Home Remedies to Keep Cockroaches, Lizards, Ants, Mosquitoes, Bed Bugs, and Flies Out of Your House, Dengarden

Home Remedies to Keep Cockroaches, Lizards, Ants, Mosquitoes, Bed Bugs, and Flies Out of Your House

I’ve had a lot of experience trying to keep assorted pests away from my home. Here are some of the natural remedies I’ve used.

Natural Methods to Keep Insects and Other Pests Out of Your Home

Cockroaches, lizards, centipedes, earwigs, and other pests crawling throughout your home is weird, especially when you are in the middle of enjoying your delicious food. When almost all the corners of your home are shared by these often unseen invaders, they pose dangers to your personal hygiene and health. They can even be poisonous if they manage to insert themselves in the process of food preparation. To make matters worse, small kids often do not know the dangers of these pests and might touch them or even try to catch them.

You might consider calling a pest controller, who will take a good sum of money to remove them—sometimes only for a limited time, after which, insects again attack your home. Though we might all know some traditional methods to keep these pests away, these tips and tricks may not always be consistent enough to tackle the problem.

In an effort to help you regain a sense of safety in where you live, however, here are some home remedies to keep most all small pests out of your hair for good.

Ants

  • Cut cucumbers into small slices and place them on the likely entry point of ants in your kitchen. Ants have natural instinct to avoid the fragrance of cucumber. Bitter cucumber slices work better.
  • Soap water spray works good against ants. It kills ants and stops their movement further.
  • Crushed mint leaves or mint tea bags are a good anti-ant agent.
  • A mixture of mint apple jelly and boric acid is a deterrent against pharaoh ants.
  • Put cut-out cloves in the cracked deck to kill the ants settled in the cracks.
  • To kill ants in their colony, mix 1 liter of water, 1 teaspoon of borax, and 1 cup of sugar. Put some cotton balls in the solution and place them in a yoghurt container with holes punched inside to allow ants access. The ants will carry this bait into their home or colony, where they will die eventually upon eating them.

Cockroaches

  • We use many products available in the market to keep away roaches. The best way to keep them out of your kitchen, however, is to keep it very neat and clean. If roaches exist in your house, wash everywhere with a strong soap solution.
  • When placed at their entry points, sliced cucumbers deter the presence of cockroaches.
  • Diatomaceous earth is a nontoxic alternative to chemically made products that works for killing cockroaches. It can be sprinkled over the areas where you see them most often. The tiny particles cut away the waxy exoskeleton and usually kills the roaches within two days. This product also dehydrates the cockroaches, so it is important to cover all water storage in your house.
  • Spraying soap water directly on cockroaches kills them instantly.
  • You can also make a mixture of equal quantities boric acid powder, sugar, and cornmeal, and place it over the high-traffic areas of roaches. It will act as poison and kill them.
  • Cockroaches like high places. Place boric powder over kitchen cabinets and in the spaces between the ceiling and cabinets. Boric powder is poisonous in nature for roaches and will kill all other roaches when they come in contact with a boric powder-infected one.

Mosquitoes

  • Mosquitoes most often breed in standing water and dirty areas. So, it is very necessary to keep your surroundings clean and airy. Take concrete measures to remove standing water sources.
  • A solution of garlic juice used as spray repels the mosquitoes for up to six hours. Add one part of garlic juice and five parts of water to make the mixture, and spray it all over your body. It is nontoxic and very effective.
  • The oil extracted from the leaves of neem trees is very effective and nontoxic. You can apply neem oil on the exposed skin to deter mosquitoes. It is also a good nourishment for the body to kill other harmful bacteria that attacks our immune system.
  • The marigold plant gives out a fragrance that repels mosquitoes and other bugs. You can plant marigold in your garden or yard to effectively deter mosquitoes.
  • Thai lemongrass is an effective mosquito deterrent plant as well. It contains citronella, which is safe for humans. Break a stalk from the clump of the plant, and peel off the outer leaves until you find a scallion-like stem at the base. Rub the stem between your palm vigorously—it will turn into a pulpy, juicy mass. Now rub this all over your exposed body. Mosquitoes will not dare come near you.

