What do Michigan Golf Course Managers and Parks and Recreation Groundskeepers have in common?

They both need Turfgrass Pest Management certification!

If you’re thinking of a career in either of the aforementioned professions, you’ll want to begin by taking a comprehensive exam prep course to help you learn everything you’ll need to know to pass the Michigan 3A Turfgrass Pest Management Exam.

To pass the exam and be successful in your business you’ll need to know the best cultural practices for growing a healthy turf, how to accurately measure your treatment area, how to calibrate your equipment to stay within label rates, how to accurately identify damage caused by diseases, insects and vertebrate pests, and all the federal and state regulations pertaining to pesticide applications! That’s a lot of information to learn!

Fear not! Our on-staff horticulturist and certified applicator has taken all the guesswork out of the process by compiling this video exam prep course. With over 300 practice questions – including photo identification questions to help you learn to identify those pesky weeds – this course will provide you with all the tools you need to pass your exam and be successful in your career.

Busy schedule? No problem! You can take the course anytime, anywhere 24/7 from your smartphone or mobile device.  Just click on the "Start Now" button below.


Turfgrass Pest Management | Michigan Exam Prep

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Ancient Pesticides

You may think that today's methods of pest control are the most modern, but did you know that practically every method in use today has its origins dating back to B.C.?

According to a report of ancient Greek and Roman agrarian literature covering a period roughly 200 BC to 200 AD, protective seed coverings, olive oil, soda, smoke, ashes, leek juice, and salt were commonly used to control blight, mildew, and other common plant ailments.

Many substances were created from chemicals and minerals commonly found in plants, animals, trees and native soils.

Ancient agronomists used a variety of methods for pest control, including selectively placing plants such as bay, cedar fig, cumin and garlic in rows among their crops. Such plants were thought to kill or repel various insects.

Soaking seeds in leek juice was thought to prevent fungal diseases such as blight and mildew. The liquid distillation of extracts of lupine flowers and wild cucumber were commonly used as natural deterrents. Many insects commonly treated are similar to those we deal with today.

Such practices are quite similar to those in use by today’s organic gardeners and farmers wishing to avoid the use of synthetic chemicals.  Today's organic farmers often use seaweed to keep potato beetles at bay or plant a combination of onions, garlic, and herbs together to naturally prevent predators.

es: History of Pesticide Use; NY Times Archives


Online Pesticide Applicator Exam Prep, Worker Protection Standard, & Continuing Education

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What do Golf Course Managers and Parks and Recreation Groundskeepers Have in Common?

They both need Turfgrass Pest Management certification!

If you’re thinking of a career in either of the aforementioned professions, you’ll want to begin by taking a comprehensive exam prep course to help you learn everything you’ll need to know to pass the Turfgrass Pest Management Exam.

To pass the exam and be successful in your business you’ll need to know the best cultural practices for growing a healthy turf, how to accurately measure your treatment area, how to calibrate your equipment to stay within label rates, how to accurately identify damage caused by diseases, insects and vertebrate pests, and all the federal and state regulations pertaining to pesticide applications! That’s a lot of information to learn!

Fear not! Our on-staff horticulturist and certified applicator has taken all the guesswork out of the process by compiling this video exam prep course. With over 300 practice questions – including photo identification questions to help you learn to identify those pesky weeds – this course will provide you with all the tools you need to pass your exam and be successful in your career.

Busy schedule? No problem! You can take the course anytime, anywhere 24/7 from your smartphone or mobile device.  Just click on the "Start Now" button below.


Turfgrass Pest Management | Exam Prep

State-approved video courses available 24/7

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Indiana Pesticide Applicators, Did You Know?

You may think that today's methods of pest control are the most modern, but did you know that practically every method in use today has origins dating to B.C.?

According to a report of ancient Greek and Roman agrarian literature covering a period roughly 200 BC to 200 AD, protective seed coverings, olive oil, soda, smoke, ashes, leek juice, and salt were commonly used to control blight, mildew, pests, and other plant ailments.

Many substances were created from chemicals and minerals commonly found in plants, animals, trees and native soils.

Ancient agronomists used a variety of methods for pest control, including selectively placing plants such as bay, cedar fig, cumin and garlic in rows among their crops. Such plants were thought to kill or repel various insects.

Soaking seeds in leek juice was thought to prevent fungal diseases such as blight and mildew. Many insects commonly treated are similar to those we deal with today. The liquid distillation of extracts of lupine flowers and wild cucumber were commonly used as natural deterrents.

