What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

Purpose: To manage pests with the least possible impact on people, property, and the environment.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a pest management system that uses all suitable techniques in a total management system, to prevent pests from reaching unacceptable levels, or to reduce existing pest populations to acceptable levels.

The Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of 1994, as amended, and Regulation 637 require that before a pesticide application is made in schools, public buildings, and health care facilities, two things must take place:

  • A pesticide applicator must attend a Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) approved IPM Training Program before making a pesticide application in schools, public buildings, or health care facilities.

  • A verifiable IPM Program must be in place for each building.

Who Needs to Comply?

Anyone making a pesticide application in:

  1. Schools

    Public and private schools
    kindergarten through twelfth grades, including:
    • Any school grades K-12
    • Private Schools
    • Charter Schools
    • Parochial Schools

  2. Health Care Facilities

    A facility which is not a private home,
    where people may stay one or more nights and receive medical care, such as a nursing home or hospital.
  3. Public Buildings

    A building that is owned or operated
    by a federal, state, or local government including public universities.

IPM Key Facts


A person who applies pesticides by any method for any purpose at any place.


Certification is required to apply pesticides in a workplace. Certification is not required for pesticide applicators using "general use ready-to-use" pesticides in the course of their employment; however, IPM training is still required. This exemption does not apply to applicators working for a licensed firm.


Ready-to-use pesticide is any pesticide used directly from its original container, consistent with label directions, and does not require mixing or loading prior to application.

Pest Control Operator (PCO) or Commercial Applicator

The PCO shall provide the IPM program and initial service inspection record to the building manager at the time of the initial service.

Schools/Daycare Centers Only

The administrator shall provide written notification to parents or guardians of children attending the school of their right to be informed before any pesticide application is made on school property.

Required Record Keeping Information

  • Site address
  • Date of service
  • Target pest or pests
  • Number of pests found
  • Conditions conducive to infestation
  • Pest management recommendations
  • Structural or habitat modifications
  • Name of pesticide or pesticides used
  • Quantity of pesticide or pesticides used
  • Location where pesticide is applied
  • Name of pest control firm used, including their emergency telephone number.

Steps in Establishing an IPM Program

  • Develop an official IPM policy
  • Designate pest management roles
  • Set pest management objectives
  • Inspect site and identify pest or pests
  • Set action thresholds
  • Apply IPM strategies
  • Evaluate results

IPM Methods

  • Mechanical control
  • Habitat modification
  • Biological control
  • Sanitation control
  • Physical control
  • Chemical control

Contact Information:

Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
Pesticide & Plant Management Division
Attention: Gary King
P.O. Box 30017, Lansing, MI 48909
Ph: (517) 373-9747 Fax: (517) 335-4540