Licensing of Seed Treatment Pesticide Applicators in Florida1

Frederick M. Fishel 2

This document explains the licensing and regulation of persons who apply restricted use pesticides to seeds in Florida, as regulated by the Florida Pesticide Law (Chapter 487) and administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Seed Treatment for Pest Control

All persons who apply or supervise the application of restricted use pesticides to seeds must have a pesticide applicator license issued by the Bureau of Licensing and Enforcement/Pesticide Certification Section. The Seed Treatment category does not include the use or supervision of restricted use fumigant pesticides. This 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 types of seeds that require chemical protection against pests;

  • the chemical control measures that pertain to the control of such pests;

  • the equipment or methodologies required to safely and effectively implement such pest control measures;

  • the significance of coloring treated seed;

  • the effects of carriers and surface active agents which influence pesticide binding and may affect germination;

  • the hazards associated with handling, sorting, and mixing;

  • packaging and labeling treated seed;

  • misuse of treated seed, such as introduction of treated seed into food and feed channels; and

  • proper disposal of unused treated seeds.

License Classification

Certified seed treatment 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 Seed Treatment category examination. The Core examination may be taken at any UF/IFAS county Extension office. The Seed Treatment examination may be taken at a UF/IFAS county Extension office that offers category examinations. No special qualifications must be met to take the examination. There is no fee to take the examinations.

Study Materials

The manual for the Core exam 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 study materials for the Seed Treatment exam may be obtained by contacting the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office at (352) 392-4721.

Figure 1. SM 1: Applying Pesticides Correctly: A Guide for Pesticide Applicators (CORE)
Figure 1.  SM 1: Applying Pesticides Correctly: A Guide for Pesticide Applicators (CORE)


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 Seed Treatment category and 4 CEUs approved for the Core category. Core CEUs cannot be used to meet the required Seed Treatment CEUs. No substitutions of other types of CEUs are allowed. Opportunities to earn CEUs may be found at

Restricted Use Pesticides Applied in the Seed Treatment Category

Restricted use pesticides are seldom applied as seed treatments.

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-147, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date February 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-147

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

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