Such practices are quite similar to those in use by today’s organic gardeners and farmers wishing to avoid the use of synthetic chemicals.  Today's organic farmers often use seaweed to keep potato beetles at bay or plant a combination of onions, garlic, and herbs together to naturally prevent predators.

Anyone wanting to further their knowledge base and gain valuable continuing education recertification credits at the same time need only visit Certified Training Institute.

Indiana Certified Applicators must re-certify by December 31st.

The amount of continuing education you need varies by certification type. You'll find everything you need to meet State required continuing education as well as prelicensure and Worker Protection Standards (WPS) training (in English and Spanish!) for your workers.  It's all online and available 24/7 from any computer, smartphone or mobile device. You choose when and where to study!

 

References: History of Pesticide UseNY Times Archives,


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Delaware Pesticide Applicators Must Re-Certify Before December 31st

Pesticide Applicators in Delaware must recertify every three years. They are also required to complete category specific continuing education by December 31st. Certified Training Institute makes it easy and affordable with a vast array of Delaware approved online continuing education courses. Individual courses, as well as Agricultural and Ornamental course packages, are available 24/7 for applicators who wish to beat the December 31st deadline in time to enjoy the holidays.

Interesting topics such as Right of Way: Pest Control, Right of Way: Weed Control, Cage Trapping Techniques, Disease Management in Enclosed Spaces, and many others are available online anytime.

Expand your knowledge base and earn continuing education credits at the same time. Printable certificates are available at the end of your courses. They’ll even notify the state of your course completion!

Certified Training Institute also provides WPS training (with handler materials provided through PERC) to satisfy all of your needs. There are two plans available, 1-25 workers for just $159 or an Unlimited plan for only $399. As an added benefit, they offer this training in both Spanish and English!


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ESCAPING THE FLAMES

California’s recent wildfires not only impact human lives but wildlife as well. Larger animals such as bear and deer will likely find their way out of the forests seeking safety in other areas outside of the fire zone. Other critters such as rabbits, rats, mice, raccoons, squirrels, and gophers use their natural instincts and burrow underground to escape the flames.

Once the fires have been extinguished, these creatures will re-emerge, seeking safety from predators, as well as food and shelter in the nearest structures to have survived the flames. This means that areas such as attics, walls basements, roofs, and crawl spaces will become a safe haven. Not only are they a nuisance but these intruders could potentially carry disease which causes health risks for both household pets and humans.

Of course, the owners of these infested structures will be seeking knowledgeable and experienced professionals to rid their homes of unwanted visitors. Pesticide Professionals are able to expand their knowledge base and earn valuable California DPR and SPCB approved continuing education credits by taking the two courses highlighted below.

Cage Trapping Techniques - 3-hour online video course $49
This California DPR and SPCB approved course focuses on the use of cage and box traps in the management of vertebrate pests in both urban and suburban environments in California. Best practices surrounding appropriate traps for target animals, effective baits, and safe and humane use of traps will be outlined.

Vertebrate Structural Pest Control And ID4-hour online video course $59
This California DPR and SPCB approved course focuses on the fundamentals of wildlife damage inspection including identification based on habitat, routes of entry, scat, and tracks. It will help you understand the unique biological and legal risks that are involved with the inspection process in California as well as the proper equipment and PPE that should be used.


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The Emerald Ash Borer, Beauty or Beast?

This iridescent metallic green beauty was first discovered in the Detroit area in 2002. Wooden packing materials are suspected to have been his preferred mode of transportation. The fact that they are smaller than a dime made it easy for them to hide within the wood products used to protect goods shipped overseas from China.

The Emerald Ash Borer has proven to be disastrous to Ash tree populations in the US and Canada. Despite their small stature (typically ½ inch long and 1/8 inch wide), they are quite capable of destroying ash trees thousands of times larger.

Adult females lay their eggs shortly after emerging in mid-to-late July, earlier if the weather becomes unseasonably warm. The eggs are extremely small (about 1/25th of an inch), reddish-brown in color and further develop into white larvae which are segmented and flat-headed. The larvae bore into the Ash trees, feeding under the bark and disrupting the tree's ability to transport the necessary water and nutrients throughout. You’ll often find their tracks visible underneath the bark of an affected tree. When this happens, the tree dies back and its bark begins to split.

It is estimated that tens of millions of Ash trees have been destroyed throughout the USA and Canada. Michigan alone has lost an estimated 40 million trees. The symptoms of the EAB are: thinning or dying of ash tree crowns, suckers at the base of the tree, splitting bark, tunneling under the bark, D-shaped exit holes, and woodpecker activity. Young trees die within one to two years after infestation and larger ones can live up to four years.

