Illinois Pesticide Review
November / December 2012
In This Issue
- Good Things to Know for a Simplified Registration and Licensure Process
- Health Concerns about Misuse of Pesticides for Bed Bug Control
- Using Wind Direction to Your Advantage
- New Training Manual Available for Soil Fumigant Applicators
- Agrichemical Container Recycling Results
- 2012 Clean Sweep Results
- Updates to the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Website
- Misuse Case Summary for 2012
- Illinois First Detector Tree Pest Training Program
Good Things to Know for a Simplified Registration and Licensure Process
Letters received from IDA (Illinois Dept. of Ag.)
If you haven't received your retest (white paper) or renewal (purple or bright yellow/green) letter from IDA, you should soon. If you need to test this year, it will say so in sentence two. Ignore the return envelope that was sent if you got one. The "Instructions for Attending a Clinic" is really just a checklist of information you will need to know to get your license. Do not return it.
Your Social Security Number will be needed when you take the test. Testing is required every 3 years. However, Commercial (not Private) licenses must be renewed yearly (expire 12/31). For renewals, fill out the enclosed Application form and mail the specified payment to IDA.
IDA does not take debit or credit cards. Some companies have expressed concern because they do not have a checking account. Alternate payment options include using a money order or personal check and being reimbursed. Universities may use account transfers. Please plan accordingly and allow for extra time that may be needed for paperwork.
For testing only (without training), it is recommended that you either attend a Test Only clinic or schedule an appointment with IDA at DeKalb or Springfield. Walk-ins for testing at training clinics will be seated as space allows. Attendance at training will guarantee a saved seat for testing.
Test early to have your license when you need it!
The IDA encourages applicators & operators to take the test early in the year and not wait until the last minute as there are hundreds of people taking exams each month.
Passing the exam does NOT make you licensed. You cannot apply pesticides until the IDA receives a check and a completed application. Afterwards, the IDA will mail your license to your employer's address. Only then are you licensed to apply pesticides.
Have a New Employer?
The IL Pesticide Act says you must inform IDA.
Important Testing Information
• For Training Clinics:
o Commercial (toll free) 800-644-2123 or 217-244-2123
o Private (toll free) 877-626-1650
o Website (Commercial and Private) www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu
• For Test Only Clinics:
o Commercial – (toll free) 800-644-2123 or 217-244-2123, www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu
o Private – Contact the individual site. For the name and number, refer to www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu.
• For Private Clinics: Training 8:00am-11:30am; Testing 11:45 am-2:00pm
• For Commercial Clinics: General Standards training 8:00am-11:30am; for Categories and Testing refer to www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu or the bright pink schedule booklet.
• Testing only (Private and Commercial both) is free
• Training Clinics:
o Private $30 (Online training is $15)
o Commercial $40
o Private $30.00
• Dealer $100
• Applicator $60
• Operator $40
• Public1 Applicator $20
• Public1 Operator $15
• Commercial not-for-hire2 Applicator $20
• Commercial not-for-hire2 Operator $15
1) Public Examples: County forest preserves, municipalities, public golf courses, etc.
2) Commercial Not-For-Hire Examples: Building services for corporate complexes, schools, grounds maintenance, private golf courses, large greenhouses, etc. (apply on property of their employer only).
Health Concerns about Misuse of Pesticides for Bed Bug Control
Bed Bugs are a nuisance in the home, but misuse or over-use of pesticides can be harmful to humans and pets. This image shows an adult bed bug and nymphs. Photo: G. Alpert.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are alerting the public to an emerging national concern regarding misuse of pesticides to treat infestations of bed bugs and other insects indoors.
Some pesticides are being applied indoors even though they are approved only for outdoor use. Even pesticides that are approved for indoor use can cause harm if over-applied or not used as instructed on the product label.
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of bed bug-related inquiries received by the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) over the past several years, with many involving incidents of pesticide exposure, spills, or misapplications.
From January 2006 to December 2010, NPIC reported 169 calls to their hotline where residents, homeowners, or pesticide applicators sprayed pesticides indoors to treat bedbugs. These cases involved pesticides that were misapplied, not intended for indoor use, or legally banned from use. Of those, 129 resulted in mild to serious health effects (including one death) for persons living in affected residences.
ATSDR warns that outdoor pesticides should not be used indoors under any circumstances.
This issue first came to ATSDR's attention when a misapplication of a chemical to treat a bed bug infestation occurred in a residential building in Ohio. A pest control applicator hired by the building owner sprayed the interior of two occupied apartments with a pesticide intended only for outdoor use. These illegal applications were made five times over 72 hours and included spraying of ceilings, floors, and even beds and a crib mattress.
