Pesticide Safety and Training
The University of Maryland Pesticide Safety and Training program was created to assist agricultural producers and businesses with timely information regarding pesticide use and recommendations. Farms use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment.
Maryland pesticide applicators are licensed through the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) as:
- Private Pesticide Applicators or;
- Commercial Pesticide Applicators
Private Applicator Certification - An optional training is offered in-person or virtually on a regular basis. You can contact your local extension office to get the dates. There is a recording available that goes through each chapter of the book located at: www.go.umd.edu/pesticidereview.
Private Applicator Exam - Exams are offered in counties through the winter months or when there are a number of individuals interested an exam can be scheduled. Contact your Extension office for dates. The Department of Agriculture in Annapolis has testing on a monthly basis.
Pesticide Private Applicator Recertification Options
University of Maryland Extension (UME) has created a number of options for Maryland Private Pesticide Applicators to receive their recertification credits. Private Applicators are required to have a recertification training session during the last year of their current three-year certification period. Recertification training provides applicators with new information on pest control, health and environmental safety, pest management technology, and changes in pesticide laws and regulations to help the applicator continue to use pesticides safely and effectively. The training must consist of a minimum of 4 credits (1 credit is equal to ½ hour of training), that is the equivalent of two hours of pest or pesticide-related topics as determined by MDA and UME. MDA will update each private applicator's training records whenever you attend an approved course. License renewal notices are issued by MDA via email in late November to applicators that have satisfied the training requirements and whose private applicator certificates are about to expire.
The following are approved methods for receiving pesticide credits through UME:
Option 1: Attend a live online training offered throughout the year to receive your credits. For course offerings and registration, contact your local Extension office or check for updates in our Extension newsletters, Maryland Agronomy News, Fruit and Vegetables News, and the UME calendar of events.
Option 2: Watch prerecorded online webinars at your own pace through our University of Maryland Pesticide Portal. You can pick and choose the webinars that are of interest to you to obtain the needed credit hours. Complete the request form https://go.umd.edu/pestandnutrient, including your name and contact information to get started. You will be asked to click on which training you are interested in and you will need to provide your pesticide certification number. You will then be directed to the video series. These are best watched on a tablet or laptop as there are questions embedded in each video that you must answer.
Option 3: Request a paper workbook to be mailed to you. Topics covered in this workbook are MDA-approved and are equivalent to two hours of in-person training needed every three years to renew your private applicator’s license. This workbook is also approved for three (3) Delaware credits and two (2) Pennsylvania core credits. Upon completion of the workbook, the applicator will answer a 30-question quiz and mail it back to the Baltimore County Extension Office. Upon receipt, we will grade the quizzes no later than the end of the month in which they were received. To receive pesticide recertification credits, the applicator must score at least 70 percent on the 30-question quiz (21/30 correct). Once the applicator passes, the applicator will receive confirmation in the mail and their information will be submitted to the Maryland Department of Agriculture. To order your workbook, please call your local Extension office or complete the online request form: https://go.umd.edu/pesticideworkbook.
Option 4: Some small in-person training will begin happening around the state. Space will be limited and registration will be required. Contact your local Extension office for more information.
*Remember that all renewals are done online. MDA will not be mailing pesticide renewals unless specifically requested from MDA. You will not have renewed your license until you complete the renewal forms and pay MDA $7. https://egov.maryland.gov/mda/pesticides. Online tutorials on how to renew your license and print your license are available on our YouTube channel.
Commercial Applicators - Commercial applicators should contact the Maryland Department of Agriculture for information regarding examinations and licensing. This certification requires an annual update for credit hours. Some UME classes are approved for commercial credits.