A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for:

> preventing,
> destroying,
> repelling, or
> mitigating any pest.

Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests.

Under United States law, a pesticide is also any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.

- General Information/Resources -

  • Publications (Link)
    View 100+ publications about agriculture...
  • Calibrating Backpack Sprayers  (Video) (
    Backpack sprayers are relatively easy to use--and to misuse. This video shows basic sprayer components and how to use them appropriately. It also outlines how to calibrate the sprayer, calculate application rates, and mix pesticides.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Link)
  • National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) (Link)
    NPIC provides objective, science-based information about pesticides and pesticide-related topics to enable people to make informed decisions about pesticides and their use. NPIC is a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
  • Websites of Interest (pdf)
  • COCC Pesticide Applicator Classes

    Pesticide Certification/Recertification and Pesticide Licensing

    It is best to know the difference between Pesticide CERTIFICATION and Pesticide LICENSING.
    CERTIFICATION is the process of demonstrating a person knows how to handle and apply pesticides in a safe and responsible manner. Certification examinations must be taken in specific categories of application to obtain a pesticide license. A passing score of 70% or higher on pesticide exams is required to become certified.Certification is the first step to obtaining a pesticide license.
    Certification is valid for up to five (5) years and begins when the required tests are passed and ends on December 31st of the fifth calendar year. If you qualify for certification in the last 45 days of the year (November 17th through December 31st), the certification period is extended through the calendar year and the next five (5) years. For example:
    Test Date                            Certification End Date
    January 2, 2013                 December 31, 2017
    November 16, 2012          December 31, 2016
    November 17, 2012          December 31, 2017
    Just passing pesticide exams does not mean an individual is licensed!
    LICENSING is the process to obtain the actual license that shows that a person has met certification requirements to make specific pesticide applications under that license. To get a license: (1) After passing the exams, fill out the correct form, (2) pay the license fee and any other associated fees; (3) submit both to ODA. All licenses are renewed annually, except for the Private Applicator license, which is renewed every 5 years.

    Step by Step Guide for Pesticide Certification/Recertification and Pesticide Licensing

    Step #1 - Choose the Type of Pesticide-Related License that Fits Your Situation and Need
    Oregon Department of Agriculture/Pesticides (Link)

    Oregon Pesticide Licensing Guide (pdf)

    Step #2 - Suggested Study Materials for Each Pesticide Exam
    Oregon Pesticide Safety Education Manual:  A Guide to the Safe Use and Handling of Pesticides (Preview)
    Designed for pesticide applicators, including those preparing to take certification exams and those who already are certified pesticide applicators, operators, dealers, or consultants. This edition features language that is more “reader friendly.” At the same time, readers are introduced to the technical terms that are common in the industry and may appear on Oregon pesticide exams. Topics include pesticide laws, environmental concerns, personal protective equipment, symptoms of poisoning, first aid, integrated pest management, pest identification, pesticide formulations, understanding labels, equipment calibration and calculations, mixing and application, transportation, storage, and disposal, spill management, record keeping and reporting, and liability. Each chapter is followed by study questions. (Answers are in the appendix.) Other appendixes include: pesticides and their effects on humans, handy formulas for conversions and calculations, a glossary, and references. Order Now (Link)

    Step #3 - Find a Pesticide Testing Site Near You
    ODA Upcoming Accredited Classes (Link)
    Search for upcoming recertification classes that count towards maintaining your Oregon pesticide applicator or consultant certification. In ODA listings, classes satisfying the Private Applicator "Core" requirement are identified with the word "Core" in the title.
    OSU Extended Campus Online/Pesticide Applicators Courses (Link)
    Pesticide Recertification Courses 2015 (pdf)

    Step #4 - Take Your Pesticide Exam(s)

    View My Pesticide Hours (Link) (your license number will be needed for search)
    Access a report of classes you have attended, your requirements for recertification, and determine whether you have met your requirements. Note: Attendance processing can take several weeks, so recent classes attended may not be reflected on this report.

    Request Credits for a Course
    Sponsors may fill out the following form(s). Do not forget to include a copy of the course agenda. ODA requests that submissions be made at least 30 days prior to the course date.

    Recertification Course Credit Request Form and Instructions
    Extra pages for agenda detail

    Step #5 - Apply for Your Pesticide License

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