The occupants included a family with small children, who displayed health symptoms typical of pesticide poisoning, including headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and muscle tremors. The families were evaluated and treated at a local hospital. The homes were evacuated and families relocated.
The families lost furniture, electronics, clothing, linens, toys, and other personal items that were grossly contaminated. A review of this case and other cases of acute illness related to exposure to insecticides used for bed bug control was recently published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Even pesticides that are approved for indoor use can cause harm if over-applied or not used according to the label directions. Like the incident in Ohio, these situations can also result in the loss of personal items, the need to replace contaminated building materials, and expensive cleanups.
For example, a mother with a young family contacted NPIC and reported a number of serious health effects that she, her husband, and her children experienced from pesticide exposure. A pest control applicator hired by their landlord had applied multiple pesticides seven times over a five-month period. The infestation was later determined not to be bed bugs.
Before moving out of the contaminated home, the family members (ranging in ages from one to 32 years) experienced neurological symptoms (such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, visual disturbances, numbness in the face and limbs, muscle tremors, etc.), abdominal pain, and cardiopulmonary symptoms (chest tightness, heart palpitations, and chest pain).
Documented in another call was a mother who contacted NPIC describing her infant who developed vomiting and diarrhea after being placed on a mattress treated with an undiluted indoor insecticide. Other bed bug-related calls to NPIC describe similar complaints where the caller or the caller's family members experienced headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tremors, etc., from indoor pesticides being misapplied (often over-applied).
It is particularly dangerous to allow children to reoccupy a home that has had a recent pesticide treatment where surfaces are still wet, or where they can come in direct contact with pesticide dusts. Children can put objects that have pesticide residues on them in their mouths, and generally put their hands in their mouths and touch their faces more often than adults. They also breathe a greater volume of air per body weight than adults. Thus, the behavior and physical characteristics of children can lead to higher exposures than adults.
Exposed animals may have the same health effects as people. Illness in pets after a pest control application is sometimes a first warning that pesticides have been misused or over-applied. Because of their small body weights, exposed pets may show signs of pesticide poisoning quickly. Cats and dogs may be exposed to pesticides when they come in contact with contaminated surfaces such as floors.Excerpt from a CDC Health Advisory, slightly modified by Phil Nixon. The complete source document is at http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00336.asp.
Using Wind Direction to Your Advantage
Particle drift is the off-target movement of the actual spray droplets during the time of application or soon after. There are three things that primarily impact the risk of particle drift. They are:
1. Spray droplet size – smaller droplets are more prone to being moved off-target by the wind and can be carried greater distance.
2. Wind speed – the higher the wind speed, the larger the spray droplets that can be moved off-target and the further those droplets can be moved.
3. Wind direction – drift moves downwind. It is physically impossible for spray particles to move upwind.
There has been a great deal of focus on the first two items. Many spray nozzle manufacturers have designed nozzles that reduce the formation of small droplets and thus lower the risk of drift. Adjuvant companies offer drift reduction additives that also work to reduce the formation of the smaller, drift-prone droplets. The use of both drift reduction nozzles and adjuvants is typically recommended, provided attention is also paid to ensuring the resulting droplet size will still provide sufficient coverage and deposition to make an efficacious application.
Wind speed also gets attention when it comes to drift reduction. Every applicator understands that the higher the wind speed, the higher the risk of drift. Many pesticide labels include a wind speed restriction on them to make sure applications are not made when wind speed is too high. As a general rule, it is advisable to only spray when the wind speed is less than 10 miles per hour.
The one item from the list that doesn't get as much attention is wind direction. Understanding how wind direction impacts drift is critical for drift mitigation. Because drift can only move downwind, it is possible to use wind direction to your advantage to ensure no spray leaves the targeted application site. This can be accomplished by the use of a temporary downwind buffer zone. This area is not sprayed during the initial application. When the wind direction has shifted so that this temporary buffer zone is now upwind, you can return and treat the buffer zone, completing the application over the entire site.
This technique can be particularly useful when there is a sensitive area adjacent to the application site. By applying to the portion of the site adjacent to the sensitive area only when the wind is blowing back into the application site, away from the sensitive area, you can guarantee no spray will drift on to the sensitive area.
Many applicators will focus on wind speed over wind direction when planning and making an application. However, even with the use of drift reduction technologies, if the wind is blowing towards a sensitive area, then a portion of the spray is at risk for moving off-target into the area. By only spraying when the wind is blowing away from the sensitive area, off-target movement into the area is avoided. As an example, to mitigate drift into a sensitive area, spraying during a 10-mile-per-hour wind that is blowing away from the sensitive area would be a better option than spraying during a 4-mile-per-hour wind blowing towards the sensitive area.
