April usually brings more than “April showers.” It seems every year I receive calls from panicking pesticide applicators whose license has expired on March 31, and they have failed to meet their credit requirements to renew their license. The good news is that you won’t have to re-take the private applicator exam (just yet). If you don’t have all your credits, your license will go into a “suspended” state for a period not to exceed one year beyond the license expiration date. During this period, as a private applicator you may not legally purchase or apply any restricted use pesticides until you obtain the needed credits and renew your license. If you fail to get the credits or renew within that grace period, you will have to retake your exam. For example, if your private applicator’s license expired on March 31, 2017, and you still need 2 category credits, you have until March 31, 2018, to get your category credits and renew your license. By April 1, 2018, if you didn’t do both of those things, you would need to retake the exam.
While the bulk of winter pesticide meetings have passed, there are still opportunities for obtaining credits. Using the PA Plants website is a great way to find information. Put your mouse over “Pesticide Programs” and then click on “Recertification Course Locator”. You will then be able to search for meetings offering credits. You can choose between onsite, online, correspondence, and webinar-type meetings.
If you live and operate outside of Pennsylvania, check with your state crop protection association or university Extension office for more information.