An integrated pest management intervention improves knowledge, pest control, and practices in family child care homes

Michelle Stephens, Kimberly Hazard, Debra Moser, Dana Cox, Roberta Rose, Abbey Alkon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To reduce young children’s exposure to pesticides when attending family child care homes (FCCHs), we developed an integrated pest management (IPM) intervention for FCCH directors. First, we developed IPM educational materials and resources to provide the foundation for an IPM educational intervention for FCCHs. Next, we conducted and evaluated a six-month nurse child care health consultant (CCHC)-led education and consultation IPM intervention to increase IPM knowledge, IPM practices, IPM policies, and decrease the presence or evidence of pests. The pilot intervention study was conducted by three CCHCs in 20 FCCHs in three counties in California. Pre- and post-intervention measures were completed by the FCCH directors and observation measures were completed by the CCHCs. Results indicated significant increases in IPM knowledge, t-statistic (degrees of freedom), (t(df) = 2.55(10), p < 0.05), increases in IPM practices (t(df) = –6.47(17), p < 0.05), and a 90% reduction in the prevalence of pests. There were no significant differences in changes in IPM practices based on director education, FCCH county, or IPM intervention intensity or duration. A nurse-led IPM education and consultation intervention can reduce exposures of young children attending family child care homes to harmful chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1299
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: Funding for this project has been provided in full or in part through a grant awarded by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), DPR Grant Number 14-PML-G002. The first author also receives funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholars program. A special thanks to the project’s advisory board: Nita Davidson, Belinda Messenger, Andrew Sutherland, and Asa Bradman. We would also like to thank the community members who partnered with our project: Linda Asato, Domenica Benitez, Elizabeth Cook, and Rosie Kennedy. The authors wish to acknowledge research assistant Alicia Swartz for her early work on the grant. Most importantly, thank you to the participating family child care home directors, staff, parents, and children.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Child care health consultant
  • Environmental health
  • Family child care home
  • Integrated pest management
  • Intervention
  • Nurse
  • Pediatrics
  • Pesticides
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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