Do Pest Control Companies Need To Be Licensed?
Though all pest control companies need to be licensed, you don’t have to finish the Commercial Applicators exam before launching your business. Today’s post explains how to run a licensed pest control business without a license of your own.
Do I Need A Special License To Run A Pest Control Business?
Every state has different requirements, but most start-ups will need a Commercial Applicators license. This licensing requirement ensures that all applicators are competent, safe, and using pesticides in such a way as to “minimize the risk to human health, wildlife, and our environment” (Department of Agriculture, 2020).
A Commercial Applicators license is needed by any individual who:
- Owns or operates a pesticide business
- Applies either general or restricted-use pesticides to the property of another without director supervision
- Applies restricted-use pesticides to the property of his/her employer
- Applies either general or restricted-use pesticides to Federal, State, or Local public property
That said, you do not need to have your license to launch your business. Indeed, most Pestmaster franchise owners open their doors for business within 3 to 6 weeks of signing the franchise agreement, which usually isn’t enough time to obtain the Commercial Applicators’ license. Here, you have several options:
- Focus exclusively on services that can be performed unlicensed (e.g. vegetation management, certain IPM techniques)
- Hire licensed pest control technicians to apply pesticides
- Work under a licensed Commercial Applicator until you’re ready to write your exam
How Do I Acquire A Pest Control Business License?
The fees, training, and exam differs from state to state. For instance, if you were interested in starting a Pestmaster franchise in Ohio, you’d need to:
- Fill out and submit the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Commercial Pesticide Applicator License
- Pay a $35.00 licensing fee
- Schedule and complete the Pesticide Core Exam, along with one or more Category exams, depending on the type of pesticide application you need. For example, if you want to apply pesticides to landscape beds and turf, you’d need to take the exams for Core, Category 6a (Ornamental Pests), and Category 8 (Turf Pests).
Other licenses may have stricter requirements. For example, according to the National Pest Management Association, the Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) license requires:
- 5 years of experience
- Active U.S. pesticide applicator’s license
- Passing a rigorous examination
- Signing the ACE Code of Ethics
- Maintaining a minimum number of CEUs annually (upon passing the exam)
Whatever your licensing needs, Pestmaster is here to help. We provide full assistance with all state licensing and additional licensing requirements, and we can connect you with qualified license holders, who can either help teach you the ropes, or handle specific duties that require the Commercial Applicators license.
Learn More About Starting A Pest Control Business Without A License
Call 800-525-8866 or visit the Pestmaster Contact Page to book a free consultation with a member of the Pestmaster team.Back