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Pesticide Applicator Series: The Label is the Law - How to Read a Pesticide Label

The label is the law!

Pesticide applicators are required by law to comply with all instructions on a pesticide label, and therefore knowing how to read a label is paramount to responsible pesticide use.

In this online pesticide course, you will examine and identify the various sections on a pesticide label, understand the important language included in each section, and gain practice explaining how the information is applicable before, during, and after pesticide use.

For Licensed Pesticide Applicators or Consultants

If you are currently a licensed pesticide applicator or consultant, you will earn one (1) continuing education credit by completing this course.

This course can also help you prepare for your certification exams if you seek to become a licensed apprentice, a commercial applicator, a private applicator, a public applicator, or a pesticide consultant. Learning materials in this course include information covered in the National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish between the various types of pesticide registrations.
  • Explain when to read the pesticide label.
  • State who may use a pesticide.
  • Accurately identify the common, chemical, and brand or trade name of a pesticide.
  • Determine the percentage of active ingredient(s) in a formulation.
  • Interpret the meaning of label signal words, symbols, and their relative hazard levels.

Level Up Your Pesticide Skills

By the end of the program, you will also be able to identify the following types of statements on a pesticide label:

  • Precautionary.
  • First aid.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Environmental, physical, or chemical hazards.
  • Mixing, loading, storage, and disposal.
  • Restricted entry and reentry.
  • Describe how to interpret other documents and online resources referenced on the label.
  • Distinguish between advisory and mandatory statements on a label.

How to Read a Pesticide Label FAQ's

1) How long will it take for my ODA credit to show up on my credit report?

It may take 4-8 weeks. OSU submits the list of course-takers to ODA once each month, and ODA has a high work-load in data entry from November through March. Please contact ODA with any questions by dialing 503-986-4635.

2) I did not receive a grade release confirmation email.

Who do I contact? Contact OSU Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) by emailing pace@oregonstate.edu or calling (541) 737-4297. PACE is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday, and closed on University holidays.

3) Who should I contact with follow-up questions about the course?

You may send an email message to oregonstatepsep@gmail.com, or Kaci Buhl at kaci.buhl@oregonstate.edu. 

4) How do I keep my pesticide license current?

The Pesticide Applicator Series is designed to help you gain recertification credits in a way that easily fits into your current schedule.

Pesticide Recertification Credit

The following courses are currently approved by Oregon Department of Agriculture for Pesticide Certification and license renewal:

The following courses are currently approved by Idaho State Department of Agriculture: 

At this time our online courses are not approved for Washington state recertification. 

Interested in on-site pesticide recertification courses?
Click here for details.

IMPORTANT: Final grade reporting to the state will include grades released as of December 31. Our system takes 24 hours for grades to release, to ensure your grade will be counted toward the calendar year, you need to complete the final quiz no later than December 30.

Each of our courses in the Pesticide Applicator series can also count as Continuing Education Hours for the Oregon State Landscape Contractors Board.

On demand. Access any time.
price (2)
Additional Information:
1 CORE ODA pesticide recertification credit.


Kaci Buhl

Kaci Buhl is an Associate Professor of Practice at Oregon State University (OSU). She coordinates the Statewide Pesticide Safety Education Program, working to educate professional pesticide applicators. On the national level, Ms. Buhl is the Deputy Director of the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative, which creates pesticide manuals, exams, and other resources for professionals. She studied integrated pest management (IPM) at Michigan State University and previously coordinated the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC).

Miranda Dudzik

Miranda is the Pesticide Safety Educator at the Pesticide Safety Education Program at Oregon State University. Her background includes teaching biology, animal science and healthcare courses at the college level. Miranda brings to PSEP her expertise in online curriculum and course design that aims to provide quality online continuing education for pesticide applicators around the state.

Miranda Dudzik

Miranda is an OSU alumna with a background in Biology, Chemistry, and Toxicology. She brings to PSEP over a decade of experience in adult education, including online education and curriculum design. Miranda currently develops and coordinates online recertification courses, assists with webinar course planning, and is working on a new pre-licensing program to help applicators prepare for their certification exams. She is passionate about creating inclusive and accessible learning opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and native languages.

Past Students' Work

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