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Department of Agriculture or Structural Pest Control Board?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by tjgray, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. tjgray

    tjgray LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    Good Day All,

    I don't know if it is the same way for other states but here in Texas we can either go through TDA or TSPCB to obtain and renew licenses.

    Last night while going through the process of renewing our CAL*process being the key word :dizzy: * it got me to thinking......

    I asked my husband who is the expert what the differences between the two organizations were and why we went through TDA? He answered that he wasn't sure all of the differences but felt that TDA offered less hassle and seemed to process paperwork quicker.

    Of course this did not answer my thirst for knowledge so I thought I would pose the question here and get some insight.

    What are the differences in the two organizations?
    Is one better than the other to be licensed through?
    What are your reasons for getting your license from either?

    I would be appreciative to anyone who can share his or her experience on the topic and thank you in advance :)
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    While I see some different in the two areas of pest control you are talking about, I do not know the reason for having two different department or bureaus monitor them. My state has Two Different Bureaus under the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to monitor different Licenses also. However Commercial Lawn and Ornamental, General HouseHold Pest(structural pest control), Termite and Fumigation are all the same Bureau. Private applicator License used by Golf Courses and Farmer who own their own property are under a different Bureau.

    Having worked for the state I can tell you they like to do things the hard way and in triple. After all, Why have one person do a job that 10 can pretend to be doing. We need to keep those voters working. As private Citizens we don't make the laws, Just try and live by them.
  3. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 593

    I shouldn't be touching this one on a public forum....lol. I like all my regulating agencies...great folks... I mean it too.

    Your husband is right...TDA is the way to go. Thats why "Mega Lawn Cos" have TDA. One Clown babysitting a bunch of monkeys with very little hassle. The TDA test is easier too.

    I turned in an unlicensed applicator here to the SPCB. They cite him (I don't know the outcome yet) and what does he do? What does he do? He goes and signs up for the TDA test. Fails it and goes to Lesco asking those guys for help so he can pass on the second go round! That is crap and its very scary. This guy killed some frickin yards. Stained a pool with iron. He has NO EXPERIENCE as an applicator. None! He was a salesman for the Mega Cos here. Nice guy but dumb as dirt.

    The SPCB would not allow him to test without a year of verifiable training. They have tougher requirements. TDA will let anyone test.

    Send in your $180 and be happy. Sorry for the rant.
  4. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    My favorite part of your post....love it!!!
  5. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    The primary differences between TDA and SPCB are in the primary areas of emphasis.
    I can provide the number to the legal counsel got TDA plus a point of contact who is a very nice person. I'm certain he can explain it better than I.
    Basically, it boils down to TDA protecting property and SPCB protecting people. A little known fact, in Texas, you can apply over the counter non restricted use pesticides (quantities less than one quart prior to mixing) for hire and not need a TDA license or SPCB. However, you must maintain records.
    This is principly for glyosphate and store bought weed/feed combos.
    However, no written records than TDA refers you to SPCB for prosecution.
    It is true that TDA has a more lax enforcement structure than SPCB, yet this is due to scope of investigations.
    TDA responds to all ag related issues, ie golf courses, ranches, road sides etc.
    SPCB responds to dwelling, schools, areas of population.
    TDA has a much more limited enforcement arm than SPCB, with much more limited powers of access.
    The reason I am more well informed is that I have been, in the past, a victim of restricted use chemical poisoning from employees of a large company that maintains golf courses. I spent a great deal of time with TDA personnel, inspectors and legal counsel, and learned a bit about how they operate.
    To this day, I occasionally receive calls from the TDA inspectors with questions on certain chemical uses/applicability, and we visit with each other.
    TDA regulations state that an unlicensed applicator can apply under the guidelines of a licensed applicator's license, provided the license holder can prove the unlicensed applicator has received training,
    As I understand t SPCB applicators ALL have to have their own licenses.
    The reason I still maintain my TDA license and multiple categories is that SPCB does not have categories of their licenses to cover all the different types/locations of applications that I and my company do.
    I apologize about the long post. Hopefully have answered more questions than I raised.
  6. tjgray

    tjgray LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    Great information all. I just wanted to get a general understanding of the two's differences and you have given me really good feedback. I appreciate it :)

    And yes, SWD my address book could sure use some good contact info. from TDA. Thank you for your offer :) Our email is The Other Side Lawn Company
  7. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 593

    I heard today that he received a warning. I called Austin and they say no conclusion has been met. Man, I will be PEEZED if he skates.
  8. tjgray

    tjgray LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    We got off easy this year because we were able to take our CEU's with a home study but it still took us two days and came with a four page test.

    Next week we will hand over hundreds to renew our GL.....

    Those that apply chemicals without having the proper requirements should be strung up :angry:

    Unfortunately I think there are alot more out there doing it then I even want to think about and if your situation is any example of what happens when and if they get caught...well it seems the risk might be worth it to some.

    Scary thought isn't it?

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