Free Ornamental Plant Pest Management Exam Guide

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Have you recently decided to take the Ornamental Plant Pest Management exam? Certified Training Institute has put together an exam guide to help you plan your preparation strategy for the exam.

Passing your Ornamental Plant Pest Management exam is one important step that an applicator can take in moving their career forward. For some, the exam can seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance everyone can move forward and achieve their goals. Having the best tools and study materials for the exam is important, they are not only going to guide you on what you need to learn, but also how to learn it. Our free Ornamental Plant Pest Management exam guide will provide you with a basic understanding of what may be on your exam.

Additionally, we have included some helpful studying tips, to help you set up a study plan to fit your needs.

It also holds valuable information and strategies for passing your exam, BUT, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Certified Training Institute helps thousands of applicators pass their exams with the best Online Video Exam Prep Programs available.  Our Free Exam Guide will give you a basic outline of what is covered in the Ornamental Plant Pest Management Exam Prep Program produced by Certified Training Institute.


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Free Turfgrass Pest Management Exam Guide

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Have you recently decided to take the Turfgrass Pest Management exam? Certified Training Institute has put together an exam guide to help you plan your preparation strategy for the exam.

Passing your Turfgrass Pest Management exam is one important step that an applicator can take in moving their career forward. For some, the exam can seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance everyone can move forward and achieve their goals. Having the best tools and study materials for the exam is important, they are not only going to guide you on what you need to learn, but also how to learn it. Our free Turfgrass Pest Management exam guide will provide you with a basic understanding of what may be on your exam.

Additionally, we have included some helpful studying tips, to help you set up a study plan to fit your needs.

It also holds valuable information and strategies for passing your exam, BUT, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Certified Training Institute helps thousands of applicators pass their exams with the best Online Video Exam Prep Programs available.  Our Free Exam Guide will give you a basic outline of what is covered in the Turfgrass Pest Management Exam Prep Program produced by Certified Training Institute.


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

 

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Free Mosquito Control Exam Guide

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Have you recently decided to take the Mosquito Control exam? Certified Training Institute has put together an exam guide to help you plan your preparation strategy for the exam.

Passing your Mosquito Control exam is one important step that an applicator can take in moving their career forward. For some, the exam can seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance everyone can move forward and achieve their goals. Having the best tools and study materials for the exam is important, they are not only going to guide you on what you need to learn, but also how to learn it. Our free mosquito control exam guide will provide you with a basic understanding of what may be on your exam.

Additionally, we have included some helpful studying tips, to help you set up a study plan to fit your needs.

The exam guide also holds valuable information and strategies for passing your exam, BUT, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Certified Training Institute helps thousands of applicators pass their exams with the best Online Video Exam Prep Programs available.  Our Free Exam Guide will give you a basic outline of what is covered in the Mosquito Control Exam Prep Program produced by Certified Training Institute.


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

 

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Free Core Applicator Exam Guide

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Have you recently decided to take the Core Applicator exam? Certified Training Institute has put together an exam guide to help you plan your preparation strategy for the exam.

Passing your Core Applicator exam is one important step that you can take in moving your career as a pesticide applicator forward. For some, the exam can seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance everyone can move forward and achieve their goals. Having the best tools and study materials for the exam is important, they are not only going to guide you on what you need to learn, but also how to learn it. Our free Core Applicator exam guide will provide you with a basic understanding of what may be on your exam.

Additionally, we have included some helpful studying tips, to help you set up a study plan to fit your needs.

It also holds valuable information and strategies for passing your exam, BUT, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Certified Training Institute helps thousands of applicators pass their exams with the best Online Video Exam Prep Programs available.  Our Free Exam Guide will give you a basic outline of what is covered in the Core Applicator Exam Prep Program produced by Certified Training Institute.


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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.


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Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Issues Spotted Lanternfly Alert

The Department of Agriculture recently issued an alert warning Pennsylvanians of an invasive pest known for wreaking havoc on area vineyards. While the Spotted Lanternfly may be beautiful with its fiery hues of red, yellow and orange, it is considered very dangerous for local agriculture.  

What is a Spotted Lanternfly?

The Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), an invasive planthopper, has been discovered in Berks and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania. It is native to China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and introduced to Japan and Korea where it has become a major pest of grapes. This insect has the potential to greatly impact the grape, hops and logging industries. Early detection is vital for the protection of Pennsylvania businesses and agriculture.

