Pest management is a technical pursuit. It requires the control of insects and other arthropods, vertebrate pests and undesirable plants. It requires education, training and experience in order to accomplish this control in an effective, economically sound, and environmentally safe manner. In Texas, licensing and certification to accomplish this work requires education and training. The pest management specialist or professional must also pass exam(s) administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Private pesticide applicators obtain licensing and certification to use restricted use and state-limited use pesticides to produce an agricultural commodity on property they personally own or lease.
Commercial and non-commercial applicators apply pesticides for a variety of pests in a wide range of locations. Examples of licensing categories available from the TDA include: Vegetation Management, Field Crop Pest Control, Nursery Plant Production, Public Health Pest Control, Pasture and Rangeland Pest Control, and Seed Treatments.
Structural pesticide applicators apply pesticides to urban areas, residences, commercial and industrial properties, schools and other environments where people work, live and play. Certification for structural applicators is done through the Structural Pest Control Service, a division of the Texas Department of Agriculture.
The Agricultural and Environmental Safety Unit at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides written study materials as well as education and training to pesticide applicators in Texas. To learn more about the programs they offer, visit agrilife.org/aes or call (979) 845-3849 or (979) 845-1099.