Flies

  • The best way to keep away flies is to keep your house and surroundings neat and clean. Small sachets of mint leaves in crushed form can also be placed around the home to restrict flies from entering your house.
  • Your dog can also help to restrict flies’ entry into your house. If you feed your dogs yeast, they will gives off a scent that repels flies.
  • Eucalyptus oil is good in repelling flies as well. Pour a few drops of it on a cotton cloth, and place it in the areas where flies are a problem. It will deter them from entering the house.
  • Flush out your drain with hot boiling water and bleaching powder to eliminate the infestation of flies in the drainage system.

Bed Bugs

  • Apply some kerosene oil on your bed—on the corners and in the spaces between the joints—to kill bed bugs. Fill the cracks and corners of the bed where the bed bugs flourish mostly.
  • Airing out your bedding in the sunlight for four or five hours is a very old tradition to restrict the growth of bed bugs. If it is warm enough outside, bed bugs will come out of their shelters due to heat and eventually die.
  • Use of nontoxic, pool-grade diatomaceous earth is one of the best preventive measures against bed bugs. Apply it in the vicinity of any bed bug activity.
  • You can also wash your bed with hot water to kill bed bugs.

Lizards

  • Hang empty egg shells in the corners of your home. Their pungent smell keeps away lizards.
  • Onion slices can also act as a great remedy to keep away lizards and control their movement. Due to its active compounds and sulphur content, onions act as a deterrent for lizards. Put some slices near lizards’ hiding places and see the results.
  • It may be a bit surprising, but peacock feathers can also be used to keep away lizards. Since peacocks eat lizards, the little reptiles are afraid of them. Plus, peacock feathers can be used as decorations in your house as well.

Additional Methods for Other Pests

There are many other insects and pests that can be found in your house. Here are some additional ways of keeping them at bay.

  • To repel moths, you can make sachets using bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, eucalyptus leaves, lavender, and peppercorns. Place the sachets in the areas affected by moths.
  • Once dried, lemon peels can be hung in a cheesecloth in the closet to restrict the entry of moths as well.
  • You can use wood ash to control slugs populations.
  • You can use hedge apple to control the entry and movement of crickets and spiders.
  • To trap earwigs, you can spray a newspaper with water. Now, roll it up loosely and secure it with a string. Place it on the floor where earwig movement is high. The earwigs will become trapped in the paper overnight. The next morning, you can just pick up the paper and throw it away in a sealed container.

A Clean Home Is the Best Deterrent for Pests

All the above conventional natural methods will surely help you out in keeping the insects and pests away from your house. With all these measures, the most important thing is that you have to keep your house and the surroundings neat and clean. A clean kitchen and bathroom is good for your personal hygiene, as well as for your personal health. Many insects breed in dirty places, so clean your home to keep them away.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

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Comments

Chandrashekar Jadhav

How to get rid of blanket worms in Manson crawling on walls

Vidya rani

I like it so much

Vidya rani

i like it so much

Amitabha Nag

How wizard remove from home ?

Saghir Ahmad Siddiqi

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A very good substitute for housewife’s.

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How to remove in my house rat

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The device on top, is not effective at all, I bought 2 for the price of one from Naaptol

Money

Charles Clayton

It’s a nice post, but the main key for all is the cleanliness, if we keep clean our area at a regular time then there will be a mech lesser need of pest control.

naveen kumar

vishnu

4 years ago from india

hi zainab, i am researching on ways to do away with lizards. Definitely coming up with solution.

zainab

Aww lizards kills me by being in my home im so so so scared of it if i see it i cnt even sleep plz tell me a useful method cuz i hv tried eggshell bt it ddnt work

Riadh

I love that you have a bat! (mind you, living for years in the inner city clnianeg their poo off my car makes me glad you have them and not me). Our only intervention is the netting to keep the bower birds and wattle birds away otherwise they just eat everything (which is what happened last year and we got very depressed). The little planters are going great and I do like your Bug’s garden studio 🙂

vishnu

5 years ago from india

Thanx for the support. I will come up with more hubs disclosing nature’s secret

Manisha

V useful, & healthy tips. I like v.much

Parul

Something else for cockroaches.

arpana

Something about lizards.

janvi

Hello, what about lizard.

