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MDARD helps ensure school safety through integrated pest management

LANSING – As students across the state are heading back to class, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is reminding schools to practice safe, smart pest control through integrated pest management (IPM). School districts using IPM techniques can better manage pests without relying solely on chemical intervention.

“Integrated pest management is a scientific approach to combatting pests. IPM combines a variety of techniques to improve management, lower costs, and protect the health and safety of people and the environment,” said Brian Verhougstraete, MDARD’s Pesticide Section Manager, Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. “Pesticide applications are just one of many tools available to schools. Prevention and careful evaluation can help prevent pests from reaching unacceptable levels with the least possible impact on people, property, and the environment.”

All Michigan school districts, including charter and private schools, are required to implement a MDARD-approved IPM program. Following an IPM plan helps ensure school districts can safely use a variety of tools and techniques to reduce the spread of pests such as rats, cockroaches, and ants.

As part of the bipartisan budget, MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division is receiving $1.17 million in additional funding to invest in more training, expand and enhance best management practices and be a partner with Michigan school districts to help keep our kids safe and healthy.

For more information about MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, visit