What is the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP)?

This is a pesticide safety educational program for anyone who uses pesticides. The program covers pesticide certification, recertification and licensing of pesticide applicators and pest control operators. It also covers the Worker Protection Standards (WPS)issued by EPA, which give protection to workers and pesticide handlers in farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses.

How does one order pesticide certification and licensing study manuals for the certification and licensing exams?

Study manuals may be ordered following ways:

When does one need to be certified and/or licensed and/or chartered? 

In order to use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides, one has to be certified as a Private or Commercial Applicator or working under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. In order for one to qualify as actively supervising, they must be within a 120 mile radius of the work. Certification does not allow one to apply a pesticide for a fee. In order to buy a restricted-use pesticide in Tennessee, the individual purchasing the pesticide must be certified as a Private or Commercial Applicator. A dealer must be certified as a Commercial Applicator in Category 12 (see below). 

There are two types of certified applicators, private and commercial. Private Applicators are farmers, greenhouse and nursery operators. All other users of restricted-use pesticides are Commercial Applicators.

Private Applicators become certified by attending an educational seminar at a county Extension office.

Commercial Applicators become certified by passing a certification exam in their area of work. The Commercial Applicator exams consist of questions from the CORE or general standards manual and the respective category. These exams are offered several times a week at various county Extension offices and at TN Dept. of Agriculture (TDA) offices across the state. You MUST prepay a fee of $15 to TDA in order to take the exam. TDA will then assign you a date to take that exam. You should indicate on the prepay form if you intend taking one of UT's training seminars in Knoxville.

Certification educational seminars are offered by UT the first Wednesday of each month in Knoxville, East Tennessee State University (ETSU), UT Chattanooga, UT Extension District office in Nashville, and the UT West Tennessee Center in Jackson.

These seminars include training in CORE (General Standards); Ornamental & Turf, C03; and Household and Structural, C07. You may register for these seminars by phone at (865) 974-7138; register online at Pesticide Commercial Applicator Registration site, or by mailing of faxing the Pesticide Commercial Applicator Registration Form (F817) to the UT Dept. of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Rm. 205, Plant Science Bldg. Knoxville, TN 37996-4560. Please be advised that there are fees associated with the trainings.

When does one need to be licensed?

A Licensed Pest Control Operator is required to supervise the main office and each branch office for chartered companies who apply pesticides for a fee, and where pesticides are applied in buildings used for food preparation and service, temporary or permanent lodging of others, educational purposes (schools, etc.) or commercial food processing. These rules apply whether one is applying general-use or restricted-use pesticides. These rules do NOT apply in buildings used primarily for religious instruction or providing education to not more than 10 persons. They do NOT apply to the application of pesticides by an individual in the individual's dwelling (personal), or to the application of pesticides by the owner of a multi-unit dwelling in which the owner resides and which contains not more than three additional units.

 


What is a charter and when is it needed?

A charter is a certificate issued by the TN Dept. of Agriculture authorizing a person, firm or corporation to engage in the business of commercial pest control operations. A charter is required for each office and branch office. It is issued in the categories of service by the company. Therefore, each person applying for or holding a charter must have for each office or branch office a Licensed Pest Control Operator for each category of service. In order to obtain a charter, on must also possess liability insurance of $250,000/$500,000 and bonding of $10,000. The licensing category Wood Destroying Organisms, WDO, requires an additional Errors and Omissions insurance of $10,000/$300,000.

Which commercial certification category do I need, and what study manuals do I need to order?

The manuals and reference materials listed below can be ordered by downloading the print order form and mailing or faxing the print form to the address and/or fax number on the form, OR by using the online e-commerce ordering site. The links below are to the manuals on the online ordering system.

Category 1 -- Agricultural Pest Control -- If you apply restricted-use pesticides in the control of plants, whether woody or herbaceous, to planted and/or cultivated crops or to land otherwise used in agricultural production, you need to be commercially certified in this category. Order PB1738, Agricultural.

Category 2 -- Forest Pest Control -- If you use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides for the control of pests in the maintenance and production of ornamental trees, shrubs, flowers and turf, you need to be commercially certified in this category. Order PB1708, Forest Pest Control.