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Department of Health

Clean, Green, & Healthy Schools: Topics

Asthma

One in ten children in New York State have asthma, affecting nearly half a million students (Asthma Surveillance Summary Report). These children can be affected by poor environmental conditions that could worsen asthma and cause discomfort during the school day. Poor environmental health in the school can also affect adults with asthma and can trigger their symptoms as well. Schools can contain numerous sources of potential irritants and asthma triggers that can impact students and staff. Knowing how to properly manage asthma and how to maintain an environment that limits irritants and triggers are effective ways to improve learning and working conditions. On this page you will find many resources about asthma and the school environment.

  • Asthma Action Plan and Informational Materials. Information compiled by the NYSDOH on having an asthma action plan, knowing asthma triggers, and managing asthma.
  • How Asthma Friendly Is Your School? This brief checklist created by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program can help you get an idea of your school’s environmental health and if you are taking the precautionary steps to eliminate or reduce asthma triggers.
  • Lungtropolis. This interactive website has two different portals, a games zone for kids to learn about asthma while having fun, and a parent’s zone with helpful tips for managing asthma at home.
  • Managing Asthma in the School Environment. Information from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on how to take action to manage asthma in the school environment, develop an asthma management plan, and reduce environmental asthma triggers.
  • Open Airways For Schools. This program created by the American Lung Association is aimed to help elementary school children better manage their own asthma. The program also has a variety of information for other people to learn about asthma and how it affects people who suffer from it.
  • Asthma Friendly Schools Initiative. This initiative from the American Lung Association provides asthma management tools and resources for schools and communities.
  • Work-Related Asthma in the Educational Services Industry. A journal article abstract published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) characterizing work-related asthma (WRA) cases in the educational services industry that were identified by state-based occupational disease surveillance systems in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey.
  • Work-Related Asthma: Recognition and Diagnosis. This «Public Health Live!» episode from the Center for Public Health Continuing Education at University at Albany’s School of Public Health introduces some common triggers to look out for in the workplace, methods to reduce exposure and who you should talk to if experiencing these symptoms.
  • Air Quality and Outdoor Activity Guidance for Schools. It is important for students to receive the recommended 60 minutes per day of physical activity; this guidance tool created by the CDC with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the School Flag Program can help you determine if your students should exercise indoors or outdoors.
  • Strategies for Addressing Asthma in Schools. A compilation by the CDC of information and resources for implementing programs in schools to address asthma and improve overall student health.
  • Asthma Awareness Toolkit. Learn more from the CDC about how to raise awareness for asthma.
  • What is Asthma? This Allergy & Asthma Network webpage provides helpful information on types of asthma, common symptoms and triggers, myths, asthma in relation to exercise and much more.
  • Athletes and Asthma: The Community Coach’s Role. This 30-minute online educational program from the Minnesota Department of Health focuses on what coaches, referees, and physical education teachers should know about asthma.
  • Steps to Follow for an Asthma Attack in the School Setting. A 3-step plan for responding to an asthma attack in the school setting, as outlined by the NYSDOH.
  • Asthma Resources for School and Childcare Providers. Compilation of CDC, government, and nongovernment resources for school personnel planning or maintaining an asthma management program.

Chemical & Environmental Hazards

Chemicals in the school environment can be a problem due to improper storage or labeling, misuse, and accidental or unnoticed spills. Exposure to these chemicals and hazards can be very serious, especially for children. Becoming educated on how to manage chemicals in schools is crucial for a healthy environment. Below, you will find many resources and actions on chemical and environmental contaminant hazards in the school environment.

Specific Topics

  • Mercury in Schools. Comprehensive resources compiled by the NYSDOH for schools about mercury.
  • Mercury and Schools: A Risky Combination. A brochure series by the NYSDOH discussing what mercury is, why exposure is a health concern, the many different sources where mercury can be found in schools, and action steps for prevention and clean up.
  • How to Initiate a Mercury Cleanout in Your School. Steps outlined by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to rid your school of mercury.
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts (FLBs) in School Buildings. Get information from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the hazards posed by PCBs in PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts, how to properly handle and dispose of these items, and how to properly retrofit the lighting fixtures in your school to remove potential PCB hazards.
  • Lead in Drinking Water at Schools and Child Care Facilities. Information and guidance from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about lead in drinking water in schools.
  • 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Toolkit. Training, Testing, and Taking Action (3Ts) – a full toolkit with 7 modules from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reducing lead in drinking water in schools and child care facilities.
  • Asbestos Reinspection. NYS Education Department (NYSED) summary.

