Licensing of Private Pesticide Applicators in Florida1

Frederick M. Fishel 2

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

Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control

All private persons who apply or supervise the application of restricted use pesticides to agricultural commodities must have a pesticide applicator license issued by the Bureau of Compliance Monitoring/Pesticide Certification Section. The Private Applicator 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:

  • agricultural plant and animal production and associated pests;

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

  • the equipment or methodologies used to safely and effectively implement such measures;

  • the potential for pesticide residues on such crops;

  • preharvest application intervals;

  • post-application re-entry interval restrictions;

  • phytotoxicity;

  • pesticide-related soil or water problems;

  • potential for pesticide-induced environmental contamination;

  • non-target injury and community problems that may result from the improper use of pesticides in agricultural production;

  • animal injury associated with pesticide formulations, application techniques, animal age or stress, or extent of treatment;

  • equipment calibration;

  • proper design, use, and maintenance of anti-siphon devices and check valves to prevent contamination of water supplies;

  • proper interpretation of pesticide label or labeling requirements for products registered for chemigation and appropriate use of personal protective equipment associated with this type of application;

  • soil-inhabiting pests and pests of stored raw agricultural commodities and the fumigant pesticides that may be used to control such pests;

  • the basics of fumigant pesticide toxicology;

  • application methodologies for applying soil and commodity fumigants;

  • techniques and procedures for monitoring the concentration of a fumigant pesticide in soil, storage facilities, 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 Cost

Certified private applicators pay a fee of $100 for a four-year license.


Persons must successfully complete two examinations before they can apply to the Department for a license. These examinations are a Core examination and the Private Applicator Agriculture category examination. The Core examination may be taken at any UF/IFAS county Extension office. The Private Applicator Agriculture category 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

Manuals and study materials for Core and Private Applicator Agriculture 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 Private Applicator Agriculture exam is based upon the manual Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control (Figure 2). Sample labels may be obtained from suppliers of pesticide products or online at Crop Data Management Systems by going to

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)

Figure 2. Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control
Figure 2.  Private Applicator Agricultural Pest Control


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

Restricted Use Pesticides Applied in the Private Category

Table 1 lists Florida's restricted use pesticides that are applied in the Private Applicator Agriculture category and the reason for the restricted classification.

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).


Table 1. 

Restricted use pesticides.

Pesticide common name

Specific formulations

Specific uses

Criteria for RUP


As sole active ingredient

All uses

Human inhalation hazard, adverse effects on avian and aquatic organisms

Aluminum phosphide

As sole active ingredient

All uses

Human inhalation hazard

Arsenic acid

All formulations except brush-on

All desiccant uses

Oncogenicity, mutagenicity, and repro/fetotoxicity


All manufacturing and end use

Agricultural and industrial uses

Ground water contamination potential; worker exposure concerns


Emulsifiable concentrate

Cotton and citrus

Toxic to fish, mammals, and aquatic organisms


Emulsifiable concentrate


Toxic to fish and aquatic organisms


Tracking powder, dust and ready to use 0.2% (EPA Reg. Nos. 7173-113 and 7173-172

Inside buildings

Human hazard, potential for food contamination, possible inhalation hazard


All formulations greater than 2% and all formulations (rodent control)

All uses (greater than 2% including rodent control)

Acute inhalation toxicity, hazard to non-target organisms


Emulsifiable concentrate

Agricultural uses

Avian and aquatic toxicity


All formulations

All uses

Additional data required to remove the restriction


Flowable concentrate

Livestock uses

Acute oral toxicity hazards

Cube resins other than rotenone

Emulsifiable concentrate

Small fruits, currants, certain berries

Chronic eye and inhalation effects


25% Emulsifiable concentrate


Acute toxicity to applicators, fish, and other aquatic organisms


Emulsifiable concentrate


Environmental data requirements


All formulations

All agricultural crops

Oncogenicity, hazard to non-target organisms


Emulsifiable concentrate


High toxicity to aquatic organisms


Granular, emulsifiable concentrate, and wettable powders

Small fruits and certain berries

Avian and aquatic toxicity






All formulations (94% liquid concentrate is the only formulation)

