Spring is in the air! With warmer weather and longer days come greener grass, blooming bulbs…and weeds.
Before hiring a commercial pesticide company, consumers should know that the Colorado Pesticide Applicators’ Act requires any person or company that applies pesticides for hire, whether they are applying to a structure, lawn, or agricultural area, to be licensed as a commercial applicator.
“In order to protect the environment and public safety, commercial applicators must have the necessary training, expertise and experience to apply chemicals,” said Steve Blunt, CDA’s Pesticide Applicator Program Coordinator. “Every licensed commercial applicator in Colorado has to meet strict testing requirements that are enforced by the Department.”
Companies providing weed control services using any herbicide or chemical must be licensed. Even those companies advertising they only use organic or natural weed control products are still applying pesticides and must, therefore, be licensed by CDA. Licensing as a pesticide applicator is not required if fertilization and aeration are the only services provided. If, however, a company applies ‘weed and feed’ or provides spot treatment for control of weeds, they must be licensed.
A person or company that performs applications for hire without holding the appropriate license may receive a minimum fine of $1,000 per violation. CDA officials also conduct routine office inspections to review records of applications, equipment maintenance and storage and disposal of pesticides.
The Department also investigates pesticide use and application complaints. Contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture Pesticide Section at (303) 239-4146 or online at www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi with additional questions, to determine if a lawn care company is licensed or to file a pesticide misapplication complaint.