Two apartments in South Carolina had to evacuate after a home attempt to exterminate bedbugs. A mixture of kerosene, a bug bomb, and other chemicals were used to irradiate the pest problem, however, fumes from this mixture were so toxic, the tenant’s apartment and the neighbor’s apartment needed to be evacuated.
The second apartment will be inhabitable within a few days but the apartment that held the concoction will need special treatment.
This cautionary tale illustrates the importance of appropriate, professional pesticide application. Professional pesticide applicators must pass a national exam before becoming licensed. After receiving a license many states require applicators complete continuing education to maintain their license. Applicator exam prep and continuing education requirements by state can be found here.
PESTICIDE APPLICATOR EXAM PREP & CONTINUING EDUCATION
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is conducting a statewide survey for new invasive pests. The department is hoping to detect specific non-native plant pests, as well as, diseases and weeds that are threatening to farmlands and forests.
The survey will be conducted by placing traps on several varieties of trees and vegetables such as corn, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Previous surveys in West Virginia found 23 instances of the Spotted Wing Drosophila, an invasive species that is harmful to fruit. The infamous emerald ash borer is another example of an invasive species in Maryland. The emerald ash borer is originally from Northeastern Asia. Females lay eggs in the bark crevices of oak trees, the larvae feed under the bark for two years and emerge as adults. The emerald ash borer has destroyed much of the ash population in West Virginia.
The emerald ash borer was not detected until nearly 10 years after its suspected introduction the United States via shipping container. Earlier detection would have allowed applicators to address the pests before they became a nationwide infestation. Thus, surveys conducted by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture may help the Department avoid repeating the same mistakes.
DO YOU NEED TO RENEW YOUR MARYLAND PESTICIDE APPLICATOR LICENSE?
- Complete the appropriate continuing education – Maryland approved courses are available here.
- Log on to the Maryland Department of Agriculture website with the license & permit number code.
(This information can be found on the information card you received from the department)
- Pay the $150 renewal fee
MARYLAND PESTICIDE APPLICATOR CONTINUING EDUCATION
New York researchers are planning to release genetically engineered insects on a cabbage patch at Cornell’s Agricultural Experimentation Station 160 miles from Albany. The insects are an attempt to control invasive diamondback moths without using pesticides. Diamondback moths are known for their resistance to every pesticide and their appetite for cruciferous crops such as cabbage and broccoli.
Anthony Shelton, a Cornell University researcher, has been studying diamondback moths for 40 years. He estimates global management costs to be between $4-5 billion. Shelton is hoping to manage the moths without using insecticides to protect pollinators and other non-target insects.
The genetically engineered moths are meant to reduce the diamondback moth population over time by limiting the number of reproductive females in the next generation. To meet this end, the lab-bred males have a synthetic “self-limiting” gene that makes the female larvae die before they mature.
This form of population control has already been successfully used by Oxitec, the biotech firm that created the moths. Oxitec released similarly modified mosquitoes in Brazil, Panama, and the Caribbean to fight mosquito-spread diseases.
PESTICIDE APPLICATOR EXAM PREP & CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES