UGA Urban Pest Management Certificate Program runs through June 11

UGA Urban Pest Management Certificate Program

Thursdays through June 11 – Griffin

Credit (24 hours total) 18 HPC & 6 WDO Cert/Reg Hrs

See agenda for details.

Registration Form

Certificate programThe Urban Pest Management Program on the UGA Griffin campus has established a 10-week lecture series resulting in the awarding of a Certificate in Urban and Structural Pest Management. The goal of the program is to provide Georgia’s pest management companies new service technicians exposed to various aspects of the industry, and to award current pest management professionals a University of Georgia-sponsored credential. Georgia Department of Agriculture-approved credit (Certificate Program) will be granted to currently registered and certified employees.

What is Urban and Structural Pest Management?

Urban and structural pest management is the protection of our property, food, and health from insect and rodent pests commonly found in homes, restaurants, and other businesses. The service technician is the front line of this defense, and thus the backbone of the pest management industry.

Who is this Certificate For?

This Certificate is appropriate for:

  1. individuals with no experience in the pest management industry, but who are looking to enter a stable and exciting field;
  2. individuals who, even though they might have extensive pest management experience, would like to energize their career by acquiring a professional credential, and;
  3. owners and managers of pest management companies looking to improve the skills of current and future employees.

The Certificate’s Lecture Series

Classes are held once per week, in the evening, on the UGA Griffin Campus. The Certificate’s curriculum is designed to expose students to various aspects of the pest management industry, including sales, customer service, and legal affairs. More than half of the Certificate’s 10 lectures are about the identification, biology, and management of the most common urban insect pests found in Georgia.

A Unique Training Opportunity

Certificate program 2Because a laboratory session is part of each technical lecture, the Certificate provides a unique training opportunity even for the most experienced technician. Over the course of the Certificate’s various laboratory sessions, students are shown specimens of the 100 or so most common insect pests most likely to be encountered in and around Georgia’s urban environment.

Program Fee

The Certificate fee is $195. Individual lectures can be taken for $20 each. Military veterans with a valid DD Form 214 attend free of charge.

For more information, contact Dr. Daniel Suiter at 770-233-6114.

To register for an upcoming Certificate Lecture Series, print the registration (PDF), fill it out, and return the bottom section with your payment to the address listed on the form. Faxed registrations are also accepted at 770-228-7287.

Directions to the training facility and a list of local hotels are available.

For more information see

UGA offers turf, landscape & gardening certificate courses

Landscape - UGA Cont EdEdited from a longer article found here

Landscape managers are in high demand to maintain and enhance grounds for commercial and public property owners, including stadiums, golf courses, apartment complexes, resorts and office parks. The University of Georgia proudly offers its own courses for the landscaping industry.

In UGA’s turfgrass courses, you’ll learn to select and maintain different types of turf grasses for a variety of conditions, such as drought, shade and high traffic. 

Register yourself or employees for UGA’s Principles of Turfgrass Management (offered in English or Spanish) and become Landscape Industry Certified by PLANET, The Professional Landcare Network.

Register yourself or employees for UGA’s Sports Turfgrass Management. UGA’s Sports Turfgrass Management Course is an in-depth review of fundamental sports field management practices, endorsed by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA).

Armitage’s  courses Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun and Herbaceous Perennials for the Shade  ideal for master gardeners, nursery employees, and landscape designers. 

Print-based UGA certificate courses

Principles of Turfgrass Management

Learn standard turfgrass management practices and procedures. This course covers soils, turfgrass growth, fertilization, mowing, irrigation, weeds, diseases, pesticides, and much more.

Principios Sobre el Manejo de Céspedes

Aprenda prácticas y procedimientos estándares sobre el manejo de céspedes. Este curso cubre suelos, crecimiento de céspedes, fertilización, corte, irrigación, malas hierbas, enfermedades, pesticidas y mucho más.

Sports Turfgrass Management

This course explains how turfgrass management practices are specifically adapted to sports fields. You’ll learn the principles of warm- and cool-season turfgrass establishment, growth, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

UGA online certification and certificate programs

Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennials for the Shade

Learn how to plant, propagate, and care for 18 awesome perennials. You’ll learn each plant’s origin, characteristics, bloom time, flower structure, and optimum growing conditions.

Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun

Learn how to plant, propagate, and care for 20 awesome perennials. You’ll learn each plant’s origin, characteristics, bloom time, flower structure, and optimum growing conditions.

Nov 1 deadline to apply for the John Strickland GCLP Scholarship!

GCLP_371-150x157John Strickland Memorial GCLP Scholarship Application Deadline is Nov 1!

John Strickland was one of our industry’s most recognizable figures.  Involved in Georgia’s landscape industry since 1976, he was instrumental in the development of the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional program and served as both MALTA President and GGIA Chair.  In fond memory of John, one scholarship a year will be awarded to cover registration fees for the GCLP program and the scholarship winner will be honored at the annual certification luncheon in conjunction with GGIA WinterGreen.

Requirements:  Candidate must be a student or professional that is working/studying in an area of landscape contracting and will commit to completion of the GCLP certification program.

Award:  Selected candidate will receive study materials, access to the GCLP web study course, and admission to exams at no charge.

Application:  Email Becky Griffin at with your contact information and a typewritten essay (not to exceed 200 words) about your experience, dreams, and aspirations in landscape horticulture.  Please include any information that demonstrates a financial need.

Deadline:  November 1st.

What is the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Program?

GCLP_371-150x157Taken from this page.

What is the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Program?

The Georgia Certified Landscape Professional (GCLP) program is a voluntary testing program that certifies those in the landscape profession who have mastered a thorough knowledge and understanding of job skills required to be successful in the industry.

The test consists of four written components and eight hands-on components. Applicants are provided a 400+ page printed study manual and access to a internet study site developed by the University of Georgia.

The GCLP program  is endorsed by the Georgia Green Industry Association, the Georgia Turfgrass Association, the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association and officially recognizd by the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Written exam components include:

  • A multiple-choice test based on the study manual.
  • A plan reading skill test that requires participants to read and interpret a landscape plan, to answer questions pertaining to the plan, and to make calculations, such as square foot areas, plant quantities per area, etc.
  • A test on common insect, disease and environmental problems. Participants must identify 25 samples (photos or actual specimens).
  • A plant identification test that requires participants to identify fifty plant samples from a list of over 270 provided. Actual samples of trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, herbaceous perennials, annuals, weeds and turfgrasses will be placed on tables for ID.

Hands-on evaluations include:

  • Plan Lay-out: The participant will be given a planting plan and will be required to arrange containerized plants within a given are according to the plan.
  • Tree Planting and Staking: The participant must plant a tree according to specifications provided and show how to install a staking system.
  • Grading and Drainage: The participant must read a topographical map and demonstrate how to contour the grade of a site in a 10 ft. x 10 ft. sand box.
  • Pruning: The participant will show where and how to make pruning cuts and how to prune selected trees and shrubs.
  • Sod Installation: The participant must demonstrate the correct technique for laying sod in a given area.
  • Irrigation Management:  The participant must identify the components of a conventional and low volume landscape irrigation system and demonstrate knowledge of proper operation.
  • Pesticide Application: The participant will demonstrate how to mix and apply pesticides properly and will discuss appropriate clothing to wear during pesticide application. He/she must also be prepared to discuss handling and disposal techniques.
  • Equipment Operation: The participant will discuss routine maintenance practices and proper operation of power equipment.

The written and hands-on exams are offered at least twice a year. The written components are given at the annual conference of the Georgia Green Industry Association in January and in the Atlanta area in August. The hands-on components are given spring and fall at the UGA Research and Education Gardens in Griffin.

15 hours of Continuing Education Units are required every three years to remain certified.

For information about testing dates and locations and testing fees, contact Kimberly Allen with the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture at 770-233-6107; e-mail

GDA and SPCC announce new guidance and policies


The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission (SPCC) announce new guidance and policy to assist the industry with compliance with the current rules of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Act.  The compliance fact sheets are posted under guidance policies on the SPCC webpage.

New Guidance Fact Sheets

14-02 Pesticide Use Record Compliance

14-04 WDO Contracts

14-08 Under-floor ventilation

14-09 Official Waiver

14-10 Official Georgia Wood Infestation Inspection Report

The new 2014 rules and compliance timeline are posted on the Laws & Regulations webpage.

