Licensed commercial applicators meet high standards


By Extension staff

Spring is in the air!

With warmer weather and longer days come greener grass, blooming bulbs ... and weeds.

Before hiring a commercial pesticide company, consumers should know that the Colorado Pesticide Applicators Act requires any person or company that applies pesticides for hire, whether they are applying to a structure, lawn, or agricultural area, to be licensed as a commercial applicator.

“In order to protect the environment and public safety, commercial applicators must have the necessary training, expertise and experience to apply chemicals,” said Steve Blunt, CDA’s Pesticide Applicator Program coordinator. “Every licensed commercial applicator in Colorado has to meet strict testing requirements that are enforced by the Department.”

Companies providing weed control services using any herbicide or chemical must be licensed. Even those companies advertising they only use organic or natural weed control products are still applying pesticides and must, therefore, be licensed by CDA. Licensing as a pesticide applicator is not required if fertilization and aeration are the only services provided. If, however, a company applies ‘weed and feed’ or provides spot treatment for control of weeds, they must be licensed.

A person or company that performs applications for hire without holding the appropriate license may receive a minimum fine of $1,000 per violation. CDA officials also conduct routine office inspections to review records of applications, equipment maintenance and storage and disposal of pesticides.

The Department also investigates pesticide use and application complaints. Contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture Pesticide Section online at with additional questions, to determine if a lawn care company is licensed or to file a pesticide misapplication complaint.

Gluten and Celiac

Celiac continues to be an increasing issue for area residents.

It’s not our imagination, it is increasing. Based on information from Mayo Clinic (2012), 1 percent of the U.S. population is estimated to have this disease, but only 5 percent even realize it. Typically, it is clinical diagnosis rather than a definitive one.

Actually, in addition to those with Celiac, many other residents follow a gluten free diet for various other reasons and cures as well.

Celiac Sprue is a disease for a lifetime and one can’t go off or on gluten at will to deal with it. To have Celiac, one must have the genes to have the disease. But, I couldn’t figure out why 12 percent of new product claims focused on gluten free until I read Consumer Market Research (NPD). They cited that about a third of U.S. adults say they wanted to cut down or be free of gluten by January 2013. Reasons listed were weight loss, better sports performance, celebrity endorsements, and the biggie: better nutrition and other health benefits. Can you hear my sigh of frustration? None are research based and, actually, can be harmful, so why would any health care provider recommend this for a patient for weight loss, foggy brain or constipation?

There is no evidence that gluten is harmful in healthy individuals — those without a gluten related disorder. Gluten free will not produce weight loss, make acid reflux disappear, nor gain you any edge in sports. But, heck, since Lady Gaga and Mylie Cyrus are doing it, well ...

Anytime one omits specific large groups of high nutrient foods, malnutrition can result and can’t be taken lightly. Individuals with Celiac are found to also be more prone to the various autoimmune diseases as well. In the case of gluten intolerance, fiber is often lacking as well as calcium, iron, zinc, folate and specific B vitamins. To help address these nutrient limitations, specific grains such as amaranth, teff and quinoa can help. Due to the extreme reactions to gluten, those dealing with Celiac become adept at deciphering food labels and typically cook meals at home. FDA is proposing products contain less than 20 parts per million gluten to be labeled gluten free (example: one slice of bread contains 125,000 ppm gluten).

Between 2000 and 2004, new cases of Celiac disease increased from 11 per 100,000 up to 17 people per 100,000 in people as young as 1 and up to 85 years of age. The numbers plateaued in 2004 and remained stable at that level through 2011 and found that 63 percent of new cases were female. Researchers at Mayo Clinic (Rochester) proposed that numbers are increasing as a result of increased awareness of signs and symptoms by medical care providers, improved diagnostic opportunities, as well as increased numbers of new cases (Murray; Am J Gastroenterology March 2013). They propose several factors linked to the increased incidence particularly a change in the environment; gastrointestinal infections, and high consumption of gluten-containing foods (such as breads, bagels, pizza). The thought is that something in the environment seems to be triggering various genetic and biological factors.

This article was written by Wendy Rice, CSU Extension Agent, La Plata County.


May 23 — 4-H MQA, 6 p.m.

May 24 — 4-H Cake Decorating Project meeting, 2 p.m.

May 24 — 4-H Clover Bud Program, 2 p.m.

May 27 — Office closed, Memorial Day.

May 29 — 4-H Sports Fishing Project meeting, 4 p.m.

May 29 — 4-H Sewing Project meeting, 4 p.m.

June 1 — 4-H Dog Project meeting, 10 a.m.

June 3 — 4-H Scrapbooking Project meeting, 4 p.m.