One of the licenses I often get questions about is the Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance (LCLM) license. It’s a good license to have for a commercial (for-hire) landscaper who wants to offer basic chemical pest control for clients. To offer a wider suite of landscape pest control services commercially, the Lawn and Ornamental Pest Control Operator (L&O PCO) license is another option. However, the L&O PCO license requires experience working for a licensed pesticide applicator performing pest control in the categories in which you seek licensing. The LCLM license on the other hand, only requires a 6-hour training, proof of insurance, and a passing exam score. With the LCLM license, you can apply caution-labeled pesticides (including herbicides) to ornamental plant beds for your commercial clients. To decide whether the LCLM license is for you, check out the UF/IFAS publication, “Finding the Correct Pesticide Applicator License in Florida“. It offers a helpful key and reference sheets for each license. If they choose the LCLM license, my clients often then ask where to find the training, how to prepare for the exam, and how to sign up for the exam.
Where can I find approved LCLM training classes?
To locate a class, you can either use the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) statewide CEU class search or contact your local extension office. Many UF/IFAS Extension Agents offer classes in-person or virtually, and you can also find the trainings online on-demand. Here in the Treasure Coast region of Florida, we have in-person LCLM classes scheduled for August 3rd, 2023 in Martin County. If you would prefer an online course, UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County has an on-demand version of the LCLM 6-hour training. Other counties may soon offer their own on-demand versions as well.
How do I prepare for the exam?
Let me start with a word of caution that the LCLM exam is not an easy one, so I definitely recommend studying in advance. The required 6-hour training will help you to prepare, but studying the recommended materials will also be key to success. Lastly, we always caution LCLM applicants to be aware that if you take the exam and do not pass, you will need to re-apply before re-taking the exam. Each application costs $150, so it’s worthwhile to take the time you need to study for the exam.
So how do you study for the exam? FDACS recommends the following study materials:
- Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance book* (IFAS Bookstore)
- Applying Pesticides Correctly book* (IFAS Bookstore)
- Identification Guide to Common FL Lawn & Ornamental Weeds booklet* (IFAS Bookstore)
- Florida Green Industries – Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources in Florida (copies available for free at most local extension offices)
- Chapter 5E-14 FAC (internet)
- Chapter 482 FL Statutes (internet)
- Instructions -common pesticides & equipment (from suppliers; basically, review some of the pesticide labels you would use)
*These study guides are available for free check-out to library cardholders in the Martin County Library System, courtesy of UF/IFAS Extension Martin County.
The IFAS Bookstore website is: http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu/
How do I find exam sites and register for the exam?
Pesticide applicator exams in Florida are offered by most UF/IFAS Extension offices through a statewide Pesticide Certification Exam scheduling site. Additionally, the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office, in partnership with FDACS, launched a new on-demand exam site, Everblue, in December 2021. Exams can be taken anytime from anywhere with a good internet connection.
When you’re ready to take your exam, visit the Pesticide Certification Exam scheduling site to:
- Find exam Testing Centers and Schedules near you;
- Apply for the exam through FDACS online; and then
- Schedule your exam.
Sometimes extension agents will offer an exam session immediately following their 6-hour LCLM class. The class announcement will tell you whether it includes an exam session, or you can ask the agent if you aren’t sure. You will still need to apply for the exam through the online system.
I hope this article gives you the information you need to successfully become licensed. If you need additional resources, please reach out to your local extension office.
Once you are licensed, start gathering CEUs (continuing education units) early, so that you can easily renew your license when it’s time. The LCLM license must be renewed each year with at least four CEUs or by re-taking the exam. Local extension offices and the UF Pesticide Information Office both offer CEUs year-round. Want to keep informed of classes offered in and around Martin County? Subscribe to receive my emails!