View Full Version : Way around pesticide & herbicide charter?

11-06-2002, 10:39 PM
I only need to spray Round-up on a few yards, and I have to have a pesticide and herbicide license for that! Is there an organic alternative to Round-up that won't require a license?

Thanx for any help,

11-06-2002, 11:30 PM
Yep, your hands.

Green Pastures
11-06-2002, 11:33 PM
I was going to say GASOLINE but I didn't wan to be a smart alec. I think you need the license Josh.

Ryan Lightning
11-07-2002, 12:01 AM
Im sure every state is different, but Ive heard that if you use the home owners sprayer and supplies, you can spray what ever you need to.

richard coffman
11-07-2002, 12:05 AM
I haven't heard that you haft to have a license to do what your chatting about, but i juess every state is different.
I've had my chemical license for 5 years now & got to renew mine next week. I thing it would be a good thing for you to get yours. it can help generate more business, help your customers more with there lawn ect... the test isn't hard, just pay attention to what your local states manuals & calibrations are & with some common sence, You'll do fine.


11-07-2002, 12:09 AM
Yes its called vinegar.

Ryan Lightning
11-07-2002, 12:11 AM
I dont know how hard some of your tests are?
I had to take "laws and regs" and a "landscape maintenance" test, I think it was about 250 questions total, and took me 4 1/2 hours. It was really hard. and I have to go try again, I was very close to passing.:(

Fantasy Lawns
11-07-2002, 12:15 AM
Regulations will vary .... state to state ..... but in FL one can apply for a "blue card' which here ... mean going to the county extension office for a yearly 8 hr coarse .... which gives one the "ticket" to fill-out a short ... state exam for Round Up ....Nothing else .... each person whom spray' s must have the card ....n each employee cost a "yearly fee" was $75 but I think it's going up to $150 yearly for us here

We also have "Greens Seminar's" which offer a "crash" coarse to gain the same card

Check with your local county extension office .... or some similar county- state regulator in your area for more information

It's a good thing .... just wish it was more enforced

11-07-2002, 02:14 AM
I took the test about 4 years ago, and the whole learning & testing procedure lasted at least 4 hours. The test was pretty hard, and of course I failed it. Not a good way to spend $75.lol. I thought about trying again, but I never spray any yards here in TN anyways. The customers just don't seem interested in it. At least up until this latest bidding project I am working on, which required it.

Thanx for the help,

11-07-2002, 03:26 AM

Tony Harrell
11-07-2002, 07:15 AM
Depends on where the weeds are and how many. You could try a small handheld torch for sidewalk weeds and others as long as you don't have too many. I'd suggest getting the license, you may find business in the future.

11-07-2002, 07:43 AM
Originally posted by f350

I hope that made you feel superior. It sure didn't add to your credibility.
PS it is spelled oxygen

11-07-2002, 08:47 AM
I took the 8 hr. course and state exam for the "Roundup license" back in march. Some people down here have told me that this license means nothing and is a big joke. Not to me. I have made thousands of dollars of extra income from this license just since March with about a $200.00 investment. It is well worth getting, IMHO.

11-07-2002, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by f350

Where did that come from?????


11-07-2002, 02:01 PM
You may be even better off just to sub it out. The advice of "that if you use the home owners sprayer and supplies, you can spray what ever you need to." is DEAD WRONG! ANY time you apply any type of pesticide for hire, you have to be licensed.

11-07-2002, 03:15 PM
You are just spraying a few yards? A very small amount? Is this at the owners request, or will this benefit you personally?

What I am getting at is this. If you do spray and do not accept money, will this be legal?


11-07-2002, 04:35 PM
Many states cover that loophole by saying (in law) that if you apply pesticides on the property of another you need what is equivelent to a "private applicators licence". Your primary problem would come if you have pesticides comtaminate someone elses property and you don't have a licence and they prove there's a commericial connection. In addition to the liability, you may be looking at some hefty fines.

