Terms and Definitions

Pesticide

A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for defoliating or desiccating plants, preventing fruit drop, inhibiting sprouting, or for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any insects, rodents, fungi, bacteria, weeds, or other forms of plant or animal life or viruses, except viruses on or in living man or other animals.

Briefly, pesticides include (but are not limited to) herbicides (weed killers), insecticides, fungicides, nematicides, rodenticides, piscicides (fish killers), molluscicides (kill mollusks), algicides, slimicides, insect repellents, insect growth regulators, some other chemicals.

Yes, herbicides are pesticides. Unfortunately, the term "pesticide" is often used interchangeably with "insecticide", and thus we frequently see and hear the phrase "pesticides and herbicides". However, herbicides are pesticides under FIFRA and are regulated as such.

A termiticide is any pesticide or treated article intended to protect a structure against subterranean termites. The definition includes baits, all conventional soil-applied termiticides regardless of their mode of action, wood-treatment products such as borates when applied during or after construction, and construction materials impregnated with insecticides and intended to protect the structure from attack. It also includes stainless steel mesh, uniform-size sand or gravel materials, or other physical barriers for which termite control, termite detection, or termite mitigation claims are made. (SCPCA 2006)

If a company or individual claims a product will control a pest, then that product is a pesticide. A device, instrument or contrivance, subject to U.S. EPA regulation, intended for trapping, destroying, repelling, or mitigating insects or rodents, or mitigating fungi, bacteria or weeds, or such other pests, but not including equipment used for the application of pesticides when sold separately from the device is also considered to be a pesticide.

All pesticides are categorized into two (2) groups for regulatory purposes by the EPA. These are Unclassified (General Use) and Restricted Use (RUPs). Restricted Use Pesticides may only be purchased and used (used in the broad sense to include opening the container, mixing, loading, applying, and rinsing empty containers) by Certified Applicators or persons under their direct supervision. In South Carolina Certified Applicators include Certified Private, Commercial and Non-commercial Applicators. What is a Restricted Use Pesticide?

For more information, such as additional materials that are and are not pesticides, see EPA's What is a pesticide? > >

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Pesticide Use


The distribution, holding for distribution or sale, sale, mixing, loading, transportation, application, or storage of any material for which pesticidal claims are made. (SCPCA 2006)


Commercial Pesticide Applicator


A Commercial pesticide applicator is someone over the age of 17 who applies or supervises the application of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) for other individuals for pay. A person must be certified as a commercial applicator if applying pesticides for hire, even if applying Restricted Use Pesticides on his/her employer's or personal property. Commercial applicators are certified in one or more categories and may use Restricted Use Pesticides only in the category(s) in which they are certified. PLEASE NOTE: there is mandatory certification in Category 3-Ornamental and Turf Pest Control, Category 5-Aquatic Pest Control and Category 8-Public Health Pest Control.

One of the most difficult problems associated with certifying commercial and non-commercial pesticide applicators is determining the categories in which they should be certified. One reason for this problem is that many people do not equate "weed killers" (which are herbicides) with pesticides. Many think herbicides are not pesticides.

We often receive comments similar to "I'll be spraying grass with weed killer and not using any pesticide." This information tells you that they will be spraying grass. It does not tell you where or for what purpose. Judging from the information provided in the above statement, the person could be certified as a commercial or non-commercial applicator in the agricultural plant category, ornamental and turf category, or the right-of-way category. They could be using a general use pesticide product, which would not require a license at all. If they are spraying on their own farm for no pay, they would need a private applicator license.

When answering questions concerning pesticide certification categories, be sure you ask what they will be spraying (include both site and pest), where they will be spraying, and for whom they will be spraying. You should also ask if the application will be for compensation. These answers should provide enough information to determine the category and the certification classification (private, commercial or non-commercial) required.

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Non-commercial Pesticide Applicator


A Non-commercial Pesticide Applicator is an individual who applies or supervises the application of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) as an employee of a government agency, either federal, state, or local. As in the case of commercial applicators, these individuals may only use or supervise the use of Restricted Use Pesticides in the category in which they are certified and only in the performance of their duties as a government employee. Non-commercial applicators are certified in one or more categories and may use Restricted Use Pesticides only in the category(s) in which they are certified. PLEASE NOTE: there is mandatory certification in Category 3-Ornamental and Turf Pest Control, Category 5-Aquatic Pest Control and Category 8-Public Health Pest Control.

