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Certified Private Applicator Overview

A private applicator uses or supervises the use of any restricted-use pesticide in the production of an agricultural commodity.

I. Introduction


Certified Private Applicator - an applicator that uses or supervises the use of any restricted-use pesticide in the production of an agricultural commodity. Applications must be made on property owned or rented by the user or his/her employer; or, if applied without compensation other than trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities, on the property of another person. Noncertified applicators employed by agricultural producers may use pesticides only when under the direct supervision of a certified private applicator.

Anyone using pesticides "on the job" other than for agricultural production (as described above) is a commercial applicator. See the document Commercial Applicator Overview for more information regarding commercial applicator certification.


II. Private Applicator Categories

There are four categories of Private Pesticide Applicator. Private applicators of restricted use pesticides must be certified in one or more of the listed categories, based on the nature of pesticide use practiced or supervised. In the category descriptions below, the word use means actual use or supervision of use. Private Applicators engaged in several types of agricultural production may need to be certified in several categories.

  • 90 Food, Fiber, Forestry Products and Commodity Production Pest Control: for use of restricted-use pesticides in the production of agricultural crops, livestock, or forest products. This includes the use of pesticides to control vertebrate pests of livestock. It also includes fumigation and chemigation applications.
  • 91 Ornamental Pest Control: for use of restricted-use pesticides to control ornamental pests in nurseries and greenhouses. It includes fumigation and chemigation applications.
  • 86 Single Product Certification: for use of a single restricted-use product or for use of related restricted-use products with the same active ingredient having similar formulations and labeled uses. This certification may be used for emergency situations or for special cases (such as state-level restricted-use designation for a product or active ingredient).
  • 87 Limited Certificate: for use of a single restricted-use product for one identified purpose. A non-reader may qualify for this type of certificate with the recommendation of the regional pesticide investigator and the county's Cooperative Extension agriculture agent.


The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), Office of Pesticide Services (OPS), is responsible for the certification of applicators, and all enforcement aspects of the Virginia Pesticide Control Act and regulations promulgated by the Virginia Pesticide Control Board (VPCB).

Document Actions
Private Applicator Forms

Private Applicator - Request to take exam at DMV [PDF] - not needed to take exam at Extension office.

Training - MANUALS

ORDER Virginia Certified Pesticide Applicator Training Manuals!

WPS Training Media

Training - Certification

Training options for those seeking certification as pesticide applicators in Virginia.

Training - Recertification
Consumer WARNING - Unregistered Pesticide Products!
Consumers should use caution when buying pest control products. EPA exempts a number of products called "25b" pesticides from registration. Many of these products lack sufficient safety and use information. Many are marketed with false and misleading claims. Avoid buying from door-to-door, online, or telephone sellers. When shopping in your local store, make sure any product you buy has a EPA Registration Number on the label. With bed bugs, brown-marmorated stinkbugs, mosquitoes, and Asian lady beetles affecting our daily lives, we are seeing more "snake-oil" products. If in doubt, contact your local Extension agent for assistance.
VTPP Consumer Newsletter

A newsletter for consumers with questions about pesticides in and around the home.  To view the issues, please click HERE.

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