11-07-2002, 05:53 PM
using vinegar would require a lic because you are using it as a herbicide

"You may be even better off just to sub it out. The advice of "that if you use the home owners sprayer and supplies, you can spray what ever you need to." is DEAD WRONG! ANY time you apply any type of pesticide for hire, you have to be licensed."

not in florida you can use the homeowners equipment

482 exemtions
A yard worker when applying a pesticide to the lawn or ornamental plants of an individual residential property owner using pesticides owned and supplied by the individual residential property owner, provided the yard worker does not advertise for or solicit pest control business and does not hold herself or himself out to the public as being engaged in pest control. The yard worker may not supply her or his own pesticide application equipment, use pesticide-applying power equipment, or use any equipment other than a handheld container when applying the pesticide.

11-12-2002, 01:48 PM
no, applying vinigar would not require a license. i dont care what u r using it for, give me a break will ya. what if i thought incorporating zoysia grass into a lawn would help prevent weeds? would i then need a license to plant zoysia? vinigar is not a herbicide, period! ughhhh

11-12-2002, 02:00 PM
Thanks for the help guys, I will use Vinegar for now. If the customer wants other wise, I will just sub- the work to someone else.
You all have been alot of help!

Thanks again,
Josh Armstrong

11-12-2002, 02:20 PM
actually, in the state of michigan, any material applied to control a pest is considered a pesticide. so in michigan, you cannot apply vinegar... plus give me a break, vinegar...

11-12-2002, 02:47 PM
ok, then. call your extansion office and tell them that the vinegar u purchased did not have a dep # on it. tell them u need this # for your record keeping, can they provide u with one. ok, ill settle this right now, im gonna email my contact at pesticide control, and see what she says. i just cant believe vinigar could fall under the classification of pesticides.

11-12-2002, 07:28 PM
Excerpt taken from the EPA Office of pesticide programs ...

"A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. Pests can be insects, mice and other animals, unwanted plants (weeds), fungi, or microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests. Under United States law, a pesticide is also any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant."

Here are some common kinds of pesticides and their function:

Control algae in lakes, canals, swimming pools, water tanks, and other sites.
Antifouling agents
Kill or repel organisms that attach to underwater surfaces, such as boat bottoms.
Kill microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses).
Attract pests (for example, to lure an insect or rodent to a trap). (However, food is not onsidered a pesticide when used as an attractant.)
Kill microorganisms.
Disinfectants and sanitizers
Kill or inactivate disease-producing microorganisms on inanimate objects.
Kill fungi (including blights, mildews, molds, and rusts).
Produce gas or vapor intended to destroy pests in buildings or soil.
Kill weeds and other plants that grow where they are not wanted.
Kill insects and other arthropods.
Miticides (also called acaricides)
Kill mites that feed on plants and animals.
Microbial pesticides
Microorganisms that kill, inhibit, or out compete pests, including insects or other microorganisms.
Kill snails and slugs.
Kill nematodes (microscopic, worm-like organisms that feed on plant roots).
Kill eggs of insects and mites.
Biochemicals used to disrupt the mating behavior of insects.
Repel pests, including insects (such as mosquitoes) and birds.
Control mice and other rodents.
The term pesticide also includes these substances:

Cause leaves or other foliage to drop from a plant, usually to facilitate harvest.
Promote drying of living tissues, such as unwanted plant tops.
Insect growth regulators
Disrupt the molting, maturity from pupal stage to adult, or other life processes of insects.
Plant growth regulators
Substances (excluding fertilizers or other plant nutrients) that alter the expected growth, flowering, or reproduction rate of plants.

Vinegar would be considered a pesticide if used to inhibit, kill, or mitigate weeds. Thus, needing a pesticide applicators license !!!
Basically, if it is a "cide" (meaning resulting in death) then you need a pesticide applicators licence and as you can see from above, many things including water, could be considered a pesticide.
Actually, if you are using a product with the intenet to kill or eradicate something it needs to have an EPA registration number, wether or not it is considered a "reduced health hazard" and is on the "Reduced Risk List". If it has no EPA registration number, it hasn't been tested and approved for use for your intended purpose, so therefore you are in violation.

11-12-2002, 08:01 PM
Wow, this is getting crazy!

However, vinegar does seem to be considered a pesticide, although I strongly agree that it wouldn't seem as such.

