The MP Series contains the recommendations for fungicides, herbicides and insecticides.
The "Ask the Pest Crew" page lists numerous publications primarily concerned with pests and pesticides used in and around homes and yards. You can also submit a photo with plant damage for assistance or identification of herbicide injury.
Pesticide Training, Education, & Licensing in Arkansas
- Applying pesticides requires appropriate education and training to assure safe and effective use.
- Pesticide Education is the responsibility of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
- Pesticide Licensing and Certification, and the Training for Certification, are the responsibility of the Arkansas State Plant Board.
- An individual is not eligible to purchase or apply restricted use pesticides until a license is issued.
- Contact the Plant Board for information regarding certification and recertification exams and training sessions.
County-based pesticide application training
Obtaining a Commercial/Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator License for Applying Restricted Use Pesticides
The following information applies to the Commercial and Non-Commercial agricultural pesticide applicator categories of Agricultural Plants, Agricultural Animals, Demonstration and Research, Forestry, Wood Treatment, Right of Way, Public Health, Aquatic, Seed Treatment, and Regulatory. For licensing information regarding other categories, Contact the Plant Board.
- Federal law requires that a person who purchases or applies a restricted use pesticide must have a current pesticide applicator license and receive periodic pesticide safety training.
- Restricted use pesticides are those that have higher risk potential for humans, wildlife, and the environment. The Federal government has determined that the benefits provided by these pesticides outweigh the risks as long as they are properly handled, applied, and disposed of. Knowledge and prevention are the keys to avoiding accidents and unwanted exposure.
- In Arkansas, the licensing of pesticide applicators and the enforcement of pesticide laws and regulations is the responsibility primarily of the Arkansas State Plant Board. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for certain pesticide regulations concerning transportation and disposal. The required safety training, also known as certification or recertification, is provided by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture through the Cooperative Extension Service.
The MP Series contains the recommendations for fungicides, herbicides and insecticides.
Be certain to wear protective gear when handling, mixing or applying pesticide and all application equipment is properly calibrated. Calibrating spray equipment not only helps ensure efficacy in controlling target pests, but help save money by applying the proper amounts of a pesticide. Keep complete records of all pesticides purchased and applied. Remember to follow the label when using any pesticide. The label is the law -- not just a recommendation.
For Private Pesticide Applicator Training Sessions - Contact your county Extension Office for additional information.
Study kits for the Commercial/Non-Commercial pesticide applicator categories are available at a cost of $15.00 each. Please mark which study kit(s) you want, on the Study Kit request form and send it with a $15.00 check or money order per kit. The study kits can also be ordered over the phone by using a credit card (Visa/Master Card only). Call 501-671-2232 to place an order.
Private applicators are individuals who use restricted use pesticides to produce agricultural commodities on property owned or rented by them or their employer. Example: farmers/growers. Restricted use pesticides are not labeled for home gardens. Therefore, a pesticide license is not required, nor available, for home gardeners.
Commercial applicators are individuals who use restricted use pesticides (normally for hire) for any purpose or on property other than that specified for defining private applicators. Examples: aerial applicators, custom applicators, etc.
Non-Commercial applicators are individuals who use restricted use pesticides but do not qualify as a private applicator nor require a commercial applicators license. Examples: researchers, Extension agents, chemical company representatives, etc.
- Private Pesticide Applicators
The following sections explain the steps required to obtain and maintain a Private Pesticide Applicator license.
You must be certified i.e., trained, by attending a Private Pesticide Applicator Training session (also known as Certification or Recertification sessions) conducted by county Extension agents.
- Trainings are conducted in the fall and winter each year.
- There is a $10/person charge for the training.
- Contact your local county Extension office for more information on these meetings.
Note: you may attend any private applicator training session conducted in Arkansas as long as it is provided by the Cooperative Extension Service. If you have never had a private applicator license and for some reason you cannot attend a scheduled training session, there is another option – see the Emergency Licensing Procedures section below.
After attending the full 2-3 hour training session, you must:
- Fill out the half-page triplicate form (proof of certification) provided by the county Extension agent.
- Once the form is filled out the then signed by the Extension agent, you remove the back copy for your records and the Extension agent keeps the other two copies.
- The Extension office will send one copy of the form to the Arkansas State Plant Board.
You may obtain a current Application for a License form from the Extension office or download the form from the Plant Board's website:
You can get either a 1-year ($10) or 5-year ($45).
It is the applicant's responsibility to fill out form DP-25 and mail it to the Plant Board with the licensing fee. The Plant Board will then process your application and send you a license by mail.
Note: Applications must be filled out completely. Failure to include the required information will result in license issuance delays. The license will list the expiration date for the license and the recertification required by date.
Keep your certification and license current. Certification refers to the required training sessions conducted by the Extension service. The Arkansas State Plant Board requires that private applicators must be retrained at least every 5 years.
Your license has a "Recertification Required by:" date on the front. You must attend a pesticide applicator training session by this date to ensure that you receive your license for the following year. The Plant Board will notify you by mail, usually in October, when it is time for you to recertify. Many county Extension offices send reminders to those individuals in their county will need to be recertified in a given year.
Always read all correspondence from the Plant Board very carefully.
