CATCH THE BUZZ: Pesticide Information Center

US National Pesticide Center beefs up mobile presence

People with questions about using pesticides correctly now can get answers on their smartphones and tablets, thanks to expanded online services offered by the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at Oregon State University.

The center, which operates a national hotline, is growing its fleet of mobile apps, interactive content, video tutorials, and webinars for the medical community and state and federal regulators.

The efforts are funded by a five-year, $5 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.The NPIC has also launched four mobile-friendly apps. The most popular, the

Pesticide Education and Search Tool (PEST), offers quick, bulleted information on more than a dozen common pests. The four apps aim to be immediately accessible to users and suggest alternatives to pesticides for common urban pests, like fleas, rodents and bed bugs.

The service also continues to add hundreds of pages and new services to its website, including a ZIP code-driven locator for emergency services. It is also beefing up its presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. The NPIC’s website and mobile apps can be found at http://npic.orst.edu.