I guess it's all about the money, when it comes little things like that. I will <VERY CAUTIOUSLY> take my chances while using my pesticide (Vinegar), knowing that if I get caught I could lose all of my equipment including truck, or just a really big fine. :^(


11-12-2002, 08:15 PM

this time i'm not hammered... maybe a quick call to the doa will change your mind... oh and you think vinegar is not harmful, well dude it's an acid. put some 10% on your hands..

11-13-2002, 12:37 AM
I think that the bottom line is that he's going to need an applicators license if he's going to apply pesticides to a customer's property.

11-13-2002, 01:44 AM
why am i a scrub?

11-13-2002, 02:35 AM

F350 is into belittleing everyone because he's lonely and sad. Don't take it personally, just remeber we're the only friends he has. lol


11-13-2002, 02:44 AM
yea man, whats up with that.

11-13-2002, 08:07 AM
Originally posted by f350

this time i'm not hammered... maybe a quick call to the doa will change your mind... oh and you think vinegar is not harmful, well dude it's an acid. put some 10% on your hands..

I got some vinegar on my hands, but washed it off with gas before it could hurt me.

11-13-2002, 08:10 AM
I haven't read this whole thread & don't have time to right now. My appologies if this has already been stated.


It is usually illegal to apply anything, even Vinegar, commercially (for hire) unless the product has a federal issue EPA reg. number & your states governing body has also reg'ed. it.

So by the technical interpretation of the law, it is illegal to apply vinegar with the intent to kill, repel, or alter a pest for money.

Organic or natural isn't the issue. The law is the law.


11-13-2002, 08:17 AM


And here is where you can download an application form.


Good Luck,


11-13-2002, 09:08 AM
Josh, ignorance of the law does not serve as a defense if you are cited. Tremor's posts above are the only answers you want and need. I see a lot of guesses and inaccuracies in this thread. Tough it out, get the licensing, and you will learn a whole lot more than you know now. By knowing it, you will be able to use it in the future to your (financial) advantage.

11-13-2002, 10:13 AM
Are you guys sure Vinegar will work to kill? I have seen it put down on the soil to work as a short term pre-m, but it dont last long.

11-13-2002, 11:16 AM
"F350 is into belittleing everyone because he's lonely and sad. Don't take it personally, just remeber we're the only friends he has."

this is far from the truth.. my anger lays right within your topic..
ways around a pesticide charter...

people on this forum always complain about scrubs, well you are the definition of a scrub. you are a taking the easy way out and applying a product that has no value or use in our industry, instead of getting a pesticide license. there was a reason you failed the test before, right... so it becomes obvious to me that, you lack the knowledge and skill to apply any and all pesticides.

so, for all of you that agreed to use vinegar, keep that down in the woodshed, never bring your method or material to the public eye.... please

11-13-2002, 12:40 PM
ok. i got my answer from the dep: i was wr..., i was wr... ok, i wasnt right. i sometimes wonder what kind of drugs the lawmakers were on when they made these laws. i mean, what if someone believed, that by dancing on a lawn on one foot, during a thunderstorm, and spitting 3 times would control grubs, does this individual need to be licensed as a pesticide applicator? how far does it go? rediculous! everyone mark this day on your calender, for the first time known to man, f350 was right. this event only comes around every 2000 yrs, so chances are very good, that none of us will be here to see it happen again

11-13-2002, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
ok. i got my answer from the dep: i was wr..., i was wr... ok, i wasnt right.

Well at least you were MAN enough to admit it. Most on here anymore are little boys who want to wear the britches of big men but don't yet have the suspenders to hold them up.

11-13-2002, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by bobbygedd
i sometimes wonder what kind of drugs the lawmakers were on when they made these laws.

Actually, it is pretty simple usually. Politics, and big money using the "save the children" argument. It used to be that whatever the homeowner could legally put down, a LCO could put down without a license. Then the larger companies realized they could essentially take over the market if they pushed for legislation for licensing and regulation. This is basically what happened in my area years ago. All the big lawn fertilizing companies pushed for the licensing, and none of the small guys wanted it. The regulations have been around for so long now, that people can't even imagine "back in the day" when they weren't the law. I wouldn't be surprised if soon some companies start pushing for licenses for running mowers! And then after those laws are on the books for awhile, people will forget about the days (now) when you could actually start a lawn mower without being tested and certified by the state.

