Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

What is a pesticide and do I need a license?

A pesticide is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Insecticide Rodenticide and Fungicide Act (FIFRA) is: "Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest".

Some UDAF Pesticide Program employees like the definition of: "If it is a word that ends in I-D-E it is a pesticide". Pesticides include: Insecticide, Herbicide, Fungicide, Rodenticide, and many more. Generally, if it kills something and it is used to kill something, it is a pesticide.

So everybody is a pesticide applicator?Yes, most people use pesticides in their everyday life.  If you look at the products you use and see an EPA Reg. number on the label - it is a pesticide.  Some pesticides we use are not labeled, or registered with the EPA - these are actually still pesticides. All pesticides need to be  used safely and according to manufacturers instructions and good common sense. NOT ALL PESTICIDES REQUIRE YOU TO HAVE A LICENSE, in fact - very few do.

In the Pesticide Program, one thing we do is enforcement of pesticide law. Any registered Pesticide, even those used in the home, have a label and "Directions for Use" on the label. The label is approved by the EPA. The first sentence on the label under "Directions for Use" is always; "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling." The UDAF Pesticide Program administers this law (FIFRA and the Utah Pesticide Control Act) in Utah. Any use of a pesticide is subject to these laws regardless if the person applying them is licensed or not.

If any pesticide is used in the process of making money, in the State of Utah, you need a Utah Commercial Pesticide Applicator License.

If you use a pesticide for your employer, usually only on the employers property, you may need a Utah Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator License, the law only requires this license to apply Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP).

Utah Commercial and Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator Licenses are used for specific purposes.  For a description of the categories of licenses please read: How to Certify and Become a Licensed Utah Pesticide Applicator

If you raise a plant for an agricultural purpose, you may need a Utah Private Pesticide Applicator License.  If pesticides are used on your property for an agricultural commodity it is highly recommended you obtain a Utah Private Pesticide Applicator License. and review the requirements of the Worker Protection Standards (WPS) carefully with UDAF.