From the Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission

New Online Video Helps Prepare Pesticide Applicators to Pass the Mosquito Control Exam

Elmer Gray, UGA Entomology Department

For pesticide applicators preparing to take the Mosquito Control Pesticide Applicators exam, help is as close as your computer!

Mosquito Control is a growing part of the landscape industry. Commercial applicators of mosquito control products need to have pesticide applicator certification in Category 41, Mosquito Control. UGA Entomologist Elmer Gray has recorded an online video to better prepare applicators to take and to pass the Category 41 pesticide exam.

The new video that helps to prepare applicators to take the Mosquito Control (Category 41) exam is posted online at

Note that the video is a supplemental help to those studying for the exam and is not a replacement for studying the manual!  Applicators should order and study the manual before taking the exam.

If the applicator has not already passed the general standards exam through the GA Dept of Ag Pesticide Division, they will also need to order that manual, study and also pass that exam as well.

Mosquito control certification is handled through the GA Dept of Ag Pesticide Division. We sent the following information earlier concerning the Pesticide Division, but include it here again so that you have all info together in case you want to pursue a license.

New Online Video Helps Prepare Pesticide Applicators to Pass the Mosquito Control Exam

More information on the Mosquito Control exam and the Georgia Dept of Ag Pesticide Division

Note that the commercial mosquito pesticide applicator program is administered by the GA Department of Agriculture Pesticide Division, not the Structural Pest Control Division. Regulations and contacts for the Pesticide Division differ from those in the Structural Pest Division. This info will help guide you as you pursue this certification. You can also call GDA directly – (800) 282-5852.

Where can I order training manuals to study to take the commercial pesticide applicator exam (mosquito control, ornamentals and turf, etc.)?

If you do not already have a commercial license, you will need to take two exams – the General Standards exam and the exam specific for your field (Mosquito Control, Ornamentals & Turf, Right of Way, etc.) You can find information on ordering the manuals for the general standards exam and the category exams at this website –

How can I register to take a commercial pesticide applicator exam?

Visit this website – You will need to create an account to enter the system. The exams are given at Technical Colleges across the state.

I have a license in one category from the Pesticide Division and want a license in a second category. Do I have to take the General Standards exam again?

No, you just need to take the test for that exam. Order the manual for that category, study the manual and then register for and take the exam that is specific for that category.

Where can I find pesticide applicator recertification classes?


Also contact your local Extension Agent for classes –

Where can I find information on my commercial applicator’s license (hours needed, etc), recertification classes available, etc.?

Visit this website –

The Georgia Department of Agriculture now has a Licensing Division. There are 7 coordinators with a call center to help assist with online renewals. The coordinators are being crossed trained so that everyone is familiar with the basic licensing process for each license. Contact the Licensing Division if you have questions – 404-586-1411 or toll free 855-424-5423 or email

For regulatory questions continue to contact the respective division.

Sandy Shell is one of the Licensing Coordinators for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. She recommends the following website: The following can be accessed through this website:

  • Verify credit hours for Commercial Pesticide Applicator and Structural Pest licenses
  • Find recertification courses for private and commercial licenses
  • Renew Commercial and Pesticide Contractor Licenses (Structural renewals coming very soon)
  • Apply for a new Pesticide Contractor License
  • Apply for a new RUP Dealer license
  • Secure & Verifiable documents (coming very soon)

Does Georgia have reciprocal pesticide applicator license agreements with other states?

Georgia does reciprocate with other states on certain categories. Anyone needing more information on this can call Ag Inputs – Pesticide Section at 404-656-4958.

GCIA Ensures Landscape Pros’ Access to Certified Turfgrass

gcia logoBilly Skaggs, GCIA Seed Certification Program Manager

Here in Georgia, the Georgia Crop Improvement Association (GCIA) ensures turfgrass professionals can purchase high quality seed and turfgrass sod which are free of noxious weeds, genetically pure, and guaranteed to germinate. GCIA is a non-profit organization, operating as an agent for the University of Georgia.

Certified seed and turfgrass are produced and increased under a limited generation concept that is supervised by GCIA. There are three classes of certified seed and turfgrass:

  • Foundation material which is produced from breeder stock
  • Registered material produced from foundation stock
  • Certified material produced from registered stock.

Each generation increase is field inspected by GCIA.

