National School IPM

Florida Regulatory Information

If approved by the school district, school employees who apply pesticides must comply with one of these three options:

  • Obtain a limited certificate in structural pest control (if applying pesticides indoors), or lawn and ornamental pest control (if applying pesticides outdoors). (Not for use with disinfectants, sanitizers, or ready-to-use pesticides sold over the counter at retail stores)


  • Use only "ready-to-use" pesticides purchased over the counter at retail stores (not provided by wholesalers of pesticides). A limited certificate would not be required for anyone making applications in a school as long as they used only "ready-to-use" pesticides (did not mix from concentrates) and used no restricted use pesticides.


  • Operate under a fully certified pest control operator employed by the school district.

Violations of Chapter 482, F.S. are subject to fines up to $5,000.00 per violation, and, can become second degree misdemeanors.

To contact FDACS, Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control call (850) 617-7997.

Florida State Regulations regarding pest control in schools

The Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control administers the Florida "Structural Pest Control Act", Chapter 482, Florida Statutes (F.S.). Section 482.155, F.S., establishes certification for persons performing pest control as a government employee, or as an employee performing pest control to private property or the private property of their employers. This includes public buildings and schools.

Section 482.165, F.S. establishes that is unlawful to perform pest control without a license granted under Chapter 482, F.S. (except where exemptions of pest control on a person's private property are found in s. 482.211, F.S.). Accordingly, it is unlawful for public school employees to perform pest control as school employees unless they have obtained limited certification, or; they apply only disinfectants, sanitizers, or "ready-to-use" pesticides sold over the counter at retail as provided by Section 482.155(4), F.S.

School employees can obtain this limited certification by taking and passing an exam administered by the Cooperative Extension Service (CES). Correctly answering seventy-five percent (75%) of the examination questions constitutes a passing grade. There is a fee of $150.00 for the examination. The certification is valid for four years, and can be renewed for $25.00. Application for recertification must be accompanied by proof of having completed 4 classroom hours of acceptable continuing education units during those four years. The limited certificate examination administered by the CES in certain counties, please contact your local extension office for exams offered. School employees can obtain an application to take this examination from the CES or from the Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control (BEPC). The exam application must be received and processed by BPEC before the examination can be taken.

Certification can be obtained in structural pest control and/or in lawn and ornamental pest control. The limited certificate is an individual certificate and cannot be used to operate a pest control company. The examinations and certificate offered are specific to each category, and school employees must specify which category they wish to obtain when applying for the examination. Educational materials that can be used to study for the examinations are available from the Institute of Flood and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Bookstore at the University of Florida.

School employees can also apply pesticides if they are under the supervision of a certified operator who is employed full time by the school and certified in the type of pest control they are performing. A certified operator is an individual who has obtained certification from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in either, general household pest control, fumigation, termite control, or lawn and ornamental pest control, as provided in Section 482.111, F.S. To obtain an operator's certificate, candidates must meet certain minimum qualifications and pass an examination in each category of pest control.

Florida does not currently have legislative requirements for School IPM (2008). Historically, the Florida State Statutes required schools in Florida to use IPM. Chapter 5 Section 5.5 under "State Requirements for Educational Facilities" (i) number 4 stated, "pest management programs (would be) in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Pest Management in Schools guidelines." Reference: Pest Control in the School Environment: Adopting Integrated Pest Management (EPA Document 735-F-93-D12, August 1993).


Additional Resource: Univeristy of Florida Pesticide Information Office

Published: April 1998
Revised: August 2012


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