- Author: Cheryl Reynolds
Looking to hire a maintenance gardener? Make sure they are DPR certified
—Cheryl Reynolds, UC Statewide IPM Program
Summer is right around the corner. The mild weather we've recently experienced following a rich rainy season is the perfect combination for the luscious growth we see in lawns and landscapes.
Business picks up this time of year for the many maintenance gardeners who are hired to mow lawns, clean up landscapes, or get rid of unwanted insects, diseases, or weeds. What many people may not realize is that maintenance gardeners who apply pesticides as part of their services must be certified by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Even if pesticides are not used often, such as a single herbicide application, a Qualified Applicator Certificate in the Maintenance Gardener Category Q (QAC-Q) is required. This certification allows maintenance gardeners to legally apply general use pesticides as part of their services.
According to DPR, approximately two-thirds of pesticide exposure-related illnesses reported between 2005 and 2014 in California came from urban settings such as parks, gardens, schools, and homes. Maintenance gardeners with a QAC-Q are qualified to follow California laws and regulations that help them to use, transport, store, and dispose of pesticides safely in order to avoid human injury and contamination of the environment. They are also trained in pest identification and alternative methods to managing pests without the use of pesticides.
If you are a homeowner and use maintenance gardener services or are looking to hire, be sure to use one that is certified by DPR to ensure that they have the qualifications to follow the law and apply pesticides safely around your home. View the DPR Maintenance Gardener leaflet for homeowners and consumers (PDF) for more information on what you can do.
If you are a maintenance gardener and not yet certified, visit the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) website for resources to help you. The exam preparation page lists several materials such as a study guide available for purchase as well as free online modules and practice exam questions available in both English and Spanish.
Those who already hold a QAC-Q must renew it by taking eight hours of DPR-approved continuing education (CE) courses every two years, with at least two hours in the laws and regulations category. Find approved online courses on the UCIPM training page.
While out with my dogs last weekend, I went through a narrow trail that is constantly being invaded by Cape ivy (Delairea odorata). Without thinking, I grabbed the invading vine broke it off and pulled it out of the way. Only when I had that clump in my fist did I look at it and saw that it was not Cape ivy but another common vine - Toxicodendron diversilobum, commonly known as poison oak. Imagine my surprise.
Photo by Joseph M. DiTomaso.
I thought it had only gotten it on my arm and hand where I grabbed it so I avoided touching anything so as not to spread the urushiol oil which is what causes the itchy, bumpy allergic skin reaction and as soon as I got home, I washed my hands and arms with rubbing alcohol to dissolve the oil and washed it off. So far, that seems to have worked.
However, I guess I was not so lucky with other parts of my body. I thought I hadn't touched it but about 2 days later, the bumps showed up behind one ear. Then on one side of my face. Today, it is on my chin.
Poison oak is has started to grow pretty quickly this time of year and it is quite green, so you may not notice it if growing among other plants. Take my advice and look before you weed. Please see the UC IPM Pest Note about poison oak for information about identification, management, and what to do if you do meet it personally.
An arborist reported an unusual pest found on an olive tree in Riverside CA late 2016. CDFA identified it as an Olive Bark Beetle (OBB) Phloeotribus scarabaeoides (http://blogs.cdfa.ca.gov/Section3162/?tag=olive-bark-beetle)
Currently, the pest status is Q (quarantined) but it is recommended to be changed to B.
The report states the OBB has been found at olive trees at grape vineyard as well as a residence and 3 nurseries, all in Riverside County. Surveys of olive trees at nurseries in other counties have not found any OBB.
The beetle is very small (2mm) and brownish-gray so it is difficult to detect. See https://www.forestryimages.org/browse/subthumb.cfm?sub=4146 for photos.
Current hosts are olive, Fraxinus spp., privet (Ligustrum sp.), lilac (Syringa), Phyllirea sp.
Damage is caused by larval feeding and then by adults on weakened stems and branches of causing decline and sometimes death
Damage can also be caused by adults creating feeding incisions on small, healthy branches causing the tips to dry out and die, or by adults damaging axillary buds when trying to initiate small galleries or holes where they can hibernate.
Good information about its biology and life cycle can be found on http://www7.inra.fr/hyppz/RAVAGEUR/6phlsca.htm
SAVE THE DATE:IPM Training for Professional Landscapers
Date: May 11, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sponsor: CE San Diego/Port of San Diego
Get ready for the Annual IPM Training for Professional Landscapers sponsored by UCCE San Diego and the Port of San Diego.
Details and Registration information will be here and at UCCE San Diego web site as soon as we finalize the agenda./h2>/h2>
FROM UC Pesticide SAFETY AND EDUCATION GROUP:
We are in the midst of a new and changing era of Worker Protection Standards (WPS). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recently published the revised WPS, which is meant to increase protections for agricultural fieldworkers and pesticide handlers from pesticide exposure when they're working in farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. The changes are already affecting California agriculture!
What major regulatory changes have already gone into effect?
Several changes are required to have been in place as of January 2, 2017. These include:
* All 417,000 fieldworkers in California must attend annual pesticide safety training.
* Records of all fieldworker pesticide safety trainings must be kept on file for 2 years.
* Fields must be posted when the restricted entry interval (REI) exceeds 48 hours.
* “Application-exclusion zones” must be implemented to prevent the entry of anyone into areas up to 100 feet from pesticide application equipment.
* Instructors previously qualified via a DPR-approved Instructor Training programs (Train the Trainer) are qualified to train through 2017. If you wish to be qualified to train fieldworkers and handlers after December 31, 2017 using this qualification, you must complete an updated, DPR-approved Train the Trainer workshop.
Now is the time to make sure these changes are put in place!
What major regulatory changes are still in store for us? When will they happen?
The regulatory changes that must be in place by January 2, 2018 include:
* Additional training topics for fieldworkers and handlers have to be added to the curriculum.
* Handlers have to suspend an application if anyone enters the application exclusion zone.
Who do these changes affect?
Many people who work in the California agricultural community will be impacted by the WPS revisions. These include fieldworkers, pesticide handlers, farm labor contractors, private and in-house safety trainers, growers, farm managers, licensed pesticide applicators (private and commercial), pest control advisors (PCAs), and crop consultants, to name a few.
How do I know if I am qualified to train?
If you attended one of the DPR-approved Train-the-Trainer programs you are qualified through 2017. However, if you wish to continue training after the end of the year, you must complete a DPR-approved Instructor Training Program, which includes the 2018 training topic requirements.
If you maintain certain licenses/government designations, including PAC, QAC, QAL, PCA, and certain County Biologist licenses you are qualified to train. UCCE Advisors are also qualified to train.
How can I get qualified as a trainer?
To become a trainer, take an Instructor Training program that is approved by DPR for 2018 topics. The University of California Pesticide Safety Education Program (part of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, UC IPM), in partnership with AgSafe, will offer multiple workshops this spring that cover the new federal requirements for fieldworker and handler training. You can reserve your spot now. At the end of the training you will be a certified pesticide safety instructor.
If I am currently qualified, how can I make sure I stay up to date on all the new requirements?
If you are currently qualified as a trainer because you maintain a California PAC, QAC, or QAL, or if you are a PCA, you can attend an Instructor Training Program this spring to learn about the new WPS requirements and additional training topics. While a certification may qualify you, an Instructor Training Program will prepare you to train! Register today!