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Stinging Insect Pest Management — Pilot IPM Project in New York State 2000

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Project Leaders: Lynn Braband (Community IPM, Geneva NY), Carolyn Klass (Department of Entomology, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY), Joyce Rodler (Suffolk CCE IPM Program, Oakdale, NY), and Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann (Community IPM, Nassau CCE, Plainview, NY).

Cooperators: Staff at: Livonia Primary School, Livingston Co., Glenmont Elementary School, Albany Co., Turnpike Elementary School, Rennselaer Co., Pat Cozzarin Pest Management, pest management company for South Hill and Belle Sherman Elementary Schools, Ithaca, Coddington Center Pre-School, Ithaca, NY, Connetquot School District (Junior High and two elementary schools), Bohemia, NY, Huntington Recreational Association, Suffolk County Educational Farm, and the Suffolk County Minimum Security Facility.

Introduction: In many parts of the U.S., stinging insects are reported to be one of the most common complaints in public places and especially in schools. A variety of problematic species of stinging insects can invade parks and school grounds, including paper wasps, cicada killers, ground-nesting bees, and yellowjackets. The fierce and numerous varieties of yellowjackets generally pose the most threat to children in such locations. Severe allergic reactions can result from a few stings, potentially leading to anaphylactic shock and death in a few individuals. Approximately 40 deaths occur every year in the U.S. due to severe reactions to yellowjacket stings. This is a risk most parents do not want to take. Equally important is the risk of exposure to pesticides used to control dangerous and nuisance insect pests. Increased public awareness of the potentially harmful effects of pesticides has led many schools, towns, counties and states to enact laws to reduce or eliminate pesticide use within schools.

This project was designed to acquaint us with social stinging insects and test a program of non-toxic monitoring, and management in such a way as to promote integrated safe techniques to schools and other institutions.