IPM and LEED Certification

IPM and LEED Certification: A Property Manager’s Checklist

Source: IPM and LEED Certification: A Property Manager’s Checklist

Leaders LEED

Increasingly, commercial properties are “going green” and obtaining LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council – a trend that is designed to help improve human and environmental health and conserve water and energy.

How Does Pest Control Fit In?

Reducing the environmental impact of your facility’s indoor and outdoor pest control efforts through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a relatively easy way to obtain 2 credits toward the LEED “Existing Building Operations and Maintenance” certification.

How Do I Earn The Pest Control Credits?

You’ll need a written IPM policy* and documentation that it was followed to earn the credits. Use the checklist on the following page for outdoor and indoor IPM to be sure your IPM policy is LEED-worthy.


According to the U.S. Green Building Council, The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the “nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.”

To obtain LEED certification for operations and maintenance, existing buildings must meet specific benchmarks and credits within several categories.

For more information, visit www.usgbc.org and download LEED’s Green Building Rating System for Existing Buildings. For details on LEED certification and IPM programs, see Sustainable Sites (SS Credit 3 – Integrated Pest Management, Erosion Control and Landscape Management Plan) and Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ Credit 3.9 – Green Cleaning: Indoor Integrated Pest Management) sections.

Indoor and Outdoor IPM Requirements

Your indoor and outdoor IPM policies must be integrated with each other as appropriate, and both policies must stipulate:

  • Least-toxic pesticides (see below).
  • Minimum use of chemicals.
  • Chemicals used only in targeted locations and only for targeted species.
  • Routine inspection and monitoring.
  • “Universal Notification” of tenants when applying certain pesticide treatments. This means tenants are notified not less than 72 hours under normal circumstances – and not less than 24 hours in emergencies – before a pesticide other than a least-toxic pesticide (see below) is applied in a building or on surrounding grounds that the building maintains.

Specific Indoor IPM Requirements

Your indoor IPM policy also must include the following elements:

  • Regular monitoring and evaluation of pest populations and pest control needs.
  • Pesticide use only if nontoxic options (e.g., sanitation, structural repairs, mechanical traps) are unreasonable or have been exhausted – and then only a least-toxic pesticide (see below).

For more tips on non-chemical pest control, watch “The ABCs of Pest Habitat Modification” on Orkin University Online (www.orkincommercial.com – Orkin University tab).


What Are “Least-Toxic” Pesticides?

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Definitions

Least-toxic options include:

Boric acid, silica gels, diatomaceous earth, nonvolatile insect and rodent baits in tamper resistant containers, microbe-based insecticides, biological controls and botanical insecticides (not including synthetic pyrethroids) without toxic synergists.

Least-toxic options do not include:

  • Pesticides determined by the U.S. EPA to be possible, probable or known carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, reproductive toxins, developmental neurotoxins, endocrine disrupters or immune system toxins.
  • Pesticide in EPA’s toxicity category I or II.
  • Any application of a pesticide using a broadcast spray, dust, tenting, fogging or baseboard spray application.

IPM relies first on non-chemical measures to help keep pests out, like identifying and repairing cracks and crevices in the building’s façade.

*If you are an Orkin client, you can submit the scope-of-service documentation included with your service as your IPM policy submission.