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Pesticide Regulation
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General Information

The division’s Pesticide Regulation Program regulates the use and distribution of pesticides in Ohio. This section issues licenses to pesticide applicators and serves as the registrar for pesticide companies. Through routine inspections, staff members enforce the state laws and rules that govern these activities. In addition to these responsibilities, staff members conduct inspections for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with a cooperative agreement to ensure compliance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. The section licenses over 25,000 pesticide applicators and more than 15,000 pesticide products.

What are Pesticides?

A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for:

  • Preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest; or
  • Used as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant

"Pesticide" is a general term that includes, but is not limited to, all herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, disinfectants, and insect repellents.

General and Restricted-use Products

Pesticides are classified as either:

  • restricted use pesticides (RUPs); or
  • general use (unclassified) pesticides

RUPs are not available for purchase or use by the general public. RUPs have the potential to cause unreasonable adverse effects to the environment and injury to applicators or bystanders without added restrictions. In Ohio, the sale and use of RUPs are limited to licensed Private or Commercial Pesticide Applicators, or someone under the direct supervision of a licensed applicator.

Online Tools

Online Renewals

Online license renewal is available for Pesticide Applicators only. Businesses will have to renew using the application form.

Searches

Exams

Check your Recertification Status

Find a Recertification Class


Ohio Specialty Crop Registry by Fieldwatch

  • The Ohio Specialty Crop Registry is a voluntary online specialty crop & apiary mapping program managed and operated by the non-profit company FieldWatch. The stewardship tool allows for improved communication and collaboration between producers of specialty crops and pesticide applicators using a technology platform where producers can map their sites and provide contact information to pesticide applicators through an online mapping system.

New Rules

Dicamba rules

In October 2018, U.S. EPA approved revised labels for the three dicamba products:

XtendiMax® With VaporGrip® Technology (Monsanto, EPA Reg. No. 524-617)
DuPont™ FeXapan™ herbicide Plus VaporGrip® Technology (DuPont, EPA Reg. No. 352-913)
Engenia® Herbicide (BASF, EPA Reg. No. 7969-345)

In April 2019 U.S. EPA approved Tavium® Plus VaporGrip® Technology herbicide (Syngenta, EPA Reg. No. 100-1623).

Applicators must follow the most recent label directions for use. These new labels supersede all prior labels for these products. Prior to applying these products in the 2019 growing season and each growing season thereafter, all applicators must complete dicamba or auxin-specific training. These may be either online or in-person trainings offered by the product registrants.

Click here for Dicamba Label Modifications

Click here for Dicamba Training Opportunities

WPS rules

Three new US EPA Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) requirements went into effect January 2, 2018:

  • pesticide safety training must cover expanded content;
  • pesticide safety information (posters) must meet the revised standards; and
  • handlers must suspend applications if workers or other people are in the application exclusion zone (AEZ).

For more information about the federal WPS requirements, visit OSU's Pesticide Safety Education Program or the EPA WPS site.

Applicators

The Private Pesticide Applicator license is for:
  • Any individual who uses or directly supervises the use of any restricted use pesticide for purposes of producing any agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by him or his employer.
The Commercial Pesticide Applicator license is for any individual who personally or by his/her agent:
  • owns or operates a pesticide business
  • or who applies either general or restricted use pesticides to the property of another without direct supervision
  • or applies restricted use pesticides to the property of his/her employer
  • or applies either general or restricted use pesticides to Federal, State or Local public property.
The licensure requirements assure that the applicator is competent and is using the pesticides in such a way as to minimize the risk to human health, wildlife, and our environment.

More information for Private Applicators

More information for Commercial Applicators

Trained Servicepersons

A trained serviceperson is a non-licensed commercial or private user of pesticides who works under the direct supervision of a licensed applicator. You must be a Trained Serviceperson if you commercially:
  • Apply pesticides.
  • Assist with pesticide applications.
  • Clean, repair, or maintain pesticide application equipment —such as boom sprayers, backpack sprayers, or hoppers —that may contain pesticide residues.
  • Mix, load, or transfer pesticides into application equipment.
  • Dispose of pesticides or materials with pesticides in them, such as containers.
  • Act as a flagger.

To act as a trained serviceperson, before the employee's first occupational exposure to pesticides, he or she must either:

An employer must be able to verify that the serviceperson training has been given and that it has conformed to the criteria established by ODA. Documentation needs to be kept in their personnel file while with the company and for three years after termination of employment.

Supervision Requirements:
  • Supervisor must have an Ohio Commercial Applicator License.
  • Licensed supervisor must demonstrate instruction and control over trained serviceperson.
  • Licensed applicator must be within 25 miles or available within 2 hours when a pesticide application is being made by the trained serviceperson.
  • Licensed applicators providing supervision must be employed by the same company or agency as the trained serviceperson

Businesses

Pesticide Business & Business Locations

  • A Pesticide Business is a business that applies pesticides to the property of another for hire, or solicits and takes orders to apply pesticides, or conducts diagnostic inspections for WDI in a contemplated real estate transaction. Proof of insurance is required for this license. Note: even if a WDI inspection business does not apply pesticides, it is still considered a Pesticide Business.
  • A Business Location is any additional location or branch operating in Ohio with the same name of a Pesticide Business that operates in Ohio. Proof of insurance is required for this license.