Category 3 -- Ornamental & Turf -- For an individual to become a Commercial Applicator in order to use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides in the maintenance and production of ornamental trees, shrubs, flowers and turf, you need to be commercially certified in this category. Order PB1652, Ornamental and Turf Pests or order in Spanish, Control de Plagas de Cesped.

Category 4 -- Seed Treatment -- This category includes commercial applicators using or supervising the use of restricted-use pesticides on seeds. Order EPP Info #611, Seed Treatment.

Category 5 -- Aquatic Pest Control -- This category includes commercial applicators using or supervising the use of restricted-use  pesticides in and around aquatic areas. Order PB1705, Aquatic Pest Control.

Category 6 -- Right-of-Way -- If you apply restricted-use pesticides for the control of pests on public roads, electric power lines, pipelines, railway right-of-ways, you need to be commercially certified in this category. Order PB1707, Right-of-Way.

Category 7 -- Industrial, Institutional, Structural and Health Related -- To apply restricted-use pesticides for the control of pests in, on, or around food handling establishments; human dwellings; institutions, such as schools and hospitals; industrial establishments (including warehouses and grain elevators); any other structures and adjacent area (public or private) for the protection of stored, processed or manufactured products; and for mosquito control (except for public land and public waters) you need to be commercially certified in this category. Order PB1732, Industrial, Institutional, Structural and Health Related Control.

Category 8 -- Public Health -- To apply restricted-use pesticides for the control of pests that are of public medical and public health importance, including mosquitoes on public land and public waters, you need to be certified in this category. Order PB1733, Public Health Control.

Category 10 -- Demonstration, Research and Regulatory Pest Control -- This category included state, federal, or other governmental employees who use or supervise restricted-use pesticides in the control of regulated pests. This category includes: (1) individuals who demonstrate to the public the proper use and techniques of application of restricted-use pesticides or supervise such demonstrations, and (2) persons conducting field research with pesticides and in doing so, use or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides. Order PB1714, Demonstration, Research and Regulatory Pest Control.

Included in the first group are persons such as Extension agents and specialists, commercial representatives demonstrating pesticide products, and those individuals demonstrating methods used in public programs.

Included in the second group are state, federal, commercial, and other persons conducting field research on or utilizing restricted-use pesticides.

Category 11 -- Wood Preservatives -- This category includes Commercial Applicators applying restricted-use wood preservatives. Order PB1715, Wood Preservatives.

Category 12 -- Pesticide Dealers -- This category includes people engaged in wholesale or retail sales of restricted-use pesticides. Each dealer location selling restricted-use pesticides must have a certified dealer at that location. Order PB1716, Pesticide Dealer.

Category 13 -- Anti-Fouling Marine Paint -- This category includes commercial applicator using or supervising the use of restricted-use anti-fouling marine paints. Order EPP Info #91, Anti-Fouling Marine Paint.

Category 14 -- Microbial -- Commercial applicators using or supervising the use of antimicrobial agents to control micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, algae and viruses) in cooling towers and swimming pools. Order PB1718, Microbial.

Category 15 -- Worker Protection Standards, Trainer -- This category includes private and commercial applicators who train workers and handlers of pesticides. The trainer must be able to teach all the subjects required in the Standards of Competency. Trainers must be able to train pesticide handlers, workers, and early-entry workers. Order manual, How to Comply with the Worker Protection Standards.

Category 16 -- Sewer Line Treatment -- This category includes Commercial Applicators who use restricted-use pesticides for sewer line root control, such as metam-sodium. Order PB1680, Sewer Line Treatment.


What licensing category do I need and what licensing category do I need to order?

The manuals and reference materials listed below can be ordered by downloading the print order form and mailing or faxing the print form or to the address and/or fax number on the form, OR by using the online e-commerce ordering site. The links below are to the manuals on the online ordering system.  

ARE, Aerial -- Pilots applying pesticides by air. Order PB1701, Aerial.

AGE, Agricultural-Ground Equipment - Control of agricultural pests by means other than fumigation. Order PB1737 AGE, Agricultural-Ground Equipment.

