Custom Ground Pest Control - Golf Course Superintendent Certification

All persons using pesticides professionally in Connecticut must possess an up-to-date license issued by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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

Identification and Diagnosis

The applicant should:

  1. Know the healthy form of the common plants found in the region, their appearance and rate of growth under normal and abnormal conditions.
  2. Know the factors involved in maintaining the plant’s health and appearance in order to anticipate and prevent 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 properly performed.
  4. Be able to identify and diagnose problems on the common plants found in the region. Such plants and problems include but are not limited to:
Annual Blue Grass Fescue
Bent Rye
Blue, Kentucky Zoysia
Weeds found in turf
Annual blue grass Plantain (narrow, broad)
Bent grass Purslane
Black medic Pussytoes
Chickweed (smooth, hairy) Red sorrel
Cinquefoil Sedge
Clover Shepard's purse
Crabgrass Spurge
Dandelion Tall fescue
Goosegrass Thistle
Ground Ivy Violet
Hawkweed Wild onion
Heal-all Wild Strawberry
Henbit Wood sorrel
Knotweed Yellow rocket
Moss Zoysia grass
  1. Recognize the symptoms of and agents responsible for any injuries, abnormalities and weaknesses. These agents include insects, animal pests, fungal, bacterial and viral diseases, unsuitable soil, wind, frost, snow and ice, fumes, and include, but are not limited to the following:

Turf Insect Pests
Bluegrass billbug Sod webworm
Chinchbug White grubs
Hyperodes weevil
Other Turf Pests
Birds Skunks
Turf Diseases
Brown patch Powdery mildew
Dollar spot Red thread
Leaf spots Rust
Melting out Snow molds
Patch diseases Stripe smut
Pythium blight
Physiological Disorders
Air pollution damage Root injury from mechanical or chemical causes
Moisture stress Spray injury
Nutrient imbalance Temperature stress (winter injury, ice damage)
Dog damage Slime molds
Fairy rings
  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the characteristics and effects of the pesticides used including but not limited to:
Acclaim Glyphosate (Roundup)
Bensulide (Betasan) Isoxaben (Gallery)
Bentazone (Basagram) MCPP (mecoprop)
2,4-D (amine and ester) Mefluidide (Embark)Growth Regulator
Dacthal Oxyfluren (Goal)
Dacamba (Banvel) Pendimethalin (Pre-M)
Dithiopyr (Dimension) Prodiamine (Barricade)
Glufosinate-amonium (Finale) Tryclopyr (Turflon)
Trifluralin+Benefin (Team)
Bacillus popilllae (Milky spore) Imidacloprid (Merit)
Bifenthrin (Talstar) Spinosad (Conserve)
Carbaryl (Sevin) tau-Fluavlinate (Mavrik)
Chloropyrifos (Dursban-Golf Course use only) Triclorofon (Dylox)
Halofenoxide (Mach II)
Azoxystrobin (Heritage) Metalaxyl (Subdue)
Bayleton Mycobutanil (Eagle)
Chlorothalanil (Daconil) Propamo carb Hydrochloride (Banol)
Flutolanil (Prostar) Propiconazole (Banner)
Fosetyl - aluminum (Aliette) Rubican and Daconil (Twosome)
Iprodione (Chipco 26019, Chipco Flowable) Thiophanate (Clearys 3336)
Mancozeb Vinclozolin (Curalan)
Mancozeb (Fore)

To All Holders of the Supervisory Golf Course Certificate:

Outlined below are responses to some questions which have arisen concerning what activities are permitted through the structural (General Pest, etc.) and outdoor (Ornamental and Turf) certifications and the arborist license.

  1. Generally, any pesticide application indoors belongs with the structural certifications. Controlling pests on plants indoors will be permitted with the interior plantscape certification.
  2. Outdoor pesticide applications with a structural certification would be permitted in situations such as:
    1. for termite or rodent control if the applicator holds a termite or rodent certification;
    2. for control of structural pests that enter from outside, such as clover mites or earwigs, on the outside foundation of the house and on grass in the immediate vicinity of the foundation; and 
    3. for wasps if the nest is in the immediate vicinity of the house.
  3. Outdoor pesticide applications with a structural certification would not be permitted for insects that are only casually a pest indoors. For example: 
    1. if a heavy flight of aphids is bothersome to people on a porch, a structural certificate holder would not be allowed to spray the plants in the yard from which the aphids came; or
    2. if wood roaches are coming to lights on a porch, a structural certificate holder would not be allowed to treat outside areas.
  4. The ornamental and turf  or golf course superintendent certificate holder could also:
    1. spray for clover mites or earwigs on the outside foundation of the house or clubhouse, but not within the house or clubhouse;
    2. spray for ticks outdoors; and 
    3. control Canada geese on a lawn using general use repellents.
  5. The division between the arborist license and the ornamental and turf certification is as follows:
    1. A tree is defined as a single stem plant which at maturity reaches more than 5 meters high. The application of a pesticide to anything matching this description can be treated by the arborist.
    2. Generally, any plants that can be reached from the ground with hand operated equipment (not a backpack mist blower) can be treated by the ornamental and turf applicator.
    3. The Connecticut Pesticide Control Act states that the arborist is to treat fruit trees. If a dwarf fruit tree (e.g. crabapple) is used primarily as a small ornamental then either may treat. If the dwarf trees are used for edible fruit production or are in an orchard, they are to be treated by the arborist.
    4. If an uncertified nurseryman plants a shrub or trees on a customer’s property, he may treat that plant to protect his guarantee, if the guarantee is included in the original price of the plant, he may not charge an additional fee for this service.


    • If there are dogwood borers in some shrubby dogwoods, who would be permitted to treat?   The borer could be treated by either the arborist or ornamental and turf applicator in the course of his other work about the yard.
    • If hemlocks are pruned into a hedge, who would be permitted to treat? This would be within the province of the ornamental and turf certification.

How Poisonous are Pesticides

Useful Telephone Contacts

Reference Material:

  1. Required and Additional Study Materials for Pesticide Supervisors

  2. "Turfgrass Nutrient and Integrated Pest Management Manual" edited by Timothy Abbey
    Available from: University of Connecticut - Communications & Information Technology- Publications Resource Center Phone: (860) 486-3336

  3. Pesticide Applicator Training Manual - Ornamentals and Turf (Category 3)
    Manual available from Cornell University Cooperative Extension and Study Guide available from the University of Connecticut Communication and Resource Center

  4. Various other publications are available from the Cooperative Extension Service.

Sample Questions:

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

  1. Insects that feed on grass roots include:
    1. Japanese beetle larvae
    2. sod webworms
    3. chinch bugs
    4. white grubs
  2. Milky spore disease
    1. principally infects Kentucky bluegrass
    2. is an infectious disease of the Japanese beetle
    3. only occurs in cool damp weather
    4. gives a white milky appearance to the infected host
  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 27, 2018