GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida Department of Housing and Residence Education is the first university program in the U.S. or world to receive the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Institute of North America, Inc., Green Shield Certification.
The certification is a result of a year-long process to meet the rigorous standards for integrated pest management as verified by the IPM Institute of North America, Inc., an independent, third-party evaluator. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Green Shield Certification promote the practice of effective, prevention-based pest control while minimizing the use of pesticides. The successful certification process was a partnership between multiple UF Department of Housing departments (Building Services, Pest Control Services, Maintenance Services, Residence Life and Education, and Research & Organizational Development), UF IFAS Extension IPM Florida, and the UF Entomology and Nematology Department. The UF Department of Housing and Residence Education effort for Green Shield Certification served as the prototype for the IPM Institute of North America, Inc., to establish the certification for a “program.” Prior to this effort, certification was only available for pest control businesses or by facility.
“My primary reason for initiating an integrated pest management program in UF Housing was to reduce the exposure of pregnant women and young children living in graduate and family housing units to pesticides,” said Wayne Walker, Senior Pest Control Technician. “The secondary reason was the fact that more residents in traditional residence halls were notifying staff of possible pre-existing sensitivities or allergies to pesticides when pest control procedure notices were posted prior to treatments. The IPM program very quickly expanded to all housing areas which lead to our decision to seek independent, Green Shield Certification.”
Green Shield Certification is for one year, renewable by completing an annual update form. An on-site evaluation is required every three years.