Agricultural Commissioner

Pest Control Business

Certified Pesticide Applicators & Continuing Education


 

AgBullet Private Applicator Certification (PAC) - A private applicator is a person who applies or supervises the use of a federal or state restricted use pesticides for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on property owned, leased, or rented by him/her or his/her employer; or a householder who uses or supervises the use of a restricted use pesticide outside their residence to control plant or turf pests on residential property owned, leased, or rented by the householder. A PAC is also considered qualified to provide pesticide handler training to his/her employees in production agriculture settings.

A private applicator is a person who applies or supervises the use of a federal or  for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity on property owned, leased, or rented by him/her or his/her employer; or a householder who uses or supervises the use of a restricted use pesticide outside their residence to control plant or turf pests on residential property owned, leased, or rented by the householder. A PAC is also considered qualified to provide  to his/her employees in production agriculture settings. 

To become certified, a private applicator must come into our office, take and pass a written examination with a minimum score of 70%. There is no fee for taking the examination, obtaining the certification card, or renewing the certification. Check our calendar for the next testing date in Santa Maria, or call our Santa Barbara office to make an appointment to take the exam in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria or Solvang. To prepare for the exam, you may purchase a copy of "Pesticide Safety: A Reference Manual for Private Applicators" in English or Spanish at our Santa Barbara or Santa Maria office, or directly from University of California Cooperative Extension.

The examination is available in both English and Spanish. The only part of the Spanish examination written in English is the pesticide label. Federal law requires all certified applicators to be able to read and understand the registered labeling. In the United States most pesticide labels are only written in English.

PACs must be renewed every three years. You may choose to take and pass the written re-certification exam with a minimum score of 70%, or earn the necessary continuing education hours. PACs must earn a total of 6 hours of continuing education, 2 of which must be in Laws and Regulations. PAC holders must provide written documentation to the Agricultural Commissioner's Office that they have completed the necessary continuing education hours when renewing their PAC.

AgBullet Qualified Applicator License and Certificate (QAL) - You must possess a valid Qualified Applicator License (QAL) if you do any of the following: 

  • Apply or supervise the application of federally restricted use pesticides or state restricted materials for any purpose or on any property other than that provided by the definition of private applicator (see above).
  • Supervise the pesticide applications made by a licensed pest control business and are responsible for its safe and legal operation. 

In order to obtain a QAL, you must submit an application and appropriate fees to the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). You must also pass the required examinations administered by DPR. Check out DPR's QAL page for more information on the application process, fees, exam schedule and locations, and study material. 

In order to renew your QAL, check out the Renewals section of DPR's QAL page.

AgBullet Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) - You must possess a valid Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) if you do any of the following:

  • Apply or supervise the application of federally restricted use pesticides or state restricted materials for any purpose or on any property other than that provided by the definition of private applicator (see above).
  • If you own a business of maintenance gardening, and perform pest control that is incidental to such a business. If this is the case, you must possess the Maintenance Gardener Category (Q) or the Landscape Maintenance Pest Control Category (B) on your certificate and, in addition, obtain a Maintenance Gardener Pest Control Business License. 

In order to obtain a QAC, you must submit an application and appropriate fees to the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). You must also pass the required examinations administered by DPR. Check out DPR's QAC page for more information on the application process, fees, exam schedule and locations, and study material. 

In order to renew your QAC, check out the Renewals section of DPR's QAC page.

AgBullet Structural Pest Control Applicator, Field Representative, Operator

A structural pest control Applicator is any individual who is licensed by the board to apply a pesticide, rodenticide, or allied chemicals or substances for the purpose of eliminating, exterminating, controlling, or preventing infestation or infections of pests or organisms included in Branch 2 or Branch 3 on behalf of a registered company. A structural pest control Applicator shall not contract for pest control work or perform pest control work on his or her own behalf.

A structural pest control Field Representative is any individual who is licensed by the board to secure structural pest control work, identify infestations or infections, make inspections, apply pesticides, submit bids for or otherwise contract, on behalf of a registered company. A pest control field representative shall not contract for pest control work or perform pest control work on his or her own behalf.

A structural pest control Operator is any individual who is licensed by the board to secure structural pest control work, identify infestations or infections, make inspections, submit bids for or otherwise contract, in behalf of a registered company. A pest control Operator shall not contract for pest control work or perform pest control work on his or her own behalf. An Operator performs the same duties of a Field Representative except that an Operator can own and operate their own company or act as a qualifying manager for another owner.

To become a structural pest control licensee, visit the Structural Pest Control's licensing website.