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Junior Pest Investigators™ Takes the “Eek” Out of Teaching Bug Basics

ATLANTA, June 17, 2008 – Atlanta-based pest control company Orkin, Inc. and several national advocates for environmentally responsible pest control in schools are introducing Junior Pest Investigators, a free series of lesson plans and other teaching aids to help K-6 teachers meet their teaching goals and reduce pesticide use in their schools at the same time.

To celebrate the launch, Orkin invites teachers across the U.S. to visit, download and teach the free lesson plans and activities, then submit class projects for a chance to win educational prizes including:

  • Grand Prize: $2,500 science-education grant and a Junior Pest Investigators Learning Library

  • Second Place: $1,000 science-education grant and a Junior Pest Investigators Learning Library

  • Third Place: Junior Pest Investigators Learning Library

The Learning Library includes signage, insect — and science — education books/materials, kid-friendly furnishings and other educational items to help promote learning.

“Schools and parents are becoming more concerned with allergens from pests, pesticide use and smart pest management practices,” said Orkin Technical Services manager Patrick Copps. “We’re excited to educate the public about green methods of pest control and hope to continue to keep schools healthy by doing so.”

Written by teachers and approved by national school pest management experts, each Junior Pest Investigators lesson meets several National Science Standards, so teachers can meet their classroom learning objectives while engaging students.

The unit begins by teaching students that insects and rodents have important roles in their own natural environments and become pests only when they invade our living and learning spaces. Subsequent lessons offer tips for keeping insects and rodents outside where they belong — thereby reducing the need for chemical treatments.

“Junior Pest Investigators focuses on Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, an approach that emphasizes non-chemical prevention, with chemical treatments as a last resort,” said Tom Green, Ph.D., president of the IPM Institute of North America and member of the Junior Pest Investigators advisory council. “The Environmental Protection Agency recommends IPM, and many school districts already require its use.”

Green, Copps and other school pest management experts serving on the Junior Pest Investigators’ advisory council are also leaders or participants in regional and national EPA-funded workgroups, which are developing a national strategic plan for implementing IPM in every American school by 2015.

“We hope that educational programs like Junior Pest Investigators will help families understand the importance of reducing pest problems in our schools by implementing environmentally friendly control methods such as IPM,” said Green. “There are simple changes schools can make to keep our schools green and healthy for students.”

About Orkin, Inc.

Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin, Inc. is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees serve approximately 1.7 million customers. The company serves homeowners and numerous industries including food and beverage processing, foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, retail, warehousing, property/facilities management, schools and institutions. Learn more about Orkin on our website at Orkin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL).

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