Pesticide Safety Education Program

Pest scout; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDAPesticides are valuable tools for managing the pests that destroy our crops, endanger our health, invade our homes, and outcompete native species. But, they’re not the only tools at our disposal and should be the last out of the box. Used improperly, pesticides can harm wildlife and beneficial species, contaminate resources, and, like the pests that we seek to control, endanger our health or damage crops. The goal of the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) is to promote the proper use of pesticides in Maine by providing training and study materials to applicators, serving as an educational resource to consumers, and encouraging Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Applicator Certification and Training

Federal law dictates that individuals who apply restricted-use pesticides, pesticides to areas accessible to the public, or any pesticide for hire, be certified and licensed. In Maine, farmers who apply general-use (over-the-counter) pesticides to crops must also earn a license (if the crops are intended for human consumption and they sell more than $1000 annually). The Maine Board of Pesticides Control (BPC) certifies and licenses applicators in the State of Maine. Potential applicators must pass examinations written and administered by the BPC, before applying for a license. The PSEP works closely with the BPC to provide study materials for these exams and opportunities to earn the continuing education credits necessary to maintain certification.

For more information on certification and licensing, pesticide laws and regulations, and the Worker Protection Standard contact the Maine Board of Pesticides Control at 207.287.2731.