The team at the Northeastern IPM Center has been hard at work tying up loose ends as we close out our current grant and get ready for the future. I’ve been working with my computer more than pests. Sad, but true.
During last 5 years, over 800 people have sat in community rooms at housing authorities across the country and participated in an IPM in Multifamily Housing Training. I love running these trainings—visiting communities that want to come together against pests and make a change in order to provide pest-free housing. The model of on-site training and implementation support for the property that received the training has worked well. Within the next few weeks we’ll have more case studies posted about our success stories.
But the trainings are resource-intensive and not every housing authority is immediately ready to make the changes that an IPM program requires. For example, some don’t have a staff member or contractor who can legally apply pesticides. Pesticides are used judiciously in an IPM program and it’s important to have a trained professional ready to treat if required.
One of the projects we’ve been working on is “Integrated Pest Management: A Guide for Affordable Housing.” Mary Maley, one of our IPM trainers, has taken the content from our IPM in Multifamily Housing Training and put it in print form.
• provides basic knowledge of pests and pesticides needed to make informed pest control decisions with a pest management professional;
• describes the parts of IPM and how to implement them in housing; and
• can be used to orient staff to their role on the IPM team using the certificate of completion in the appendix.
We’ll be happy to ship you up to up to three copies for free. To get your copy, fill out the form at https://stoppests.wufoo.com/forms/r7x2s9/
If you want more and have a distribution plan, e-mail me at email@example.com.
We're always brainstorming ways we can get information about IPM to the change agents in affordable housing so that more housing authorities are prepared to take full advantage of on-site IPM training and implement an IPM program. The IPM Guide will be available for free download soon. This blog came out of our brainstorming. We ran a webinar on the benefits of IPM. And I’ve presented IPM information at many national housing conferences.
A few weeks ago, for the first time, I ran a full IPM in Multifamily Housing training at a conference. The Southeastern Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (SERC-NAHRO) kindly invited me to their Annual Conference and gave me a conference room for a day. I also had a wonderful moderator from SERC-NAHRO from 9am to 4:30pm. He had chosen to moderate my session because his housing authority switched to IPM a few years ago and has seen great success. He wanted to share their story, and in doing so he added much to the day.
For those of you who are not familiar with NAHRO conferences, the attendance at national and regional events is usually made up of housing authority executive directors, commissioners, and some directors of operation/heads of maintenance. State-specific meetings usually have more property managers and maintenance staff members too. These people can take IPM information and lead the agency-wide policy and budget changes. Although we covered all the pest-specific training day content, what most of the attendees came to learn was what upper-level changes need to be made to help ensure individual properties use IPM to battle bugs. Lease and policy language, contracting for pest control, and lease enforcement were discussed more in-depth than they have been at any of the on-site trainings we’ve run.
I think the day was a success. Many people took information we had on a table outside the conference room and signed up to this blog. It was great to see some familiar faces from our participating PHAs and others who have attended my sessions at NAHRO and PHADA conferences in the past. Inside the conference room, we had a small, but dedicated group—most of whom stuck with me the whole day!
Having the group there to brainstorm together was wonderful. I wish I could recreate (or had recorded) the 40 minute roundtable discussion we had. The resources I have on StopPests.org that link to the topics of conversation at SERC-NAHRO are:
- A sample RFP for pest control that also specifies the contents of an IPM Plan. (Note that it may take an extra effort to get new companies to bid on your request. I recommend including a cover letter describing your agency’s interest in and commitment to IPM. Let potential bidders know that you are ready to do your part in IPM and work with them as a team. Specifying that the contract will not be awarded based solely on low-bid may help too.)
- Information on hiring a professional or managing in-house pesticide applicators.
- Sample IPM Policy
- How to work with/train residents.
- Sample housekeeping language
- On-site IPM in Multifamily Housing Training for staff and residents...information on the day and how to request a training.
Thanks to SERC-NAHRO for approaching me about the training day.
I’d never been to New Orleans and it was high on my bucket list. According to my palm reader, I will live to 75 and be healthy enough to battle pests the whole time. (I added the pests bit.) The full training at a conference was an experiment that worked. And an extra thank you to those SERC-NAHRO members who attended the training session, asked wonderful questions, and now have the resources they need to improve the lives of their staff and residents through better pest management.