As if we don’t already have enough to do eradicating invasive species, now there is a new barberry plant on the horizon. Heavenly Bambo (Nandinia domestica) is an Asian import. It is semi-evergreen here in Wisconsin, can handle full sun to part shade and has a spectacular fruit display. Therein lies the problem. It is killing songbirds that are mistaking it for a good food source this time of year. But research has shown the seeds contain a cyanide, which causes a swift, but painful death. [Read more…]
Here we go again. Another new word — er-r-r term — for me to research: Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs). I found out PSEPs have been around for some time, typically under the jurisdiction of land-grant university departments of agriculture. But in October 2012, after EPA reduced funding for the programs, a National Stakeholder Team for PSEP was created. Among other things, their objectives mandate they promote awareness of PSEPs and secure funding to support the programs.
To that end, the second annual National Pesticide Safety Education Month was held this February 2019. The purpose of this specially recognized month is “to reinforce core principles of safe handling and use and to raise awareness of and support for the land-grant university PSEPs….Pesticide safety is a must, whether the applicator is an unlicensed homeowner or certified in one or more of the federal or state categories of use.” (WSSA)
Did you know?
Although you may have missed, as I did, recognizing National Pesticide Safety Education Month, I thought you’d like to know a few other things I found out through my research. For example, did you know the word pesticide actually refers to all substances used to control pests. “Pesticides are not just insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides sprayed on crops or pests. If you use insect repellents, ant baits, ‘weed and feed’ lawn products, pet flea collars, sulfur dust on your garden, disinfectant wipes, the list goes on…you are using a pesticide.” (Pesticide Environmental Stewardship)
According to the EPA, pesticide law defines a pesticide (with certain minor exceptions) as:
- Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest
- Any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant
- Any nitrogen stabilizer
Check out the National Pesticide Safety Education Month webpage to see how many of the twenty-four basic types of pesticides.you use. While you’re on the webpage, also check out the left-hand menu for a huge list of other pesticide safety education items.
For example, click on the link for basic pesticide safety principles or any of the links for safety information from the label.
Here’s also where you can learn how hazard, toxicity, exposure and risk management relate to the pesticide label. Or familiarize yourself with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standards and pesticide and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).
There are pollinator and wildlife protection sections. Information about stewardship, and a list of federal statutes and laws as they relate to wildlife. And so much more.
So if you use pesticides, you might like to take some time to become familiar with the National Pesticide Safety Education webpage. So when you’re using pesticides for whatever reason, you’re armed with the facts about using them safely.
Note: According to the National Pesticide Safety Education website, here are all the different types of people/entitites who use pesticides. Who knew it would be such an extensive list?
gardeners, Master Gardeners, etc
other extension educators
manufacturers of sprayers/nozzles/adjuvants/safety equipment
retailers [large format retailers, garden centers, farm supply, family businesses, etc]
pest management companies
food and feed producers
animal health groups
environmental protection and conservation groups
allied national/state associations/organizations that promote science
This week is the 20th Anniversary of National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW). It’s a week set aside to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, international and national scales. “Originally founded by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) as National Invasive Weeds Awareness Week (NIWAW), the event was broadened to NISAW in 2010 to encompass all types of invasive species.” (WSSA)
Events are being hosted by a variety of organizations throughout the USA with four seminars planned specifically for Washington, DC. An interactive map is available which provides information on local activities around the nation. There is also an online toolkit to help plan an invasive species awareness event or just to use for educational purposes. I was particularly pleased with the section called PlayCleanGo.
NIWAW Webinars (3 to 4PM EST)
The one scheduled for today, Wednesday, February 27, 2019 is on Glyphosate, Friend or Foe? It will be presented by Presented by WSSA member Jason Ferrell, Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants and editor of the Journal of Aquatic Plant Management.
Thursday’s is on PlayCleanGo: You Can Change Public Behavior to Slow the Spread of Invasive Species. It will be presented by Belle Bergner, North American Invasive Species Management Association
This is the time of year to get caught up with your education about invasive species, but especially invasive plant species.