Which Pesticide License Do I Need?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires individuals wishing to purchase or use Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) be properly licensed/certified. States then carry out those plans through approved certification and training plans. Here in Florida that responsibility rests with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). There are 13 different licenses in over 20 categories in Florida, and knowing which license you need can be challenging, but is very important. Luckily our office, in collaboration with multiple county extension faculty, created two documents that help navigate those requirements. So, if you have ever asked “Which pesticide license do I need”, read on to find out!


Pesticide Licenses

In Florida there are three statutes that regulate the various pesticide license types, Chapter 388 (Public Health/Mosquito), Chapter 482 (Structural Pest Control), and Chapter 487 (RUP/Agriculture) each with their own rules. Sometimes just knowing which chapter one falls under can be difficult but is crucial for staying in proper compliance. To make this easier for potential license holders the recent publication “Finding the Correct Pesticide License” walks you through questions, like a taxonomic key, to find the proper license. Already know which license you need but want more information about it? Then go to the Quick Reference page and click on the proper license. To best navigate this publication, select the PDF version found on the right-hand side of the EDIS page linked above.

Each license has two pages associated with it. The front side of the page is all about “getting your license” and will layout study material, test information, cost, and any prerequisites that might be needed. The back, or second page, is all about “keeping your license” and will provide renewal fees, grace periods, and continuing education unit (CEU) requirements, and any additional information needed to recertify.

Photo by Shelby Thomas (UF/IFAS)

Direct Supervision

Additionally, there are those that work with pesticides that might not need a license. Oftentimes the work under the direct supervision of a licensed applicator. As with the licensing itself, each chapter (388, 482, 487) has its own unique rules regulating direct supervision. As a companion document the PIO has created “Rules for Direct Supervision in Florida”.


Both documents seek to demystify the pesticide license and renewal process, while also providing guidance on direct supervision. The Pesticide Information Office is tasked with ensuring that our stakeholders have the information they need to receive and maintain the pesticide applicator licenses, and hopefully with these two publications that is now a little easier.


This blog was co-authored by Erin Harlow, Horticulture Extension Agent with Columbia County. Erin Harlow Blog Page


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Posted: September 9, 2021

Category: Agribusiness, Agriculture, Farm Management, HOME LANDSCAPES, Pests & Disease, Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Brett Bultemeier, Erin Harlow, Pesticide Information Office, Pesticide Licenses, Pesticides, Restricted Use Product

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