If you should notice symptoms of EAB infestation you should:

  • Call the USDA Emerald Ash Borer Hotline at 1-866-322-4512
  • Contact your local Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (find contact info at USDA’s website HERE)
  • Buy your firewood from local sources and burn it where you buy it.
  • DO NOT move firewood from your property or across state lines.
  • Always buy kiln dried firewood.
  • Burn your leftover firewood before spring to eliminate the chance of infecting nearby live trees.

Want to find out if the Emerald Ash Borer has been spotted in your area?  Visit http://emeraldashborer.info/ to view a current list of confirmed sightings.

Source:
The Arbor Day Foundation https://www.arborday.org/
image: By Benjamin Smith from United States (Agrilus planipennis - Emerald Ash Borer)
Emerald Ash Borer Information Network  http://emeraldashborer.info/


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What Is Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt is a fungal disease affecting oak trees caused by the fungus known as Bretziella Fagacearum. It was first recognized in 1944 when over half of the oaks in affected areas of Wisconsin were infected and died as a result. The most recent evidence suggests oak wilt to be an exotic disease which arrived in the United States as early as 1900. Its exact origin is still unknown, possibly from Central or South America, or Mexico.

The disease currently affects much of the eastern and central US, As far north as New York and from Virginia to Minnesota to Arkansas, with infected areas as far south as the Hill Country of central Texas. It is particularly common in the Midwest. In Michigan where oak trees comprise about 10 percent of Michigan forests, it has been confirmed in 56 counties. This disease has the potential to impact the estimated 149 million red oak trees throughout 3.9 million acres of Michigan’s forest land. Red Oaks are particularly at risk, but this disease affects white oaks as well as other varieties. White oaks are a bit less susceptible when infected and sometimes live several years after infection.

The fungus is spread from diseased to healthy trees by insects as well as connections between tree roots.  It can also be spread during the warmer months as a result of tree pruning, hanging lanterns from trees, climbing spikes, using nails to attach items to trees, tree barking, and storm damage.  One such instance of storm-related transference was recorded in Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin in 2012 and 2013 where trees appeared to become infected as a result of a mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) windstorm which showed wind speeds of over 100 miles per hour. These winds damaged trees and carried the oak wilt spores which then infected other oaks. The areas affected included Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan.

Symptoms vary by tree species but generally consist of leaf discoloration, wilt, defoliation, and death. You’ll notice a sudden drop or browning of leaves in the summer months. Some of which may be brown or green with partially brown areas while the leaf base remains green. Since other pests and pathogens may cause similar symptoms, it’s best to confirm your suspicions with lab verification.

Source: Wikipedia, Michigan State University Extension


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Seed Treatment Product Safety

Although seed treatments actually date back to 470 B.C., we as agricultural producers are obviously more concerned about the more modern applications of these processes, not only because they have been found to be beneficial to early crop protection but especially because they have been of concern to the safety of humans and the environment. In the last 10 years, there has been a resurgence of treated seed use, largely due to the advent of improved chemical performance.

Ag production is seeing a significant increase in the usage of these products, with the global market exceeding $5.1 billion in sales in 2017. From 2008 to 2013, manufactured tonnage nearly doubled (from 5,400 to 9,600 tons). Usage in developing countries reportedly increased by 20% in 2017 alone. It is significant to note that North America, at 39.7%, dominates the world market, with the United States making up 76% of usage on the continent or $2.02 billion in sales for 2017. Globally, the cumulative annual growth rate is expected to exceed 10% in 2018 and is projected to be just over $11 billion by 2022.

In 2016, 56% of treated seed sales was in insecticides, 24% in fungicides, and 20% in nematicides. Globally, 60% of seed treatment products consist of insecticides or a combination of insecticides and fungicides. Even so, globally only about 30% of total crop acreage is planted with treated seed. The major market players are certainly not new to us, but an increasing market of smaller vendors is offering customized treatments for use in local specialty markets.

SAFETY PERSPECTIVE

So all of this sounds like good news to manufacturers of treated seed products, especially with sales on the rise. But from a pesticide safety perspective, we need to ask some questions, more importantly, the right questions, about these current trends. For all the agronomic sense that using these products makes, does increased product use necessarily mean increased exposure? Do benefits necessarily outweigh the risk of assumed increased exposure for manufacturers, applicators, producers, and/or the environment?

And then we need to ask what are the real potential health risks associated with producing and using treated seed products. These risks include skin and eye irritation, skin sensitization, and toxic effects to the central nervous system and other organs and related systems. Of these three, the one we may be least familiar with is skin sensitization, which is an allergic response to a substance that develops after repeated skin contact.

