Pesticide Private Applicator Certification
In Connecticut, a farmer must be certified as a private applicator in order to purchase and use restricted use pesticides on agricultural crops. (No certification is needed if a farmer does not use restricted use pesticides.) Only one certificate per farm is needed.
The pesticide private applicator certification program is open to persons who intend to use or supervise the use of restricted use pesticides on property owned or rented by them or their employer for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity. Federal regulations (40 CFR 171) prevent the State of Connecticut from certifying homeowners or home gardeners as private applicators.
Requirements for Certification
An examination is required before a private applicator certificate can be issued.
As a minimum requirement for certification, a private applicator must show that they possess a practical knowledge of laws pertaining to pesticide applications and the pest problems associated with their farming operation. This practical knowledge includes ability to recognize common pests and damage caused by them. Recognition is critical because it is the first step in control. The private applicator must be able to recognize the pest problem before they select among the available pesticides.
The examination is based on the following publications:
The Pesticide Applicator Training Manual (Core Manual) which can be purchased from
University of Connecticut - Agricultural Publications
Storrs, CT 06268
Phone: (860) 486-3336
The Cornell Store - Cornell University
135 Ho Plaza
Ithaca, NY 14853Attn: PMEP
Phone (844) 688-7620
- Pesticide Private Applicator Study Manuals (Commodity Booklets)
The commodity booklets are prepared as a study guide for those individuals seeking certification as private applicators in Connecticut. Each one contains brief descriptions of the major pests of each crop, their life cycles and the damage they cause to the host plants. The commodity booklets are not to be considered a complete source of information. Information on integrated pest management (IPM) and suggested spray schedules may be obtained from the Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service or Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station at (203) 974-8500.
Commodity booklets available on-line:
Nursery Study Manual (PDF)
Orchardist Study Manual (PDF)
Tobacco Study Manual (PDF)
Vegetable Study Manual (PDF)
The following commodity booklets are available by contacting the DEEP, Pesticide Management Program:
- Mushroom Study Manual
- Poultry Study Manual
- Turf Study Manual
The following commodity booklets are available from the University of Connecticut:
Upon successful completion of the exam, you will be sent the private applicator certification form and you will be billed for the certification fee.
Note: You will be able to use the commodity booklet but not the core manual when you take the exam.
Any person who uses restricted use pesticides must be certified in order to be able to purchase such products. With the exception of commercial applications, certification is not required if only general use pesticides are used.
Any person who sprays another's property in exchange for money must possess a commercial applicator's license. However, individuals that are certified as a private applicator can spray another's property in exchange for services (i.e. applicator might trade a spray job in the spring for help with harvest in the fall).
A farmer wishing to use restricted use pesticides must obtain a "private applicator's certificate." The private applicator may then buy and apply restricted use pesticides on their own farm, property they rent or on the farms of others, provided that they do not get paid to do so.
It is not necessary for the certified private applicator to actually perform all pesticide applications. An employee or family member can apply pesticides, however, the certificate holder is responsible for training the person who actually does the work, and must be available if needed.
Private applicators are required to maintain records with respect to each use of restricted use pesticide and must file a report of their usage with the DEEP on or before January 31st each year for the previous year's applications.
In accordance with state regulation 22a-66-5(e), if your address changes, you must notify the Pesticide Management Program within 30 days.
Procedures for Taking the Pesticide Private Applicator's Examination
You must be 18 years of age or older to take the pesticide private applicator's exam.
Complete the Application for Pesticide Private Applicator's Examination and submit it, along with the required fees (check or money order for $200.00 as of October 1, 2009) payable to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) to the address specified on the application form. Be sure to sign and date the form.
Payment Information: Any fee submitted with a hard copy application, by mail, shall be paid by check or money order to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Do not send cash in the mail. Cash Payments: Credit Card Payments: A receipt will be provided for the fee payment and the applications/documents will move forward to be processed.
To pay in cash, the required fee along with completed applications/documents must be delivered to the Central Permit Processing Unit (CPPU) at DEEP (79 Elm Street in Hartford, CT). The exact fee amount must be provided; the department cannot provide change.
To pay by credit card, the card holder and only the card holder must come to the Central Permit Processing Unit (CPPU) at DEEP (79 Elm Street in Hartford, CT). They must bring all completed applications/documents that are being processed in the transaction.
Any fee submitted with a hard copy application, by mail, shall be paid by check or money order to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Do not send cash in the mail.
Credit Card Payments:
A receipt will be provided for the fee payment and the applications/documents will move forward to be processed.
3. The private applicator certificate examination is given by appointment only.
To schedule an appointment, contact the Pesticides Management Program by phone at
(860) 424-3369 or by e-mail.
4. You must present a photo ID at the time of exam.
Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in the examination room!
The private applicator certificate must be renewed prior to the expiration date that appears on the certificate. Renewal information will be mailed to private applicators prior to the expiration of the certificate.
Private Applicator Recertification
Private applicators must obtain 12 credit hours per certification period for renewal of their certificate. Credit can be obtained by attending specific meetings/seminars provided by sponsors at various locations throughout the state.
Annual Pesticide Use Summary Reports
Private pesticide applicators are required to maintain records with respect to each use of restricted use pesticides. This requirement includes submitting an annual Private Applicator Restricted Use Pesticide Summary Report (Word Form; PDF Form; PDF Instructions). DEEP may refuse to renew certification of an applicator for failure to submit this report. The Restricted Use Pesticide Summary report may be submitted electronically at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance
Pesticide Management Program
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127
Word Forms: You must have Microsoft Word installed on your computer to use the Word forms.
PDF Forms: You need the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print PDF forms. PDF forms can be printed and filled in by hand or typewriter.
Content Last Updated on May 10, 2019