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June 25, 2008

Free online pesticide training available for retail employees

Home gardeners looking for pesticides often turn to their local garden center, hardware, or big box store for advice. Retail managers and their employees can learn how to answer their questions through a free, online pesticide training course from the University of California.

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Surveys by the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program confirm that many consumers do not know how to choose, use, or dispose of pesticides properly. Although retail clerks are ranked among the top three sources of consumer information on home pest management, many clerks have little or no training in pesticide-related topics.

The online, interactive course was created to bridge the gap and help retailers increase consumer awareness about pesticides and alternative options for managing pests in homes and gardens.

In just 40 minutes, participants in the course can learn how to direct residents to least-toxic products and teach homeowners how to review pesticide labels, choose an appropriate product, safely use and store pesticides, or clean up any spills.

The training includes video clips, photos, and quizzes designed to reinforce key points. After finishing the course, participants will be sent a certificate of completion.

“ A quick, easy, and fun way to educate your staff on the use, safety, and handling of pesticides” is how one retail manager, Ron Kanemoto from Yamagami's Nursery in Cupertino, Calif., described the course.

A second module on IPM practices is scheduled for release in December 2008.

The course is partially funded by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Contacts

Stephanie Klunk, Communications Specialist
UC Statewide IPM Program
(530) 754-6724

Mary Louise Flint, Associate Director: Urban & Community IPM
UC Statewide IPM Program and Extension Entomologist
(530) 752-7692

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