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Spraying roses for aphids with hand pump-up sprayer

Georgia's Pesticide Safety Education Program promotes the responsible and safe use of pesticides throughout Georgia. We accomplish this by providing the educational resources, training programs, and materials needed to help both private and commercial pesticide applicators achieve certification and subsequently to maintain the knowledge to safely, effectively, and responsibly make use of general use and restricted-use pesticides. Our educational resources cover a broad range of pesticide safety topics including pest identification, personal safety, safe storage and disposal of pesticides, environmental protection, pesticide drift and runoff prevention, threatened and endangered species protection, pollinator protection, water quality protection, and feed and food safety.  A special training program is available for public service employees, volunteers such as Master Gardeners, homeowners, and anyone looking to learn more about the responsible and safe use of pesticides in Georgia.



Corteva AgriScience will stop making chlorpyrifos insecticide by years end:   Due to reduced demand, Corteva has made the strategic business decision to phase out our production of chlorpyrifos in 2020. We are committed to continuing to support our farmers and invest in products they need. Our customers will have access to enough chlorpyrifos supply to cover current demand through the end of the year, while they transition to other products or other providers.

Land Management Partnership:  USDA and Georgia Sign Shared Stewardship Agreement Highlighting Cooperative Approach to Land Management:  On 23 November 2019, Georgia Govenor Brian Kemp and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue signed a shared partnership agreement that should be a great opportunity to coordinate and prioritize land management activities in tandem with USDA's Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the State of Georgia. You can read more about the agreement and its possibilities in this press release from USDA.

Recordkeeping and Pesticide Drift:  This guide on how to focus on environmental conditions for pesticide application recordkeeping can help you protect yourself from pesticide drift damage claims.

New Paraquat Training Requirements:  What you need to know about EPA’s paraquat mitigation decision is outlined in this graphic from EPA.  You can access the training course at the EPA Paraquat Dichloride Training for Certified Applicators website or through the eXtension Campus website for the How To Safely Use and Handle Paraquat-Containing Products course.  Both courses are approved by the U.S. EPA.  You must complete and pass one of these courses before you will be allowed to buy paraquat-containing products.  The training must be retaken every 3 years.

An App for Weed and Pest Identification:  BASF has launched an app to help farmers with identifying weeds and pests, even when weeds are at the cotyledon stage.  The app was developed by Bayer and released in 2018.  The way it works is you snap a picture of the weed or disease and the app tells you with a percentage of confidence what you're looking at.  You should consider anything over 90% confidence as accurate, since the identification is being done by a remote server that has more than 150,000 weed and disease images in a massive database for comparison.  Your pictures get added to the database and over time the system gets even better.  This is a high-tech way to speed scouting and make inexperienced scouts more effective.

Pesticide Safety Incidents from 2017:  Are you curious about what can happen when you fail to follow the pesticide safety “rules” that you’ve learned from your initial certification training and the recertification meetings you’ve attended?  If so, read about incidents that occurred in 2017, when basic pesticide safety precautions were ignored.

Current News

EPA Released Proposed Interim Decisions for Neonicotinoids on 30 Jan 2020.  EPA is proposing:

  • management measures to help keep pesticides on the intended target and reduce the amount used on crops associated with potential ecological risks;
  • requiring the use of additional personal protective equipment to address potential occupational risks;  [All applicators take note!]
  • restrictions on when pesticides can be applied to blooming crops in order to limit exposure to bees;  [Private applicators and Cat. 21 commercial applicators take note!]
  • language on the label that advises homeowners not to use neonicotinoid products; and  [Homewners take note!]
  • cancelling spray uses of imidacloprid on residential turf under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) due to health concerns.  [Category 24 commercial applicators take note!]

Ban Against Moving Citrus Plants Through Georgia Begins 1 Jan 2020 for Private Individuals and Commercially without Prior Approval

The state of Georgia on Jan. 1, 2020, will adopt new regulations that make it illegal to import any citrus plant without a permit.  This doesn’t affect citrus fruit, but it is an issue for nurseries or citizens who buy citrus plants as ornamentals, if they carry them across the state line.  This is part of the Georgia Department of Agriculture's effort to stop the spread of significant pests and diseases like citrus canker, citrus greening and the Asian citrus psyllid to Georgia's growing citrus industry.  You can read more in this story from Clemson University.

EPA Takes Action to Provide Accurate Risk Information to Consumers, Stop False Labeling on Products

EPA is issuing guidance to registrants of glyphosate to ensure clarity on labeling of the chemical on their products. EPA will no longer approve product labels claiming glyphosate is known to cause cancer – a false claim that does not meet the labeling requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  

In April, EPA took the next step in the review process for glyphosate. EPA found – as it has before – that glyphosate is not a carcinogen, and there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label. These scientific findings are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies.

Scheduled UGA Webinars for GREEN Industry Professionals

(CEUs are authorized; check the GTBOP website for authorized categories including Private Applicators for each webinar's CEUs) Register no earlier than 5 weeks prior to each webinar.

Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM

Pest management in greenhouse production

Dr. Eric Redek, Dept. of Entomology, Oklahoma State University

Greenhouses are perfect environments for plants and insects. Some of these insects are pests while others can be used as biological control agents to manage pest species.
This webinar will focus on the most common greenhouse pests and biological control strategies to reduce pest pressure.


Green-up 2020: Forecast for turfgrasses and pest management

Dr. Clint Waltz, Dept. of Crop and Soil Science, University of Georgia

As the weather warms and turfgrasses transition to active growth, the impact of environmental conditions can affect green-up and pest management.  This webinar will discuss how grasses and pests (i.e. diseases, weeds, and insects) have been influenced by weather patterns and how to best achieve turfgrass growth through the spring and into early summer.

