New Class for Delaware Pesticide Applicators

Check out this snippet from our new Delaware approved course-Respiratory Protection:

“Workers who need personal protective equipment are often very good at wearing types such as gloves, hard hats, hearing protection, etc, but can neglect respiratory protection. This is because while other hazards such as dropping a cement block on your foot or slicing your hand open are immediately noticeable in their damage, the damage done to your lungs from inhaling hazardous chemicals on a repeated, consistent basis is not immediately obvious. This type of hazard is known as a chronic safety hazard, which occurs over time, usually 20 to 30 years, before it becomes apparent. OSHA has its own standard dedicated to respiratory protection because this is such a large hazard to the health of workers.

There are three parts to the respiratory standard:

  • being trained on the respirator you are wearing on the job site
  • being approved to wear a respirator
  • must be fit tested

While the intention is good when employers hand out respirators to employees for job safety, it doesn't do much good if the employees are not trained on their proper use and care. Knowing how to wear the respirator correctly and keeping it in working order is critical.

Not everyone can wear a respirator. An MEQ, or medical questionnaire, must be filled out once a year and submitted to a doctor or a medical professional who can approve you to wear the respirator. This approval must be on file and filled out on work time. Since it contains your personal medical information, it must also be in a sealed file so your employer does not see what it contains. Most of the time workers can be approved to wear a respirator simply by filling out the MEQ, but sometimes the doctor will want to see them in person. If this is necessary, the worker will take a pulmonary test, which measures how well their lungs can handle the strain of wearing a respirator.

Fit testing is extremely important and must be performed once a year for each specific mask that you wear. Fit testing is different from a fit check, which is done every time you put your respirator on. When you have your respirator fit tested, you are making sure it is properly fitted to your face so you don't have a false sense of security when around respiratory hazards. A mask that is too loose or too tight will cause gaps to interrupt the seal, allowing those hazards to bypass the mask and defeating the purpose of wearing a respirator. There are two types of fit tests performed: quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative fit test measures the challenge agent outside the mask, and how much of the challenge agent is inside the mask. The qualitative measures the quality of challenge agent outside the mask, and is more common than the quantitative. Banana oil, Bitrex, or stannic chloride are all examples of challenge agents used in a qualitative fit test.

Fit tests should also be performed if there are significant changes to the shape of your face through things like gastric bypass surgery, scarring, or the removal of teeth.”

The sample text above is part of our brand-new two-part course on respirator safety, which is presented in full HD Video and is available 24/7 from the convenience of your computer or mobile device. Applicators with category 1C, 03, 04, and 7C endorsements can earn 1 credit with this course toward their continuing education requirements.

Click here to visit our Delaware Pesticide Applicator page and get your CE credits today!

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Georgia Pesticide Applicators: Check Out Our New Course Bundle!

Ornamental and turf pesticide applicators are required to complete 10 credits of continuing education every five-year renewal cycle. In order to make things simple for you, Certified Training Institute has put together a new course bundle for ornamental & turf applicators:

The new Ornamental & Turf Bundle contains 10 credits of category 24 training. Topics include management strategies for IPM tactics for turf and ornamental management, management of pests common to ornamental and turf, and pesticide application equipment and calibration for both ornamental and turf.

BUNDLE CONTENTS:

  • IPM for Ornamental Plant Pest Management – 1 credit
  • Common Ornamental Plant Pests – 3 credits
  • Ornamental Pesticide Application Equipment and Calibration – 1 credit
  • IPM for Turf Management – 1 credit
  • Common Turfgrass Weeds – 1 credit
  • Turfgrass Disease, Insect, and Vertebrate Pests – 1 credit
  • Cultural Practices for Turf Management – 1 credit
  • Application Equipment and Calibration – 1 credit

The bundle is conveniently priced at $129, which saves you $34 over a la carte options for the same courses.

The best part? Being able to take the courses at your own pace, wherever you want! Whether at home or out on the town, our mobile friendly platform allows you to complete courses on your schedule: with 24/7 access and helpful customer service representatives waiting to provide you with any assistance needed, completing your continuing education has never been easier!

We also have bundles ready to go to satisfy requirements for any category:

Georgia Pesticide Safety Bundle (6 credits in all categories): $99

Georgia Agricultural Plant Bundle (10 credits in category 21): $129

Georgia Right of Way Bundle (6 credits in category 27): $99

Check them out today and get your CE done on your terms!

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Utah Pollinator Stewardship

Utah pesticide applicators: pollinator stewardship is a hot topic in your state right now!

Check out the following snippets from our course on pollinator stewardship, and then click here to find the whole course (it is fully Utah state approved and counts as 1 CEU)!