General Chemical Management

  • Reduce Chemical and Environmental Contaminant Hazards. Component 3 in a set of tiered action steps outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce chemical and environmental contaminant hazards in a model school environmental health program.
  • Green Chemistry: An Innovative Approach to Chemistry for NYS Schools. A program from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with guidelines and resources for ‘greening’ scientific curricula by properly disposing toxic chemicals and hazardous waste, and replacing them with less hazardous, sustainable alternatives.
  • School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide. A guide from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that highlights the importance of safety when planning, preparing, and implementing a science plan or lesson and gives guidance for best practices.
  • Chemical Management. This document by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides cost effective and affordable measures to protect the health of staff and students.
  • School Chemical Management. Information from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on performing a chemical inventory, organizing and storing chemicals, and additional resources for school chemical management.
  • Building Successful Programs to Address Chemical Risks in Schools: A Workbook with Templates, Tips, and Techniques. This tool from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes the importance of chemical management in schools, tips and techniques for chemical management, and suggestions for starting a green curriculum.
  • Toolkit for Safe Chemical Management in K-12 Schools. Toolkit from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intended to help schools start chemical management programs.
  • Reducing Environmental Exposures: The Seven Best Kid-Friendly Practices. This brochure from the NYSDOH is designed to increase awareness about chemical exposures and how to address them.
  • School Chemical Management and Storage Guidelines. This publication by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) is intended to provide school faculty and staff with guidelines for chemical storage pursuant to New York State Education Law.
  • Walkthrough Inspections Backgrounders & Checklist:
    • Walkthrough Backgrounder
    • Walkthrough Checklist
    • Indoor Air Quality Backgrounder

Cleaning & Maintenance

Dirt, dust, and spills in the school environment can exacerbate allergies and illness in occupants. New York State has a Green Cleaning Law that mandates use of environmentally sensitive (green) cleaning products in elementary and secondary schools. Proper maintenance of building systems and spaces may prolong their useful life, reduce unnecessary expenses, and improve indoor air quality. Resources on cleaning and maintenance for better school environmental health are listed below.

  • New York State Green Cleaning Program. Tools and information on the state program for effective green cleaning practices leading to healthier indoor environments.В New York State primary and secondary schools are required to follow these Office of General Service’s Green Cleaning Program product procurement rules.
  • Practice Effective Cleaning and Maintenance. Component one from a five-tiered model school environmental health program by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for action steps to practice effective cleaning and maintenance.
  • An Overview of Routine Cleaning and Maintenance for a Healthy School Environment. Learn why it’s important, what you can do, and find links to detailed information on this US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpage.
  • OSHA Safety and Health Topics on the Cleaning Industry. В A list of references from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that may be used to assist in recognizing potential hazards in the workplace and provide possible solutions.
  • Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities: Maintaining School Facilities and Grounds. . Find strategies from the National Center for Education Studies on planning and implementing best practices for maintaining facilities and grounds.

Energy & Resource Conservation

Conserving energy is important for a school’s efficiency and safety. It can also result in cost savings. Below are resources that will help you assess and improve your school’s efficiency while making sound financial decisions.

  • P-12 Schools: Inspire young minds to think green. Programs compiled by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)that offer information and financial incentives to make schools healthier and more productive learning environments.
  • LEED Program. A green building certification program by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) that recognizes best strategies and practices for building maintenance to improve performance and increase cost savings.
  • An Overview of Facility and Efficiency Improvements for a Healthy School Environment. Information compiled by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on efficiency and operational improvements, and ways to keep children safe during emergencies.
  • Collaborative for High Performance Schools. A free program for schools that provides an abundance of resources to become high performing schools.
  • Energy Star Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator. This Energy Star tool can help in your school’s financing decisions about energy efficient projects. Calculate your potential savings and how much energy you can conserve.
  • Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide to assist school facility managers, energy managers, risk managers, building operators, and school administrators to collaboratively manage the relationships between energy efficiency upgrade activities and indoor air quality in schools.

Health and Safety Committees

Health and Safety Committees are required by law for New York State public schools. Ideally, nonpublic schools also create these committees. Fully developed and efficiently functioning Health and Safety Committees are integral to responding to and preventing environmental health concerns in schools.

  • Guidelines for the Health and Safety Committee. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) provides suggestions to guide districts in establishing Health and Safety Committees and defining the duties of the committee.

Indoor Air Quality

School indoor environments can include a number of problems that can impact health, attendance, and performance. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is affected by several factors, many of them directly related to building operations and maintenance. Problems leading to poor IAQ include inadequate ventilation, intrusion of outdoor pollutants into the building, mold from inadequate moisture control, allergens in dust and from rodents and cockroaches, inadequate control of chemical contamination, and improper cleaning practices. Resources focusing on indoor air are listed below.

  • Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners & Facility Managers. Information from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on preventing, identifying, and correcting indoor air quality problems.
  • Take Action to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Schools. Learn what actions you can take in your school, as suggested by the EPA.
  • Indoor Air Quality/Ventilation. This fact sheet from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discusses the impact of poor indoor air quality on students and staff and the role of ventilation in addressing this concern.
  • Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools. This US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpage provides links to best practices, understanding the benefits of indoor air quality, healthy school renovations, training, managing indoor air quality, and connecting to other programs.
  • Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit. This US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toolkit shows schools how to carry out a practical plan to improve indoor air problems at little- or no-cost using straightforward activities and in-house staff.
  • Improve Academic Performance Through Better Indoor Air Quality in Schools. Learn how indoor air quality can impact student health and test scores with these resources compiled by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Student Health and Academic Performance: Quick Reference Guide. Brief reference guide by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighting the importance of having a healthy learning environment for students.
  • Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades. A US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide to help school facility managers, energy managers, risk managers, building operators, and school administrators to collaboratively manage the relationships between energy efficiency upgrade activities and indoor air quality in schools.
  • Radon in Schools. Information pertaining to exposure, testing, and reduction of radon in schools.
  • School IAQ Assessment Mobile App. A mobile guide from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist in the completion of a school walkthrough, submit assessment checklists, and help track and prioritize IAQ-related follow-up actions.
  • Walkthrough Inspections Backgrounders & Checklists from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
    • Walkthrough Backgrounder
    • Walkthrough Checklist
    • Indoor Air Quality Backgrounder
    • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management Checklist

Integrated Pest Management & Pesticide Issues

Pests in schools (e.g., cockroaches, mice) leave droppings and dander in the building, which can trigger asthma and respiratory allergies. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a systematic and cost effective way of addressing pests that can be applied to indoor and outdoor school environments. Resources pertaining to pesticide issues and IPM are listed below.

  • Prevent Pests and Reduce Pesticide Exposure. Component five of a five-tiered action plan outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for model schools to take to prevent pests and reduce pesticide exposure.
  • Managing Pests in Schools. Information from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on integrated pest management in schools, establishing a pest management program, pests of concern, and training and certification.
  • Pesticide Use at Schools and Day Care Centers. Guidance from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on the law and policy on requests for emergency pesticide application determinations for schools.
  • New York State Integrated Pest Management Program for Buildings and Schools. Find fact sheets, presentations, diagnostic resources, a blog, and more about IPM in schools from this Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences webpage.
  • Integrated Pest Management Workbook for New York State Schools. A reference tool from Cornell University for schools to use when planning and implementing IPM programs.
  • Emergency Pesticide Application Determinations at School and Day Care Centers. Guidance document by the NYSDOH for schools with public health-related emergency pesticide application determinations.
  • Pesticides and Pest Management. This fact sheet by the NYSDOH provides information on the adverse effects of pesticide exposure and steps to reduce pesticides and manage pests in schools.
  • Pest Control in the School Environment: Implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Effective IPM strategies from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to serve as best practices in your schools’ pest management program implementation.
  • Pest Management and Pesticide Use Brochures. A variety of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation brochures on pests and pesticides.
  • Webinars about Integrated Pest Management in Schools. Recorded webinars and question/answer summaries from the EPA’s 2017 Integrated Pest Management Webinar Series.
  • Notice of Pesticide Application Law. Excerpt from New York State Education Law, Title 1, Article 9, Section 409-h. Requirements for notification of pesticide application [source: NYS Education Department 2/7/2008].
  • Guidance on Chapter 85, Laws of 2010. Summary of Pesticide Prohibition Requirements and Pesticide Alternatives Regarding Schools and Day Care Centers in New York State. December 22, 2010.
  • School Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law. 8 CRR-NY 155.24. School pesticide neighbor notification.
    • School Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law Reminder. Questions and answers about this law.
  • Integrated Pest Management Backgrounders & Checklist from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
    • Integrated Pest Management Backgrounder
    • Integrated Pest Management Checklist
    • Indoor Air Quality Backgrounder
  • Environmental Protection Agency School Integrated Pest Management Listserv. Information related to school IPM relayed once every two weeks intended to assist and motivate individuals to start, grow, and sustain school IPM programs.

