Landscape contractors and homeowners in North Carolina that apply pesticides may need a pesticide certification, says the N.C. Cooperative Extension. The Private Pesticide Applicator Certification monitored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs enables applicators to purchase and apply restricted-use pesticides for their own use. Pesticides have strict usage labeling guidelines and require applicators to have a greater knowledge of its use and effects.
Once applicators are certified, they have opportunities to attend educational trainings that help keep them up-to-date with pesticide use and safety.
In order to obtain a private pesticide certification, applicators must pass a written test administered by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences Pesticide Program (ncagr.gov). The test fee is $10.00 and registration is required.
Pat Jones, deputy director of the NC Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Pesticide Program says that restricted-use pesticides require certification.
''Any (applicator) that uses certain pesticides without certification may get cited for violations up to $500 per violation,'' said Jones.
''The pesticides can cause adverse harm to the environment from the runoff into the water system, and if not used according to the label instructions they can also make the applicator very sick.''