What does it look like?

The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately 1" long and 1/2" wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots and develop red patches as they grow.

The spotted lanternfly feeds on many types of plants but strongly prefers Tree of Heaven.  Attacked trees will develop weeping wounds. These wounds will leave a greyish or black trail along the trunk. This sap will attract other insects to feed, notably wasps and ants. In late fall, adults will lay egg masses on host trees and nearby smooth surfaces like stone, outdoor furniture, vehicles, and structures. Newly laid egg masses have a grey mud-like covering which can take on a dry cracked appearance over time. Old egg masses appear as rows of 30-50 brownish seed-like deposits in 4-7 columns on the trunk, roughly an inch long.

What areas are affected?

According to the PennState Extension website, the following counties are quarantined, and residents in these areas should take caution to "look before you leave" to avoid spreading this invasive insect pest: Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill.  If you live outside of the current quarantine area in Pennsylvania and find a spotted lanternfly, report it!

Along with expanding the quarantine zones, seasonal changes, and the insect’s life-cycle, the department of agriculture has shifted its control strategies, enlisting additional support from local, state, and federal agencies and universities. During the summer months, control efforts focused on eliminating insects and Ailanthus trees, or the Tree of Heaven, where the Spotted Lanternflies prefer to breed and feed. Work crews continue to concentrate on areas that pose the greatest risk for transporting insects, such as railway beds, interstates, and other transportation corridors where the Ailanthus tree grows.

What sort of damage does it cause?

  • Like most hemipterans, SLF feeds on plants using their sucking and piercing mouthparts to extract plant sap.
  • Adults and nymphs feed on phloem tissues of young stems with their piercing and sucking mouthparts and excrete large quantities of liquid (honeydew).
  • Feeding creates weeping wounds
  • Honeydew facilitates the growth of sooty mold
  • Weeping Sap attracts activity from hymenopteran such as wasps, hornets, ants, bees etc.
  • May be toxic to domestic animals because of Cantharidin and toxic metabolites from Tree of Heaven.
  • Impacts quality of outdoor life for everyone

What should I do if I see a Spotted Lanternfly?

If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs into alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them. Please report sightings of egg masses, nymphs, or adult spotted lanternfly using this tool provided by Penn State Extension 

Collect a specimen: Specimens of any life stage can be turned in to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Entomology lab for verification.

Take a picture: A photograph of any life stage (including egg masses) can be submitted to Badbug@pa.gov.

Report a sighting: If you can't take a specimen or photograph: report your sighting using this online tool or call the Automated Invasive Species Report Line at 1-888-4BAD-FLY and leave a message detailing your sighting and contact information.

Will certain pesticides be effective at eliminating the Spotted Lanternfly?

There is limited information on pesticide options for control of Spotted Lanternfly because is it a new pest to this area. This year, Penn State Extension is conducting efficacy trials on products that are available to the homeowner for control on their property. "Early this month, we (PennState Extension) began testing contact insecticides including horticultural oil, neem oil, insecticidal soap, and products that contained spinosad, carbaryl, bifenthrin, or pyrethrin as the active ingredient. Additionally, we included two systemic insecticides (both applied as soil drenches and one as a bark spray) in our preliminary trials."

(source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture PennState Extension  NJ Department of Agriculture)


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Bollworms Posing a Challenge to Mississippi Cotton

Many Mississippi cotton growers are facing challenges with the high bollworm egg lays from flights of moths coming out of corn into cotton fields. The Bt toxins in corn do not work as well anymore and because cotton has similar gene trait structure,  bollworms are surviving longer.

Dr. Angus Catchot, a professor of entomology and plant pathology, told the Delta FarmPress that cotton farm producers are reporting 40-50% egg lays in the South Delta area, with the areas in the north and east being hit heavy consistently. There is a correlation between the big flight of bollworms and the proximity to Bt corn crops.

Catchot has also recommended treatment based on egg threshold. In the past diamides like Prevathon and Besiege were primarily used and are now being recommended at a higher rate even though it will cost more.

Crops that are classified as VIP cotton are asked not to be treated to give those technologies a chance to work. “Although there is no recommendation to treat VIP cotton crops doesn’t make it bulletproof,” said Catchot. He also warns that the implementation of widespread VIP corn may lead to the same issue years down the road. There might be a reduction at first but it may not take long for the bollworms to develop a resistance. VIP corn is available but it doesn’t have a lot of market share.

