How to Get a Pest Control License

Do you know to get a pest control license including the steps involved in certification and registration? This has become an often asked question among persons interested in starting a pest control business. Pest control licensing is a requirement for pesticide applicators across the United States, as it certifies them as having the required skills and technical know-how on pest control.

The range of pesticides covered includes general use pesticides as well as well as those classified under the restricted use category by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). If you make pesticide recommendations to clients for a fee, or apply pesticides for clients on a hire basis, you are required to have an operating license.

How to Get Certified to Do Pest Control – Licensing Requirements and Cost

In this article, we will cover all the requirements necessary for obtaining a pest control license, as well as the types of pesticide licenses available, and attendant annual fees which all pest control companies are required to pay under the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (The EPA) Pesticide Fee Schedule. Visit to find out more on the fee as well as registration application.

Types of Pesticide Licenses ( Pesticide Applicator License )
There are several types of pesticide licenses; each state licenses all pesticide operators while the United States Environmental Protection Agency plays a supervisory role in ensuring that minimum pesticide application guidelines are adhered to. There are also other states which have stricter licensing requirements for pesticide applicators. These are mainly aimed at ensuring the highest standards are maintained in the control of pests.

Although several states have their requirements for licensing, some common types of pesticide licensing include; Agricultural Consultant license, Ground Owner Operator license, the RUP Dealer License visit for more details, the Aerial Owner Operator (Phenoxy) license, and the Aerial Owner Operator (Non-Phenoxy) license.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency Standards
Obtaining a pest control license requires that you meet certain standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. These include standards for the licensing of private applicators, as well as those for the licensing of commercial applicators. We will look into the two categories as follows;

  • Set Standards for Licensing of Private Applicators

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that before qualifying for a private pest applicator license, you must be able to demonstrate/show competence in common pest infestation and control problems related to agricultural practices. Another requirement is that you must demonstrate competence in a variety of actions which have to do with the right storage of pesticides, disposal of used containers, the efficient handling of pesticides as well as the use of same to achieve a desired result. As well as fully understanding every legal implications as well as responsibilities

Other important requirements include the ability to follow every instruction written on the labels of the pesticides as well as clearly understanding what the directions for use specify. To obtain licensing, you must also be able to rightly identify symptoms of poisoning, correctly recognizing the common types of pests as well being able to link them to damages they leave in their wake. Another requirement is being able to select the best method of application while avoiding cases of contamination which are likely to arise due to improper application of these pesticides.

After having passed/met these requirements, licensing is provided by any of the following; the state, tribe or territory concerned, an EPA approved body or by attending a training course.

  • Set Standards for Licensing of Commercial Applicators

Just as there are licensing standards for commercial applicators, there are also those for commercial applicators. To be licensed as a commercial applicator, you must be able to demonstrate adequate know-how on the use of pesticides as well as safety measures, and also showing practical knowledge on application guidelines. Under its use of pesticides and safety measures, you must be able to use pest control equipment as well as having knowledge on pest application techniques.

The identification of pest and management of same is another requirement which you must possess, in addition to comprehending the directions for use on the labelling of pesticides. Knowledge on the formulation of pesticides is another important requirement in addition to the handling of safety equipments and first aid.

Categories of Licensing/Certification
The United States Environmental Protection Agency provides 10 categories of certification/licensing. These include;

  1. Institutional, Industrial, Structural and Health-Related Pest Control

Under this category, areas covered for pesticide use both within and around include the food sector (those specialized in the handling of food), schools, human dwellings (residential buildings), grain elevators and ware houses categorized under industrial establishments.

  1. Demonstration and Research Pest Control
  • Aquatic Pest Control

This category involves the application of pest to either stagnant or running water.

  1. Public Health Pest Control:

This covers the use of pesticides in the control of pests with medical and health importance.

  1. The Right-of-Way Pest Control

This has to do with the maintenance of public property such as roads, pipelines, railways, and electric power lines.

  1. Agricultural Pest Control

Under the agricultural pest control category, animal and plant pests are included.

  • Forest Pest Control
  • Seed Treatment
  1. Ornamental and Turf Control as well as
  2. Regulatory Pest Control

These are the major categories for licensing by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, these are not constant as states, tribes or territories may add more to this list or remove/delete some.

From the information provided above, it can be seen that there are several requirements for obtaining an operating license. It provides knowledge on how to get a pest control license as well as the requirements for needed to qualify for one. 2018