All uses

Probable human carcinogen, oncogenic, acutely toxic by oral and inhalation routes

Diclofop methyl

All formulations

All uses



All liquid formulations 8% and greater

All uses

Acute dermal toxicity, residue effects on avian species


Wettable powders

All uses

Hazard to wildlife


All ECs 65% and greater, all ECs and concentrate solutions 21% and greater with fensulfothion 43% and greater, all ECs 32% and greater in combination with 32% fensulfothion and greater

All uses, commercial seed treatment (non-aqueous solution 95% and greater)

Acute dermal toxicity, inhalation hazard

Emamectin benzoate

4-epimethlyamino-4-deoxykavermectin BLA and B1b benzoates

Insecticide, miticide

Toxicity to fish


66% emulsible concentrate


Toxicity to fish and aquatic organisms


Emulsifiable concentrates 40% and greater (aquatic uses); all uses (granular and fertilizer formulations)

Aquatic uses (ECs 40% or greater); all uses (granular and fertilizer formulations)

Acute dermal toxicity


Wettable powder


Very high toxicity to aquatic organisms


2.4 emulsifiable concentrate spray

Agricultural uses

Environmental concerns: toxic to fish and aquatic organisms


All formulations


Conditional amended


All formulations

All uses

Toxicity to fish, and aquatic invertebrates

Magnesium phosphide

All formulations

All uses

Inhalation hazard


Liquid formulations 40% and greater, dust formulations 2.5% and greater

All uses

Acute dermal toxicity, residue effects on avian species


All formulations

All uses except nursery stock, safflower and sunflower

Residue effects on avian species


All formulations

Outdoor commercial and agricultural uses

Possible hazard to avian, fish and other aquatic organisms


As sole active ingredient in 1 to 2.5% baits (except 1% fly bait), all concentrate solution formulations and 90% wettable powder formulations (not in water soluble bags)

Nondomestic outdoor and all other registered uses (agricultural crops, ornamentals, and turf)

Residue effects on mammalian species, other hazards—accident history

Methyl bromide

All formulations

All uses

Acute toxicity and accident history


All wettable powders 70% and greater

All uses

Acute inhalation toxicity, effects on aquatic organisms


Liquid formulations, granular on a case-by-case basis

All uses

Acute oral toxicity, acute inhalation toxicity, avian oral toxicity


All formulations and concentrations except certain mixtures—see label

All uses

Human toxicological data, other hazards - use, and accident history


All formulations

Agricultural crop uses

Highly toxic to aquatic organisms, oncogenicity


Liquid formulations 65% and greater (all uses); all granular formulations (rice)

All uses (65% and greater); granular formulations (rice)

Acute oral and dermal toxicity for granulars, residue effects on avian and mammalian species (foliar application of liquid formulation only), effects on aquatic organisms

Piperonyl butoxide

Emulsifiable concentrate

Small fruits, certain berries, currants

Not specified


Emulsifiable concentrate 59.4%, EPA Reg. Nos. 100-599 and 100-669


Corrosive to eyes


All 50% wettable powders

All uses



Emulsifiable concentrate

No uses listed

Chronic eye effects


2.5/5.0 EC, 5.0% +20.0% wettable powder

Fish toxicant

Chronic eye and inhalation effects


Emulsifiable concentrate

Grapes and certain berries

Not specified


Granular formulations

Corn grown for seed

Environmental concerns; toxicity to fish and aquatic organisms


Granular formulations 15% and greater

All uses

Residue effects on avian species; acute oral and dermal toxicity and risks to aquatic organisms and other wildlife from runoff


All formulations

All agricultural crop uses

Toxicity to aquatic organisms

Triphenyltin hydroxide

All formulations

All uses

Possible mutagenic effects

Zinc phosphide

All dry formulations 60% and greater; all bait formulations; all dry formulations 10% and greater


Hazard to non-target organisms, acute oral toxicity, acute inhalation toxicity


1. This document is PI-149, 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-149

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

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