UK Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP)

UK Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP)

UK Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP)

This page provides resources for certified commercial / non-commercial and private pesticide applicators in the Commonwealth. Much of the information has been prepared or adapted by extension specialists in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Departments of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science. It covers a variety of pests including insects, diseases, and weeds affecting field crops, greenhouse, fruits and vegetables, lawn and turf, shade trees and ornamentals, structural & household, forests, rights-of-ways, and other situations.

The Pesticide Safety Education Program in Kentucky is a joint effort between:

  • University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Food and Environment Department of Entomology
    UK Entomology provides training packets and developes educational programs.
    S-225 Ag Science Building, North
    University of Kentucky
    Lexington, KY 40546-0091
    (859) 257-7450
  • Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) Division of Environmental Services
    KDA Division of Environmental Services oversees pesticide regulation for the state of Kentucky. They provide compliance assistance, manage private and commercial pesticide certifications for businesses and individuals, and enforcement pesticide laws.
    107 Corporate Drive
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 573-0282
    Toll Free (866) 289-0001

PSEP Advisory Committee: Goals and Members (PDF)

Certification Information, Testing, & Approved Continuing Education Meetings

Private Applicators

Private Applicator means a person certfied to use Restricted Use pesticides for purposes of producing any agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by him(her) or an employer, or to the lands of a farmer-neighbor, if applied without compensation other than trading or personal services between producers of agricultural commodities.

Minimum standards for Certified Private Applicators

  • A practical knowlegde of common pests to be controlled and the damage caused by them.
  • Read and understand the label and labelling information including common name of the pesticide applied, pests to be controlled, timing and methods of application, safety precautions, any pre-harvest or re-entry restrictions and any specific disposal procedures.
  • Apply pesticides in accordance with the label instructions and warnings, be able to prepare proper concentrations and calibrate application equipment.
  • Recognize local environmental situations that must be considered during application to avoid contamination.
  • Be able to recognize poisoning symptoms and procedures to follow in case of a pesticide accident.

The Cooperative Extension Service is responsible for the training of private pesticide applicators in each of Kentucky's 120 counties. Contact your local extension office for more information.

Info for Certified Private Applicators

Online Study Chapters & Interactive Quizes

Initial Pesticide Certification (All Categories)

Laws and Regulations
Pesticide Labels & Labeling
Pesticide Formulations
Pesticide Hazards & First Aid
Personal Protective Equipment
Pesticides & The Environment
Pesticide Drift
Transporting & Storing Pesticides
Planning a Pesticide Application
Dealing with Pesticide Emergencies & Spills
How Pesticides Work

Cat 1: Ag Pest Control, 10 - Demo & Research

Application Equipment
Demonstration & Research Design (Cat 10 only)
Managing Pesticide Resistance

Cat 2: Forest Pest Control

Management Principles
Abiotic Factors
Herbicide Application

Cat 3: Turf, Lawns, & Ornamentals

Laws and Regulations
Fundamentals of Plant Disease
Diseases of Ornamentals
Diseases of Turf
Insect, Mite, and Miscellaneous Pests of Turf and Ornamentals
Application Equipment

Cat 5: Aquatic Weed Control

Weeds in Water
Aquatic Weed Identification
Control Methods
Environmental Concerns

Cat 6: Right-of-Way Pest Control

Right-of-Way Pest Control

Cat 7 & 8 Structural & Public Health

The Licensed Pest Control (LPCO) Exam is comprehensive; no single source includes all of the information covered on the test. The Scientific Guide to Pest Control Operations (available online or through Pest Management Professional Magazine) is probably the best overall reference text for the written test. The National Pest Management Association's Field Guide to Structural Pests contains lots of pictures so it is a very good reference for the identification part of the exam. It is available in hardcopy and as a phone app through the NPMA.

Fleas and Ticks
Lice, Mites, and Bed Bugs
Wasps, Hornets, Yellowjackets, & Spiders
General Pests
Wood Destroying Organisms

Cat 7b/12/13: Agricultural and Structural Fumigation

Laws and Regulations
Deciding to Fumigate
Example Fumigants
Fumigation Operations
Fumigation Safety
Target Pests
General Practices

Cat 7c: Wood Preservatives

Preparing Wood for Treatment
Applying Preservatives
Preservative Pesticides
Human Health & Safety
Protecting the Environment
Wood-destroying Organisms

Contact Information

S-225 Ag Science Center Lexington, KY 40546-0091

(859) 257-7450