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Pesticides: who can use

The Environmental Protection Agency classifies all pesticides in one of two categories: general use and restricted use. A general-use pesticide means that any person who can read and understand the label may purchase and use the product.

A restricted-use pesticide requires a license to purchase, use, or provide to another for use. The words "restricted use" are printed on the label, and the retailer must request proof of license before selling the product.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture certifies two types of applicants to use restricted-use pesticides. A private applicator is a person who uses a restricted-use pesticide in the production of agricultural commodities on land owned or rented by that person. In Colorado, farmers, ranchers, orchardists and greenhouse operators are classified as private applicators.

Commercial applicator certification is required for those who receive compensation for applying restricted-use pesticides on another person's property.

Before selecting a pesticide, there are four steps to consider for successful pest management. Identify the pest. Determine if the number of pests present will cause an economic loss sufficient to justify chemical control. Evaluate all control options. And, if chemical control is warranted, choose the least toxic chemical.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).


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Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014