And people, let's try not to give one of my favorite trucks a bad name!


11-13-2002, 02:27 PM
All politics and big money? I don't suppose polluting ground water, having chemical drift on to the other property, poisoning the applicator, other people and animals LD50 pesticides, etc., ect. got anything to do with the licensing requirement. I can't believe I'm allowing myself to get caught up in the diatribe

11-13-2002, 03:57 PM
and by the way. the truth lays......, in the civilized world goes like this: the truth lies

11-13-2002, 04:01 PM
or anger, whatever u said. anyhow, the guy is right, the world is run by money, not what is right or wrong. its a shame, but its true, from the legal system, to the medical field, to little old us, the focus is on the big money.

bubble boy
11-13-2002, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by Tvov
All the big lawn fertilizing companies pushed for the licensing, and none of the small guys wanted it....I wouldn't be surprised if soon some companies start pushing for licenses for running mowers!

but really, the small guy is fully able to get a licence if he wants. just takes knowledge and time. if you don't have the former i'm glad you can't get a licence. if you dont have the latter too bad.

as for lawn mowers, perhaps that would be a good thing...maybe any thing over 13 HP or something. then you need to make an effort to play the game. stop some of the you know whats.

where i would agree with you is not in licencing something, but banning it. here in toronto they have considered the idea of banning pesticides. this is then politics as you say. and in my opinion excessive. so while i have no prob with licencing something, when it comes to banning... then i agree with the essence of your post.

11-15-2002, 03:30 AM
I think our state has about the best law in regard to this topic. And I am surprised more states DON'T have a similar law.

Our state is VERY strict will all laws regarding anything - but especially landscaping. We are the state of useless and annoying over-legislation. And we have very stringent laws for appying any and all herbicides, pesticides, etc.

However, in this case, someone worked in a great exception to the rule. In the fine print of Oregon law it says that if you are an LCO who's main operation is the maintenance of primarily lawns, then you may apply normal use pesticides (e.g. round-up, cassaron, etc.) as long as;

a) They are incidental to your maintenance business (e.g. you're just trying to control weeds on a property you maintain)

b) You don't actually mention "spraying" or applying herbicides in any of your advertising and

c) The total worth of all of your applications isn't more than 10% of your gross sales.

In this state, it's actually not wise to have an applicators license. I took the 8 week class (yes, it's 8 weeks here) and could have applied for my license (and I would have passed) but the instructor scared me off. You see, once your company has a license, then every single employee (who ever touches a sprayer) has to have one too.

So he told us a story of an inspector for the Ag. Dept. who was out on a busy road one day and pulled up next to two different LCOs mowing two seperate properties. He goes up to the first company - they are spraying - and asks if their company has a license. They say no. He asks what they do. They say, "lawn maintenance". He goes across the street and asks the next LCO team if their company has a license. They say Yes. Then he asks the guy who's spraying, "Do YOU have a license?" and he says, "No.". So he proceeds to give THEM a ticket because everyone needs a license once your company has one.

The guys without any license get off scott free!

Anyway, I like this rule. I doubt we'll ever get licensed for it because of turnover. I sure as heck am not going to send every new hire to an 8 week course to learn about spraying.

Personally, I think you should be able to apply anything a homeowner can apply without the government harrassing you at all. Why can they apply it but we can't? That makes no sense.

11-15-2002, 07:27 AM

I'm glad the law works for your benefit. But I'm sorry that your state's pesticide laws work against the furtherence of quality there. Any system that encourages a company to not strive to improve & encourages said company to "fly under radar" is a losing proposition.

Here in CT, a business that uses pesticides must employ (owner usually) one supervisory pesticide applicator. That test is the hardest in the country, complete with an oral section. The supervisor status applicator may have up to 20 subordinates using pesticides under them. But those employees must then become certified as applicators only. A much easier, though still worthwhile exam since it focuses on safety concerns for plants, the applicator, the environment, & the general public.

Any number of employees may be uncertified so long as they don't spray.

I feel that any law that discourages people from getting better at what they do certainly does nothing to raise the bar of excellence within our industry.

Sorry I can't share the enthusiasm.