AQW, Aquatic Weed Control - Control aquatic plants by the application of pesticides. Order PB1702 AQW, Aquatic Weed Control packet.

BDC, Bird Control - Control of pest birds by the use of pesticides. Order BDC, Bird Control packet.

FUS/FUM, Fumigation Soil (Agri.)/(Structural)
     Fumigation Soil, FUS - Control of agricultural pests found in the soil by application of a material that is a gas. Order FUS, Fumigation Soil (Agri)    
     Fumigation Structural, FUM - Control of pests by application of a material that is a gas to buildings. Order FUM, Fumigation Soil (Agri)/(Structural)

GRC, General Pest and Rodent Control - To perform custom application of pesticides, or apply pesticides for a fee, to vertebrate (rats, mice, etc.) and invertebrate (insects) pests in and around structures. Order PB1673, General Pest & Rodent Control.

HLT, Horticulture, Lawn and Turf - To perform custom application of pesticides for insects and diseases of shrubs, trees, lawn and turf in residential, institutional and non-agricultural locations. Order PB1666, Horticulture-Lawn & Turf.

HRI, Horticulture-Interior - Control of pests and diseases of plants grown indoors. Order PB1698, Horticulture-Interior.

PHMC, Public Health Mosquito Control - To perform custom application of pesticides for mosquito control on public lands and public waters, Order PB1685, Public Health Pest Control (TN Mosquito Control Handbook).

WEC, Weed Right-of-Way - To perform custom application of pesticides for the control of plants, whether woody or herbaceous, to industrial sites and rights-of-way, such as but not limited to, highways, transmission lines, drainage ditches, etc. Order WEC, Weed Right-of-Way.

WDO, Wood Destroying Organisms - To perform custom application of pesticides for termites, various wood borers, carpenter bees, carpenter ants, and decay with regard to the type or use of structure involved. Order PB1703, Wood Destroying Organisms.

 

How does a Private Applicator get recertified and how often?

Private Applicators are recertified every three years by attending a recertification seminar offered by every county Extension office in Tennessee. 

 

How does a Commercial Applicator become recertified and how often?

Commercial Applicators are recertified by earning a designated number of points over a three-year period. The point requirement may be pro-rated, depending on when you were certified. Points may be earned by attending approved recertification meetings in your category. Professional and trade associations offer meetings annually where points may be earned. The University of Tennessee, Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology offers an annual meeting in mid-March at UT Knoxville, ETSU, UT Chattanooga, UT Extension District Office in Nashville and UT West Tennessee Center in Jackson. This program is taped and shown again in mid-July of the same year in Knoxville. Pre-registration is required, especially for outlying Interactive Television (ITV) sites. The number of points required in each category may be found from fact sheet, SP363D, Tennessee Commercial Point System, available from the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology or from TDA.

 

What is a charter?

An instrument issued by TDA allowing one to become engaged in commercial pest control operations.

 

When does one need a Licensed Pest Control Operator? And, how does one become a Licensed Pest Control Operator?

Chartered companies that are in the business of commercial pest control, applying pesticides for a fee, are required to have at least one Licensed Pest Control Operator at the main office and at least one a each branch office. In order to become a Licensed Pest Control Operator, one must be certified in the respective certification category. You must also have one of the following: a BS degree in agriculture, entomology, biology, or some other related subject, OR have a similar license from another state.

Two licensing categories are exempt form these requirements, AGE (Ag Ground) and HLT (Horticulture, Lawn and Turf). Individuals applying for these two categories must appear before the TN Pest Control Board and pass a brief oral examination before being allowed to take either of these licensing exams.

In order to take a licensing exam, one must complete an application and together with a fee of $150 sent to TDA, Certification & Licensing Section, P.O. Box 40627, Porter Building, Nashville, TN 37204. These MUST be postmarked no later than the 10th of the month preceding the month of the exam. The licensing exams are given quarterly at the Ellington Agriculture Center in Nashville. Applications may be obtained from the PSEP Website at https://ag.tennessee.edu/PSEP/default.aspx under the main heading "Licensing" or at the TDA Website at http://www.state.tn.us/agriculture/ or call their respective numbers at (865) 974-7138 or (615) 837-5148.