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Emerald Ash Borers and Commercial Pesticide Application Companies

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June 2015 LAKEWOOD, Colo. – There are a lot of questions and concerns about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) pest and caring for ash trees. To date, EAB has only been found in the city of Boulder. For the most current information on EAB please visitwww.eabcolorado.com.   

The Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, the Colorado State Forest Service, USDA APHIS, community foresters and professional arborists are working cooperatively to get the best information to managers of ash trees and homeowners, but ultimately, the decision will need to be made by each property owner with ash trees.

Among those decisions are the options of monitoring ash trees for EAB symptoms, removal of ash trees, EAB pesticide treatments or any combination of these. If pesticide application is chosen it may be best to hire a commercial applicator. Even though at least one of the pesticides labeled to control EAB is available to homeowners to purchase, effectiveness of the pesticide is decreased the larger the tree. If an ash tree is larger than 15 inches diameter at breast height, homeowner formulations of labeled insecticides are unlikely to be effective. Refer towww.eabcolorado.com for more information.

Before hiring a commercial pesticide company, consumers should know that the Colorado Pesticide Applicators’ Act requires any person or company that applies pesticides for hire to be licensed as a commercial applicator.

“In order to protect the environment and public safety, commercial applicators must have the necessary training, expertise and experience to apply chemicals,” said John Scott, CDA’s Pesticide Programs manager. “Every licensed commercial applicator in Colorado has to meet strict testing requirements that are enforced by the Department, and the public can ask us if a commercial applicator under consideration is licensed by the Department to perform the work.”

Companies providing pest control services using any pesticide must be licensed. Even those companies advertising they only use organic or natural control products are still applying pesticides and must, therefore, be licensed by CDA.

A person or company that performs applications of pesticides for hire without holding the appropriate license may receive a maximum fine of $1,000 per violation. Department officials conduct routine office inspections to review records of applications, equipment maintenance and storage and disposal of pesticides in order determine that each pesticide applicator business is performing their work in accordance the pesticide use laws.

The Department also investigates pesticide use and application complaints. To file a complaint, contact CDA at 303-239-4151. With additional questions or to determine if a pesticide company is licensed, call (303) 239-4146 or visit www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi.