Welcome to the Penn State Pesticide Education Program blog. This is our first attempt at something like this so bear with us. We hope to have a new blog post at least once a week with topics such as: upcoming meetings/events, category specific topics, core topics, highlight someone we work with, promote a great resource, and maybe even have a few guest bloggers.
Pesticides are often a necessary tool to control pests on lawns and landscapes. In some instances, a homeowner may feel comfortable dealing with the pest situation on their own. Often times, a problem presents itself in the landscape in which a professional is needed to correct the pest problem. On those occasions, the professional may apply a pesticide.
Pennsylvania’s Pesticide Control Act of 1973 requires licensing of any individual who is compensated for applying a pesticide to the property of another. Not only should landscapers be licensed but also other professionals who apply pesticides in the landscape. Other professionals include state park employees and grounds supervisors of schools, athletic fields, and golf courses.
Categories Covered in the Short Course
To become certified, applicators must undergo testing to demonstrate that they are competent to handle and use pesticides. A few courses are available each year to help applicators prepare to take these certification exams. Penn State Extension is offering two Pesticide Applicator Short Courses in Clinton and Luzerne counties to assist green industry professionals in preparing for the following Pesticide Applicator Certification Exams:
- Category 06: Ornamental and Shade Trees
- Category 07: Lawn and Turf
- Category 23: Parks and Schools Pest Control
Material Needed and Covered in the Short Course
Core and Category study packets are not included in the course fee. All students are responsible for bringing core and category certification examination study packets to class. Be sure to order study packets in advance if you do not already have them and bring with you as they will be used in class! Find ordering study material information here.
Many topics will be covered over a four-day period including general pesticide issues such as pesticide laws and recordkeeping, pesticide formulations and labels, spray equipment, and calibration of that equipment. In addition, the major pests of the landscape industry (insects, weeds and diseases) will be discussed.
Optional Exam Date
All certification exam dates and locations can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s PaPlants website. However, an optional exam date has been planned for the short course participants and is listed in the table below. The CORE exam is $50, and each category exam is $10; these fees are NOT not included in the course fee. More information about taking the exams at the optional date below will be further explained in class.
|Clinton County||Luzerne County|
|Date||March 10, 11, 13, and 14, 2014||April 1, 2, 3, and 4, 2014|
|Time||9:00 am – 3:00 pm||8:30 am – 3:00 pm|
|Location||Penn State Extension Clinton County
47 Cooperation Lane
Mill Hall, PA 17751
64 Ridgway Drive
Dallas, PA 18612
|Cost of Course
|Optional Exam Date||March 19, 2014 @ 9:00 am||April 10, 2014 @ 8:30 am|
|Contact Person||Tom Butzler
|Clinton County Registration||Luzerne County Registration|
Until Next Time,
This blog idea was given to us by J. Craig Williams, a Penn State Extension Educator in Tioga county.
While on the road doing winter recertification meetings, J. Craig Williams, a Penn State extension educator in Tioga county, received a call from a farmer who needed one more CORE recertification credit but had conflicts attending the upcoming meetings in his area, Tioga county. Williams told the farmer he could take an online course to meet his credit requirement. Although the farmer needed a little help registering and paying, as this was his first-ever online course, Williams did receive an email from the farmer saying he enjoyed the “Emergency and Incident Response” course and sent the following photo of himself with his completion certificate. We just want to tell this farmer: Thanks for the feedback and Job well done!
With private applicator renewals coming up at the end of March, do you need some last minute recertification credits? We have some options to help you meet your requirements.
New Online Interactive Courses
The Penn State Pesticide Education Program has been working with two county extension educators (Tom Butzler and Nancy Bosold) to bring some recertification courses to life ONLINE. Since June 2013, we have posted 6 new interactive recertification courses. Each of the courses correspond to a chapter in the Core Manual. The titles of the courses are:
- Pest Management (chapter 1)
- Pesticide Labeling (chapter 3)
- Pesticide Formulations (chapter 4)
- Transportation, Storage, and Security (chapter 8 )
- Emergency or Incident Response (chapter 9)
- Planning the Pesticide Application (chapter 10)
Each course is about 30 minutes long, costs $20, and is worth 1 CORE recertification credit. The exception is the Pest Management course, which is 60 minutes, costs $35, and is worth 2 CORE recertification credits.
The following article was taken from our January 2014 annual Pesticide Highlights newsletter for Private Applicators.
EPA Region III (representing Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania) gives two annual awards: “Inspection of the Year” and “Inspector of the Year.” These awards were initiated by EPA in the mid 90’s to honor inspectors from EPA Region III for going “above and beyond” their normal duties supporting the pesticide program in the protection of people and the environment.
The Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program provides a safe way to dispose of products that are hazardous in nature but are not regulated as hazardous waste under state and federal regulations. So what kind of wastes are we talking about? Products such as old paint and paint related products, pesticides, pool chemicals, drain cleaners, degreasers, and car care products.
As stated on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) website, Pennsylvania produces about 25,000 tons of HHW each year! And that’s about 4 pounds per person! So, it is easy to believe that if we don’t properly dispose of these types of hazardous wastes, it can and does create environmental and public health issues.
Kerry Richards, the Pesticide Education Program Director, wrote the following blog about our exhibit at Farm Show.
As the temperatures dipped, so did attendance at the 98th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show. However, over 9,000 participants still visited the Pesticide Education Program’s mini-golf course. Over the eight-day duration of the Farm Show, the thousands of visitors that golfed through the course learned how to “Protect Yourself from Indoor Insect Pests.”
Going through the Course
At Hole 1, Master Gardener volunteers identified house flies, cat fleas (which also get on dogs), and German cockroaches as three of the most common indoor pests that can transmit disease. At Hole 2, golfers learned that vacuuming, caulking holes, and keeping rooms clean and free of crumbs and food can reduce the presence of these pests. Chemical options to control these pests were shown to golfers at Hole 3. As always, the chemical control options also came with the reminder to put Mr. Yuk stickers on any products with a Caution, Warning, Danger, and Danger Poison signal word.
After 20 plus years, most growers, applicators, and licensed pesticide companies are aware of the CHEMSWEEP Program, managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Bureau. Since CHEMSWEEP started, more than 2 million pounds of canceled, suspended, unusable, and unwanted pesticides have been safely and properly disposed of through this nationally recognized program. The primary benefit of this program is eliminating the potential for health and safety concerns or an environmental liability, such as a spill or contamination of a water supply, when these pesticides are not stored or disposed of properly.
The Two New Changes
The first change to the CHEMSWEEP Program is that the counties will be now be selected based on a set 4-year rotation (more information will be provided below). Also, the date that the inventory form must be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) is earlier. The date is now February 28th, NOT March 31st as in past years.
Kelly Over, our Educational Program Associate, wrote this blog about our upcoming exhibit at the 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show. Kelly provides pesticide safety educational materials to Pennsylvania agricultural teachers and participates in our many consumer outreach events.
It only comes once a year…
Yes, that’s right, it’s almost time for the Pennsylvania Farm Show! This year marks the 98th anniversary of the event. The Farm show will run Saturday, January 4th through Saturday, January 11th, 2014. Over its eight-day duration, the event draws thousands of visitors, enabling attendees to interact with the agricultural industry, including commodities, livestock, and much more. Admission to the Farm Show is FREE, although there is a cost for parking. View the complete Farm Show schedule, map, and details.
The Penn State Pesticide Education Program enjoys the opportunity to share our poison safety message at the Farm Show. In 2013, in partnership with Master Gardener volunteers, we were able to interact with over 12,000 visitors! For 2014, we are once again preparing an interactive exhibit titled, “Protect Yourself from Indoor Insect Pests.”
This blog was written by Chris Becker, who coordinated the Poison Prevention Program for the past 4 years. Chris just recently accepted a county Extension Educator position and is no longer with our program. However, the hard work she put into building this outreach program will keep it running smoothly. We wish Chris all the best in her new job with Penn State Extension!
For the past three years, the Penn State Pesticide Education Program and county Master Gardener Program have partnered to share a valuable lesson of poison prevention with 1st grade students across the state. The outreach program—with a lesson designed to meet elementary 1st grade curriculum standards in Health, Safety, and Physical Education, and Environmental and Ecology Education—has grown tremendously with the help of enthusiastic Master Gardeners.
Piloted in 5 major metropolitan areas around the state for the first time in 2010, the 35 minute interactive program was heard by 900 enthusiastic children and their welcoming teachers. The next year, the Poison Prevention Program was offered to county Master Gardener programs as an easy to use, low-cost, minimally demanding, Outreach Program that offered a high-value opportunity to schools as the lesson met many school educational standards.
Kelly Over wrote this weeks blog post. Kelly is our Educational Program Assistant and has organized this event for our program for the past few years. Although she did help organize this year, Kelly will miss this years Great Insect Fair as she has a much bigger event to attend, her WEDDING! We wish Kelly all the best!
This year’s Great Insect Fair theme is “Backyard Zoo: The Bugs Around You!” Additionally, the Great Insect Fair is celebrating its 20th anniversary! Here are the details:
DATE: October 5, 2014
TIME: 10AM to 4PM
WHERE: Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park Campus of Penn State
COST: Free but donations are greatly appreciated