Laws, Regulations & Guidance

New York State has laws and regulations that schools should be following to assist in creating healthy school environments.

  • Lead Testing in School Drinking Water. 10 CRR-NY Subpart 67-4: Lead Testing in School Drinking Water.
  • Asbestos Reinspection. NYS Education Department summary.
  • Building Condition Survey. 8 CRR-NY 155.4. Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety Rating and Monitoring.
    • Building Condition Survey Aid: Please read carefully to avoid loss of aid. Help from the New York State Education Department.
    • Building Condition Survey/ Annual Visual Inspection. Current Building Condition Survey and information, previous Building Condition Surveys and Annual Visual Inspection reports, and information on the elimination of the Annual Visual Inspection.
  • School Health Services
    • 8 CRR-NY 136.1 Definitions. Or Commissioner’s Regulations CR 136.1.
    • 8 CRR-NY 136.2 General Regulations. Or Commissioner’s Regulations CR 136.2.
    • Article 19- Section 901- School health services to be provided; and Section 902- Employment of health professionals.
  • Part 155 Regulations. NYS Education Department summary. Educational Facilities.
  • Uniform Safety Standards for School Construction and Maintenance Projects. 8 CRR-NY 155.5
  • Green Cleaning in Schools. New York State Education Department Implementation of the Green Cleaning Law.
  • Green Cleaning Law. Chapter 584 of the Laws of 2005. An act to amend the education law and the state finance law, in relation to the procurement and use of environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products in schools.
    • Joint Letter from Commissioners to School Administrators.
    • Policies, Guidelines, and Reports on the Procurement and Use of Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning and Maintenance Products for Elementary and Secondary Schools.
  • Guidelines for the Health and Safety Committee. NYS Education Department summary.
    • 8 CRR-NY 155.4. Uniform Code of Public School Building Inspections, Safety Rating and Monitoring.
    • 8 CRR-NY 155.5. Uniform Safety Standards for School Construction and Maintenance Projects.
  • Idling School Buses on School Grounds. Education Law 3637.
  • Safety Regulations for School Bus Drivers, Monitors, Attendants, and Pupils. NYS Education Department summary.
    • 8 CRR-NY 156.3 Safety Regulations for School Bus Drivers, Monitors, Attendants, and Pupils.
  • Heavy Duty Vehicle Idling Laws. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation summary.
    • 6 CRR-NY 217-3.1 Applicability.
    • 6 CRR-NY 217-3.2 Prohibitions.
    • 6 CRR-NY 217-3.3 Exceptions.
  • Notice of Pesticide Application Law. Excerpt from New York State Education Law, Title 1, Article 9, Section 409-h. Requirements for notification of pesticide application [source: NYS Education Department 2/7/2008].
  • Guidance on Chapter 85, Laws of 2010. Summary of Pesticide Prohibition Requirements and Pesticide Alternatives Regarding Schools and Day Care Centers in New York State. December 22, 2010.
  • School Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law. 8 CRR-NY 155.24. School pesticide neighbor notification.
    • School Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law Reminder. Questions and answers about this law.
  • Chemical Storage Guidelines. This publication is intended to provide school faculty and staff with guidelines pursuant to New York State Education Law, ‘305(19) Chapter 627 of the Laws of 1989.
  • Licensing requirements for mold contractors, assessors, and workers. New York State Department of Labor Mold Program summary.
    • Law Governing Mold Remediation Assessors and Contractors. Laws of New York, 2014 Chapter 551. An Act to amend the labor law, in relation to requiring the licensure of mold assessment and remediation specialists and setting minimum work standards for mold assessment and remediation specialists; and to amend the state finance law, in relation to enacting the mold assessment and remediation account.
      • Chapter amendment.
  • New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. Free access to the rules and regulations of New York State agencies.