The notice of your license expiration is handled differently than the notice of recertification requirement outlined above. Approximately one month before your license expiration date you will receive a license renewal form from the Plant Board. Simply fill out the form and send it back to the Plant Board with the required fees. Remember that you must be current with your certification and training requirements in order to get your license. That is why it is very important that you pay attention to the Plant Board's correspondence (i.e., the October letter) detailing your recertification requirements.
- Commercial & Non-Commercial Applicators
The following section explains the steps required to obtain and maintain a Commercial or Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator License.
You must take and pass the Basic Core Exam and the category specific exams required for the type license you need. Training is not required before taking the exams but is available and recommended. Study kits are also available by contacting the Extension Service at 501-671-2232. The study kits are $15 per kit. The Extension Pesticide Education Specialist conducts approximately four training sessions per year, for individuals needing the take the exams. The dates and locations for these meetings vary from year to year, but they normally are conducted in March. The dates for any given year will be set in January and the schedule can be found on the following website: www.uaex.edu/farm-ranch/pest-management/education-licensing.aspx. Look for "Initial Commercial/Non-Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training".
If you cannot, or do not want to attend a training session before taking the exams, you may arrange with the Arkansas State Plant Board to be tested at their headquarters in Little Rock. A study kit is highly recommended in the situation (see above).
Once you have passed the required exams you are eligible to obtain your Pesticide Applicator License. The Plant Board will send eligible individuals an Application for License form (DP-27 or DP-30). Complete the form and mail it back to the Plant Board with the appropriate license fees for processing. The license, once issued, will expire December 31st of the current year.
Once you have obtained your license you must attend a pesticide safety training session (conducted by the Cooperative Extension Service in most cases) at least once every three years in order to maintain your certification. These sessions are known as Recertification sessions. Your pesticide license has the "Certification Expires:" date printed on the front. You must attend a recertification session by this date to receive your license for the next year and the following two years. There are a number of recertification training sessions conducted each year and the State Plant Board will notify you by mail about the training schedule when it is time for you to be recertified. The Plant Board will send you a letter each October that will contain a license renewal form or the form and a notification that you need to be recertified. Make sure and read the Plant Board's letter closely to ensure that you maintain your certification and license.
After attending the full 3-4 hour recertification training session, you must fill out the half-page triplicate form (proof of certification) provided by the trainers. Once the form is filled out and then signed by the appropriate Extension personnel, you remove the back copy for your records and the Extension Service will keep the other two copies and send one of them to the Plant Board for their records. The Plant Board will send an application for a license in October or November of each year to all currently licensed individuals. If your certification is current, you just fill out the application form and send it, along with the appropriate fees, to the Plant Board for processing. The license, once issued, will expire on December 31 of the current year.
Step Four – Keep your license and recertification current. Remember the recertification refers to the required training conducted by the Cooperative Extension Service. It is critical that you read and follow all correspondence from the Plant Board related to your licensing and recertification requirements.
If you let your license lapse for a year or two you do not have to retake the exams if you maintain your recertification training requirements (i.e. you attend a recertification session at least once every three years).
If you let your recertification expire, simply attend another recertification session and begin the three year cycle again.
If for some reason you are unable to attend a recertification session by the required date and you must have a license, you have only one option: You must retake the exams at the State Plant Board in Little Rock.
It is very important that you attend the training sessions at least once every three years to maintain your recertification.
- Emergency Certification & First Time Licensing
If you have never had a private applicator license and are unable to attend a county Extension conducted training session, there is an emergency procedure to obtain your certification. To obtain your certification and license in an emergency situation you can watch a 2-3 hour pesticide applicator training video in the county Extension office.
You must be aware that this emergency procedure will certify you for the current year only (instead of the five years provided by a regular recertification session) and may be used only once per individual.
Even using this emergency procedure it may still take a few days to obtain your license because of the processing time required by the Arkansas State Plant Board. Please be aware that the Extension office will do everything possible to help you obtain your license in an emergency session, but the actual issuance of the license is the responsibility of the state plant board.
If you have questions, comments, complaints, etc. about the pesticide licensing procedure, please call the Director of the Pesticide Division or the Assistant Director in charge of Certification and Training at the Arkansas State Plant Board (501-225-1598).
- Emergency Recertification for Private Applicators
If for some reason you are unable to attend a Cooperative Extension Service-sponsored recertification session in your county by the required date there are two options for private applicators:
1) Attend a recertification session in another county. Your local county office can help you find another training session or you can go to the following Extension website to find other meetings: www.uaex.edu/farm-ranch/pest-management/education-licensing.aspx (make sure and look for "County Private Pesticide Applicator Training Sessions".
2) Take the private applicator exam administered by the Arkansas State Plant Board. Contact your county Extension office for more information and study materials.
- Arkansas Plant Disease Control Products Guide - MP154
- Flag the Technology - FSA2162
- Insecticide Recommendations for Arkansas - MP144
- Recommended Chemicals for Weed and Brush Control - MP 44
- Invasive Urban Pests of Concern in Arkansas: Insect and Disease
- Pesticide Recordkeeping Form
- WPS How to Comply Manual 2016
Recursos en español sobre los pesticidas (Resources in Spanish about pesticides)
Extension Pesticide Safety Education specialist