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.
Pesticide Clean Day Collection Event
The Georgia Department of Agriculture will hold a Georgia Pesticide Clean Day event at the Mitchell County Stadium in Camilla, Georgia on February 10, 2021. The location is at 45 Industrial Blvd. and will run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Preregistration is required. See the Collection Event Announcement for details.
Online Self-Study Guides for Aquatic (Cat. 26) and Agricultural Plant (Cat. 21) Pest Control Now Available:
UGA's PSEP has just made available two additional category manual study guides. Further information and directions for obtaining access to these study guides can be found on the Core & Category Manual Study Guides webpage. Click on the page name in the left-hand column of this homepage.
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: Effective December 31, 2020, new regulations mandate that any paraquat products under 120 gallons distributed or sold by paraquat registrants require a closed system and do not allow jar testing. However, dealers and distributors are permitted to continue to sell paraquat products that do not meet the closed-system requirement until their stocks run out, and pesticide applicators may continue to use existing stocks according to the directions on the label of the product in their possession.
NOTE: This does NOT mean you need to retake the training. Your current certification is still valid until 3 years after the date of your training which is printed on your certificate.
What you need to know about EPA’s paraquat mitigation decision is outlined in this graphic from EPA but does not include the new regulations effective 31 Dec. 2020. You can access the training course at the EPA Paraquat Dichloride Training for Certified Applicators website or through the eXtension Campus website (you must create an account before you can use this 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.
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 [Homeowners 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.
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.
- Structural Pest Management Program - UGA Griffin Campus
- Georgia Integrated Pest Management
- Southern IPM Center
- UGA Center for Urban Agriculture - Griffin Campus
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.
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.
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.
- Georgia Integrated Pest Management
- UGA Center for Urban Agriculture
- UGA Research and Education Garden - Griffin
- Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Division: Pesticides
- Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Plant Industry Division: Structural Pest
- Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Licensing Division
- Georgia Department of Agriculture Pesticide Products and Registration
- EPA Pesticide Product Label System
- National Pesticide Information Center
- Home Service Partners: Homeowners Pest Guides
- Pesticide Fact Sheets
- EXTOXNET (EXtension TOXicology NETwork)