2 min read
Applicator Spraying Pesticides in PPE

What is a private pesticide applicator?

A private pesticide applicator is a person that is producing an agricultural commodity on owned, rented, or leased property or property owned by an employer. Examples of individuals who commonly have a need for a private pesticide applicator license include farmers, nursery owners, pond owners, sod farmers, and forested landowners.

A commercial pesticide applicator differs from a private applicator. A commercial applicator is someone who applies pesticides on private or public property for compensation. Examples of those who may need a commercial pesticide license include landscapers, home pest control companies, forest pest management companies, and many more.

Materials and Qualifications

The private applicator study materials can be picked up at a county Extension office, downloaded, or ordered on the Alabama Extension Store. Qualifications to receive a permit include the following:

  • Must be able to read and comprehend the subject matter in English. No tests are given orally.
  • Must obtain a passing grade of 70 percent or higher on the test.
  • Must successfully complete training and testing, then submit an application for a permit.

How to Obtain a Private Applicator License

Option One

Attend a training course offered by the many Extension offices across the state. At these events, participants will receive training on pesticide laws, safety, calibration, etc. and then the test will be administered. The fee for the training and testing is $20, and an additional license fee of $25 will be sent to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

This training method is highly recommended for individuals who have never had a private pesticide applicator permit in the past. These training and testing classes are usually offered during the first part of the year but are occasionally offered later in the year. Contact a county Extension office to find out when the next private pesticide applicator training and testing is offered in your area. A list of available trainings can also be accessed trainings by searching “private pesticide applicator training” at www.aces.edu.

Option Two

Schedule a testing date at a county Extension office. For this option, the person will contact the county Extension office in their area and schedule a time for testing only. The fee for this testing only option is $10. The additional license fee of $25 will be sent to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries along with the permit application that the person will receive at the Extension office. The test is open book, and this a common testing method for individuals who have attended an in-person training in the past.

Option Three

Online training and testing. For this training, individuals can receive the training and testing online on a day that is convenient for them. Simply visit www.aces.edu and search “online private pesticide applicator training.” The fee for this option is $60 which includes the $25 permit processing fee that is required by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Managing Pests

Always read the label before purchasing pesticides. Contact your county Extension office for information on what management practices is best for the site. Remember to utilize integrated pest management (IPM) practices. These practices involve using a variety of methods for managing pests including host resistance, biological, cultural, mechanical, sanitation, and chemical methods. Depending on the pest, there are usually organic and conventional management options.

More Information

Topics such as IPM, chemical safety, pesticide laws, and much more are discussed at the private pesticide applicator trainings. If you have questions on pest management, sprayer calibration, private pesticide applicator permits, or commercial pesticide applicator testing, contact your county Extension office.