Licensing of Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation Applicators in Florida1

Frederick M. Fishel 2

This document explains the law that governs those who make soil and greenhouse fumigation applications to agricultural crops/soils in Florida.


The licensing and regulation of persons who apply restricted-use pesticides to agricultural crops in Florida is controlled by a law administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The law is the Florida Pesticide Law (Chapter 487). All soil and greenhouse fumigants are classified as restricted-use pesticides.

Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation Pest Control (Chapter 487)

All persons who apply or supervise the application of soil and greenhouse fumigants must have a pesticide applicator license issued by the Bureau of Licensing and Enforcement. The Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation Pest Control category is regulated by the Florida Pesticide Law. This category is applicable to individuals using or supervising the use of any fumigant pesticide injected or applied to field soils; to the soils of seed or transplant beds or containerized plants; to potting soil; to lawns, turf, and ornamentals not associated with structures; or within enclosed agricultural structures such as greenhouses where agricultural production is in progress. This category is valid for licensure of public and commercial applicators.

Category Certification Standards

Applicators seeking a license in this category must demonstrate practical knowledge of:

  • soil-inhabiting pests and pests of agricultural crops grown inside structures such as greenhouses;

  • the fumigant pesticides that may be used to control such pests;

  • the equipment or methodologies required to safely implement fumigation measures to control such pests;

  • the basics of fumigant pesticide toxicology;

  • application methodologies for applying soil and greenhouse fumigants;

  • techniques and procedures for monitoring the concentration of a fumigant pesticide in soil, air, or water;

  • use and maintenance of personal protective equipment and clothing; and

  • specific safety procedures for handling pressurized chemicals and for avoiding non-target exposure to a fumigant pesticide.

License Classification

Certified soil and greenhouse fumigation applicators may be licensed as either public applicators or commercial applicators. These are the major differences:

  • A public applicator is a licensed applicator employed by a public or governmental agency. The license is only valid when performing work for the public or governmental agency. The public applicator fee for a four-year license is $100.

  • A commercial applicator is a licensed applicator who is licensed to apply restricted-use pesticides on any property provided they are certified in the category for which the applications are made. A commercial applicator is usually a contract applicator. The commercial applicator fee for a four-year license is $250.


Persons must successfully complete two examinations before they can apply to the department for a license. These examinations are a Core examination and a Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation category examination. The Core examination may be taken at any UF/IFAS Extension Office. The Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation examination may be taken at a UF/IFAS Extension Office that offers category examinations. No special qualifications must be met to take the examination. There is no fee to take the examinations.

Registrant Training Programs

Most labels require that the certified applicator-in-charge of a soil fumigant application complete an appropriate soil fumigant training program listed on the EPA website (http:// These programs include specific training modules that address each soil fumigant active ingredient as well as a general training module.

The training must be completed in the timeframes listed on the website. The Fumigation Management Plan (FMP) must document the date and location where the soil fumigant training program was completed. Certified applicators-in-charge who participate in soil fumigation training are required to show competency when the training is com­pleted. The trainer documents who successfully completed the training and must keep these records. The trainer must also provide a card or certificate to participants who success­fully complete the training.

The purpose of the training for the certified applicator-in-charge is to make sure they know how to:

  • Apply fumigants correctly.

  • Protect handlers and other people.

  • Comply with label requirements.

Study Materials

Manuals and study materials for Core and Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation applicators who will be taking exams may be obtained from the UF/IFAS Extension Bookstore by calling 1-800-226-1764 or online at The content of the Core exam is based upon the manual Applying Pesticides Correctly (Figure 1). The content of the Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation exam is based upon the manual Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation (Figure 2). Sample labels may be obtained from suppliers of pesticide products.

Figure 1. Applying Pesticides Correctly.
Figure 1.  Applying Pesticides Correctly.

Figure 2. Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation
Figure 2.  Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation


Applicators must recertify every four years. To recertify, applicators may take the examinations again or attend training and obtain 4 continuing education units (CEUs) approved for the Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation category and 4 CEUs approved for the Core category. Core CEUs can't be used to meet the required Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation CEUs. No substitutions of other types of CEUs are allowed. Opportunities to earn CEUs may be found at

Additional Information

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Bureau of Licensing and Enforcement, 3125 Conner Drive, Bldg. 8, L-29, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650. Phone: 850-617-7997. (accessed October 2018).

University of Florida/IFAS Pesticide Information Office. PO Box 110710, Bldg. 164, Gainesville, FL 32611-0710, Phone: 352-392-4721. (accessed October 2018).


1. This document is PI-136, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date September 2006. Revised September 2015 and October 2018. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Frederick M. Fishel, professor, Agronomy Department, and director, Pesticide Information Office; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

Publication #PI-136

Date: 2019-01-02
Fishel, Frederick M
Pesticide Information Office

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