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September 12, 2023

Who Can Apply Pesticides in a Food Service Establishment?

You may only apply pesticides in a food service establishment that is owned, operated or managed by a licensed pesticide applicator. If you do not have a license, you may be fined and subject to legal action. In addition, the use of unlicensed pesticides can put your customers and employees at risk of harm. If you have a pest infestation, the best way to resolve it is by contacting a licensed pest control operator and following all safety guidelines and regulations.

You can find a list of licensed pesticide applicators on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website. These individuals must pass the core exam and at least one category exam to obtain a license to apply pesticides in any classification. This includes commercial, private and public applicators. Private applicators work on land that is owned or rented by the individual or their employer. Private applicators can also use certain restricted-use pesticides that are not available for sale to the general public, such as pond dyes used to manage pond weeds and algae growth.

Public applicators are employees of the federal government, state governments or local governments and their instrumentalities (public entities). A public applicator can only apply pesticides that are regulated by the PA Department of Agriculture. Those who want to be licensed as public applicators must take a course and pass the core exam and at least one category examination. A commercial applicator is generally the person responsible for major pest management decisions, establishing policies related to pesticide use and training employee.