Licensing of Sewer Root Control Pesticide Applicators in Florida 1

Frederick M. Fishel 2

This document explains the licensing and regulation of persons who apply restricted use pesticides to control or prevent the growth of roots in sewer lines or pipes in Florida, as regulated by the Florida Pesticide Law (Chapter 487), and administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Sewer Root Control

All persons who use or supervise the use of restricted use pesticides to control or prevent the growth of roots in sewer lines or pipes must have a pesticide applicator license issued by the Bureau of Licensing and Enforcement/Pesticide Certification Section. The Florida Sewer Root Control category is regulated by the Florida Pesticide Law (Florida Statutes, Chapter 487).

Category Certification Standards

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

  • the safe handling and proper application of sewer root control chemicals;

  • root growth and biology;

  • equipment types and calibration procedures;

  • proper pesticide handling;

  • mixing and application procedures;

  • proper use and maintenance of personal protective equipment;

  • toxicity of root control pesticides to humans and non-target organisms via common exposure routes;

  • proper cleaning, disposal, and containment techniques;

  • effects of root control pesticides on ground water, sewage treatment plants, septic tanks, holding tanks, lift stations, and other sewage treating, conveying, or handling equipment;

  • environmental effects;

  • factors that may lead to a hazardous condition; and

  • the laws and regulations governing pesticide use.

License Classification

Certified sewer root control 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 the Sewer Root Control examination before they can apply to the Department for a license. The Sewer Root Control examination is administered by UF/IFAS Extension offices. There are no additional qualifications or fees required to take the examination.

Study Materials

Study manuals for Sewer Root Control applicators who will be taking the exam may be obtained from Cornell University by calling (607) 255-4111 or on-line at


Applicators must recertify every four years. To recertify, applicators may take the examination again or attend training and obtain 4 continuing education units (CEUs) approved for the Sewer Root Control category. 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, Pesticide Licensing Section, 3125 Conner Drive, Bldg. 8, L-29, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650, Phone: 850-617-7876, (accessed March 2016).

University of Florida/IFAS Pesticide Information Office, P.O. Box 110710, Bldg. 164, Gainesville, FL 32611-0710, Phone: 352-392-4721, (accessed March 2016).


1. This document is PI-146, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 2007. Revised July 2010, August 2013, and March 2016. Reviewed March 2019. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.
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 does 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-146

Date: 2019-03-31
Fishel, Frederick M
Pesticide Information Office

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