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Private Pesticide Applicator


A Private Pesticide Applicator is a pesticide applicator who purchases, uses and/or supervises the use of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) in the production of an agricultural commodity (products from farms, nurseries, greenhouses and forests)on property that they, or their employers own, rent or lease (or if applied without compensation other than trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities). To become a Private Pesticide Applicator one has to attend an approved Extension Pesticide Applicator Training Program and also pass a written Private Applicator Certification Exam.

In most cases, homeowners do not need to apply RUPs at all. However, a homeowner, trained and licensed as a Private Pesticide Applicator, may purchase and use Restricted Use pesticides labeled for agricultural use on agricultural commodities in their own yard or garden. However, a homeowner, trained and licensed as a Private Pesticide Applicator, may not purchase restricted use pesticides labeled for household pest control.

An Extension Pesticide Applicator Training Program is valuable training whether or not you will be using RUPs. Anyone interested in knowing more about the safe use of pesticides can participate in an Extension Pesticide Applicator Training Program. However, if you intend to become a certified Private Pesticide Applicator, you must complete an approved Extension Pesticide Applicator Training Program and take the Private Applicator Certification Exam.

Remember, there are no separate categories for which Private pesticide applicators may obtain licenses. A Private pesticide applicator is licensed to apply Restricted Use Pesticides on any agricultural commodity on property that they or their employers own, rent or lease. Someone who works at a turf farm may apply RUPs with a Private Applicator License, because turf is an agricultural commodity. Someone whose job it is to apply RUPs on a golf course would need a Commercial License in Category 3, Turf and Ornamentals Pest Control, because a golf course is not an agricultural commodity.

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Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP)


A Restricted Use Pesticide is a pesticide that is available for purchase and use only by certified pesticide applicators or persons under their direct supervision. This designation is assigned to a pesticide product because of its relatively high degree of potential human and/or environmental hazard even when used according to label directions.
 
Click here for more information on Restricted Use Pesticides.

Agricultural Commodity (FIFRA definition)


According to the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), an agricultural commodity is defined as any plant, or part thereof, or animal, or animal product, produced by a person (including farmers, ranchers, vineyardists, plant propagators, Christmas tree growers, aquaculaturists, floriculturists, orchardists, foresters, or other comparable persons) primarily for sale, consumption, propagation, or other use by man or animals.
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Forest (FIFRA definition)


According to the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a forest is a concentration of trees and related vegetation in non-urban areas sparsely inhabited by and infrequently used by humans; characterized by natural terrain and drainage patterns.
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Recertification


Recertification is a program of continuing education for pesticide applicators. Individuals who apply Restricted Use Pesticides must be certified to do so under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the South Carolina Pesticide Control Act of 1975. Amendments to FIFRA require that applicators receive continual training through recertification. Recertification training is conducted by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service and others. Recertification status is conferred by the Clemson University Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) which enforces FIFRA and the South Carolina Pesticide Control Act.

The South Carolina Pesticide Applicator Recertification Program is administered in five year blocks of time. All certified applicators (commercial, non-commercial and private), regardless of when in the block they become licensed, are in a common recertification block that runs concurrent with all other applicators in the same class. Commercial and non-commercial blocks run from 2004-2008, 2009-2013, etc. Private applicator blocks run from 2005-2009, 2010-2014, etc.

CCHs can be earned by attending Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) approved trainings, schools, grower meetings, etc. A listing of these accredited trainings can be found at the DPR web site.
  • It is the responsibility of the person conducting the training to obtain approval for their training in advance from DPR. The instructor must also maintain an attendance record to be sent to DPR following the training.
  • It is the responsibility of the pesticide applicators, themselves, to sign up for and attend the required number of hours of recertification training in order to receive license renewal. Pesticide applicators will receive notices periodically throughout the five year block from DPR reminding them of the number of credits they already have. If a pesticide applicator does not complete the required number of recertification training hours in a set five-year block, he or she will be required to start the licensing process over from the beginning.
Extension recertification trainings are posted by date and county on the Clemson University Pesticide Information Program web site. Pesticide applicators should contact the appropriate County Extension Office to sign up for any of these trainings.

Recertification credits are offered on the following topics:
  • Calibration and maintenance of pesticide application equipment
  • Residue removal from containers and equipment
  • Environmental fate of pesticides
  • Groundwater protection
  • Occupational hazard communication
  • IPM/Integrated crop management
  • Label interpretation
  • MSDS for pesticides
  • New technology and regulations
  • Endangered species/wildlife pesticide protection
  • Recordkeeping
  • Reducing pesticide exposure
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Safety planning and emergency response
  • Transportation and disposal of pesticides and rinsates
  • Worker protection/worker safety
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