Descriptions of Courses For Credit

Applicator Safety

Applicator safety should be a major concern to all of you -- looking out for number 1. This course is devoted to your protection. We will review basic safety procedures in handling and applying pesticides, identify common mistakes and careless actions, and emphasize the importance of planning a complete safety program.


Beetles That Attack Wood: Identifying Beetles that will reinfest

Literally thousands of species of beetles are found in association with wood. Only a few of these may be considered as serious pests that feed on and damage structural wood.

Pest control operators must be able to identify the species which will feed on and damage wood in order to:

  1. Detect and control infestations before significant damage has occurred.
  2. Avoid making pesticide applications that are not needed.



Beetles That Attack Wood: Identifying Beetles that will not reinfest

Literally thousands of species of beetles are found in association with wood. Only a few of these are considered as serious pests that feed on and damage structural wood.

Pest control operators must be able to identify the species which will feed on and damage wood in order to:

  1. Detect and control infestations before significant damage has occurred.
  2. Avoid making pesticide applications that are not needed.
  3. Avoid retreatments.


Environmental Protection

Pesticide applicators have a legal responsibility to ensure that products are used in accordance with label requirements including avoidance of environmental hazards. Applicators can minimize environmental impacts of pesticide use by proper practices that include correct handling and application of pesticides. We have a vested interest in minimizing impacts so that products remain available and effective.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Its Role In Pesticide Application

During the last half of the 20th century, the use of pesticides increased dramatically. Billions of pounds of pesticides were used to control diseases, insects, weeds and other pests. Along with this increased use of pesticides there was a growing concern for the possibility of adverse effect of pesticide use upon man and our environment.

A national concern for our environment began to grow and eventually resulted in the establishment of the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, often referred to as the "EPA". The EPA would be an autonomous regulatory body that would also promote research, provide assistance and recommend policy for protecting our environment.

Many of the environmental laws that the EPA has been given the authority to regulate are closely related to the application of pesticides. Pesticide applicators need to be familiar with the EPA and the regulations that they are responsible for.


Facets of IPM in Field Crops

The facets of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) are many and varied. An IPM program may be composed of a single simple facet or component, or it may be highly complex requiring the precise manipulation of many components.

The more facets or components that a producer is aware of, the greater their ability to make decisions that will increase the effectiveness of pest control programs they develope.


The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and its Related Requirements

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act is the most important federal law that pesticide applicators must be concerned with. This law regulates the:


The primary provisions of this law that directly affect pesticide applicators will be discussed in this study.

FLEAS: Life Cycle, Habits and Control

Fleas are not newcomers to this planet. Fossilized fleas have been found from as far back as the Cretaceous period. Today, fleas occupy every continent and every major island on earth. As of 1979, there was a total of 2,259 species of fleas described and named in the world. A total of 325 species can be found in the United States and Canada. Of these species at least 22 will bite man.


Grasshoppers on Pastures and Rangeland

Since the beginning of recorded history, grasshoppers have been a menace to man. On occasions, plagues of grasshoppers have denuded large areas of land, causing famines that resulted in the death of millions of human beings.

Grasshoppers are the most important pests of rangeland and native pastures. They are found in every part of the United States. Every year grasshopper populations, in some parts of the U.S. increase to the point of causing damage in the millions of dollars.


Identifying Cockroaches In and Around the Home

One of the most common insects found in and around man-made structures is the cockroach. The cockroach is often labeled as a repulsive, filth-carrying, food-contaminating creature. Controlling cockroaches in and around the home is a continuous battle. If effective, economic control is to be achieved, we must be able to positively identify the species that we are dealing with.


Insect Pests That Attack Cotton-The Boll Weevil

Of the more than 25 insect pests that attack cotton, the Cotton Boll Weevil has been declared the most damaging of all. Pesticide applications made to control the Boll Weevil often upset the balance of nature in the cotton field causing infestations of other pests and making it necessary to apply additional insecticides. This adds to production costs and can also result in reduced yields and profits.

Cotton producers must have a thorough knowledge of the biology and habits of the Boll Weevil and of the strategies involved in the control of this pest if effective and economic control is to be achieved.


Insect Pests That Attack Cotton-The Cotton Fleahopper

The cotton fleahopper, though small in stature, is capable of inflicting serious damage to the cotton plant that can delay fruiting and reduce yields.

Often cotton fields are not treated when they need to be treated for the control of the cotton fleahopper. At other times fields are treated for the cotton fleahopper when they do not need treatment.

This study will provide information needed to determine when and when not to treat cotton for the cotton fleahopper.


Know Your Cotton Plant

Knowing the phenology and the growth habits of the cotton plant can greatly improve your pest control decisions. Making the right decision can result in reduced production costs while maintaining yields.

Life History and Habits of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are one of the most common pests found in the home. A number of species are found in, and are widely distributed throughout North America and Canada.

Successful control of carpenter ant infestations can be difficult to achieve. If effective and economic control is to be realized, the person seeking control must have a thorough knowledge of the life cycle and habits of this pest.