Turfgrass certification is the only quality control offered for protection of the sod buyer, as state and federal laws do not address vegetatively produced crops. Our turfgrass members produce “blue tag” certified sod which is field-inspected at least three times yearly by knowledgeable inspectors. Each inspector is trained to recognize off-type plants, other crops, noxious and objectionable weeds, which can create unsightly and costly problems in turf.

When only the best will do, many landscape architects specify Georgia certified “blue tag” turfgrass on their projects. When ordering sod or bidding jobs, be sure to specify Georgia Crop Improvement Association “blue tag” certified grass. The blue certificate assures you that the grass provided by your grower has met a rigorous set of inspection criteria designed to promote high quality, true to variety, and weed free turfgrass.

For more information, visit And remember, Certified Sod Doesn’t Cost – It Pays!




GA Dept. of Ag. Verification of Lawful Presence requirement & the green industry

Jennifer Davidson, ANR Agent, Muscogee County Extension, UGA

According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture website,

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is required by O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1 to verify citizenship/immigration status for all public benefits issued. All public benefits are defined in the law as certifications, licenses, registrations, state grant, etc. All new and renewal licenses are required to complete a notarized affidavit and provide one form of acceptable documentation as defined in O.C.G.A. § 50-36-1. The department will implement this change online no later than July 1, 2013. As directed by law, GDA will utilize the Federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

So what does that mean to the average landscape company? In order to renew your contractor or applicator license, you must send in a copy of one of the approved documentation (usually a driver’s license) and a notarized affidavit (found online at, along with the renewal forms and a check for contractor license or applicator license.

You may mail or fax your affidavit and a copy of your authorized documentation to our customer service center for upload. The Licensing Division fax number is 404-586-1126.

You can also upload the paperwork online ( Click the online log-in tab.  Use the username and password provided on your renewal invoice.  You just have to have the capability of uploading documents.

Will we need to do this on a yearly basis?  No, luckily, documents will only need to be submitted one time. Companies will only have to resubmit when their respected ownership changes.

The folks at the Georgia Department of Agriculture are friendly and available if you need to call or have further questions (404-586-1411 or 855-4-AG-LICENSE (855-424-5423)). Also, contact your local Extension office if you need any other help (1-800-ASK-UGA).

Disposing of excess pesticides in a safe manner

Proper pesticide disposal reduces the risk of personal, property and environmental injury and protects you, your clients, your workers and your company.

Most certified pesticide applicators eventually run into a situation where they have old or excess pesticides that they no longer use. How can commercial pesticide applicators properly dispose of these pesticides?

Here are some tips from the Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA Extension:

1. First, do not dispose of these pesticides in an illegal or unsafe way. Do not pour them into storm drains and other drains, put them into trash cans, or use other similar disposal methods. These disposal systems do not have the ability to degrade these pesticides properly and the pesticide can quickly put people and the environment at risk. This may also cause a liability problem for you personally or for your company. Local waste management services are often not equipped to handle pesticide disposal, but you can contact them to ask about their policies.

2. The best method to dispose of old or unwanted pesticides is by using it per label directions. Be careful to use it on a labeled crop, at the labeled rate with all recommended precautions. Even with an old pesticide that may not effectively kill the labeled pest, follow the label! Just because a pesticide is old and perhaps ineffective for its original use, does not mean it is not toxic. Follow all label precautions when applying any pesticide including wearing the required personal protection equipment. We are seeing more impacts of pesticides on people and the environment and we must all work to avoid these!

Apply the pesticide in a place where it is least likely to impact people and the environment. Consider that though you must use the pesticide per the label, you do not necessarily have to use the pesticide for the purpose or location for which you bought it. For instance, you may have bought a pesticide for use inside a structure. It may not make sense to apply the pesticide inside just to get rid of it. The same pesticide may also be labeled for use outside in a field, forest, lawn, landscape etc. When disposing of pesticides by applying them, select a location where there will be less risk to people or the environment. However, the location and application method you select must be allowed by the label.

3. If the pesticide is not too old, share it with someone who will use the pesticide legally. The exception to this would be restricted use pesticides (RUPs). Do not share RUPs with someone else, but rather use them yourself. If you give an RUP to another person and they use it incorrectly, you may be liable. And remember – the RUP pesticide was purchased under your license number!