Every bollworm comes through the corn. Decisions made in corn production will play a huge factor on cotton.  It’s important for farmers to think about the selection pressure put on that gene. Cotton growers will have a more immediate problem and the corn grower will be happy for a while, even though returns may be negligible, above the other Bt traits.


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The War on Rats

If you have ever lived in or traveled to big cities in America, chances are you have seen one or more of these pesky rodents. These furry critters pose a threat to cities not only because they are annoying but also because they spread diseases and wreak havoc on your stuff. Remember learning about the Black Plague? Allegedly spread by rats, it wiped out 2/3 of the world’s population.

New York City last year set a war on rats plan into action hoping to eliminate 70% of the rats in 10 of their most infested neighborhoods. How are they hoping to accomplish this by the end of 2018? The plan is pretty simple. Eliminate their food source. NYC has more trash than any other city on earth. 33 million tons per year! The plan is to change the design of trash receptacles with a mailbox style opening. They are advising residents to keep trash contained in closed bins or dumpsters; never leave pet food uncovered outside; remove piles of debris; ensure pet waste is disposed of in sealed containers; weed and throw away rotting vegetation from gardens, and maintain bird feeders.

The newly ordained “Rat Capitol” of the U.S—Chicago, has their own plan to take back their city. The Department of Streets and Sanitation conduct preventive baiting and began a pilot program to place dry ice into rodent burrows in parks or other green spaces to suffocate the rats.

Pesticide Applicators are seeing a 30% increase in requests for rat extermination services in many big cities across the U.S. Considering rats have come out on top for thousands of years it sounds like applicators will be in business for many years to come.

 


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13 Bald Eagles Lost to Illegal Pesticide Use

13 bald eagles were found lifeless on a Maryland farm two years ago. The cause of death was a mystery. The case was investigated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife authorities, who collected six of the 13 dead eagles. Almost immediately, they suspected poisoning as the cause of death. Their suspicions were correct.

Details of a six-month investigation disclosed last week, show that the eagles died from ingesting a highly toxic pesticide banned in the United States. In 1991, Congress banned the granular form of carbofuran, which was blamed for the deaths of more than a million birds. The Environmental Protection Agency banned its liquid use as an insecticide on food crops in 2009.

Marketed under Furudan, Curater and other names, the insecticide is also toxic to humans and other mammals, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and difficulty breathing. Some farmers continue to use the poison illegally to kill larger predators and pests, including foxes, coyotes, and raccoons. Investigators believe at least five of the 13 eagles in Maryland ingested the toxic chemical while eating the tainted remains of a dead raccoon. Carbofuran is so acutely toxic that animals have succumbed to it with just food in their mouth. In some instances, the animals are found dead with undigested food material, mid-esophagus.

At the time the report was issued, authorities announced that they were intending to close the case soon due to a lack of evidence linking anyone to the crime. No arrests have been made. Killing a bald eagle is a felony crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

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A Sticky Solution Comes to Florida Agriculture

Growers across the country are excited about a new pesticide additive that is being tested on a citrus grove in Florida. Maher Damak, a 27-year-old scientist has a solution to make pesticides stickier, and therefore allow us to use far less of them. Many plants are hydrophobic, or water-repelling and pesticides are mostly water-based, so when they are sprayed onto plants, the droplets either bounce or roll off the surface. Considering more than 5.5 billion pounds of pesticide are used worldwide each year (including 1 billion pounds here in the United States) a solution is imperative.

Farmers use many pesticides, and usually, spray 50 to 100 gallons per acre depending on which kind of pests or diseases they have in a year. Only 2% of the pesticides actually stay on the plant. Helping protect plants is important, but it is crucial to remember that it also leaches into groundwater as runoff, contaminating drinking supplies, as well as carried away by wind where it settles on nearby homes, schools, and playgrounds. In fact, researchers have found decades-old pesticide particles as far away as Antarctica, which suggests our entire planet is currently covered in the stuff.

Considering pesticides account for almost half of production costs, there is a financial as well as an environmental incentive for farmers to adopt the new technology. Pests account for approximately 40% of losses in global agricultural production. This solution should help increase yields by taking the number of pesticides used per acre from 50-100 gallons down to just 10, changing the bottom lines for growers across the world. After a quick and inexpensive retrofit of pesticide applicators, whether handheld or tractor-mounted, farmers can use significantly less pesticide in their fields without harming their harvest.


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