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Pesticide Safety Education Program


Georgia's Pesticide Safety Education Program promotes the responsible and safe use of pesticides throughout Georgia. We accomplish this by providing the educational resources, training programs, and materials needed to help both private and commercial pesticide applicators achieve certification and subsequently to maintain the knowledge to safely and effectively make use of restricted-use and all other pesticides. Our educational resources cover a broad range of pesticide safety topics including pest identification, personal safety, safe storage and disposal of pesticides, environmental protection, pesticide drift and runoff prevention, threatened and endangered species protection, water quality protection, and food safety.


EPA Issues Compliance Advisory after a high number of reports of crop damage apparently related to MISUSE of herbicides containing dicamba.

Upcoming UGA Webinars for GREEN Industry Professionals

(CEUs authorized) Register no earlier than 5 weeks prior to each webinar.

May 17, 2017(2 h Cats. 21, 22, 24, 27; 2 h Private):

Bermudagrass Stem Maggot in Georgia Hay Fields; Dr. Will Hudson, Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Biology and Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila; Dr. Ash Sial, Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

For more information, or to get on our email contact list for upcoming webinars, contact: Ms. Tami Boyle, Center for Urban Agriculture, University of Georgia Griffin Campus at, or call 770-233-6107. CEUs in various Georgia Commercial & Private Pesticide Applicator License categories are available. Webinars are $10 (for 2 CEUs) with a sliding scale (price goes down with more attendees registered), and are 7:45 to 10:00 AM East Coast time. All that’s needed is a reliable internet connection. Register for an upcoming webinar a few weeks prior to the webinar by going to, clicking on the GREEN BUTTON, and following the registration instructions. Contact Beth Horne (, or 770-228-7214) with questions regarding the registration process.

Current News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published their newly revised certification and training rules in the Federal Register on January 4, 2017 with an original effective date of March 6, 2017, but recently announced that a revised effective date of May 22, 2017 is now in effect. That effective date could be delayed further if EPA officials decide to conduct a substantive review of the new rule. A detailed comparison chart between the old and new certification and training rules is available at

The new Final EPA Worker Protection Rule was published in the Federal Register on 2 November 2015 and went into effect in January 2016. Read the summary. Most provisions of the 2016 Worker Protection Standard, with the exception of expanded training for workers and handlers and suspension of an application when an individual enters the newly defined Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ) became enforceable on January 2 of 2017. The expanded training for workers and handlers and the AEZ application suspension requirement become enforceable on 1 January of 2018.

Which license do I need: Private, Commercial, or Structural?

A Private Pesticide Applicator license is needed if either of the following statements is true...

  • I want to purchase and use a Restricted-Use pesticide (RUP) on my property or the property of my employer to produce an agricultural, ornamental, or forestry commodity.
  • I want to supervise the use of a Restricted-Use pesticide (RUP) on my property or the property of my employer to produce an agricultural, ornamental, or forestry commodity.

For more detailed information, visit our Private Applicators webpage.

A Commercial Pesticide Applicator license...

  • Is required if you want to apply a Restricted-Use pesticide (RUP) and you do not qualify as a private applicator.
  • Is required if you work for or as a licensed Pesticide Contractor applying any pesticide to the lands of another for a fee unless you work under the supervision of someone else who has a Commercial Pesticide Applicator license.
  • Does not permit you to charge a fee unless you also have a Pesticide Contractor license.
  • Is required for Restricted-Use pesticide purchases, and these must be confined to only those categories for which you are authorized by your license.

For more detailed information, visit our Commercial Applicators webpage.

A Structural Pest Control license...

  • Is required to solicit work or perform work as a Structural Pest Control business in Georgia.
  • Requires you to be certified or registered and work for a licensed Structural Pest Control company to solicit or perform Structural Pest Control work in Georgia.
  • Is divided into three operational categories: Household Pest Control (HPC), Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO), and Structural Fumigation (FUM).
  • Requires pre-licensing: training, experience, and examinations.

What materials are available for training my agricultural workers to meet the requirements of the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard?

UGA’s Pesticide Safety Program has obtained copies of the How to Comply With the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides - What Owners and Employers Need To Know that are available at a nominal cost from the UGA Extension Publication Store. Additional materials for training agricultural workers are being developed and will be available from the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) website as they are approved by EPA.

Among the currently available resources are updated WPS videos in both English and Spanish for both workers and forestry workers. There are new WPS handouts and an inventory of training materials that has downloadable training videos, sample forms, modifiable presentations, and more. Additional materials are added as approved so check the PERC website often for any new training materials.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on 29 December 2016 that it had denied the petition by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) to delay implementation by a year of the 2015 Worker Protection Standard.

How do I get pesticide safety education if I neither need nor want a license or do not qualify for any type of license?

Everyone in Georgia who handles and applies general use or unclassified pesticides should be trained in how to correctly and safely use pesticides. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and the University of Georgia’s Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) have jointly developed the Georgia Competent Applicators of Pesticides Program (GCAPP) to provide Georgians who might wish training in the proper and safe use of pesticides. This training program is now available online at the website. Homeowners, public service employees, master gardeners and other volunteers may purchase access to the training at the Georgia Professional Certifications Course Access store front on the UGA Market Place. It requires a 4.5-5.5 hour time commitment by all participants.



External sites


UGA Extension offers training within local communities on a wide array of topics. To see if there are training events in your area, please visit our calendar.