What does a Pesticide Applicator do?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2019
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A pesticide applicator is a specially trained professional who legally prepares and applies chemical pesticides to residential or commercial property or agriculture. The pesticide applicator works with various approved tools to apply the pesticides as prescribed by the chemical manufacturer to aid in the prevention of pests that can damage structures and crops. The manner in which the pesticides are applied is determined by the unique chemical components included in each type of pesticide and the type of pest to be treated for.

Each pesticide applicator goes through an intense training and certification process in order to comply with legal methods of handling and applying the chemicals found in commercial pesticides. The training that a pesticide applicator goes through is determined by the type of pesticides that will be handled while performing the duties of the pest application job. In many regions, the training requirements are mandated by local environmental protection government agencies.

When a pesticide applicator begins training on the proper handling and application of pesticides, this is normally a function of on-the-job training. Under the careful supervision of a certified and experienced pesticide applicator, the beginning pesticide applicator learns the proper handling and storage of the chemicals used. The equipment and application methods are then taught to the trainee pesticide applicator until these methods are learned.


A pesticide applicator generally completes training within three to six months, and then the applicator takes a written test to become certified for the region on which he works. Then additional training is completed annually by the pest applicator to maintain that certification. If new equipment is needed to perform the pest application process, more training is attained to comply with environmental protection mandates.

Some pesticide applicators must operate vehicles as part of the job. An example of this would be the pest applicator who operates an airplane to apply pesticides to large areas of crops while air born. The pest applicator may come from a background of being an airplane pilot or may be required to get training and licensure in the safe operation of an airplane and the distribution of pesticides in this manner.

Pest applicators are trained on the habits and behavior of pests to best understand the right way to safely eliminate the presence of pests. The trained pest applicator can effectively create an environment that is safe for people and animals while keeping those areas pest free.


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