This subject brings up a question I have received from multiple applicators and my colleagues. That question is whether or not wind direction actually impacts particle drift at all. The key to understanding the answer is to look back at the definition of particle drift and notice that it includes the phrase "off-target". Another example will highlight why wind direction does impact particle drift.
Let's say I am making an application on the upwind side of a field and I note that a small portion of my spray is drifting a short distance back into the field I have just treated. Is this drift? Technically yes, since the goal is to have all of the spray liquid atomized by the nozzle travel from the nozzle to the target without any horizontal displacement caused by the wind.
However, the key to understanding the importance of wind direction is to note that this spraying is moving back in to the targeted field. So even though it is moving horizontally away from the sprayer, it has not left the application site and is therefore not off-target.
I strongly encourage applicators to use wind direction to their advantage when applying pesticides. It can be particularly useful when working near sensitive areas. As dicamba and 2,4-D tolerant crops enter the marketplace, using wind direction to the applicator's advantage will need to be a tool used to mitigate drift from these products.
New Training Manual Available for Soil Fumigant Applicators
The University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program is offering a new training manual for soil fumigant applicators to supplement information in the Illinois Pesticide Applicator Training Manual for Soil Fumigation, which was published in August 2001.
That version is still recommended, and will be helpful, when preparing for the Illinois' Soil Fumigation Pesticide Applicators Exam. Most of the questions on the exam were developed based on material and content provided in the 2001 Soil Fumigation Training Manual. Additionally, many of the terms and wording used in the manual will more closely reflect those seen on the exam.
However, the 2001 manual does not include information on many of the EPA's recently revised requirements for soil fumigants. Many of the new requirements are discussed in a recently published national version of the Soil Fumigation Manual.
The national manual was created and published by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation (NASDARF). This manual contains significantly more content and includes information on many of the EPA's new safety measures for soil fumigant pesticides. Chapters and topics covered in the new manual include:
• Overview of Soil Fumigants and Fumigation
• General Label and Regulatory Requirements
• Soil Fumigant Characteristics
• Influences of Soil and Pest Factors on Fumigant Activity
• Personal Protective Equipment and Respirators
• Protecting People (Information on how to protect applicators, fumigant handlers, and any bystanders from fumigant gases that may escape the treatment area)
• Site Assessment and Weather (Information on how to determine whether a site is suitable for soil fumigant application. An overview of weather conditions that may prohibit soil fumigation applications)
• Fumigant Management Plans and Post-application Summaries
• Buffer Zone and Posting Requirements
• Application Methods and Soil Sealing
• Calculations and Calibration
• Transportation, Storage, Disposal, Spill Response, and Emergency Response Plans
For a limited time, the Illinois and the National Soil Fumigation manuals will be sold together. As a combination, the manuals will provide entry-level knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts needed for the effective use of soil fumigants.
Agrichemical Container Recycling Results
Every summer, the Illinois Department of Agriculture cooperates with various segments of the agriculture industry to collect and recycle empty plastic agrichemical containers.
There are single-day collection sites as well as permanent locations offered. Over 1.7 million pounds of plastic have been collected since the program started more than 20 years ago. In 2012, 31 sites were offered where 96,950 containers and 65,450 pounds were collected.
Submitted by Michelle Wiesbrook, based on information from an Illinois Department of Agriculture report.
2012 Clean Sweep Results
Illinois residents can dispose of unwanted agrichemicals for free annually through the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Pesticide Clean Sweep program.
The collection, which rotates among Illinois counties, is open to farmers, retired farmers, nursery owners, private pesticide applicators, and landowners who inherited unwanted agricultural pesticides with their property.
"There are two big reasons to take advantage of this program," Warren Goetsch, bureau chief of Environmental Programs, said. "First, it's free. If individuals were to properly dispose of agrichemicals on their own, the cost would be expensive. But the department is able to provide the service free of charge thanks to a grant it obtained from the U.S. EPA. Second, the state of Illinois, not the program participant, will assume liability for the proper disposal of all materials collected."
This year there were 106 participants and approximately 19,000 pounds of unwanted agrichemicals collected.
Since the inception of the program in 1990, the department has held more than 40 collection events throughout the state and has collected more than 487,000 lbs of material from approximately 16,100 participants.
Submitted by Michelle Wiesbrook, based on information from an Illinois Department of Agriculture report.
Updates to the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Website
Frequent visitors of http://www.agr.state.il.us/Environment/Pesticide/usereg.html will find that some new changes have recently been made to the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Use & Regulation website. These additions have greatly improved the usefulness and attractiveness of the site.
