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Finding the Correct Pesticide Applicator License in Florida

Erin E. Harlow, Luke B. Harlow, Susan Haddock, and Brett W. Bultemeier

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services oversees the licensing of all pesticide applicators in the state of Florida. It can be difficult knowing which of the 13 licenses with over 20 categories is needed, but having the correct license is important. The goal of this document is to assist with selecting the correct license and increase understanding of how best to prepare for obtaining and maintaining that license.

To use the “Florida Pesticide License Dichotomous Key” below, simply answer the questions until you are directed to your pesticide license page. Once there you will find all the information about study material, license cost, timelines, and renewal process. If you already know your license, you can find it from the list at the end of this document. This document is intended for UF/IFAS Extension personnel or the public to help identify the proper license for pesticide applications.

Key terms to know before using this document:

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)—The state entity that regulates Florida pesticide licenses.

Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP)—Pesticide products in this category are limited for sale and use by licensed applicators only. A product that is RUP will be marked as such on the first page of the pesticide label.

Public—Refers to an employee of the government, or a public entity. Examples could include schools, counties, universities, public works departments, etc. Your paycheck is signed by a “public” employer.

Commercial—Refers to a person that is “for hire.” Applications are done at locations that pay you (or your employer) for the work that is done.

Private—Refers to a person who works on property that they own or lease, or works exclusively on the property of their employer.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)—Training approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) for recertification of licenses. One CEU = 50 minutes of active learning.

487 A License Might Not Be Needed—If using a General Use Pesticide (GUP), which is any product that does not have RUP labeling on the top of the product, then a license is not always required. However, it is always suggested to hold the appropriate license for your category. If you still want to know what license is needed, follow the dichotomous key as if you are using RUP products, even if you are not.

487 Categories—Any category that lists the category + CORE requires the CORE exam be passed in addition to the category exam. Those wishing to add categories beyond the original category do not have to retake the CORE exam and do not have to pay for a separate license. There is no limit to the number of categories that can be added to the original 487 license.

Florida Pesticide License Dichotomous Key

Table 1.1. Mosquitos and other public health threats.

Table 2.1. The interior or outside of occupied buildings, CH 482 F.S.

Table 2.2. Government or private property around occupied buildings.

Table 2.3. For-hire contractors around occupied buildings. CH 482, F.S.

Table 3.1. Agriculture or other sites.

Table 3.2. Using restricted use products on agriculture or other sites.

Table 3.3. Restricted use applicators in agriculture production areas (crops, fields, seeds, livestock).

Table 3.4, Restricted use applicators in nonagriculture areas (natural areas, golf courses, cemeteries, parks, athletic fields, water).

Quick Reference to Pesticide License Page



Public Health

Mosquito Control Director

Limited Structural

Limited Lawn and Ornamental

Limited Wildlife

General Household Pest

Wood-Destroying Organisms

Structural Fumigation

Special ID Cardholder in Fumigation

Lawn and Ornamental

Limited Urban Commercial Fertilizer

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance

Identification Cardholder

Private Applicator

Agricultural Row Crop

Agricultural Tree Crop

Seed Treatment

Soil and Greenhouse Fumigation

Raw Agricultural Commodity Fumigation


Agricultural Animal


Ornamental and Turfgrass

Natural Areas


Right of Way

Wood Treatment

Organotin Antifouling Paint

Sewer Root

Chlorine Gas

Regulatory Pest Control

Regulatory Inspection & Sampling

Demonstration and Research

Peer Reviewed

Publication #PI292

Date: 9/12/2022

Related Experts

Harlow, Erin E.

University of Florida

Haddock, Susan

University of Florida

Bultemeier, Brett W.

University of Florida

Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

Fact Sheet

About this Publication

This document is PI292, one of a series of the Pesticide Information Office, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date August 2021. Revised September 2022. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Erin E. Harlow, residential and commercial horticulture agent III, UF/IFAS Extension Columbia County; Luke B. Harlow, agriculture and natural resources agent I, UF/IFAS Extension Union County; Susan Haddock, commercial horticulture integrated pest management agent IV, UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County; and Brett Bultemeier, Extension assistant professor, UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office, Gainesville, FL 32653; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Brett Bultemeier
  • Erin Harlow