When sharing a pesticide consider that:

  • The pesticide must remain in the original container and with the label.
  • The user must follow all label directions. Select a pesticide applicator to receive the pesticide that will be willing and able to legitimately use the chemical according to the label.

4. Certain companies dispose of pesticides for a fee. There will usually be a set up fee and a per pound fee. If you must go this route, try to gather all your un-needed pesticides at one time so that you pay only one set-up fee. The company may also be able to dispose of other unwanted chemicals for you.

5. Container disposal – Empty metal, plastic or glass pesticide containers should be pressured rinsed or triple rinsed. The rinse water should be directed into the spray tank. Containers must then be crushed or punctured to prevent reuse. Once containers are cleaned this way, they can be recycled or disposed of in a landfill. Contact your local Extension office for information on recycling programs.

Paper pesticide containers must be fully emptied and then torn to make sure they are empty. They can then be wrapped in paper and disposed of as solid waste in a landfill. It is illegal to burn empty pesticide bags in Georgia!

6. The GA Department of Agriculture realized the need for pesticide disposal and implemented a very successful pesticide disposal program called the GA Clean Days. From its inception through 2008 the GA Clean Days disposed of more than 2 million pounds of pesticides! This program had not been funded for several years but Georgia Department of Agriculture received funding for five Clean Days in 2013. The Department of Agriculture hopes that the program will be funded again in 2014. Interested individuals may want to contact their state legislators to express an interest in seeing the program funded again in 2014. For more information on GA Clean Days or other pesticide issues, contact Joshua Wiley at See an article on the 2013 GA Clean Day program here.

7. Reduce the need to dispose of pesticides by following these tips:

  • Buy only the amount of pesticide you will use quickly.
  • Use pesticides before they get old. Use your oldest stock first so that none of your pesticides become too old to use. This means labeling the container with the date you bought the pesticide so you can use the oldest first.
  • Proper handling and storage, per label directions, may lengthen the effective life of the pesticide. For instance – allowing liquid pesticides to freeze can ruin their effectiveness. Read the label for storage and use information.

In summary:

  • Using unwanted pesticides per label directions is usually the best disposal method, even if you think the pesticide may not effectively control the pest.
  • Read the pesticide label to select a place and application method to apply the pesticide that is both legal and safe for people and the environment.
  • Apply the pesticide to this site following all label directions and precautions including any required personal protection equipment and posting.
  • Containers must be properly cleaned before disposal. Disposal method depends on the container type.

For more information see these publications. Some information in this article was taken from some of these references:

Arborist info from Georgia Urban Forestry Council

This info taken from the Georgia Urban Forestry Council E-Newsletter

  • GUFC logoSpaces are still available in the January 14-15 Arborist Certification Review Class, for those planning to take the ISA Arborist Exam.  This class will be held at the Wetlands Educational Center in Richmond Hill.  Scholarship are available for tree boards and tree care workers employed by a city, county, school or university who are not ISA Certified Arborists.  Certified arborists who would like to take the class as a refresher course can receive 12.75 ISA CEUs.  For more details, visit
  • Many presentations from GUFC’s October Annual Conference, “Tree Canopy and Green Infrastructure:  Creating Vibrant and Healthy Communities,” can be founded on our website here.
  • Oregon State University (OSU) is pleased to announce the availability of two online urban forestry courses during Winter Quarter 2014 (January 6 – March 21, 2014). FES/HORT 350 Urban Forestry is an introductory undergraduate course the covers a wide range of urban forestry concepts and topics, and is suitable for anyone wanting a comprehensive understanding of the urban forestry discipline. FES/HORT 455/555 Urban Forest Planning Policy and Management is an upper level undergraduate/graduate course that offers a detailed look at the complex challenges faced by urban forestry professionals.  Read more here.
  • The Arbor Day Foundation is seeking nominations for its Arbor Day Awards Program, where they recognize outstanding individuals, environmental leaders and innovative organizations for their sustainable conservation efforts.  Learn more about  this awards program and nominate a deserving candidate here. Deadline is December 31.
  • The December 31st deadline for applying for Tree Campus USA status or for recertification is coming up soon – click here.
  • You can also apply or recertify for Tree City USA, or learn more about the program, at their portal link.
  • Also, learn more about Tree Line USA, which recognizes best practices in utility arboriculture at this site.