April 26, 2017
Pest Management Update As an update regarding pest management at PVPUSD, please note:
1) Our system to notify individuals by e-mail 72 hours in advance of herbicide/pesticide applications where such noticing is required is active. Anyone interested in receiving advance e-mail notifications can register at http://pvpusd.ipmnotice.info/parents. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having any problems registering your information. The site is new, so we will continue to monitor it and upgrade it as necessary to meet the notification needs of our community.
2) In a development towards the use of effective yet less toxic/non-toxic methods of pesticide control, we are running tests of two gopher abatement measures, underground trapping and GopherX https://gopherx.com We had significant success with underground trapping this past weekend, but it is significantly more expensive than other methods and requires operators skilled in locating active burrows. GopherX is a machine that emits carbon monoxide directly into burrows. This fumigation method has proven effective, and all gas is released immediately rather than when the chemical is exposed to moisture (e.g. Fumitoxin). These processes are considered less toxic than previous applications, and thus do not require herbicide/pesticide postings as directed by the Department of Pesticide Regulation. We will also continue to investigate the use of a sand/slurry mixture to fill burrows. This method might be complicated by the soil composition in PV.
3) The District was asked by the City of Rolling Hills to allow L.A. County Animal Control to use the Crest Road facility for humane coyote trapping as needed if coyotes that are aggressive towards humans are located in the area. The District agreed to this request.
4) As part of reviewing our existing Integrated Pest Management Plan, we recently reminded all Grounds and Custodial staff that no pesticides are allowed for use except for those approved through the District IPMP.
5) Three weeks ago we had a swarm of bees at Palos Verdes Intermediate School. Given the potential threats to students and community members with diagnosed or undiagnosed bee allergies (which can be fatal), we were in legal compliance if we used a pesticide, Delta Dust, to deal with the situation immediately and then post a notice for 72 hours afterwards. Delta Dust is one of the least toxic pesticides we use. It is made from ground chrysanthemum flowers which are toxic due to the fine grain of the dust rather than because of a chemical present
in the dust. Business Services made the decision that, because the swarm activity was not heightened, we would wait for 24 hours to apply the pesticide in order to notify the PVIS community. We did so and heard from three individuals that they preferred non-lethal means for bee removal. At that point (Day 2), employees at the site saw first-hand that the swarm activity was heightened and that the risk of harm to anyone allergic to bee stings was significant, thus we went ahead with the Delta Dust application. We also committed to try non-lethal methods for similar problems in the future.
We then had an incident with bees at Dapplegray Elementary this past week. On Tuesday, April 18th we heard of a large swarm split into five colonies. We contacted four “eco-friendly” firms to utilize their methods, choosing to hold off eradication for approximately 36 hours to try these methods. We only heard back from one firm. When they saw pictures of the locations of the colonies they advised that removal was not possible without significant structural damage, and swarm activity was again markedly stronger according to site personnel. We then notified the Dapplegray community Wednesday afternoon that we would apply Delta Dust early Thursday morning. We will continue to try to use eco-friendly methods where possible.