA). The goal of IPM is to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides by using non-chemical and least-toxic pest management methods.
Examples of IPM Strategies
The Louisiana Pesticide Law applies to all public and private elementary and secondary schools (K-12) in Louisiana.
The governing authority of each school shall prepare for each school under its authority an annual IPM plan. An IPM plan is a school’s plan of how it will prevent and control pest problems. IPM shall be available in the business office of each school for review by the general public.
For each pesticide that a school proposes to use, the following must be listed:
Changes to an IPM plan require written notification to LDAF at least 24 hours prior to any pesticide application.
Records of inspections, pest identification, monitoring, evaluations, and all pesticide applications shall be maintained by the school. Copies of the pesticide application records from the previous year are to be submitted with the annual IPM plan each year by August 1 to LDAF.
All pesticide applications (e.g., spraying aerosols to kill wasps, applying granules to fire ant mounds, chemical weed control) must be done by certified applicators or trained persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator. Schools may either contract with pest control companies, or they may use school system employees who are appropriately certified.
Aerial applicators are not allowed to apply pesticides within 1000 feet of any school grounds during normal school hours.
Pesticides can only be applied inside school buildings when students are not expected to be present for at least 8 hours after the application.
Yes, all schools must maintain a Hypersensitive Registry. The registry shall contain the names of students whose parents have submitted a written statement to the school stating that their child is hypersensitive to pesticides.
LDAF enforces regulations concerning school pesticide safety.