This study will provide pesticide applicators with information on the biology and habits of carpenter ants that is essential in the pursuit of the control of this pest.


Managing Drift

There is much concern about drift. We will try to give you some needed information in regards to the prevention of drift.

Drift is the movement of spray particles away from the target site and is a result of many factors. Movements through air may result in unintentional occurrences.

The goal of spray drift management is to control the off-site movement of crop protection products, primarily herbicides. The elimination of adverse affects due to spray drift is a realistic goal.


Managing Pesticide Drift

The drift of pesticides from the target site is a serious problem affecting pesticide application. All pesticide applicators must be concerned with this problem and seek to manage pesticide application in a manner so as to reduce drift while optimizing coverage to the target site.

This course will provide specific facts that will help pesticide applicators understand drift. The course will also provide information on the management of pesticide applications so as to improve pesticide deposition and coverage on the target site while minimizing drift.


Pesticide Applicator Safety

Pesticides are substances or mixtures of substances used to prevent, destroy, repel or reduce the intensity of pest populations. Pesticides can harm or kill non-target plants and animals including humans. A pesticide applicator may be at risk of harm if pesticides are not applied in a safe manner.

Pesticide applicators need to know what precautions should be taken with each application of pesticide. Applicators need to have a knowledge of how excessive exposure could take place and how that exposure can be prevented. They also need to be knowledgeable of safety precautions involving the transportation, storage and mixing of pesticides. Additional information on cleaning application equipment, personal protection equipment, pesticide spills and the disposal of pesticide containers is needed to carry out an effective safety program.



Pesticide Families

The objective of this course is to teach pesticide applicators the primary groups of common pesticides, their chemical properties, toxicology, uses, recognition and management of human poisonings.


Principles of IPM in Field Crops

Understanding the Basic Principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) enables producers to choose pest control options which will fit their farming practices and enhance control.

More effective control can greatly improve yields and can often result in reduced production costs.



The Principles of Pest Control on Lawn and Turf

Our lawns and turf areas often become a status symbol of who we are or what we are like. Certain cities have become quite well known for their beautiful, well-manicured parks and the well-kept lawns and turf areas around public facilities. People often use the appearance of the lawns in a community as a criteria, for purchasing a residence or for establishing a business in the area.

Maintaining a healthy, well-groomed lawn can be very challenging. Pest control plays a significant role in maintaining the health and aesthetics of both public and private lawns. The task of pest control, though challenging is made much easier if we can identify the pests and if we understand the relationship of the pests to effective control techniques.



Recognition and Control of Some Small Vertebrate Pests Small Mammals

Numerous small mammals often occupy the same niche as humans. Squirrels, raccoons and other small animals can be an enjoyable part of our environment. They are a great source of pleasure as they are watched and photographed. However, when these animals invade our homes, damage structures and eat or destroy our gardens and landscapes, they then become pests.

Small mammals can transmit certain diseases to humans and can be a health threat to homeowners and to pest control operators who attempt to control them.



Sucking Pests of Ornamental Shrubs

Hundreds of plant species are now being grown for their ornamental value. New species and improved cultivars are being introduced continuously. All of these plants are a potential food source for a large number of insect pests.

If we are to protect the aesthetic value of our ornamental plants, we must be able to identify the pests that attack our plants and the damage that they cause. We must also have a working knowledge of the pest's life cycle and habits.


Sorghum Midge

Grain sorghum production in the U.S.A. is somewhere around 500 -700 million bushels annually. In most parts of the world grain sorghum is grown for human consumption. In the U.S.A. it is grown primarily for feeding livestock.The sorghum midge is the most destructive pest of grain sorghum. High populations of the sorghum midge are capable of reducing the production in a sorghum field from about 20 to 100 percent if proper control measures are not taken. Economic, effective control of the sorghum midge is dependant upon a thorough knowledge of its life cycle and habits, as well as its relation to the blooming pattern of the grain sorghum plant.


The Greenbug

Since its introduction into the United States in 1882 the greenbug has become one of the most destructive pests of grain crops. The pest has been recorded as damaging wheat, barley, rye, oats, grain sorghum and other crops.

In some years the greenbug has destroyed 25% of the wheat crop in the southwestern part of the U.S. It has been estimated that each year the greenbug destroys from 1% to 2% of the wheat crop in the world.

Greenbug populations can increase rapidly. A producer or applicator must know how to positively identify this pest and the damage it causes. They must also understand how environmental factors that effect the population dynamics of this pest and thus, involved in control decisions.


Texas Department of Agriculture Laws and Regulations



The Eastern Subterranean Termite

The eastern subterranean termite is the most important wood-destroying organism in the United States.

This pest attacks all kinds of structures and products made of wood or cellulose. It will occasionally feed on field crops and shrubs in the landscape. To achieve effective control of this pest, one must have a thorough understanding of the pest's life history and habits.


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