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Pesticide Applicator Series: Zinc Phosphide - Baiting for Belding’s Ground Squirrels in Oregon

Damage caused by Belding's ground squirrels can be significant. Burrows can undermine building foundations and public infrastructure such as roads and dams. Livestock can be injured from stepping in burrow holes and yield of forage crops can be significantly reduced. All of these potential impacts can carry a huge financial burden to Oregon farmers and ranchers that is not mitigated under the federal EPA label. In this course you will receive training to use Zinc Phosphide to control Belding's ground squirrels in alfalfa, grass hay, pasture and related sites in Oregon under a Special Local Need (SLN) label (EPA SLN No. OR-130002).

The SLN label requires all applicators to complete this training before purchasing, mixing or handling the product. This course, developed through a collaborative agreement between the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University, fulfills that training requirement. After your initial training, you are required to retake this course every 60 months. If you have received training on the Zinc Phosphide SLN prior to January of 2020, this course will be particularly useful to you because the SLN has been revised to provide better protection to applicators and handlers, as well as updated considerations required for public safety and wildlife protection.

This course is available to Oregon applicators and those under their direct supervision and will count as two continuing education credits. The Special Need Label is only allowed in Oregon. Applicators cannot use Zinc Phosphide as described in this training in the state of Washington.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this training, you should be able to:

  • Use personal protective equipment effectively while handling zinc phosphide.
  • Assess the difference between Belding's ground squirrels and similar species.
  • Recognize Belding's ground squirrel burrows, seasonal patterns and preferred foods.
  • Identify the special local need for this product.
  • Recognize the potential risks that zinc phosphide poses to humans, pets and wildlife.
  • Follow the product label directions closely, including elements of site assessment, pre-baiting, bait preparation, application and clean up.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for my Oregon Department of Agriculture credit to show up on my credit report?

It may take 4-8 weeks. Oregon State University submits the list of course takers to Oregon Department of Agriculture once each month, and ODA has a high work-load in data entry from November through March. Please contact ODA with any questions at 503-986-4635.

When will USDA APHIS Wildlife Services receive verification that I completed the required training under the SLN label?

You will receive an email automatically when your certification of completion is verified. At that time, your certificate of completion will be forwarded to the Oregon Department of Agriculture within 1 week. It may take 4-8 weeks for them to report to AHPIS, depending on time of year. Please contact ODA with any questions by dialing 503-986-4635.

Who should I contact with follow-up questions about the course?

You may send an email message to oregonstatepsep@gmail.com, or Kaci Buhl at kaci.buhl@oregonstate.edu. 

The image "Belding's Ground Squirrel from Yosemite National Park, California" by Yathin S Krishnappa is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.


Pesticide Recertification Credit

The following courses are currently approved by Oregon Department of Agriculture for Pesticide Certification and license renewal:

The following courses are currently approved by Idaho State Department of Agriculture: 

At this time our online courses are not approved for Washington state recertification. 

Interested in on-site pesticide recertification courses?
Click here for details.

IMPORTANT: Final grade reporting to the state will include grades released as of December 31. Our system takes 24 hours for grades to release, to ensure your grade will be counted toward the calendar year, you need to complete the final quiz no later than December 30.

Each of our courses in the Pesticide Applicator series can also count as Continuing Education Hours for the Oregon State Landscape Contractors Board.

On demand. Access any time.
2 hours
price (2)
Additional Information:
2 CORE ODA pesticide recertification credits.


Kaci Buhl

Kaci Buhl is an Associate Professor of Practice at Oregon State University (OSU). She coordinates the Statewide Pesticide Safety Education Program, working to educate professional pesticide applicators. On the national level, Ms. Buhl is the Deputy Director of the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative, which creates pesticide manuals, exams, and other resources for professionals. She studied integrated pest management (IPM) at Michigan State University and previously coordinated the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC).

Miranda Dudzik

Miranda is the Pesticide Safety Educator at the Pesticide Safety Education Program at Oregon State University. Her background includes teaching biology, animal science and healthcare courses at the college level. Miranda brings to PSEP her expertise in online curriculum and course design that aims to provide quality online continuing education for pesticide applicators around the state.

Miranda Dudzik

Miranda is an OSU alumna with a background in Biology, Chemistry, and Toxicology. She brings to PSEP over a decade of experience in adult education, including online education and curriculum design. Miranda currently develops and coordinates online recertification courses, assists with webinar course planning, and is working on a new pre-licensing program to help applicators prepare for their certification exams. She is passionate about creating inclusive and accessible learning opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and native languages.

Past Students' Work

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