What does the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) at the University of Georgia do?
The PSEP develops and delivers educational resources, manuals, training programs, and other valuable information to teach Commercial and Private Certified Applicators throughout Georgia how to safely transport, store, use, and dispose of pesticide products. In addition we conduct training programs on pesticide safety for parks and recreation public employees, educational institution road and grounds crew members, city and county public works and mosquito control public employees, Master Gardener volunteers, and garden clubs. While this training does not lead to a state pesticide applicator license, it does increase these individual's competence and self-confidence in safely and effectively applying general use and unclassified pesticides without harming themselves, their fellow Georgians, and our environment.
I work in a Parks and Recreation Department and we only apply general-use pesticides on city property. However, I want to learn more about properly and safely using pesticides. Is there a training program available that will teach me about pesticides and will I get a Certificate that I can use in my work?
Yes, there is a training program that you can take. It's called the Georgia Competent Applicators of Pesticides Program (GCAPP). Upon successful completion of the training, you receive a certificate from UGA and Georgia Department of Agriculture that is valid for five-years. Ask your county Extension agent about how to purchase access to and complete the program. The GCAPP training program is now available on-line. Homeowners, public service employees, master gardeners, other volunteers, and all Georgians may purchase access to the training at the Georgia Professional Certifications Course Access storefront on the UGA Market Place. You will be enrolled in the course and sent an email message with a username and password to begin the training at the Georgia Professional Certifications website. It requires a total time commitment of 4.5-5.5 hours by participants, but this can be accomplished in multiple sessions.
When and where does PSEP conduct most of their training programs?
Most face-to-face pesticide safety training is conducted during late fall, winter, and spring, when a majority of both commercial and private applicators have down-time. County Extension agents, industry groups, trade and business associations, and some others organize trainings across the State. You can find many of these events on our calendar or go to the Pesticide Applicator Re-Certification Courses search site to find upcoming courses that have been approved for re-certification credits.
Are there online courses I can take for recertification credit?
Yes, the Georgia Department of Agriculture Plant Industry Division's Pesticides web page for Pesticide Applicator Licensing and Certification has links to approved online classes.
I'm a homeowner and want to learn more about applying pesticides correctly but neither qualify for nor need or want a pesticide license. Is there a program for me?
Yes, the Georgia Competent Applicators of Pesticides Program (GCAPP) is designed to train Master Gardeners and homeowners on the safe and effective use of pesticides. Instructions are given in the question from a parks and recreation department above that describes how to access the online training program. If you would prefer a face-to-face training session, contact your county Extension Office about organizing a group training or Dr. Mickey Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information about other group training opportunities.
If I’m an applicant for the aerial applicator's commercial license, which exams do I need to take to qualify?
You would have to take the exam on the National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual (core exam) and the Aerial Applicators exam plus the category exams for each type of spraying you want to engage in. For example, if you intend to spray row crops such as cotton, soybeans, corn, and peanuts, you would need to take the Agricultural Plant Pest Control exam as well. If you were to do any other type of aerial spray application, such as mosquito control or forest pest control, you'd need the Mosquito Control (Cat. 41) or the Forest Pest Control (Cat. 23) categories on your license as well.
As a private applicator, how many CEUs can I earn each 5-year recertification cycle from webinars such as the “Getting the Best of Pests” webinar series?
The Georgia Department of Agriculture allows private applicators to have only 1 CEU per 5-year recertification cycle from watching webinars. The other 2 CEUs must come from approved in-person training events, approved production meetings, or other approved trainings involving face-to-face contact with the trainer.
What license categories does a city employee need to treat mosquitoes and spray herbicides or other pesticides on city property?
The employee would need category 24 (Ornamental and Turfgrass) and category 41 (Mosquito Control) added to their commercial license. Under some circumstances, a category 31 (Public Health) might be required. Check with the Georgia Department of Agriculture Pesticides office if there is a question about a category 31 license being required.
What requirements does the Georgia Department of Agriculture set for fumigant application by private applicators?
If a person possesses a current Private Applicators License, they are allowed to purchase and apply soil fumigants in Georgia. However, the applicator is required to meet EPA’s requirements, which include product specific applicator training provided by the fumigant registrant, the creation of a Fumigant Management Plan, implementation of safety measures, and appropriate record retention. Follow this link to EPA’s Soil Fumigant Tool Box page, which details all of the requirements and provides templates for the Management Plan.
What is EPA’s current policy regarding greenhouse use of pesticides where a greenhouse is not a specified site on the label?
"The Agency’s current position on greenhouse application is that in accordance with FIFRA section 2(ee) a label does not have to specify greenhouse as a site, provided the crop is on the label, in order to use the product in a greenhouse." Richard Pont Certification and Worker Protection Branch, U.S. EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs.