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Pesticides in Schools - Parent notification law
Public schools and licensed daycares in Washington are required to notify parents and employees of pesticides used on school grounds.
We recommend safer choices to pesticides and less use of pesticides overall. Use chemical controls as a last resort. This is a key aspect of integrated pest management or IPM. IPM may require more effort and an increased tolerance for weeds, but it benefits the health and safety of people and the environment.
What Schools Can Do
- See the WA State Department of Agriculture's Compliance Guide for the Use of Pesticides at Public Schools (K-12) and Licensed Day-Care Centers (external link) (PDF, 2 MB)
- Learn more about natural yard care and pest control. Many of the same strategies that are used for homes are used successfully on school grounds.
- Review these sample integrated pest management policies:
- Explore resources from other sites.
What Parents Can Do
- Contact your school and find out what its notification policy is.
- If you know which products your school is using and you'd like help learning more about them, contact the Garden Hotline (external link) at (206) 633-0224.
- Learn more about integrated pest management and natural yard care.
- Volunteer to help with weed management. Many schools have Adopt-a-Flowerbed programs for student and parent volunteers.
What Public Schools and Licensed Daycares Must Do
- Provide annual written notice to parents, guardians, and employees about the school's pest control policies and methods, including the method used to notify interested parents.
- Post information at least 48 hours before pesticide application.
Exemptions exist when students are not in school for at least two consecutive days after the application, or in case of emergencies that pose an immediate human health or safety threat, such as an application to control stinging insects. Read RCW 17.21.415 for details.