More background information is now available pertaining to pesticide use and regulation in general. The history of the Illinois Pesticide Act is provided. Pictures have been added all over the site for interest and there is a new yellow box of tabs provided on the right-hand side of the page to improve user navigation. In this box, there is link to several new forms that have been added. The forms are in fillable PDF format and can be submitted easily by email by clicking the big yellow box at the bottom. Can't find your pesticide applicator license? Are you licensed in another state and would you like to request reciprocity to spray in Illinois? Have you changed employers? There are forms to fit all of these needs!
Misuse forms, however, are found under the heading of Use and Misuse. Information is provided on the complaint process. There is an interesting bar chart, which shows the number of formal pesticide misuse complaints received and investigated by the IDA each year since 1989. Be sure to check it out.
Also included in the yellow tab box is a link to Driftwatch.org, Illinois' Pesticide Sensitive Crops and Habitats Registry. Frequent and proper use of this registry can surely help prevent pesticide misuse cases.
Another nice addition to the website is a page dedicated to Aerial Pesticide Application Q & A. There are even links to specimen labels and material safety data sheets for some commonly applied agricultural fungicides. Common first aid information is provided should exposure occur. Directions for reporting alleged pesticide misuse is given as well.
Of course, there are links to both private and commercial pesticide applicator training and testing schedules and publications. Registration is open for all remaining 2012-2013 clinics.
Misuse Case Summary for 2012
As of late November 2012, 94 pesticide misuse complaints have been filed with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, of which 89 investigation reports had been submitted for review. Of these cases submitted for review, 49 cases were closed with no evidence of pesticide misuse.
The remaining cases resulted in 37 warning letters being issued and four administrative hearings being scheduled for violations of the Illinois Pesticide Act (either misuse or an applicator license violation) and the Lawn Care Products Application and Notice Act. Two of the four were the latter.
There were slightly fewer misuse complaints in 2012 than in the previous year. In 2011, there were 97 formal complaints filed with 39 warning letters issued and 48 cases closed with no evidence of pesticide misuse.
Submitted by Michelle Wiesbrook, based on information from an Illinois Department of Agriculture report.
Illinois First Detector Tree Pest Training Program
URBANA – University of Illinois Extension announced that a first-detector training program focusing on tree pests will be offered at five locations in Illinois in February and March 2013. These courses will provide in-depth training on current and emerging pathogens and insects affecting Illinois trees.
The target audience includes certified arborists, tree care professionals, master gardeners, master naturalists, forestry and natural resource professionals, conservationists, and others with an interest in trees. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available.
The objectives of the training include the following:
• Improve first detector training and invasive species awareness
• Reduce potential risks from pathogens and pests
• Increase rapid and affordable plant diagnostic support to local, state, and national agriculture and green industry programs and to end-users
The 2013 program will focus on emerald ash borer (EAB), thousand canker disease (TCD), and invasive plant species. Subjects to be covered in the course include:
• Identification /detection
• Life cycle/biology
• Commonly confused look-alikes
This Illinois First Detector Tree Pest Training Program will be held at the following locations:
• Springfield, U of I Extension conference room, February 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Quad Cities, Deere-Wiman Carriage House, February 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Mt. Vernon, U of I Extension conference room, March 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Collinsville, U of I Extension conference room, March 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Champaign, U of I Extension conference room, March 21st, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Registration is $25; lunch is provided. This fee will help cover the program costs as well as provide funding to continue this program on an annual basis. Registration is not open at this time but will be held at the host U of I Extension office.
Each participant will receive a binder of EAB, TCD, and invasive plant information. A special feature will be key tree drawings (provided by Jean Burridge) to aid in identifying ash, walnut, or "look-alike" trees. Additional online training modules covering topics that will not be discussed during the one-day program will be available to program participants prior to training.
All participants will receive a certificate stating that they are Illinois First Detectors.
This program is made possible by an Illinois IPM Grant and was developed by a special committee: Stephanie Porter, U of I plant clinic diagnostician and outreach coordinator; Kelly Estes, U of I agricultural pest survey coordinator; Travis Cleveland, U of I extension specialist in PSEP; Jay Hayek, U of I extension specialist in forestry; David Shiley, U of I extension educator; Andi Dierich, Morton Arboretum Forest Pest Outreach and Survey Project; Emily Hanson, SIU urban and community forester; and Jean Burridge, U of I Plant Clinic staff and certified arborist.
For more information, please contact Stephanie Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News release from University of Illinois College of ACES, submitted by Michelle Wiesbrook.