Pesticide Safety & Use
Pesticide Exposure Emergency: Call 911
The Nevada County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office protects human health and the environment by regulating pesticide sales and use, and by supporting integrated pest management and best practices. We work closely with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to enforce state laws and regulations pertaining to pesticide use, sales, licensing, worker safety, and pesticide use reporting.
- Pesticide Permits and Registration
- Maintenance Gardeners
- Pesticide Use Reporting
- File A Pesticide Related Complaint
- Pesticide Worker Safety
- Pesticide Compliance Monitoring
- Pesticide Continuing Education
- Additional Information and Regulations for Pesticides
Operator Identification Numbers/Grower Permits For private individuals on personal property or production agriculture.
Restricted Materials Permits and Private Applicator Certification For certain materials requiring a license or certification for purchase and use.
Pest Control Businesses Includes maintenance gardeners performing pest control work for hire. All businesses are required to be licensed and registered in each county in which they perform pesticide work.
Please read this notice if, as part of your business, you apply any pesticides (this includes any weed killers, including “Roundup”, insecticides, fungicides, rodent bait, etc.). If you are using any pesticides, you are required under Section 11704 of the California Food and Agriculture Code to have a Maintenance Gardener Pest Control Business License. This license is issued by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).
To qualify for a Maintenance Gardener Pest Control Business License, you must first obtain a Qualified Applicator’s Certificate (also issued by the Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR).) This certificate is issued after the applicant passes a test covering laws and regulations, and the landscape maintenance pest control category. Also, each licensed pest control business that works in a given county is required to register with the County Agricultural Commissioner before performing pest control work.
Remember, it is a violation of the law to apply pesticides or perform any type of pest control for hire as a gardener, landscape maintenance business or interiorscape business without a Maintenance Gardener Pest Control Business License. If you have employees who apply pesticides, you must comply with all of the pesticide worker safety requirements found in the California Code of Regulations, Section 6700.
Any person who violates these laws and regulations is subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per violation.
In Nevada County, whenever a pesticide is applied which requires an operator identification number or a restricted materials permit; or when a pesticide is applied by a licensed pest control business, a Pesticide Use Report must be submitted to our office. Reports are due by the 10th day of the month, following the
Go Paperless with Online Pesticide Use Reports Have you heard? You can submit your monthly pesticide use reports on this website at no cost and it’s easy to do. Find out more!
- Online Entry of Pesticide Use Reports (if you already have login and password)
- CalAgPermits How To Docs
- Need paper copies of Pesticide Use Reports? Here are the four most commonly used:
- More forms are available on the Department of Pesticide Regulation's website.
530-470-2690. Whenever pesticide problems occur, they should be reported to our office so we can look into the complaint. Don’t delay reporting. Prompt reporting is the best way to make sure investigators can find the facts of the case and collect useful evidence.
It is very helpful if you write down what happened and provide that information to our office when you talk with an inspector. Information you should include is:
- When and where the incident happened
- Who was involved (if you know)
- What you saw
- What you smelled, if anything
- Names and symptoms of anyone who was sick
Completing an investigation may take days, weeks, or months, depending on the complexity of the investigation. You can request our office to send you written information on the outcome of the investigation.
If you or anyone else is seriously ill, call 911 for help. In less serious cases, call your doctor or the Poison Control Center, 800-222-1222. At no charge, the Poison Control Center will give you first-aid information and advise you on what to do next.
Be sure to tell emergency responders, Poison Control, or your doctor that you may have been exposed to a pesticide. Have as much information as possible about what happened and, if you know, the pesticide involved.
Pesticide Worker Safety Complaint
To report possible pesticide worker safety violations, call our office at 530-470-2690. You can file your complaint anonymously, but it helps our investigation if you provide your contact information. If you don’t want your employer or anyone to know you filed a complaint, let our office know and we will not reveal your name to anyone.
Additional Pesticide Related Complaint Information
Additional information may also be found at DPR’s Community Guide to Recognizing and Reporting Pesticide Problems, including information en Espanol.
Any employee handling pesticides in a production agricultural setting, including vineyards, timber, Christmas trees, and nursery stock, is required to be trained by someone holding and meeting the qualifications of a certified trainer unless that employee already holds a Qualified Applicator’s Certificate (QAC). Additionally, any employee working around pesticide applications must also be trained prior to possible exposure.
The Pesticide Safety Information Series (PSIS) Leaftlets were developed as a training aid for employees. California regulations require these documents to be part of pesticide handler and fieldworker training. The leaflets are in PDF format in English, Spanish, and Punjabi. All employee and worker safety training must be documented.
Links to Worker Safety Forms
- Enforcement Letter RE Employer Training
- Medical Supervision Written Agreement
- Fieldworker Training Record
- Handler Safety Training Record
- Employer’s Written Handler Training Program
- Pesticide Worker Safety and Training Packet (includes above docs)
- Pesticide Use Compliance Guide for Employers and Businesses
More Safety Links
Effective and comprehensive pesticide use compliance monitoring is essential to assuring the safety of pesticide handlers, fieldworkers, the public, and the environment. Since many pesticides are used in non-agricultural settings (water treatment plants, landscapes, parks, food service facilities, hospitals, golf courses, homes, schools, etc.). Our office also monitors non-agricultural uses of pesticides. Compliance monitoring includes pesticide use and records inspections, surveillance, episode and complaint investigations.
Pesticide Use Records Inspections & Surveillance
Agricultural Inspectors and Biologists conduct on-site pesticide application, field worker safety, pesticide storage, disposal and record audit inspections. Most inspections are unannounced, and inspectors prioritize inspections based on the pesticide toxicity and formulation; proximity to environmentally sensitive areas (lakes, endangered species habitat, etc.); proximity to residences, schools, or other sensitive sites (hospital, nursing home, etc.); proximity to surrounding areas where workers or the public may be present; the number of employees engaged in pesticide related activities; the type of application method; and the company’s history of violations or complaints.
Episode & Complaint Investigations
Agricultural Inspectors and Biologists investigate pesticide episodes and complaints that may involve potential or actual human illness or injury, property damage, loss or contamination, and environmental effects. Information gathered during these investigations is used to determine possible violations of pesticide laws and regulations and subsequent enforcement actions. Investigative reports are also used by state and federal agencies to evaluate pesticide use patterns and in identifying broader statewide or national issues. Our investigative reports receive close review and scrutiny from the Legislature, U.S. EPA, other government agencies, the agricultural industry and special interest groups.
Our office provides limited continuing education classes to ensure compliance with all worker's safety laws and regulations. Holders of private applicator certificates issued by county agricultural commissioners must obtain six hours of continuing education over a three-year period, and two of the hours must be in Laws and Regulations. The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office provides DPR-approved classes to license and certificate holders.
Find the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) list of approved CE Classes.
The ag commissioner's also have DPR approved CE classes here.