Pesticide Safety Education Program

The goal of the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) is to provide educational information throughout Iowa on the safe and effective use of pesticides.PSEP is responsible for Pesticide Applicator Continuing Instructional Courses (CIC’s) in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).Other programs that PSEP is involved in include integrated pest management, worker protection, environmental quality, and agricultural health.

What's New

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2017-2018 "Last Chance" Private Pesticide Applicator Continuing Instruction Course Schedule Now Available

The dates, times, and locations for the 2017-2018 “last chance” private pesticide applicator Continuing Instruction Course, sponsored by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pesticide Safety Education Program and county extension offices, are listed below. As a reminder, April 15th is the last date to attend a course for the 2017 recertification year. Contact your county extension office for additional information.

List of "Last Chance" Private Applicator Continuing Instruction Course Dates/Locations

Workshop Offers Agritourism Safety and Health Best Practices Information

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Visit Iowa Farms program will hold three Safety and Health Best Practices for Agritourism Businesses Workshops during the winters of 2018 and 2019. Attendees will learn safety and health best practices to keep the public and employees safe while on the farm.
Workshop Flyer
Workshop Schedule

Spring 2018 Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training Continuing Instruction Course Registration Forms Now Available

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Pestide Safety Education Program has posted the registration forms for the spring commercial pesticide applicator continuing instruction courses for 2018. These will be offered at county extension offices across Iowa. Visit the Commercial Applicator Training page for the registration forms and for more information about each program.

Worker Protection Standard Update

Starting January 2, 2018, compliance is required for ALL of the 2015 revisions to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) EXCEPT using new training content requirements in worker and handler training. Compliance with the new content in worker and handler training will be required 6 months after EPA publishes a Federal Register notice about training materials being available. The Worker Protection Standard page has been updated to reflect this change.

New Ornamental and Turfgrass Pest Management Study Manual

The revised Category 3 “Ornamental and Turfgrass Pest Management Manual” (CS15A) is now available for Iowa’s commercial and public pesticide applicators at the Iowa State University Extension Online Store. This book (282 pages) covers the plant pathogens, insects and mites, vertebrates, and weeds common in Iowa’s ornamental and turfgrass settings and the various strategies used in managing these pests. The manual was written with subject matter experts across Iowa. Complete with four-color pictures, tables of detailed pest information, and lists of pesticide active ingredients, this descriptive work will not only assist persons in preparing to take the Category 3OT (Ornamental and Turfgrass), 3T (Turfgrass) or 3O (Ornamental) examinations, but will also serve as a reference for applicators and others interested in managing pests in the ornamental and turfgrass environments.

Starting January 8, 2018, the accompanying NEW certification examination will be used at all testing locations currently approved by IDALS.

NOTE: Category 3G (Greenhouse Pest Management) is NOT included in this manual, but has its own manual, which is currently being revised. Persons wanting to become certified to apply pesticides in greenhouses and other enclosed plant production structures should visit the ISU Extension Online Store website and download the current study manual.

Updated Worker Protection Standard Posters now available

New posters required under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for “Central Posting” areas and certain decontamination sites are available to print or purchase. Posters are available in two sizes and in both English and Spanish. To print the poster, visit To purchase laminated copies of the poster, visit

Worker Protection Standard Training Video for Workers and Handlers Now Available

The Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) at Iowa State University and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Pesticide Bureau announce a new EPA-approved PowerPoint and narrated video to train workers and handlers under the 2015 revised Worker Protection Standard (WPS).

The pesticide safety training materials, available at, can be used in 2017, 2018, and beyond. These resources are in compliance with WPS requirements that go into effect January 2, 2018, including expanded training on instructions to reduce take-home exposure from pesticides on work clothing and other safety topics.

To train workers, slides 1 through 39 of the PowerPoint must be presented (first 21 minutes of narrated video). To train handlers, the PowerPoint must be presented in its entirety (38-minute video). This project was funded by IDALS through a grant from the U.S. EPA.

