Pesticide FAQs
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Pesticide FAQs
Where can I obtain information about what pesticide to use or what pest may be bothering my plants?
The Texas Department of Agriculture is a regulatory agency so does not give advice about which pesticide to use.  The Texas AgriLife Extension Service provides education to consumers and producers.  You may check out the Extension web site  or call your county extension office.  Check the Extension county  pages a list of all county offices and phone numbers.  You may also find helpful information on the Extension Entomology page or the Texas A&M Ag and Environmental Safety  page.  Many Extension publications are available on-line.
General Licensing Information

The Texas Department of Agriculture licenses applicators using restricted-use and state-limited-use pesticides and regulated herbicides in a number of agricultural and rural-use categories.

For more information on TDA licenses, check out this page  You may call 512-463-7622 or 800-835-5832. 

The Structural Pest Control Service, formerly the Structural Pest Control Board, licenses applicators who make pesticide applications in and around structures.  SPCS was moved to TDA Sept. 1, 2007.  You may call toll free 866-918-4481.

What is a Section 18 registration?
A pesticide use approval granted by the EPA usually for emergency conditions where there are no registered pesticides.
What is FIFRA?
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act is the federal law that regulates pesticides.
What is Section 3?
Section 3 of the FIFRA explains the federal requirements for registration of pesticides.
What are the requirements for crop consultants?

The Texas Department of Agriculture has no statutory requirements regarding the licensure or certification of pest control advisors. The Texas Pesticide Law only requires licensure of persons that are actually using or supervising the use of a restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticide or a regulated herbicide. At present, there are no other state agencies that regulate or require licensure of pest control advisors or crop consultants.

Texas does participate in the Crop Advisors Certification Program. Additional information regarding this can be found at  
145 West Travis
LaGrange, Tx  789445 
Where can I get info on pesticide use/labels?
The Texas Department of Agriculture is a regulatory agency so does not make recommendations on pesticide use. Texas AgriLife Extension Service can help you along those lines. They are listed under county government. They also have several publications on line.

Another reference would be the Crop Protection Reference, which includes copies of some pesticide labels. You can get more information about that book on-line at Other sources of label information can be found on the Texas A&M Ag and Environmental Safety page or the EPA Pesticide Product Label System. You can also find some labels and MSDS sheets at the Crop Data Management System  site.
How do I obtain a blanket spray permit?
Blanket spray permits must be obtained from our regional offices. You'll find locations and phone numbers here.
What type of records must pesticide dealers keep?

Licensed pesticide dealers must maintain a distribution record of each restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticide or regulated herbicide distributed. The record of each distribution must contain:

  • the name, address, licensed or certified applicator number, or dealer license number of the person to whom the pesticide is distributed;
  • the date of distribution;
  • the brand name and EPA registration number;
  • the quantity of the pesticide distributed; and
  • the name and address of a non-licensed person, acting under the authorization of a licensed or certified applicator, to whom the pesticide is distributed.

Additionally, the record of distribution must be kept current and maintained at the place of business where the distribution occurred. The record for each distribution shall contain all the required information, be kept separate from the licensee’s other sales records, and maintained for a period of two years from the date of distribution.

An out-of-state fertilizer dealer has products which also contain pesticides. Do these products have to be registered with TDA to be sold in Texas?
Yes. All pesticide products that require EPA registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) must be registered with TDA to be sold in Texas.
I manage a chemical dealership and do herbicide custom application. I need more information on bulk herbicide regulations.
The Environmental Protection Agency issues the "Enforcement Policy Applicable to Bulk Shipments of Pesticides," also referred to as the bulk pesticide repackaging policy. Contact TDA if you need more information.  Another source of information on current developments on this issue is the Chemical Producers and Distributors Association, 1430 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Phone (703) 548-7700, fax (703) 548-3149.
Do I need to register my pesticide equipment if I only use general-use pesticides?
Only individuals who apply restricted-use and state-limited-use pesticides or regulated herbicides on a commercial basis are required to register pesticide application equipment. A general-use pesticide can be purchased and used by any person. If a product is sold at a discount, hardware or grocery store, it is probably general-use, but check the label to be sure. A person must have a license to buy and use restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticides or regulated herbicides.
Do I need a pesticide dealer's license even though I sell only general-use pesticides?
No, unless you are performing work for hire, then you should clarify with TDA whether your work would require a license.
Do you verify the continuing education courses?
Yes, TDA conducts audits to ensure that applicators take the required number of CEUs. Agricultural applicators should be sure to sign in when they take a course and keep the certificate of completion given at the conclusion.  Those certificates should be kept 12 months after the most recent renewal.
Does TDA regulate fertilizer?
No. The Texas Feed and Fertilizer Control Service, part of Texas A&M University, sets fertilizer regulations . Their web page is You may reach them at P.O. Box 3160, College Station, TX 77841 or phone (979)845-1121.
I am considering starting a lawn care business. Services would include mowing, trimming and edging. Would this require a license or certification? 
A pesticide applicator's license is only required if you are going to apply pesticides for hire. You will find more information here.
Are there home study options available for continuing education (CEUs) courses?
Both home study and internet options are available.  Check the CEU pages for the latest information.  
How do I obtain training materials to study for a private applicator license?

TDA approves the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and certain private entities to conduct private applicator training. Contact your county extension agent for training information. A proof-of-training form is given to those who complete the course. The Private Applicator Manual and pesticide laws and regulations may be ordered for a small fee from:

Extension Agricultural and Environmental Safety Program
P.O. Drawer FS,
College Station, Texas 77841
Phone: (979)845-1099
Fax: (979)845-6251

Click here for more information on obtaining a TDA private applicator license.