Key to California individual pest control licenses

Use this key to find the most appropriate California license for your pest control activities. More info

Written by:
Siavash Taravati, Ph.D., QAL, FR (Branch II) - UC IPM program
Calvin Her - UC IPM program

Posted: 27 Sep 2021
Updated: 10 Oct 2021

Questions or comments? contact:
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  1. I want to
    • Apply pesticides in California. Go to #2
    • Provide professional advice to others on agricultural pesticide use in California.
      • Pest Control Advisor (PCA) license (more info)
    • Sell pesticides in California
      • Dealer Designated Agent (DDA) (more info)
  2. I want to
    • Apply pesticides using an aircraft. Go to #9
    • Apply pesticides to my own property or to a property owned by my employer (not for hire). Go to #3
    • Apply pesticides to a property Not owned my employer or by me. Go to #5
  3. I want to
    • Apply pesticides outdoors in an agricultural/landscape setting.
      • Private Applicator Certification (more info)
    • Apply pesticides inside or immediately around structures. Go to #4
  4. I will
    • Be responsible for the safe and legal operation of the pest control business and will supervise the pesticide applications.
      • Qualified Applicator License - Category A (QAL-A) (more info)
    • Not be responsible for the safe and legal operation of the pest control business.
      • Qualified Applicator Certification – Subcategory A (QAC-A) (more info)
  5. I work for
    • A private pest control company. Go to #6
    • A public agency and want to apply pesticides to control public health pests such as mosquitoes, fleas, ticks Go to #7
      • Vector Control Technician (VCT) (more info)
  6. I want to
    • Apply pesticides to or immediately around structures for hire
      • Structural Pest Control licenses issued by the California Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB) Go to #7
    • Apply pesticides to non-structures such as landscapes, agricultural fields, water bodies (not for mosquitoes), nurseries, forests, animal production, etc. Go to #8
  7. I want to
    • Fumigate structures (houses, boats, aircraft, etc.) to control termites,bed bugs, and other pests using a lethal gas
      • Structural pest control - Branch I (more info)
    • Control structural household excluding wood-destroying organisms
      • Structural pest control - Branch II (more info)
    • Control wood-destroying organisms such as termites and beetles without using a lethal gas
      • Structural pest control - Branch III (more info)
  8. I will
    • Supervise the pesticide applications made by a licensed pest control business and am responsible for its safe and legal operation
      • Qualified Applicator License (QAL) (more info)
    • not supervise the pesticide application made by a licensed pest control business
      • Qualified Applicator Certification (QAC) (more info)
  9. Pest Control Aircraft Pilot Certificate
    • Using a manned aircraft
      • [manned] Pest Control Aircraft Pilot Certificate (more info)
    • Using an unmanned aircraft
      • [unmanned] Pest Control Aircraft Pilot Certificate (more info)