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Fruits, Vegetables, Lawns, Landscaping, Insects and Plant Diseases

APPLYING PESTICIDES IN TENNESSEE

In Tennessee you must be licensed and chartered before you can apply pesticides for a fee – even if you use non-restricted pesticides that you can buy at your local Wal-Mart.  The only exception to this is a Spot-Treatment Only – Lawn Maintenance certification; a Limited Herbicide Applicator certification category for those who only wish to spot-spray with glyphosate in ornamental beds or in areas in conjunction with hand-weeding or mechanical weed trimming.  Either a category 3 certification or LHA certification will be required, proof of liability insurance of at least $300,000 and a certification number displayed in the applicator’s vehicle plus on any trailer used in the business.  

A person operating under this special Limited Herbicide Applicator certification is not authorized to advertise the application of herbicides or any other pesticide application nor supervise the application of any pesticide by an uncertified person.  To prepare for the Limited Herbicide Applicator exam, one must study the ‘Core’ Applying Pesticides Safely plus be able to read a pesticide label.  You must send in proof of insurance along with your certification application first to John Ewell, Tennessee Department of Agriculture. He can be reached at 615-837-5340 or fax 615-837-5012.  

You do not have to be licensed and chartered to apply plain fertilizer, but you would need to be if you apply fertilizer impregnated with a herbicide or other pesticide (‘weed & feed’) due to the pesticide in the product. The resources and links below are aids for Garden, Lawn, Insect and Plant Disease management.  Use these in addition to more general resources and links found on the Agriculture Programs page.​​​  

Contact Information

John Teague
Extension Agent and County Director, Agriculture
Phone: 931-684-5971
Email: jteague1@utk.edu

Finis Stribling
TSU Extension Area Specialist, Agriculture
Email: fstribli@tennessee.edu