Both federal and state laws require licensing of pesticide applicators and this program provides the training to meet those requirements.  The use of pesticides is a requirement in many occupations including controlling invasive species in natural areas, pests in agricultural production and maintaining visually appealing landscapes. 

According to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) records, Polk County has more than 1,000 pesticide applicator licenses registered and nearly 4,000 pest control technicians.  The impact of non-point source pollution on water quality has been the subject of increasing concern in Florida, as many water bodies, including several water bodies in Polk County, are considered impaired by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and U.S. EPA standards.  The landscape maintenance industry has a significant impact on Florida’s natural resources, as incorrect cultural and chemical application practices can lead to non-point source pollution.  This program provides training for landscape professionals in the proper application of fertilizers and pesticides in order to protect Florida’s natural resources and meet Florida fertilizer licensing requirements.



Mary Beth Henry

Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises

Pesticide Applicator Training

Extension Agent II, M.S.



Schedule a pesticide exam

 Exams are administered the first working Monday of the month.

Register to take an exam through FDACS 

Need help scheduling an exam?

Call (352) 392-4721 or (850) 617-7997

Guidance on the licensing process

- Find out more about the licenses available at:

- See this FAQ on the exam process

- Find Exam Scores, CEU classes, and check license status at:

- See this FAQ on how to register for exams

- See Guidance and Training for GIBMPs and Fertilizer licensing

Recent Pesticide Applicator Training Blog Posts

Florida First Detector: Bok Tower Gardens

The Biosecurity Research and Extension Lab will be at Bok Tower Gardens on February 22nd for a Florida First Detector training workshop. This event is open to anyone interested in learning more about invasive species and how to manage ornamental pests and diseases. Master Gardeners, small farmers, and nursery growers are especially encouraged to attend. This event is approved for Continuing Education Units for the following categories:


Pest Alert Resources

In today's digital age, there are numerous resources available that will keep you informed about the introduction and spread of invasive species. On a Federal level, the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program within USDA-APHIS monitors for potential pests that may be introduced to the USA through international trade. In 2016, PPQ identified 162,000 pests in imported


Caribbean fruit fly (Anastrepha suspensa)

The Caribbean fruit fly (Anastrepha suspensa) is another fruit fly pest of fruit trees. Sometimes called the 'Caribfly', this fruit fly is common throughout southern and central Florida. They are not as serious of a pest as the Mediterranean fruit fly or the Oriental fruit fly, partially because the Caribfly females do not lay as many eggs (approximately 200 eggs per female, compared to up to 800 per female Medfly and 1,500 in Oriental