There are over 170 products listed for pest control with the Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Board (PCB) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in Antigua and Barbuda. Safe handling and application of these products is crucial to achieving desired pest control and to protecting non-target organisms and the environment. The Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Act of 2007 dictates that any person performing pest control activities for remuneration must be certified to do so. The MOA partnered with University of Florida/ IFAS to develop a pesticide certification training module modeled after the Florida program. The objectives of the module are to enhance the knowledge base of pest control applicators on identification of pests, on control options, and on safe use of pesticides, and to ensure that all actions governing the use of pesticides are in accordance with the requirements of the Act. A team of five UF/IFAS faculty members developed a needs assessment survey and modified the Florida curriculum based on the results of the survey submitted by the MOA. The module included four training categories: core (to be taken by all participants), structural pests, lawn and ornamentals, and agriculture. A one-week training session was conducted in January 2009; it was attended by 65 people that represented the various categories, and by MOA personnel. Sixty-three participants took the core exam and one category exam. Thirty-one participants passed both the core and a category exam and were certified through the PCB. A regular training and exam schedule is needed for pest control applicators to ensure compliance with the Act and proper pesticide usage to protect pesticide users, public health, and the environment.


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