How APL Pest Control is Organized: Agronomists, CPO and Techs


By Rick Orr 06/12/2017


John and Rick standing next to the spray trucks

The Agronomists, A CPO and The Tech

APL Lawn Spraying is staffed by an agronomist and a Tech. Rick Orr, an agronomist, is the certified pest control operator (CPO) and John Duff is the tech. The analogy of our relationship would be like a doctor and a nurse. Where the agronomist has advance education and training in plant biology and soil science and is able to diagnosis the lawn and ornamental problems and prescribe a solution. John the tech has the training and experience to administer the solution.

Agronomy and the CPO

Agronomy is the study of soil and plant sciences. The emphasis is on growing plants for productive purposes - it could be row crops for food, pasture for forage or turf for a golf course. Producing attractive, healthy and ecologically positive lawns are the goals of lawn spraying.

Certified Pest Control Operator (CPO) has met federal and state legal, education and competency requirements to apply pesticides for profit. An agronomist meets and exceeds those requirements. A CPO is required to maintain their accreditation  with 4 hours of continuing education every year.

The Tech

A Tech is a person under the direct supervision of a CPO. They must also meet federal and state legal requirements. A Tech must receive 40 hours of training from the CPO. Techs are required to receive 8 hours of additional training every year. In addition to mandatory training, John also receives daily updates and training on current conditions, new products and techniques and local conditions on lawns for that day.

How it Works

A daily routine consist of a queue meeting, production work and customer service. Every morning is the queue meeting where the CPO goes over the daily work, trouble areas, current and forecasted pest activity with the Tech. The Tech has a list of stops, a GPS and materials complete the route. That is production. After the queue meeting, the CPO will scout  for pest activity, plan for the future mix designs and investigate customer reported trouble.

Rick Orr Owner-Operator APL Pest Control/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
APL Pest Control

Rick Orr is the creator of, Owner/Operator of APL Pest Control and a graduate from VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology).  

Since 1980, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts and large communities. Rick worked as a Golf Course Superintendent of Fripp Island Resort, agronomist for Seaside, FL and the spray tech for Vinoy Golf Course. Rick has been certified as an arborist, landscape and irrigation contractor and adjunct professor for Environmental Horticulture (SPC) in Pinellas County.  

Home Pest Control came naturally. Entomology (bug science) was part of agronomy studies. Nearly every indoor pest problem starts outdoors. Crossing over to home pest control from lawn spraying was a natural process – the technology, methods and materials used for home pest control are modifications of the ones used for lawn spraying. 

The results of that work is a one of the top rated pest control companies in Pinellas County – APL Pest Control. APL Pest Control is a family owned business serving residential and commercial properties in Pinellas County, FL. 

Free Price Quote for Home Pest Control and/or Lawn Spraying CLICK HERE

To learn more about APL Pest Control CLICK HERE

Speaking Engagements - Does it seem like you are only hearing one side of water restrictions, fertilizer bans, plant restrictions, and many other urban landscape hot topics? Rick Orr is available for speaking engagements for your HOA, Community or Professional Association or Garden Club about a variety of subjects. To contact Rick you can find him on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram for booking information.