Pesticide License a negative.

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Footpath Organic, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. Footpath Organic

    Footpath Organic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have come upon multiple posts that state applying anything that controls weeds or insects as requiring a pesticide license in your state. I know this is common knowledge amongst seasoned veterans. The thing that newcomers wanting to get in this business is, you can only apply straight fert without a pesticide license. it is my understanding that corn gluten meal is considered an herbicide and requires a license to apply. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    The point I am trying to make is....if we are trying to do something good, and have to have a pesticide license number on the side of the truck, thats kind of contrary to what we are doing.

    Go ahead, have at me.
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,121

    Good comment, deserves some clarification. According to the EPA, any product that makes claims to to control or repel pests (insects, mites, weeds, rodents, diseases, etc.) must be registered as a pesticide unless if it is specifically listed by the EPA as exempt.

    Products such as corn gluten, garlic oil, clove oil and others are exempt from EPA registration. Other products that are approved for organic pest control such as horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, Bt, neem oil and others are not exempt and require a pesticide license to apply if you are doing it for hire.

    Nobody said everything must make sense, but you must obey the law.
  3. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    I believe in PA you must have a license to apply fertilizer for profit.

    As Barry said, the law's the law.
  4. Footpath Organic

    Footpath Organic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I know we must obey the law. We are a nation of laws.
    It would be nice though if we could put in parenthesis? under the license#:

    (But we dont REALLY use any pesticides!)

  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Footpath, maybe you could say (we use the good pesticides) kind of a double meaning

    Unfortunately states have had to move in with regulations to protect consumers from scams, in every industry.
    They do this with laws, the laws in this industry are there to protect consumers from bad products and practices.

    What the states are saying at the basic level is, that if you claim something (it kills pests) you have to prove it. The EPA mostly and the states too regulate pesticides, each state, and not the Federal government, control fertilizer practices.
    It is what it is, but it does point out that you need to be aware and compliant with the laws in your state.

    Barry is well versed in this subject

    Our product is regulated as a fertilzer in almost every state, there are some states that their law states, to be considered a fertilizer the NPK must be a certain percentage of the total, in those cases we are considered a soil amendment
  6. Organic a go go

    Organic a go go LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    Barry the Dept of Ag. here in Illinois explains it a little differently to me if Im understanding you right. They make no distinction between restricted use and non-restricted if you're a business. So if you're spraying anything, compost tea, fish fert, or what have you then you gotta have a permit. They don't make a distinction between organic and chemical.
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    This is true in almost every state. If you are for hire and working on a property other than your own and are spraying anything, you need to be licensed.

    I have not seen, in all of my dealings with state dept of Ag, anyone that distiguishes between organic and chemical. If you say you are spraying to promote growth, the state considers it a fertilizer, if you are spraying to kill or deter bugs it is considered a pesticide.
  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,121

    I want to clarify that the regulations I was referring to pertain to pesticides, not fertilizers or soil amendments.

    I would strongly suggest that your marketing does not make claims of pest control properties for the products you mentioned. This is a legal quagmire that may suck you under.

    That being said, you may quote published university studies that have tested these properties. The legal system is a strange animal.

    And for the record;
    My statements regarding laws and regulations are not founded on any legal basis. Consult with your state pesticide regulation department and your attorney for the correct interpretations of any such laws and regulations.
    (How's that for a legal disclaimer?) :dizzy:
  9. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Another thing to think about. Organic and Natural Doesn't always mean safer. A pestcide is a pesticide. Period you can't deny this. So a long time favorite for the garden was rotenone, killed insects great was derived from a root. Organic? Yes. Safer? No it was just as dangerous to hunmans as "sevin" and "malathion" So should a license be required to apply a pesticde on someone else's property? YES! hopefully by getting a license the applicator will have learned more than the jamok who just lost his job the, the economy sucks, he can't find a job so he loads his mower in the back of his truck, picks up a sprayer and says he his a lawn company. Does he have the knowledge to apply these pestacides? Prob. not. Oh yea the sprayer he picked up was a pull behind from the local rental store. How much product should he put in this thing? with a license he was given this knowledge, and has at least reference papers to go back to. Best bet 3 year down the road the will have learned more but maybe not how to calbibrate. and may be applying the product at 20% above reccommended strength. Are all natural products safe at this strength?

    Bee Stings contain "natural " poison and can kill people.

    I'm not putting down natural. I tried it for 2 years but just couldn't get my customers to be patient with the green up compared to "Mr. Jones" down the street. I also sold homeowner products fo 18 years.
  10. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    IMO...these pesticide laws need a bit of tweaking...Having to pay the govt. to do something good for our environment Is beyond me.

    Animals eat CCM what, If It helps keep the weeds at bay during at particular time frame.

    If the govt. Insists that we need a Licence...then It should be a whole separate licence eg. (Organic Applicators permit)

    PS: What If one of us discovers that Kellogg's corn flakes will stunt the growth of weeds Will we need a applicators permit to through cereal out on the back lawn?


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