Pesticide Solicitation

  • A pesticide solicitation business license is required for a solicitation company that contracts with a licensed pesticide business in Ohio to perform applications. This license type is prohibited from making pesticide applications. There is no insurance requirement for solicitation businesses, but they must be licensed annually, from October 1 through September 30. The license application can be found on the Forms page here.
  • Please note: Soliciting to do a WDI Inspection is not a Pesticide Business Activity, and does not need a Pesticide Business License nor a Solicitation License. However, the company that is actually conducting the WDI inspection must have a Pesticide Business License

Restricted Product Dealer

  • A person or facility who distributes Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) or pesticides whose use are further restricted by the director to the ultimate user or to a commercial applicator who is employed by the pesticide dealer. A license is required for each location or outlet within the state from which the person distributes pesticides. The license application can be found on the Forms page here.
  • Yearly reporting of sales is required; reports of restricted use sales for the period July 1 to June 30 are due by July 31 of each year.

Product Registration

Pesticide Product Registration

US EPA evaluates and registers pesticides for use and sale in the United States. After EPA has registered a product, it must also be registered in Ohio before it is legal to sell and use. Manufacturers are required to register their products in Ohio annually by submitting the application, fee, product label and MSDS. Registrations must be postmarked by June 30, of the registration year if distributed in Ohio. If a "Renewal" or "Unregister product" application is received after the deadline, the applicant must pay a 50% penalty fee of $75.00 per product as stated in the pesticide law.

The Product Registration form can be found on the Forms page here.

A list of Restricted Use products currently registered in Ohio can be obtained here.

Ohio 24(c) Labels

Under section 24(c) of FIFRA, Ohio can provide registration for additional uses of pesticides to meet "special local needs" if registration for the special use has not previously been denied, disapproved, or canceled by the US EPA.

Several pesticide products have been registered by ODA to meet a Special Local Need in Ohio. In order to use these products for the special local need, the applicator or business must have a copy of the Ohio 24(c) supplemental label. These labels can be obtained through the Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program.

Experimental Use Permits (EUPs)

Under Section 5 of FIFRA, manufacturers can field test pesticides under development. Manufacturers of conventional pesticides must obtain experimental use permits before testing new pesticides or new uses of pesticides if they conduct experimental field tests on 10 acres or more of land or one acre or more of water. Biopesticides also require EUPs when used in experimental settings.

Ohio Section 18 Labels

Under Section 18 of FIFRA, state and federal agencies can permit the unregistered use of a pesticide in a specific area for a limited time if emergency pest conditions exist. Usually, this arises when agricultural growers and others encounter a pest problem on a site for which there is either no registered pesticide available, or for which there is a registered pesticide that would be effective but is not yet approved for use on that particular site. Also, exemptions can be approved for public health and quarantine reasons. These labels can be obtained through the Ohio Pesticide Safety Education Program.

Enforcement & Complaints

All pesticide products distributed in Ohio are registered annually and reviewed for proper label use directions. Program inspectors regularly visit restricted pesticide dealers in Ohio to assure proper distribution. In addition, businesses that manufacture or repackage pesticides are inspected for FIFRA compliance and pesticide businesses and applicators are regularly inspected to verify proper licensing, record keeping, training and pesticide use.

Pesticide program inspectors also investigate citizen complaints involving human health, environmental damage, crop injury, personal property damage, wildlife and domestic animal poisonings, and public and private water contamination. If you suspect damage caused by pesticide misuse, please contact our office at 614-728-6987. 

More information about complaint investigations

Disposal

Pesticides must be stored and disposed of according to the product label instructions. Any unused product should be disposed of as Household Hazardous Waste.

Proper Pesticide Disposal (OSU)

Clean Sweep

Each year the Department organizes a Clean Sweep Pesticide Disposal program, funded by US EPA grants and state funds. The program assists farmers with a free of charge, safe and environmentally responsible disposal of unusable, outdated pesticides. No household or non-farm pesticides are accepted, nor are pesticides accepted from commercial companies.

Farmers generally cannot dispose of pesticides through household hazardous waste programs, and the Clean Sweep program allows them to dispose of old products responsibly. There are typically 3 collections per year, which move around the state. Collection locations and dates are usually announced during the summer.

Incidents

For an emergency that poses a sudden threat to public health, contact the National Response Center (NRC) at 1-800-424-8802

For pesticide poisoning, call 911 if the person is unconscious, has trouble breathing, or has convulsions. Otherwise, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. Physicians are required to report any pesticide-related exposure to the local health department within 48 hours.

To report an exposure at work, pesticide drift, misuse, or other concerning application, contact us at 614-728-6987 between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

To report a spill, release or environmental crime, contact the Ohio EPA Environmental Response at 800-282-9378