Emerald Ash Borer Management Options Recently Revised and a new Spanish version is now available

A newly revised, 4-page “Emerald Ash Borer Management Options" PM 2084; is now available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. It is available only as PDF. This revision incorporates the most recent research findings into the recommendations, shows which life stages are affected by systemic insecticides, adds one new professional product, and highlights proper use to protect our pollinators. Recent research shows protection of ash trees is realistic when registered products are properly applied to healthy ash trees. Ash trees within 15 miles of a confirmed EAB infestation are at risk of attack. EAB has been found in one-third of Iowa’s counties; updated maps are available on this site under the ‘Visual Aids for EAB Identification’ section.

A Spanish version of ‘Emerald Ash Borer Management Options’ PM2084S has also been released. Both publications are available at the ISU Extension & Outreach Online Store.

EPA-Approved Worker Protection Standard Train-the-Trainer course available online

An online course to help employers of agricultural pesticides train workers is now EPA-approved and has been updated to meet the training requirements of the 2015 revised federal Worker Protection Standard (WPS). The course, available at:, provides the information required to train those who will train workers under the WPS. It is designed for an agricultural employer or trainer to know and understand what is required for the 2017 calendar year. It will guide them through the necessary procedures to provide workers with required information on how to avoid exposure to pesticides and pesticide residue. This course is offered in five units and will require approximately 1 to 2 hours to complete. The convenient, user-friendly units can be completed at a time that fits the employer’s schedule. Upon successful completion of the final exam, employers will be qualified as WPS worker trainers by the EPA.

Updated 2016 How to Comply with the Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides Now Available.

A guide to help users of agricultural pesticides comply with the requirements of the 2015 revised federal Worker Protection Standard is now available from the EPA in conjunction with the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC). You should read this manual if you employ agricultural workers or handlers, are involved in the production of agricultural plants as an owner/manager of an agricultural establishment or a commercial (for-hire) pesticide handling establishment, or work as a crop advisor.
This “How to Comply” manual includes:

  • details to help you determine if the WPS requirements apply to you;
  • information on how to comply with the WPS requirements, including exceptions, restrictions, exemptions, options, and examples;
  • “Quick Reference Guide”- a list of the basic requirements (excluding exemptions, exceptions, etc.);
  • new or revised definitions that may affect your WPS responsibilities; and
  • explanations to help you better understand the WPS requirements and how they may apply to you. 

This updated 2016 WPS How to Comply Manual supersedes the 2005 version. Changes to the standard have made the 2005 version obsolete. Read the Pesticide Worker Protection Standard “How to Comply” Manual.

Worker Protection Standard Page Updated with Training Information

Pesticide safety training requirements under the revised Worker Protection Standard regulations will change starting January 2, 2017. The Worker Protection Standard page has been updated with training requirements and resources for 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Iowa DNR Changes Environmental Emergency Telephone Number

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has changed its 24/7 Environmental Emergency telephone number. Spills can happen any time, so having the correct number -- in your emergency action plan, on-site records and your cell phone -- can help ease worry and stress during unwanted events. The new number is (515) 725-8694 and should be used to report manure, fertilizer or chemical spills, as well as fish kills and other environmental emergencies. The IDNR Environmental Reporting Hotline Guide is available online.

Using Restricted Use Pesticides in Indian Country

If you apply Restricted Use Pesticides in Indian country, you are required to have a federal certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, unless the tribe has another EPA-approved certification plan in place applicable to that area of Indian country. Indian country includes any land located within a reservation regardless of who owns the land. Please see the EPA’s website to learn more about the program and applicable requirements. If you have any questions, contact the EPA staff listed on their informational flyer for Region 7.

Proper Pesticide Application for Homeowners and Small Acreage Owners

The video below from The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance provides introductory information to homeowners and small acreage owners on how to apply lawn care products safely and keep them on the intended application site away from sensitive areas. With the expansion of sensitive areas in and around small acreage lots, this is an important area of focus for pesticide applicators.  Point-of-purchase displays will also be appearing on shelves in stores selling pesticides to homeowners and small acreage owners.

New Right-of-Way Study Manual

The newly revised Category 6 “Right-of-Way Manual” is available for Iowa’s commercial and public pesticide applicators. This book (98 pages) covers the noxious weeds and other weed species common in Iowa’s right-of-way environments and the various strategies used in managing these weeds. The manual was written with full input from subject matter experts across Iowa. Complete with four-color pictures, this descriptive work will not only assist persons in preparing to take the Category 6 examination, but will also serve as a reference for applicators.

