Important Information for Pesticide Applicators

Compiled by Willie Chance, UGA Center for Urban Agriculture

 Pesticide Applicator Certification 

Pesticide transport, USDA Forest Service - Region 8 - Southern Archive, Bugwood.org
Pesticide transport, USDA Forest Service – Region 8 – Southern Archive, Bugwood.org

A Commercial Pesticide Applicator’s License is required for a person who applies pesticides to the land of another person for hire, or who manages these type pesticide applications. A firm applying pesticides for hire must also have a Pesticide Contractor’s License. Both of these licenses can be obtained through the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Pesticide applicator certification is handled by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (800) 282-5852 extension 4958, (404) 656-4958 or http://agr.georgia.gov. Commercial pesticide licensing requirements & information are found here

Commercial Pesticide Applicators must pass two exams – one covering General Standards and a second in their area of specialty. See this site to order study materials or to sign up for exams. Exams are given at selected Technical Colleges across Georgia.

Some County Extension Offices offer a pesticide license review training to prepare workers to take the commercial pesticide applicators exam for Category 24 (ornamentals and turf) and General Standards. Gwinnett County Extension in Lawrenceville (Tim Daly) and Bibb County Extension (Karol Kelly) offer exam reviews. Contact them or your local Extension Office for details. 

Local Extension Offices may have a DVD of a exam review to use as a study guide. Reviews supplement the manuals, not replace them. Applicators should make sure to study the manuals before an exam.

Structural Pest Control Applicators are licensed through a separate section of the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Find that information here.  Some of the information in this flier will not pertain to Structural Pest Control Applicators. These applicators should also visit www.gabugs.uga.edu/

Pesticide Applicator Re-certification Opportunities

Certified pesticide applicators must be recertified every five years through ongoing training. There are several ways applicators can earn re-certification credits:

This site lists GA Department of Agriculture approved recertification classes (including UGA Extension trainings)

Subscribing to UGA Extension email newsletters and social media (see below) will also alert you about training opportunities. Also contact your local Extension Office concerning local trainings and newsletters.

Pesticide Applicator Licensing and Certification information for individuals can be found here. Here you find out:

  • When does your license expire?
  • How many credit hours have you earned?
  • How many hours do you need for recertification? Recertification hours must be earned by 90 days before your license expires.

Applicators can also find online re-certification classes here (look halfway down the page) or local UGA Extension Offices (800-ASK-UGA1) can get a DVD that certified applicators watch to gain up to five hours of credit.

Structural pest control operators – visit the UGA Urban IPM website for trainings – www.gabugs.uga.edu/

Email Newsletters, Social Media, etc for Georgia Pest Management Industries

The following  Alerts are great ways to keep up with recertification trainings offered in Georgia. Each Alert has a training calendar & featured articles on current pest information from UGA.

Landscape Alerts for the landscape and turf industry are released as needed. See past issues or subscribe here or subscribe by emailing ebauske@uga.edu.

Pest Control Alerts update the structural pest management industry. See past issues or subscribe here or subscribe by emailing ebauske@uga.edu.

To find blogs, Facebook sites, Twitters, online videos, etc. from UGA that may list trainings or other pest management information visit this site.

UGA Pest Management Handbook

UGA Extension produces a Pest Management Handbook every year. The handbook has many uses for pesticide applicators. It includes:

  • Pesticide recommendations for most major pests and crops. This can include pesticide rates, recommendations on application, post harvest or re-entry intervals and other information.
  • Pesticide handling and safety information.

View the Handbook or purchase printed copies from this website. UGA Extension produces two editions – one for homeowners and one for commercial agricultural businesses (which includes landscapers, nurseries, golf courses & greenhouses.)

The Turfgrass Pest Control Recommendations for Professionals is produced annually and is available in free print copies through Extension offices or is online at www.GeorgiaTurf.com. This publication contains pest management recommendations for most turf pests and much other helpful pest management and pesticide information. The Georgia Turf website also has a host of other great turf information – www.GeorgiaTurf.com.

Pesticide Labels and MSDS Sheets

(These are not all University websites. We list these here for your convenience only. Listing a site here or omitting another site is not a recommendation or endorsement of any website)

Find Pesticide labels online! Remember; though other information is helpful – the label is the law! Always read and follow all label directions when using pesticides.

To find labels online, use a good search engine and search using the pesticide’s exact trade name and the words ‘specimen label’.

Sources for pesticide labels include:

EPA label database

Greenbook

CDMS

Chemical Manufacturers

Other sources

MSDS or Material Safety Data Sheets tell how to use a pesticide safely and give other information on the pesticide and hazards associated with using it. MSDS sheets should be made readily available to employees that could potentially be exposed to a pesticide (or other hazardous chemical). MSDS will eventually be replaced with a 16 page SDS sheet.

Find free online MSDS Sheets – See some sources above under pesticide labels. Also see this site.

MSDS Demystifier – What do all those big words mean?

Emergency Information for Pesticide Spills & Similar Issues

In a life threatening emergency – dial 911

National Poison Control Hotline – (800) 222-1222 or (404) 616-9000- 24 hours a day (for any type poisoning – not just pesticides)

Pesticide fires/large spills/emergencies/violations in Georgia – Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Response Team – (800) 241-4113.

Spills on Georgia roadways – Georgia State Patrol – Dial *GSP (*477) from any mobile phone.

Large chemical and oil spills – National Response Center 24-hour Spill Reporting Hotline – (800) 424-8802

Federal EPA (Region 4) 24-hour Spill Reporting Number – (404) 562-8700

Pesticide Removal/Cleanup Public Information Line – Region 4 Emergency Response & Removal Branch (8 am – 5 pm) (800) 564-7577

Information on small spillsNational Pesticide Information Center – (800) 858-7378

Other Pesticide Information

Pesticide disposalGA Department of Agriculture – (800) 282-5852 This article may also be helpful.

Information about risks of specific pesticides

Extension Toxicology Network

Especially note the PIPS or Pesticide Information Profiles

Information about specific pesticides or other info – National Pesticide Information Center – (800) 858-7378

Online safety videos from the Center for Urban Agriculture make a great ‘rainy day’ or ‘any day’ training in English or Spanish.

Your Local UGA Extension Office!

Locate your local UGA Extension Office or call your local UGA Extension Office – 800-ASK-UGA1 (800-275-8421) from any non-mobile phone.

Weather data for locations across Georgia provided by UGA

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