Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

Apply to the University of Wyoming apply now

Global Resource Navigation

Visit Campus
Download UW Viewbook
Give to UW

Prevention of Pests in Schools

Inspection of school areas should be done routinely or on an on-going basis.

The aim of prevention is to create an environment that is not conducive to pest colonization, growth, and reproduction while not allowing any new pests to go undetected.

By learning the pest life cycle and biology we find out which stage of the life cycle is susceptible to preventative actions and how to most efficiently limit the pest.

Pest problems can be prevented through sanitation, exclusion and a reduction of pest harborage.

1. Exclusion of Pests:

  • Sealing cracks and holes
  • 2 feet of gravel or concrete barrier between building and lawn
  • Perimeter treatments (this is not an ecosystem for insects)
  • Store food items in sealed containers
  • Trim bushes and vegetation away from buildings
  • Tight dumpster lids
  • Inspect all incoming crates, pallets, lumber or furniture
  • Tight window and door seals
  • Keep external doors closed when not in use
  • Limit animal access to the school to prevent feces, fleas, lice, and dander
  • Crawl spaces covered to exclude animals that carry vectors of disease
  • Plants at 2 feet from buildings
  • Grow turf varieties that are very competitive
  • Adjust irrigation or mowing for the most completive turf
  • Keep all structural wood at least 12 inches above the soil
  • Perimeter treatment for termites, ants, and spiders where necessary


2. Sanitation practices for pest management include:

  • Eliminating food crumbs
  • Thorough cleaning of food preparation areas, including hard-to-reach areas
  • Use liners for waste containers and empty at the end of the day so that food is not left in the building overnight
  • Eliminating clutter and removing cardboard wherever possible
  • Equipment cleaning and maintenance (including floor drains and vents)
  • Repairing water leaks in plumbing and gutters
  • Eliminate standing water and any sources of moisture
  • Wiping up or vacuuming individual spiders, or insects that are inside
  • Cleaning ant or mice trails with soapy water
  • Vacuum debris from cracks and seal


3. Eliminate clutter and pest harborage:

  • Sealing cracks, gaps or holes to remove hiding places
  • Sealing edges around wall-mounted electrical panels and light fixtures
  • Place exterior trash cans and dumpsters away from building entrances
  • No pooling of irrigation water
  • No standing water in gutters
  • Prevent weeds and weed seeds
  • Reduce stacks of old paper
  • Check incoming product. Remove food products and food service supplies from cardboard containers as soon as they are delivered and put cardboard in outdoor recycling containers to avoid introducing pests and egg cases.
  • Remove any plies of leaves or trash
  • Stacks of lumber not touching the ground
  • Irrigation/sprinkler systems and risers for spray heads should have sprinkler heads or be located two (2) feet from building so as to prevent water contacting walls and prevent soil disturbance and leaching of perimeter treatments.
  • Inclusion of drought tolerant plants into landscape plans can aid in achieving this goal.
  • Do not plant flowering trees, shrubs or flowers immediately adjacent to building entrances or walkways
  • Adequate ventilation in crawl spaces and attics
  • Store boxes off the floor and away from wall



  • Lighting at least 30 feet away and aimed back toward building
  • Low wattage low psi sodium bulbs are better than mercury vapor
  • Yellow light is better than white light
  • Time light to go off intermittently
  • Bright white walls attract insects at night


Education of building occupants helps prevent pest problems.

Share This Page:

Contact Us

John Connett

Integrated Pest Management Specialist

UW-ES, Entomology-ESM

Dept. 3354

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-5022


Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon