Montana State University

Fumigant training set March 15 to 17 in Helena, Billings, Miles City

February 14, 2011 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -- New federal rules for applying certain fumigants will be explained in one-day workshops to be held March 15 through 17 in Helena, Billings and Miles City.

Speakers from Montana State University Extension, the Montana Department of Agriculture and Degesch America will explain the new rules and how to write fumigant management plans for rodent and structural fumigations, said Pesticide Education Specialist Cecil Tharp. Attendees will also practice writing fumigant management plans.

The meetings will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. each day. They will be held March 15 at the Red Lion Colonial Inn, 2301 Colonial Drive, in Helena; March 16 at the Bighorn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, in BIllings; and March 17 at the Eagles Club, 24 North 8th Street, in Miles City.

The Environmental Protection Agency revised its fumigation rules after young children in Utah, South Dakota and Texas died from accidentally breathing the fumes of aluminum phosphide fumigants, Tharp said. A commercial applicator contracted to kill rodents apparently applied the pesticide too close to the children's homes.

New EPA regulations completely ban the use of aluminum or magnesium fumigants around all residential areas, which include houses, apartment buildings, nursing homes, schools, day cares and hospitals, Tharp said. They can still be applied around non-residential buildings, but the buffer zone has increased from 15 to 100 feet.

People who attend the workshop can receive five private applicator recertification credits, as well as six commercial/government applicator recertification credits in the categories of dealer, demonstration/research, agriculture vertebrate pest control, industrial, institutional, structural, health related pest control, school IPM, grain elevator and seed treatment pest control.

The classes -- $4 at the door -- are sponsored by the MSU Extension Pesticide Education Program and the Montana Department of Agriculture. People who wish to attend are asked to register by March 10. Contact Tharp at or (406) 994-5067.

For more information about the 2011 fumigation workshops, go to and select "News! Fumigation Programs from March 15th to March 17th."

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or