Seed treatment processes provide for some rather dubious possibilities for chemical exposure, and all are related to fine mist or dust. These pathways include inhalation, skin absorption, and ingestion. Personnel may be at risk in treating, bagging, sewing, loading, and planting operations. So where do we find basic information about how to protect ourselves and our employees? Historically, we have two sources of this kind of information:

  • Product Label
  • Safety Data Sheet (SDS) which is an excellent source of technical information regarding engineering controls, occupational exposure levels, and ventilation and monitoring requirements

The product label contains a signal word and warning language as to the toxicity of a given product and is dictated by EPA risk assessment. The label provides simplified instructions when compared to the SDS, and its intended audience is the applicator of the treated seed. Be sure to note the “Ag Use” and “Non-Ag Use” boxes on the label and remember that the “Ag Use” notice must be adhered to in row crop production for WPS and may require more PPE than the “Non-Ag Use” notice. The Non-Ag Use label information is directed at uses for which the WPS does not apply.

 

The preceding paragraphs are a snippet from the Certified Training Institute Pesticide Divisions new 1-hour course "Seed Treatment Product Safety".

This online course will outline the benefits and risks associated with treated seed products.

After completing this course in its entirety, participants will be able to:

  • Weigh the benefits of treated seed products against the concerns for both human and environmental safety.
  • Outline the different types of seed treatment methods, dressings and manufacturing processes.
  • Be able to describe and integrate important safety guidelines based on EPA risk assessment recommendations.
  • Describe the environmental impact of seed treatment processes, and best practices as environmental stewards.

Check out this course and many other interesting topics by visiting https://www.certifiedtraininginstitute.com/pesticide/ and choosing your state.

 


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The Nations Most Pest-Infested Cities

If you’re thinking of starting your own pest control company, you might want to consider these prime locations for pest infestations and their top culprits.

Cockroaches take the lead in New Orleans and Tampa, while mice infestations appear to be most prevalent in Philadelphia, followed closely by New York and San Antonio. Although rats are not as much of an issue as cockroaches and mice, they are found within the top 5% sighted in every city.  Washington DC seems to take the lead in bedbugs, scorpions are quite the nuisance in Arizona. It seems there’s no place to hide when it comes to these pesky creatures.

No matter where you decide to locate, every city in the nation has pest issues of one form or another. You’ll not be lacking in work if you happen to choose from any of the cities listed above.

Here are the top locations and their peskiest pests:

(listed in no particular order)

  1. New Orleans, LA – Mosquitoes, Cockroaches, Termites, Mice, and Rats
  2. Birmingham, AL - Cockroaches, Mice, and Rats
  3. Tampa, FL – Cockroaches, Fleas, and Ticks
  4. Houston, TX – Termites, Cockroaches, Bedbugs, and mosquitoes
  5. Memphis, TN - Cockroaches, Mice, and Rats
  6. San Antonio, TX - Cockroaches, Mice, and Rats
  7. Austin, TX - Cockroaches, Mice, and Rats
  8. New York City - Mice and Rats
  9. Miami, FL- Termites, Cockroaches, and Mosquitoes
  10. Orlando, FL- Cockroaches, Rats, and Mice
  11. Atlanta, GA - Mosquitoes
  12. Dallas, TX - Cockroaches, Mice, and Rats
  13. Philadelphia, PA - Mice, Cockroaches, and Rats
  14. Charlotte, NC - Cockroaches and Rats
  15. Washington DC - Bedbugs
  16. Phoenix, AZ - Scorpions
  17. Boston, MA - Rats
  18. Nashville, TN – Rats and Mice
  19. New Jersey - Mosquitoes

Before starting your career as a Pest Control Specialist, you’re going to need to research the rules and regulations in your location of choice. You can’t just purchase a truckload of chemicals and fumigate willy-nilly! You’ll need to meet certain state licensing standards and qualifications. Certified Training Institute's Pesticide Division is the place to go for all the information you need to become a Licensed Pesticide Applicator nationwide. Just visit their website and choose your state to get started! You’ll find top-notch Pesticide Applicator Exam Prep courses online in HD video available 24/7 from any computer or mobile device. These courses will help you become licensed and meet state required continuing education when it’s time for license renewal. There’s even an option to train your employees with the 2018 Worker Protection Standard (WPS) packages.  They make it easy with an EPA Approved Training Program that provides everything your business needs to train your agricultural workers. This video program comes in both English and Spanish. Including a Handler Training Guide and Tracking System at No Extra Cost!


Pesticide Safety Training
and
EPA Approved Online Video Worker Protection Standard

In English & Spanish!

 

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