 The primary concern plaguing the beekeeping industry is the decline of honey bees around the world. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is the leading cause behind this steady decline in honey bee numbers. There are a number of different factors affecting this decline. It is important to know the best practices concerning honeybee stewardship.”

“Minimize Pesticide Risk for Pollinators: Whether applying pesticides in the home garden or in a commercial setting, many of the chemical pesticides used to control insects, fungal disease, and even weeds can hurt non-target pollinating insects, such as bees and butterflies. Ensure your ability to effectively and efficiently apply pesticides without harming beneficial insects.”

As applicators, it is important that to be aware and analyze the following prior to every pesticide application:

  • Understand the importance of pollinators in agriculture and why protecting native pollinators is of great concern.
  • Be aware of the federal and state enforcement and compliance procedures as related to pollinator safety and alternatives to hard chemicals.
  • Identify the factors that contribute to colony collapse disorder in relation to the current application.
  • Recognize the importance of beekeeper/grower communication, and communicate with local beekeepers who may be affected whenever possible.

For additional resource in relation to the topic of pollinator stewardship, check out CTI’s other course Balancing Pest Management and Pollinator Stewardship (fully state approved and counts as 2 CEUs!). The Utah Department of Agriculture has some helpful resources as well which can be found here.

Careful analysis of pesticide application sites and surrounding areas can ensure the health of pollinators in our environments for years to come. Make sure you are doing your part AND earn CEUs with Certified Training Institute today!

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Mosquito Birth Control for Disease Prevention

Since the first outbreak of Zika in the United States in 2016, researches have been scrambling to find measures to prevent further spread of the disease. There are currently no approved vaccines or drugs for Zika, and so efforts have been concentrated on controlling the mosquito population that carries the disease: Aedes aegypti.

Ae. Aegypti, however, have some resistance to insecticides, which combined with concerns related to pesticide drift and environmental impact, researches have had to look out of the box to find solutions.

The City of South Miami, Miami Dade County, Clarke Mosquito Control Services, and MosquitoMate came together and in early 2018 began releasing Wolbachia-infected Ae. Aegypti male mosquitoes into an area of South Miami.

Wolbachia is a bacteria which naturally affects 60% of the world’s insect species already. This bacteria, when present in mosquitoes, causes egg hatch failure. Scientists have infected male Ae. Aegypti and when they mate with females, the eggs simply do not hatch. This simple bacteria has the remarkable effect of reducing populations of Zika infected mosquitoes.

According to EntymologyToday.org, study findings recently published in the Journal of Medical Entomology have been positive: there has been more than a 75% reduction in females since the project began. While migration has played a mitigating effect, researchers are positive that expanding the area where the infected males are released will result in even more favorable results.

To learn more about other types of mosquito control and get continuing education credit for your state, be sure to visit Certified Training Institute today!

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Plants in Distress: A Beacon for Birds

Researchers at the University of Delaware have recently found that agricultural plants send out sensory volatile cues that alert organisms in the area (such as birds) that they are in need of help. Previous research has shown that this occurs in ecosystems such as forests. These “signals” are sent when plants are under siege from insects. With a little Play-Doh and orange colored pins, they are seeing the potential for growers to defend their crops.

Play-Doh "larvae" were distributed onto plants around a volatile dispenser that released the odor and recorded how many bird pecks were on the larvae closer to the volatiles versus the organic solvent dispensers. The results were clear: There were significantly more attacks on the larvae closer to the volatile dispenser.

It has been known for years that parasites and predatory insects respond to the damaged plants that release volatiles. With this new evidence of birds using the same cues, it allows a better understanding of their behavior. This information will be crucial when creating pest management programs. Interestingly, when scientists compared the number of pecks on the larvae attached to the volatile dispenser and the number of pecks on the surrounding plant larvae there was virtually no difference. That means the birds are smelling the volatiles and when it gets close to the damaged plant it visually searches for the insects.

It has been a longheld belief that birds were unable to smell. However, this research indicates that they are smelling the volatiles and then coming in closer to visually locate their prey. Birds lack certain anatomy to be able to smell yet somehow they are able to sense the volatiles emitted by the plant. Researchers will be testing to see which species of birds have this capability using essentially the same experiment as above.


Pesticide Professional Continuing Education

Online state-approved video continuing education courses are available 24/7.

 

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The Golden Duo of Agriculture: Pesticides and Fertilizer

Fertilizers and pesticides are commonplace in US agriculture, and production would not be where it is today without them.  At least three times each day, most humans and many animals consume food produced by the agricultural sector. Our cotton and natural fiber clothing are almost all produced via agriculture. Our fuels are enhanced by biofuels. While some negative effects come along with fertilizer and pesticide use, agriculture in the US and globally cannot achieve production in sufficient quantities for a population forecast to reach 10 billion by 2050 without it.

