A lesson plan to keep pests in schools in check

Aug 11, 2023, 11:11 AM by Fred Speer

With more than six million students enrolled in public schools across California, there’s bound to be a package of cookies or granola bar left in a desk or locker overnight. This harmless but all too common occurrence can assist certain transfer students in taking advantage of the situation and helping themselves to a meal.

Clark, your friendly pest, mosquito, termite, and rodent control – and grounds care – expert, would like to point out that there are other new enrollees who arrive and depart school each day inside backpacks or in shipments of food headed to the cafeteria or dining hall, which no one notices. These students are not even enrolled. They will not be making the honor roll or dean’s list this semester. They are annoying and disease pathogen-carrying pests.

Why are pests attracted to schools?

Schools are attractive to pests for a variety of reasons. These include:

  • People constantly coming and going
  • Multiple potential access points and areas where they can enter and hide
  • An abundance of food being prepared, stored, served, and disposed of daily
  • Lots of incoming deliveries of food and other materials
  • Lots of food waste and other garbage being generated and disposed

Common pests found in schools

What are some of the common pests that can be found in school settings?

  • Ants
  • Cockroaches
  • Rodents
  • Flies
  • Bed bugs
  • Stinging insects
  • Spiders

Pest prevention tips

Dealing with pests when going back to school can be quite a nuisance for students, parents, staff, and teachers. Here is a lesson plan to help everyone prevent and better manage pest threats in schools:

Keep your space clean: Regularly clean your backpack, lunchbox, and any other items you bring to school. Crumbs and leftover food can attract pests. Clean your desk and locker regularly, making sure to wipe down surfaces and empty trash bins.

Proper food storage: Use sealed containers for your snacks and meals to prevent attracting pests like ants and rodents. Avoid leaving food out in the open and dispose of any food waste properly.

Dispose of trash early and often: Always use trash cans with lids to prevent pests from getting access to your garbage. Empty your trash regularly, especially if it contains food waste.

Inspect your backpack: Before bringing your backpack home, check it for any signs of pests like cockroaches, spiders, or bed bugs. Shake it out if necessary.

Keep clothing clean: Do not leave dirty clothing in your locker or bag for extended periods, as pests might be attracted to sweat and odors.

See something, say something: If you notice any signs of pests in your classroom or around the school, report it to a teacher, janitor, or school administration so they can address the issue promptly.

Got questions about pests in schools? Call Clark


If you’re having a problem getting a passing grade when it comes to school-related pests, call California’s trusted, friendly pest control expert at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at


Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.

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