11-15-2002, 10:19 AM
Hey tremor, maybe you might have some insight for all of us as to why it appears that in most area of most states, if you are a licensed applicator - someone who has been instructed on the proper proceedures, situations, products to use, why are we more regulated and constrained than the average uninformed homeowner. I believe there was a study done not that long ago that found that of all pesticides sold in NY, the percentage that was attributable to sales to our industry including LCO's, farmers, exterminators, etc. represented about 20% of the total sales ... if this is true, then whom may I ask is responsible for the other 80% .... Joe "homeowner". Why are we the ones being persecuted and not the real problem ... the homeowner who says "well if this says I should use 2 oz., well then 4 or 6 or even 8 oz, should work that much better ...".

11-15-2002, 11:44 AM

and other consumer watch dog lobbies & pacs.
No one wants their civil liberties to be taken away. I don't either. And thats the ying&yang thing about this subject that drives me crazy. On the one hand I want the right to choose. On the other I want our industry to be cut some slack.
But politicians need fodder to feed their constituents. And government employess (largest employer in the country :>( need to justify their salaries somehow.


Get them off the payroll & things will at least improve a little. Smaller government will help.


11-15-2002, 02:49 PM
Yah, I am with Kryn. Don't give me some lecture about safety of spraying things like Roundup when it's sold in just about every store in town and used by most homeowners. If it's dangerous - it's dangerous for all - not just for landscapers.

And I'd wager that the average landscaper (licensed or not) is MUCH safer with herbicides than the average homeowner is.

I am all for raising the bar in our industry. But senseless laws don't really do that. They just serve to make it more difficult to run a business.

11-15-2002, 04:41 PM
Better off not controlling weeds. If you are applying a product to control weeds on a property that is not your primary residence, a license is required in most states. Any product_vinegar or roundup that is used to kill weeds is now by your usage considered a herbicide(i.e. pesticide). When in doubt, dont! Also vinegar based products will kill top growth, however will not move into the roots of the plants, thus the weed will most probably come back.

11-15-2002, 07:08 PM

I didn't mean to harp on you. I'm in complete agreement that a bad law is a bad law & has no place on the books.

But good pesticide laws such as those here in CT are good for good businesses. There is absolutely nothing in the world like the feeling a young applicator gets when, with shaking hands, they open that letter & find out they're now legally certified. Certification is here for good. The best we can do now is use it to our advantage.

I also agree that professionals are generally a lot safer than homeowners with pesticides. But no one has the right to take "Weed & Feed" away from them either.

More laws aren't the answer. Lobbying & getting involved are the answer. I attend & speak at public municipal, county, & state assembly meetings in CT & NY whenever possible. If guys like us don't like to be over legislated (& I don't) then it's up to us to provide the resistance to idiotic legislation.

No one who knows me won't argue that my political involvement on behalf of our industry isn't without merit. But if I were in a state like yours, I'd probably lobby for a tougher law that better seperates the weak from the strong. The version you're being forced to deal with is not helping the industry at all.


11-15-2002, 07:14 PM
Jim, I didn't mean to harp on you. No, I didn't think you were. But reading what I wrote I can see where you'd get that. To clarify; when I said, "Don't give me a lecture about...." I meant people in general or the state - not you. I just think there needs to be some consistency. If you (meaning 'they') want to restrict use of a chemical then restrict it across the board - not just to landscapers.

But I respect your opinion on the subject. I just feel that less laws and legislation are better - overall - in all respects, not just this issue. When it comes to legislation, laws, regulations, taxes, I am almost of the Libertarian standpoint. We are burdened like crazy with laws and regulations. And I think there's probably a better way to protect the environment than to force my company to send each new employee to an 8 week class about how to spray Round-up the right way when I can teach them how to do it properly in 10 minutes.

11-17-2002, 09:14 AM
To help out in this heated discussion. If you get the mag. TURF? In the November issuse there is a article about this very subject of vineger. Just read it for yourself.

I seriously think that you still have to have a license to apply anything to land of others. Whether you are hired or do it out of the goodness of your heart. Well I know you do in KY.

On a another note, Who is going to win the First annual Big Blue Bowl in two weeks. Go Cats......