Understanding Pesticide Applicator Licenses By Mario Villarino

Understanding Pesticide Applicator Licenses: Do YOU need a license? If so, which endorsement do you need?

The Texas Pesticide Law requires that you must be licensed or certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture in order to lawfully use a restricted-use pesticide, state-limited-use pesticide or regulated herbicides. The law is designed to ensure safety of humans, animals, plants, and the entire ecosystem.

License types are below:

Private Applicator — A person who uses or supervises the use of restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticides for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by the person or the person’s employer or under the person’s general control; or on the property of another person if applied without compensation other than the trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities. An agricultural commodity is defined as a plant or animal grown for sale, lease, barter, feed or human consumption and animals raised for farm or ranch work. Private applicator licenses are valid for five years, and the applicator must obtain 15 CEUs during that time to renew.

Commercial Applicator — A person who operates a business or is employed by a business that applies restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticides to the property of another person for hire or compensation. Commercial applicators must renew annually and obtain five CEUs each year.

Noncommercial Applicator — A person required to use restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticides but who is not a private applicator or commercial applicator. Noncommercial applicators are generally government employees who apply restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticides in the course of their employment or persons employed by businesses applying such pesticides on their own property. Noncommercial applicators must renew annually and obtain five CEUs each year.

Vector Control licensing: Effective Sept. 1, 2009, TDA assumed the duties of licensing for health-related pest control (mosquito control); TDA duties formerly conducted by the DSHS. This change occurred through HB 1530, which made these changes to Chapter 76, the Agriculture Code. Persons wishing to licenses in health-related pest control will be subject to licensing under the Ag Code and subsequent regulations in the Vector Control Category.

The Hopkins County Extension Office offers three dates for Pesticide Applicators to get their training on May 24, August 16 and November 15, 2023. Call the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903 885-3443 to register. The cost of the training is $30 and teaching materials (set) is $50. For more information call 903 885-3443 or email me at [email protected].

Author: Ethan Klein

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