PSEP: 2020 COVID-19 Notice

Due to the Emergency Situation caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and suspension of all face-to-face training meetings testing for Private Applicator Training at county Extension Offices in Kentucky, we are using the following to certify private applicators. Commercial applications are directed to visit the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s webpage to learn of the modifications with the commercial licensing and certification process.

Recertification: For private pesticide applicators whose certifications expired 12/31/2019, in cooperation with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture we are extending their certifications one year until 12/31/2020.

New Applicators: For first time private applicators and those whose certifications expired before 2019, visit the PSEP: COVID-19 Private Applicator Training Plan page, where applicators will follow a self-guided set of links to videos that must be watched. New applicators (and those with certifications expiring before 2019) are required to watch each of these videos in their entirety to receive certification and then subit a form to acknowledge completion of the program.

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 assisstant, manage private and commerical pesticide certifications for businesses and individuals, and enforcement pesticide laws. 
    107 Corporate Drive
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 573-0282
    Toll Free (866) 289-0001

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, 12 - Pesticide Retail Sales

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 & Ornamental, 18 Golf Course, & 20 Athletic Turf

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 1b/7b: Agricultural and Structural Fumigation

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

Cat 17: Wood Preservatives

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

Cat 19: Interior Plantscapes

Diagnosis and Evaluation
Plant Selection
Abiotic Disorders
Disease Management 
Insect Pests
IPM Tactics
Pesticide Application