Montana Ornamental and Turf Pest Control Initial Certification


Ornamental and Turf Pest Control
Initial Certification

Course Description

This initial certification training module is intended to assist individuals who wish to obtain ornamental and turf applicator certification. It is strongly suggested that the study manual for this certification be used with this training to maximize preparation for the exam. Click here to visit the Montana Department of Agriculture website to purchase study manuals that correlate to this training module and exam preparation.

After completing this course participants will be able to:

  • Identify the physical features of turf and landscape plants
  • Define plant nomenclature and classification
  • Identify the early stages of common pest infestations
  • Explain why some insects are beneficial while others are considered pests
  • Define the term "weed"
  • Describe common types of pesticide application equipment used in the green industry
  • Describe the signs and symptoms of pesticide toxicity

Chapter 1 – Turf and Ornamental Initial Certification

Lesson 1 – The Language of the Green Industry

  • Parts of a Plant
    • Plant tissues
    • Stems and leaves
    • Leaf layers
    • Leaf arrangements
    • Roots
  • Plant Reproduction
    • Asexual reproduction
    • Sexual reproduction
  • How Plants Grow
  • Plant Growth Hormones
  • Environmental Factors
  • Plant Nomenclature
  • Plant Classification

Lesson 2 – Plant Health Care

  • What is Plant Health Care?
  • Turfgrass Cultural Practices
    • New turf installation
    • Mowing
    • Fertilization
    • Irrigation
    • Soil cultivation
    • Thatch
  • Herbaceous Plants
  • Woody Plants
  • Interiorscapes
    • Greenhouses
  • When Does a Pest Become a Problem?
  • Diagnostic Points to Remember

Lesson 3 – Insects and Their Relatives

  • Biological Control
  • Damage Caused by Insects
  • Insect Structures
  • Insect Orders
    • Orthoptera
    • Hemiptera
    • Homoptera
    • Thysanoptera
    • Coleoptera
    • Lepidoptera
    • Diptera
    • Arachnida
  • Ornamental Plant Pests
    • Leaf chewers
    • Sucking insects and mites
    • Shoot, stem, and trunk borers
  • Turf Pests

Lesson 4 – Weeds

  • When is Plant a Weed?
  • Controlling Weeds
  • Common Weeds vs Noxious Weeds
  • Links to Noxious Weed Videos

Lesson 5 – Plant Diseases

  • Biology of Plant Diseases
  • Pathogens
    • Fungi
    • Bacteria
    • Viruses and phytoplasmas
    • Nematodes
  • Favorable Environmental Conditions

Lesson 6 – Application Equipment and Methods

  • Sprayer Components
  • Types of Sprayers
    • Hydraulic sprayers
    • Airblast sprayers
    • Small capacity sprayers
    • Granular spreaders
    • Boom sprayers
  • Ensuring Application Accuracy
  • Calculating Area
  • Equipment Calibration
  • Safety and Maintenance

Lesson 7 – Health and Safety

  • Everything Can be Toxic
  • Pesticide Toxicity
    • Acute toxicity
    • Chronic toxicity
    • Skin irritation and sensitivity
  • Personal Protective Equipment

Practice Assessment

Course instructors will be available by email or telephone between 8am and 6pm Eastern Standard Time. They will assist you with questions regarding course content.

If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-727-7104 or send an email to Email responses will usually be returned promptly, but guaranteed within one business day.

Student policies and procedures are always available by going to our website and scrolling to the bottom of the page (See Attendance and Privacy Policy).