Nitrogen, phosphate, and potash are essential in the production of crops used for human consumption, animal feed, fiber, and fuel. Applied annually, most of these nutrients are absorbed by the crop. Fertilizers and pesticides have a long history of use in the US and are considered important components of modern farming. Fertilizers are used to supply crops with essential nutrients and to help replenish key elements to the soil once a crop has extracted them during the growth process.

U.S. crop producers use a variety of practices to reduce yield losses to pests. For example, chemical pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, are usually applied by spraying the fields. Pesticides protect plants from weeds, insect damage, and diseases.  Herbicides control grass and broadleaf weeds that steal sunlight, water, and nutrients from our desired crops.

The ultimate goal of fertilizer and pesticide use is to produce the best crop possible while minimizing environmental harm. Research and advancements in technology are making these goals a reality. Nearly all inputs can now be more precisely applied than ever before. This capacity will continue to improve in the future. Producers may have the capability to manage individual plants across large agricultural fields in a real-time, automated fashion. These advancements will help ensure proper stewardship of agriculture inputs that help feed, clothe, and fuel a rapidly growing human population.


Pesticide Professional Continuing Education

Online state-approved video continuing education courses are available 24/7.

 

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Cricket Catastrophe: Mormon Crickets Infiltrate Town in Idaho

The Mormon cricket has taken over the town of Murphy, Idaho, and residents say it's not the first time it's happened. According to residents, it was seven years ago when hordes of hissing, cannibalistic Mormon crickets swarmed the small town, climbing up the sides of houses, marching down the streets and consuming any crop in their path.

These insects emerge in the springtime, grow 2-3 inches long and undergo seven stages of development (known as instars) taking 60-90 days before reaching adulthood. In the past, residents used a pesticide bait to get rid of these monster crickets. Since Mormon crickets are cannibals they eat the bait and then eat each other, annihilating the horde in droves.

This time the bugs caught the town off guard, they didn't have the bait called "Sevin Bait" and the closest supply store is 30 miles outside of town. A pesticide called Dimilin can be sprayed outside city limits and targets younger, smaller crickets inhibiting their growth. In-town, residents are using Tempo, a general-use insecticide that is considered safe to use around children and pets. Unfortunately for most farmers, crop insurance doesn’t cover cricket devastation and there’s not much they can do in the aftermath.


Idaho Pesticide Exam Prep & Continued Education

Online state-approved video courses are available 24/7.

 

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Maryland: Preparing for Lanternfly Invasion

Agricultural extensions have never seen anything like the spotted lanternfly, a leaf-hopping pest that recently overran southeastern Pennsylvania — and is poised to invade Maryland for the first time this spring. The spotted lanternfly appears to have caused more damage in less time than any invasive insect to arrive in the mid-Atlantic region, and it is proliferating more rapidly than the researchers can handle. Experts say a recent population explosion north of the Mason-Dixon line means the bug is all but certain to appear in northeastern Maryland sometime this spring.

The invader has harmed important crops including grapes, fruit trees, hop plants and hardwoods in more than a dozen Pennsylvania counties. Rather than consuming leaves, bark or fruit, the lanternfly uses its specialized mouthparts to penetrate a plant’s exterior, then sucks out the sweet, life-giving sap within. For instance, the lanternfly robs grapes of so much sweetness that farmers can’t bring them to market. They also stick to houses, decks, railings, and patios in infested areas.

You can help homeowners and farmers identify an infestation.

Helping homeowners and farmers spot an infestation on their own is a great way to build a trusting relationship with potential clients for years to come. When a homeowner calls with questions about whether they are facing an infestation, it is important to be able to describe the warning signs in a way they can easily follow. Many homeowners and farmers can spot and identify the lanternfly because of its distinctive coloring. The bug is so distinctive that 98 percent of the people who report spotted lanternfly sightings have identified them correctly.

A few promising countermeasures have emerged, like the use of specific pesticides, but so far, they’re developing more slowly than the bug is proliferating. Experts say there’s a chance they’ll find a way to eliminate the spotted lanternfly, but until then, their best hope is to try to slow its spread.

If you observe any egg masses or insects which look similar to this, please try to collect them, and inform the Maryland Department of Agriculture at (410) 841-5920 or DontBug.MD@maryland.gov(link sends e-mail)  as soon as possible (please attach photos if sending an email). 


Maryland Pesticide Professional Continuing Education

Online state-approved video continuing education courses are available 24/7.

 

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