UC IPM launches online training program for retail employees
Home gardeners buying pesticides often turn to store clerks to give them information about pesticides and IPM. A new, free, online training course on the UC IPM Web site will soon provide retail employees the background they need to provide good answers.
Surveys show that retail employees are one of the most important sources of information for consumers when they purchase pesticides, yet many have little training or expertise in pesticide use.
UC IPM’s online course, partially funded through a grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and U.S. EPA, seeks to address this educational need. The program will include two modules—the first on pesticides and pesticide safety, and the second on integrated pest management.
The modules are intended for employees of any retail store that sells home and garden pesticides, including nurseries, big box stores, and hardware stores. Self-paced, each module will take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete. The pesticide module includes information about pesticide types, protective safety equipment, application equipment, mixing, storage, and disposal and teaches employees how to use the label to answer questions.
The presentation is narrated and includes photographs, color illustrations, and video clips. Short interactive quizzes reinforce the material. Persons completing the course will be able to print out a certificate of completion.The pesticide module will be available on the UC IPM Web site in spring 2008. A second module on IPM practices is scheduled for release in December 2008 and will complete the course. The module's focus includes pest types, damage, management methods, and tools available from retail outlets.
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