Program Details

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Protocols for Participating Businesses

“Coqui-free” certification depends largely on whether coqui frogs have been detected at a site. Sites with coqui frogs may become “Coqui-free” after meeting the following standards. Sites that become infested with coqui frogs after certification will be removed from all associated advertising until the standards are met.

Certification Process

All plants and nurseries will undergo inspection of the site prior to designation.  Some inspection may occur in the day, but final inspections will occur in the evenings when coqui frogs are most active.

No Coquis Detected on Site

To be designated “Coqui-free,” a participant must meet the following standards:

  1. No frogs are detected by MISC personnel at the site or nearby during night-time surveys
  2. Meaningful efforts are made to use products and materials from frog-free sources. Acceptable meaningful efforts will include at least two of the following: Development of a staging area when receiving new plant material
    • Disclosure of plant sources and volume of plant sales to MISC
    • Inspection of plants and/or plant material prior to sale
    • Operating as a repository for coqui reports and passing along all relevant information within one week of the report to MISC
    • Distributing citric acid (provided by MISC) to customers who believe they have coqui frogs
    • Reporting any coqui frogs to MISC within 24 hours of the incident
  3. Regular physical inspections of all stock and night-time surveys have detected no evidence of coqui frogs or eggs within the last three months
  4. New stock is thoroughly inspected and / or sprayed with an approved agent ( citric acid), or treated with hot water (113°F for 5 minutes or more), or quarantined at the site before sale to consumers, or monitored at night for the presence / absence of coqui frogs
  5. Frog-friendly habitat is eliminated by trimming and cleaning dead leaves, removing rubbish in pots, and removing non-stock vegetation or supplies that could create frog-friendly habitat
  6. All staff is trained in coqui-frog identification and control techniques during initial surveys and re-trained at least once a year
  7. Action steps are documented on approved forms

Coqui Detected at Site

At sites where coqui frogs have been detected within the last three months, a participant may receive a “Coqui-free” certification after meeting the following standards:

  1. Any frog detections are reported to MISC within 24 hours
  2. Regular physical inspection by MISC staff of facilities and all plant material will occur at least every four to six weeks
  3. Inspections reveal that no frogs or frog eggs are detected by MISC personnel, participants and their employees, customers, or neighbors at the site or nearby during night-time surveys
  4. Meaningful efforts (see bullet 2 of the previous section) are made to use products and materials from frog-free sources
  5. Participant will develop and implement a treatment plan in cooperation with MISC
  6. The entire infested area is treated on a regular schedule with an approved pesticide ( citric acid), hot-water treatment (113°F for 5 minutes or more), hand capture technique, or combination of methods
  7. New stock is thoroughly inspected and sprayed with an approved agent (citric acid), or treated with hot water (113°F for 5 minutes or more), or quarantined for two weeks at the site before sale to consumers, and monitored at night for the presence / absence of coqui frogs
  8. Frog-friendly habitat is reduced by removing unwanted piles of plant debris, and eliminated by trimming and cleaning dead leaves, removing rubbish in pots, and removing non-stock vegetation or supplies that could create frog habitat
  9. A buffer zone is created around infested areas and movement or sale of infested materials will not occur
  10. The presence of coqui frogs at the site is disclosed to consumers who are encouraged to inspect plants prior to leaving the nursery and quarantine plants before planting at a new site
  11. All staff is trained by MISC personnel in coqui-frog identification and control techniques and retrained at least once a year
  12. Action steps are documented on approved forms

A “Coqui-detected” site may become certified “Coqui-free” after three months with no coqui frogs detected at the site. MISC will notify nurseries of site status in a timely manner and provide the “Coqui-free” marketing materials once three months have passed with no coqui frogs detected at the site. Participants must notify MISC if coqui frogs are found on-site and refrain from marketing themselves as “Coqui-free” until three months have passed with no coqui detected.