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Custom Ground Pest Control - Interior Plantscape Certification

Certification Requirements

All professional interior plantscape pest control specialists must be certified by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Areas to Study

An applicant for the interior plantscape pest control certification is expected to possess a working knowledge of the kinds of operations performed by an interior plantscape applicator and the reasons for performing them. Outlined below are areas in which an applicant should be proficient.


Diagnosis is of primary importance and an applicant should:

  1. Be able to identify and diagnose problems commonly associated with interior plants to include but not limited to those listed below.
  2. Know the factors involved in maintaining the plant in good health and appearance and be capable of anticipating and preventing damage from various causes.
  3. Understand the functions of the various parts of the plant such as leaves, stems, roots, etc. and be able to determine if these functions are being properly performed.
  4. Recognize the symptoms of and agents responsible for any injuries, abnormalities and weaknesses. These agents include insect pests, fungal, bacterial, viral diseases, and unsuitable environmental conditions and cultural practices.
Pests Nuisance Pests
Aphids Fungus gnats and Shore flies
Caterpillars: Springtails
Cutworms Sowbugs and Pill bugs
Leaf rollers Slugs
Loopers Millipedes
Mealybugs Centipedes
Mites: Centipedes
Cyclamen mite Earwigs
Spider mites Earwigs


Hard (Armored)
Soft Disease Problems
Thrips Bacterial Diseases
White flies Fungal Diseases
Viral Diseases
Miscellaneous/Cultural Problems
Lack of acclimatization
Nutrient deficiencies and excesses
Presence of foreign substances
  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the nature and effects of the pesticide used including, but not limited to:

dicofol (Kelthane)
dienochlor (Pentac)
fluvalinate (Mavrik 2F)
insecticidal soap (Safers Conc., Reuter Lab)
kerosine and borax (Ced-o-flora)
kinoprene (Enstar II)

Allowable Activities

Outlined below is information on what activities are permitted with the interior plantscape certification.

  1. The interior plantscape certification allows a certified applicator to commercially apply or supervise the application of pesticides to interior plantings in shopping malls, corporate offices, public buildings and other similar sites.
  2. Pesticide applications made outdoors to lawns and shrubs require an ornamental and turf certification.
  3. Spraying outdoors with the interior plantscape certification would not be permitted for insects that are only casually a pest indoors.  For example, if a heavy flight of aphids is bothersome to people on a porch, an interior plantscape certificate holder would not be allowed to spray the plants in the yard from which the aphids came.
  4. An interior plantscape certificate holder could not spray for clover mites or earwigs on the outside foundation of a house.

Reference Material:

  1. Required and Additional Study Materials for Pesticide Supervisors

  2. "Interior Plantscapes - Installation, Maintenance and Management" Second Edition by George H. Manaker Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

  3. "Identification of Selected Greenhouse Pests" Publication No. AGDEX 620, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

  4. "A Pictorial Atlas of Foliage Plant Problems" Edited by Richard W. Henley, Florida Foliage Association., P.O. Box Y, Apopka, FL 32703

  5. "Compendium of Ornamental Foliage Plant Diseases" A. Chase, American Phytopathological Society, 3340 Pilot Knob Rd., St Paul, MN 55121  or Florida Foliage Association, P.O. Box Y, Apopka, FL 32703

  6. "Pest and Disease Control on Indoor Plants" C.C. Powell and R.K. Lindquist The Ohio State University, Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin #711

  7. "Insect, Mite, and Disease Control on Commercial Floral and Foliage Crops" C.C. Powell and R.K. Lindquist,  The Ohio State University, Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin #538

  8. "Guide to Interior Landscape Specifications", 4th Edition (The Interior Plantscape Division (IPD) of the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA).

  9. "Plant Physiology" E.L Marrotte, UConn Cooperative Extension Bulletin #8683

  10. "Plant Diseases" E.L. Marrotte, UConn Cooperative Extension Bulletin #872

  11. "Interior Landscape Industry" Published monthly by American Nurseryman Publishing Company, 111 N. Canal St. Suite 545 Chicago, IL 60606-7276

  12. "Interiorscapes" Published six times/year by Brantwood Publications, Inc., 3023 Eastland Blvd. Suite 103, Clearwater, FL 34621-4106

How Poisonous are Pesticides

Useful Telephone Contacts

Sample Questions:

The following sample questions may have more than one correct answer:

  1. Factors that influence disease development in interior landscapes include:
    1. time
    2. host plant
    3. environmental conditions
    4. pathogen present
  2. Symptoms of overfertilization include:
    1. chlorosis of new leaves
    2. ringspots on leaves
    3. chlorosis of lower leaves
    4. pathogen present
  3. Pesticides that particularly affect the acetylcholine of nerve junctions are:
    1. phenoxy herbicides
    2. organophosphates
    3. chlorinated hydrocarbons
    4. dinitrophenols
  4. Early symptoms of pesticide poisoning may include:
    1. headache
    2. dizziness
    3. nausea
    4. restlessness
  5. How much pesticide containing 20% active ingredient must be used to provide two pounds of actual chemical per acre?
    1. 2
    2. 5
    3. 10
    4. 20

For more information, please call the Pesticide Management Program at (860) 424-3369 or email or write to:

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance
Pesticide Management Program
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127

Pesticide Certification

Content Last Updated on November 29, 2011