Pesticide Use

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a license to spray pesticides on my own property?
Over the counter pesticides sold directly to homeowners such as the ones you buy in retail neighborhood hardware stores do not require a permit or any special licensing to purchase or use. A restricted materials permit from the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures is required to purchase, use, and store restricted pesticides. Certification is required to use these pesticides. You can be certified either by obtaining the Qualified Applicator License (QAL) or the Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) which are issued by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) or by examination at the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures Office for a Private Applicator Certificate (PAC). The PAC is only for people that apply restricted pesticides to their own property. Information on the PAC license and a list of restricted use pesticides can be obtained by calling the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures at (805) 781-5910, or by visiting the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s website. Restricted use pesticides and pesticides that only give per acre instructions are not intended for homeowner use. Special licensing is required to perform pest control as part of your business on properties other that your own.
Are pesticides dangerous to my health and the health of my family?
All pesticides are poisons. Some are more toxic than others. All labels utilize a signal word, which gives you a general indication of the level of toxicity. The least toxic pesticide is CAUTION, then WARNING, then DANGER. If you choose to use a pesticide, read the label very carefully and follow all of the instructions. If you want more information about toxicity or health effects of a pesticide you can call the Poison Control Center at (800) 876-4766 or the National Pesticide Information Center at (800) 858-7378, or check the following websites http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/ or http://npic.orst.edu
I am having my house fumigated, what do I need to do?
The Fumigation company will provide a list of things that must be done.
What is the difference between a pesticide and household chemical?
Pesticides are agents used to control pests such as insects, weeds, fungus, or rodents. To identify whether a household chemical is a pesticide, look at the product label affixed to the container. All pesticide labels contain what is known as EPA Registration Number (EPA Reg. No.).
What licenses do I need to start a pest control business?
If you plan to do agricultural pest control work as a part of your business, there are two types of licenses: The Maintenance Gardener Business License is for people who perform pest control incidental to their gardening business. Prior to applying for the business license, you must obtain a Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) in the maintenance gardener category (Category Q). The Pest Control Business (PCB) License is required for any person who engages in the business of providing pest control. A Qualified Applicator License (QAL) is required in order to apply for the PCB License. The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) administers the exams for both QAC and QAL. The Business Licenses are also issued by DPR. For further information, you may call the licensing branch at (916) 445-4038 or visit www.cdpr.ca.gov. You can also hire a QAL to qualify your business for a state license.
Where can I complain about problems with a pest control or fumigation company?
You may contact the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Agricultural/Weights & Measures at (805) 781-5910, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) or the Structural Pest Board to complain about a pest control or fumigation company.
Where can I go to see if a Pest Control Company is registered to do work in San Luis Obispo County?
Call the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Agricultural/Weights & Measures at (805) 781-5910 and ask for a pesticide Inspector.
Where do I complain about illegal pesticide spraying?
Contact the County of San Luis Obispo Department of Agricultural/Weights and Measures at (805) 781-5910, to complain about illegal pesticide spraying. When possible, it is always best to contact the Agricultural Department while the pesticide application is occurring and to be very specific about what, when and where you observed the pesticide application. If you are leaving a voice mail or e-mail message please include information on how we may contact you in the future.