Thursday, May 14, 2020 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM

Influence on landscape management practices on household pests

Dr. Daniel Suiter, Dept. of Entomology, University of Georgia

The outdoor landscape can provide conducive conditions for many arthropods which can be household pests.  This webinar will discuss landscape practices such as placement and type of plants, mulch, and water near the house’s foundation, and how these practices can be changed to reduce and eliminate the incursion and spread of household pests.


Identification and management of nuisance insects, and other arthropods in turfgrass

Dr. Tim Davis, County Coordinator and Agent -- Chatham County, University of Georgia

This webinar will insects, and other arthropods, that are commonly found in turfgrass but are not detrimental to the grass itself. Fire ants may top the list, but other insects include burrowing / ground bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and other nuisance pests (e.g. spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and etc.).  Turfgrass managers need to be able to identify these species, where they live in the turfgrass system (e.g. canopy, soil surface, soil, etc.), and if they provide any ecosystem services (e.g. predators to damaging insects).

Thursday, July 16, 2020 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM

Biology and management of crape myrtle bark scale

Dr. Yan Chen, Louisiana State University

Crape myrtle bark scale is an invasive insect native to Asia.  This pest was recently introduced in Texas and spreading across the southern states.  The speaker will provide information on biology of this pest such as life cycle, generations, host plants and dispersal mechanisms.  The speaker will update the recent research on management options including effective insecticides and application timing.


Disease management in turfgrass

Dr. Alfredo Martinez, Dept. of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia

Implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies on turfgrasses to avoid and minimize foliar, crown and root turfgrass diseases will be discussed.  Emphasizing reduced fungicide usage.

For more information or to get on our email contact list for upcoming webinars, contact Tami Boyle, Center for Urban Agriculture, University of Georgia Griffin Campus at or call 770-233-6107. CEUs in various Georgia Commercial and Private Pesticide Applicator License categories are available.

Registration: Webinars are $10 (for 2 CEUs) with a sliding scale (price goes down with more attendees registered), and are 7:45 to 10:00 a.m. East Coast time. All that’s needed is a reliable internet connection. Register for an upcoming webinar a few weeks prior to the webinar by going to the Getting the Best of Pests website, clicking on the GREEN BUTTON labeled COMMERCIAL AND PRIVATE, and following the registration instructions. Contact Beth Horne at or call 770-228-7214 with questions regarding the registration process.


Which license do I need: Private, Commercial, or Structural?

A Private Pesticide Applicator license...

- Is needed if either of the following statements is true:

I want to purchase and use a Restricted-Use pesticide (RUP) on my property or the property of my employer to produce an agricultural, horticultural, or forestry commodity.


I want to supervise the use of a Restricted-Use pesticide (RUP) on my property or the property of my employer to produce an agricultural, horticultural, or forestry commodity.

more details for Private Applicators

A Commercial Pesticide Applicator license...

- Is required if you want to buy, apply, or supervise the application of a general use or restricted-use pesticide (RUP) without a fee and you do not qualify as a private applicator.

- Is required if you work for or as a licensed Pesticide Contractor applying any pesticide to the lands of another for a fee unless you work under the supervision of someone else who has a Commercial Pesticide Applicator license.

- Does not permit you to charge a fee unless you also have a Pesticide Contractor license.

- Is required for Restricted-Use pesticide purchases, and your purchases must be confined to only those categories for which you are authorized by your license.

More details for Commercial Applicators

A Structural Pest Control license...

- Is required to solicit work or perform work as a Structural Pest Control business in Georgia.

- Requires you to be certified or registered and work for a licensed Structural Pest Control company to solicit or perform Structural Pest Control work in Georgia.

- Is divided into three operational categories: Household Pest Control (HPC), Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO), and Structural Fumigation (FUM).

- Requires pre-licensing: training, experience, and examinations.


What materials are available for training my agricultural workers to meet the requirements of the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard?

UGA’s Pesticide Safety Program has obtained copies of the How to Comply With the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides - What Owners and Employers Need To Know that are available at a nominal cost from the UGA Extension Publication Store. Additional materials for training agricultural workers are available from the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) website (downloadable documents, videos, and other electronic materials) and from the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) store (including DVDs of training videos, the required safety posters, and many other hard goods required by the WPS).  Please note that a portion of your purchases from NPSEC is returned to the Pesticide Safety Education Program in Georgia to support pesticide safety training and recertification classes around the state and development and updating of online training resources for Georgia's pesticide applicators, both private and commercial.

Among the currently available resources are updated WPS videos in both English and Spanish. There are new WPS handouts and an inventory of training materials that has downloadable training videos, sample forms, modifiable presentations, and more. Additional materials are added as approved so check the PERC website often for any new training materials.  Note: Anyone can sign up to be notified of new releases from PERC at this web address:

How do I get pesticide safety education if I neither need nor want a license or do not qualify for any type of license?

Everyone in Georgia who handles and applies general use or unclassified pesticides should be trained in how to correctly and safely use pesticides. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and the University of Georgia’s Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) have jointly developed the Georgia Competent Applicators of Pesticides Program (GCAPP) to provide Georgians who might wish training in the proper and safe use of pesticides. This training program is now available online on the Georgia Professional Certifications website. First, you will need to purchase access to the GCAPP training for homeowners, public service employees, master gardeners and other volunteers at the Georgia Professional Certifications Course Access storefront on UGA Marketplace. Click on the tab for Homeowners, Public Service Employees, & Volunteers (if you get a message that this page is not available or found, click on the refresh button until the course appears as the storefront is sometimes slow to load the actual course pages). Follow these instructions for purchasing the course. GCAPP requires a minimum of a 4.5 to 5.5 hour time commitment by participants to complete the course.


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