Mold & Moisture

Mold is one of the most commonly reported environmental health issues in New York State schools. Mold issues arise when buildings or materials in buildings have excess moisture. It can cause adverse health effects such as sinus congestion, fatigue, headaches, and sore throat, all of which can negatively impact learning and working. Taking swift action to control mold and moisture will significantly improve overall environmental health. On this page you will find resources with information and best practices for mold and moisture for schools.

  • Dampness and Mold Assessment Tool: School Buildings. A guided walk-through assessment from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to help visually identify dampness trouble areas so that the issue can be remediated before a serious mold problem develops.
  • Molds and Your Home: What You Need to Know. General information from the NYSDOH on what mold is, how it can become a problem, and what to do about it.
  • Mold and Moisture Control. This fact sheet created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides information on the health effects of mold and steps to prevent mold and control moisture.
  • Moisture Control, Part of Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools. Information and visuals from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on precipitation control, summer break and humidity control, and condensation control.
  • Prevent Mold and Moisture. Component two of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s five-tiered actions suggested for model school environmental health programs to prevent mold and moisture problems.
  • Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments. Guidelines created by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene aimed to provide an approach to address potential and observed mold growth on structural materials in commercial, school, and residential buildings.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: Dampness and Mold in Buildings. Information from the CDC on mold in the workplace, what to expect when there is mold in the workplace, and what workers can do.
  • Required Training Courses to Obtain Mold-Related Licenses. Flowchart of guidelines created by the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) for taking appropriate mold training courses for the activities you intend to perform.
  • Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings Guide. Guidelines from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in schools and commercial buildings.

Radon

  • Managing Radon in Schools. Includes the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools guide along with steps to test for radon, address related issues, and develop an efficient radon management plan.
  • Radon Testing and Mitigation Standards for Schools. Guidelines from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on radon testing and protocols.
  • Radon in Schools. Information from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website pertaining to exposure, testing, and reduction of radon in schools.
  • Radon Information. Resources from the NYSDOH on Radon and Radon testing.
  • Protect Your Family From Radon: A Guide for New York State Residents. Information compiled by the NYSDOH on the effects of radon, high-risk counties in New York State, ordering a radon test kit, and installing a radon reduction system.
  • New York State Radon Poster Contest. A state-wide contest through the NYSDOH for children 9-14 enrolled in public, private, or home school—or through a sponsoring club or organization.

School Siting/Construction/Renovation

Proper school siting is a proactive way to foster a healthy school environment. To reduce the potential for environmental health problems in schools and possible negative health impacts for students and school professionals, school districts must adhere to all applicable requirements and should also consider the kinds of guidance provided in the links below. Schools should also implement measures to keep occupant health a priority when performing renovations or other construction on existing buildings. Resources regarding school siting, construction, and renovations pertaining to school environmental health are listed below.

