The Pesticide Education Program is for anyone who uses a pesticide in Connecticut. This includes:
- Commercial pesticide applicators, such as arborists, lawn and grounds maintenance professionals, sports turf managers, municipal grounds managers and golf course superintendents (those who apply pesticides to property they do not own).
- Private pesticide applicators - farmers, nursery producers, or greenhouse growers, who use pesticides to produce an agricultural commodity (those who apply pesticides to property they own or control).
- Any consumer who may be looking for information about how to safely handle and use a pesticide.
The goals of this program are to ensure that anyone using pesticides uses them safely. Pesticides are important tools in pest management. They must be respected and handled appropriately to protect the applicator, the public, the environment, and our food and water supply.
State and Federal law mandates that people who apply pesticides for hire, are using restricted-use pesticides in agriculture, or are required to train employees under the Worker Protection law are certified pesticide applicators. They must demonstrate their knowledge about pesticides by passing a written exam that tests their understanding of pesticides, including how to safely and effectively use them when they are needed, as well as how to determine when they are the most appropriate pest management tool.
The State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) certifies and oversees the licensing of pesticide applicators. UConn Extension provides in-depth training on the safe use and handling of pesticides for applicators. One such training program is the Ornamental and Turf Short Course, which can be completed prior to taking the Supervisory Applicators' Exam.