Bulletin E2435
Microbial Pest Management: Commercial Applicators and Registered Techs Category 5B

October 27, 2015 - Julie A. Stacheck

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Preface and Important Information on How to Use This Study Manual

This manual presents basic pest management and pesticide handling information for persons managing bacteria, fungi, algae or viruses in cooling towers, air washers, evaporative condensers, pulp and paper mills, sewer treatment, etc. (See the introduction for an explanation of the difference between commercial and private applicators and registered technicians.)

This manual is a training guide for persons pursuing either registered technician or certified commercial pesticide applicator credentials in category 5B, Microbial Pest Management (see important information in the "Notice of Upcoming Changes" below). The examinations for these two groups will have questions that emphasize different information from this manual. If you are preparing for the registered technician exam, focus your learning on the general pesticide safety and handling information. If you are pursuing certification in category 5B, microbial pest management only, be prepared to answer questions on all the material found in this manual including general pesticide safety and handling, microbial pest specific information, application techniques common to microbial pest management and equipment. If you are using this manual to prepare for a 5B category exam in addition to other category exams be familiar with the entire contents of this manual but focus on the microbial pest specific information. The 5B category exam questions will be primarily on microbial specific information with some general pesticide safety and handling questions.

This is not intended to provide all the information necessary for effective pest control with the use of biocides. Obtain up-to-date information about recommended materials and methods from biocide labels, manufacturers, reference manuals, and professional associations. The label carries important information about proper dilution rates, timing and placement of biocides in a system. The label is the law. Follow all directions on pesticide labels.


Why Should Pesticide Applicators be Certified or Registered?

Pesticides are used to protect food and nonfood crops, ourselves, homes, pets, livestock, and for various industrial processes. New measuring techniques have shown that some pesticides may reach groundwater, remain in crops, or persist in the environment. To better protect the environment and human health by assuring the safe use and application of pesticides, the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) administers the certification and registration program for pesticide applicators. Certification or registration requires obtaining the necessary knowledge to purchase and safely use pesticides. The following sections explain who must be certified or registered. For additional information, see the laws and regulations chapter of this manual.

Certification/Registration Requirements

Act 451, Part 83, Pesticide Control, Sections 8301 to 8336, requires any person who applies a pesticide product for a commercial purpose, or applies any pesticide in the course of his or her employment, or other business activity for any purpose other than a private agricultural purpose to be either a commercially certified applicator or a registered technician. Pesticide applicators, who are not required to be licensed by the Act and who only use general-use, ready-to-use pesticide products are exempt from the certification and registered technician requirements. For example, a person who works at a hospital, school, factory, golf course or an apartment complex that uses only a general use, ready-to-use product for managing a pest is not required to be a certified applicator or a registered technician.

Certification of Commercial Applicators

To become certified as a commercial applicator in Microbial Pest Management (Category 5B) in Michigan, you are required to successfully complete a written examination. Exam questions are based on information provided in this training manual developed by Michigan State University Extension, MDA and representatives of the microbial pest management industry. This manual presents basic pest management and pesticide handling information for persons managing bacteria, fungi, algae or viruses in cooling towers, air washers, evaporative condensers, pulp and paper mills, sewer treatment, etc. This manual is self-teaching and contains a study guide with self-help questions at the end of each chapter. This manual addresses the standards required of all registered technicians and commercial applicators for Category 5B, microbial pest management. Information necessary for certification in other categories is contained in separate category study manuals.

Recertification for Certified Commercial Applicators

Similar to a Michigan driver's license, you are required to be recertified every three years. You can be recertified by one of two methods. First, you can request from the MDA to take another exam (recertification exam) which shows a sustained level of knowledge in proper pesticide use. Study manuals are available from MSU. Second, you can attend approved seminars or workshops relating to microbial pest management and accumulate twelve credits over the three-year period to satisfy the recertification requirements for category 5B. For specific information on recertification, contact your local MDA regional office.

Registered Technicians

To become a registered technician in Category 5B, the applicator must successfully pass an examination based on this training manual and participate in an approved training program specific to microbial pest management. To receive a registered technician application form, contact your local MDA regional office. (See preface for important changes in this procedure for Category 5B, in the future.)

Registered technician status is for three years. At the conclusion of a registered technicians three-year registration period, they may renew their registered technician credentials by examination or by accumulating a specific number of reregistration credits. Credits toward reregistration are earned by attending approved workshops and seminars during the three-year registration period. A registered technician may also choose to fulfill the requirements for becoming a certified commercial pesticide applicator instead of the registered technician credential.

Suggestions for Studying This Manual

This manual is designed to assist commercial applicators to meet registered technician or certification requirements. You may already know some of the material from your experience with pesticides. The manual has nine chapters. A list of self-help questions are included at the end of each chapter. These questions are to help you study and are not necessarily the questions on the certification examination. If you have problems using the manual, please consult your county extension agent, your supervisor or a representative of the MDA for help. Please read the preface of this manual which explains the type of information from this manual that registered technicians or certified applicator candidates should focus on learning.

Some suggestions for studying the manual are:

1. Find a place and time for study where you will not be disturbed.

2. Read the entire manual through once to understand the scope and the manner in which the material is presented. A glossary at the back of the manual defines some of the terms used in the chapters.

3. Study one chapter of the manual at a time. Consider underlining important points in the manual or take written notes as you study the chapter.

4. Answer, in writing, the self-help questions at the end of each chapter. These questions are intended to help you study and evaluate your knowledge of the subject. They are an important part of your study.

5. Reread the entire manual once again when you have finished studying all of its sections. Review with care any sections that you feel you do not fully understand.

This manual is intended to help you use pesticides effectively and safely when they are needed. We hope that you will review it occasionally to keep the material fresh in your mind.


Accessibility Questions:

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