  • School Sites. New York State planning and development standards for proper assessment of factors which influence the selection of a school site.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: Maintaining Indoor Environmental Quality During Construction & Renovation. Information from the CDC for people who may be affected by construction and renovation projects in the work setting.
  • Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades. A guide created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help school facility managers, energy managers, risk managers, building operators, and school administrators to collaboratively manage the relationships between energy efficiency upgrade activities and indoor air quality in schools.
  • Renovation and New Construction Text Module for the Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model. Find practices and actions recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the design and planning phases for construction projects and building renovations on this website.
  • An Overview of Renovations for a Healthy School Environment. Why it’s important, what you can do, and links to detailed information on this US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpage.
  • Renovation and Repair, Part of Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools. Information from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for renovation and repair focused on demolition, construction, designs that interfere with ventilation, and off-gassing from new building materials.
  • LEED Program. A green building certification program by the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices including building design.
  • P-12 Schools: Inspire young minds to think green. Programs compiled by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that offer information and financial incentives to make schools healthier and more productive learning environments.
  • Collaborative for High Performance Schools. A free program for schools that provides an abundance of resources to create better designs and become high performing schools.
  • K-Solar. A joint program of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will provide NYS school districts, at no cost and no obligation, with the tools, and expertise to bring solar energy to their facilities and reduce their energy costs.
  • K-Solar. Additional information from New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Facilities Planning on the K-Solar program, including guidance and a template for a performance warranty and purchaser credit agreement.
  • Uniform Safety Standards for School Construction and Maintenance Projects. 8 CRR-NY 155.5
  • Part 155 Regulations. NYS Education Department summary. Educational Facilities.
  • Renovation and Repairs Backgrounders and Checklist from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • Renovation and Repairs Backgrounder
    • Renovation and Repairs Checklist
    • Indoor Air Quality Backgrounder

Transportation/Vehicle Idling

Vehicle exhaust contains air pollutants that can cause adverse health effects. Children’s lungs are developing and exposure to these pollutants increases the risk of respiratory problems, including asthma, as well as other adverse health effects. NYS laws and regulations that address this issue will help reduce pollutants that can contaminate indoor and outdoor air at schools.

  • Reducing School Bus Idling- Requirements and Notice Material for Districts. NYS Education Department summary.
  • Idling School Buses on School Grounds. Education Law 3637.
  • Idling Trucks and Buses Are Bad for Your Health. A brochure from the NYS Attorney General’s Office about health effects and the law regarding idling trucks and buses.
  • Idle Free Schools Toolkit for a Healthy School Environment. A breakdown by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of why it is bad to idle vehicles and ideas for idling reduction campaigns at your school.
  • Clean School Bus. A program run by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that helps communities reduce emissions from older diesel school buses.
  • Buses and Vehicle Idling. This fact sheet created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discusses air pollution concerns and steps to reduce vehicle exhaust at school.

Ventilation

Good ventilation is vital to achieving good indoor air quality. Poor ventilation can exacerbate problems caused by inadequate cleaning, chemical fumes from cleaning supplies or classroom materials, pest droppings and dander, and mold/mildew, which can affect the health of occupants in the school. Becoming educated on best practices related to ventilation can lead to actions that improve a school’s environmental health. On this page you will find resources and actions for good ventilation in the school environment.

  • Ensure Good Ventilation. Component four of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s five-tiered actions that model school environmental health programs can take to ensure good ventilation.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: Building Ventilation. A worker’s resource created by the CDC’s NIOSH for information on building ventilation and what can improve it.
  • Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems, Part of Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools. Find tools from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for how to design a quality, cost-efficient HVAC system.
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Text Modules for the Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model. This US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpage highlights elements of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system that are important to IAQ, as well as information important to developing protocols for the operating set points and schedules consistent with good IAQ performance.
  • Indoor Air Quality/Ventilation. This fact sheet from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discusses the impact of poor indoor air quality on students and staff and the role of ventilation in addressing this concern.
  • Building Commissioning, Part of Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for Schools. A US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) resource on the benefits of commissioning school HVAC systems and how to go about it.
  • Ventilation Backgrounders and Checklist from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
    • Ventilation Backgrounder
    • Ventilation Checklist
    • Indoor Air Quality Backgrounder

Water Quality

Clean and safe drinking water should be provided at all schools to prevent any potential threat to the development of students. There are many contaminants that can be found in water, such as lead, so it is imperative that your school properly test the water on a regular basis. Below you will find resources for testing school drinking water for lead.

  • Lead Testing in School Drinking Water. 10 CRR-NY Subpart 67-4: Lead Testing in School Drinking Water.
  • 3Ts for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Guidance and Toolkit. Full Training, Testing, Taking Action (3Ts) toolkit from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reducing lead in drinking water in schools and child care facilities.
  • Lead Testing of School Drinking Water. Link to NYS Department of Health informational resources for testing school drinking water for lead, including informational videos, webinars and much more.
  • Lead Testing in School Drinking Water. Link to NYS Education Department resources for testing school drinking water for lead and the most recent updates on testing policy.

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