The accompanying certification examination will be available starting February 9, 2015, at IDALS testing locations. Questions may be directed to Mark Lohafer at 515-281-8506.

Email Notifications Now Available for Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training

The Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) is now offering certified commercial pesticide applicators the opportunity to receive email notifications of upcoming Continuing Instructional Courses (CIC) and other pesticide safety education opportunities. Applicators can use the link below to sign up to receive notifications. Applicators can select the categories they would like notification for and will also have the opportunity to update their information if it changes, or opt-out at any time if they no longer wish to receive email notifications. Participation is voluntary. Spring and Fall postcard notifications will still be sent to employers.

Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training Email Notificiation Sign-Up

Emerald Ash Borer Information

It is confirmed -- Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Iowa! Now that this destructive pest is in the state, you will want to keep current on its distribution and management options. You can find out more on our Emerald Ash Borer website.

Pesticide Record Keeping App Available for iPad and Android operating systems.

Pesticide and Field RecordsAn app is available to help producers and agriculture businesses record and maintain pesticide application information. The free app allows users to link information to specific field locations using satellite mapping and document pesticide application information needed to comply with state and federal record keeping requirements. The app also features a product search option that lists Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) product registration numbers and identifies restricted use products. The iPad version has been updated since the original release to include printing and emailing capabilities. It can be downloaded under the name Pesticide and Field Records Plus from the iTunes store.  The Android version is available at the Google Play store under the name Pesticide and Field Records.

New General and Household Pest Management Study Manual

The newly revised Category 7A “General and Household Pest Management Manual” is available for Iowa’s commercial and public pesticide applicators. This book (200 pages) covers the common pests found inside and outside commercial and residential buildings, as well as discusses the proper way to manage these pests. Complete with four-color pictures, this descriptive work will not only assist persons in preparing to take the Category 7A examination, but it will be one of the books that pesticide applicators and company staff will want to have handy as a reference.

Now Archived: "Rinsing and Recycling Caged Tanks" From TPSA Webinar

The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) July 10, 2013 webinar on “Rinsing and Recycling Caged Tanks” is archived on TPSA’s home page ( The webinar provides information on how to clean tanks for recycling and other information related to cleaning, recycling, and complying with EPA container rules.

Attention Agricultural Health Study Participants!

Want to be a part of important research about the health of farmers and their spouses? It’s time to complete your next Agricultural Health Study survey! The health follow up will be mailed to all Agricultural Health Study participants starting in June 2013. Over 40,000 people completed the last interview, and we’d like even more to participate this time around. The more people who complete it, the better the Agricultural Health Study can do at understanding the risks and benefits to all farming families. To have complete records on everyone, we are trying to follow up all participants, including those who have passed away. We want to hear from everyone, even if you are no longer farming. Keep an eye on your mailbox! When you receive your survey, please return it as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the Health Follow up Survey Center by calling 1-855-443-2692 or visit the survey website To learn more about the Agricultural Health Study and its findings, please visit our website:

New Document Available to Train Vineyard Workers Under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS)

Mike White, ISU Extension Viticulture Specialist developed a new 37 page step-by-step vineyard worker WPS training document. The document can be used by WPS trainers and certified pesticide applicators to assist them in a WPS training program for vineyard workers. The document can be found at: Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Vineyard Workers. Additional information on WPS can be found by clicking the “Worker Protection Standard” tab at the top of this page.

The Agricultural Health Study

The Agricultural Health Study Update for 2013 is now available to download. The study update is published annually and is sent to all participating households. For more information, please click on the “Agricultural Health Study” tab at the top of this page.

Now Archived: Mini Bulk/IBC Container Compliance And Recycling: Best Practices From TPSA Webinar

Increased emphasis on retail stewardship coupled with a new pesticide container rule has made compliance more important than ever. You can view the archived presentation at the Mini Bulk / IBC Container Compliance page. During the presentation members of The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) will outline best practices for mini-bulk/IBC container compliance, including how to bring refillable containers into compliance, as well as ways to recycle non-compliant containers.

Page last updated: March 29, 2018