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Pesticide licensing: A bird’s-eye view

By Danielle Neisz, Provincial Pesticide Investigator

The use and sale of pesticides (such as herbicides, fungicides and insecticides) in Saskatchewan are governed under The Pest Control Products (Saskatchewan) Act and The Pest Control Products Regulations, 2015. In Saskatchewan, a licence is required to sell, apply, or carry on a business involving the sale, use, or application of pesticides. Pesticides that are classified and labelled as "domestic" are exempt from licensing requirements.

Currently in Saskatchewan, there are three types of pesticide licences available pesticide applicator licence, pesticide service licence and pesticide vendor licence.

The fee for each is $50.00 per licence. Approved pesticide training is offered through Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Each pesticide training certification obtained through Saskatchewan Polytechnic is valid for a period of five years. For more information regarding training dates, certification/recertification and training availability, please contact Saskatchewan Polytechnic:

Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Agriculture Programs, Business Division
4500 Wascana Parkway, Box 556
Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 3A3
1-866-467-4278 or 306-775-7473

Pesticide applicator licence

Any person applying pesticides is required to have a valid pesticide applicator licence. However, there are some exemptions to this rule, including:

  • Applying pesticides on land that is owned or rented by the individual, a member of their immediate family, or a corporation of which the individual or a member of their immediate family owns a majority of shares;
  • Applying pesticides as part of their duties as an employee of a farm operation;
  • Applying pesticides in exchange for ordinary farm labour, provided that there is no monetary exchange; or
  • Applying pesticides classified as domestic.

A pesticide applicator licence is valid for a period of one year from the date of issue. There is also an option of a five-year licence for newly certified or recertified individuals. Every applicator licence must be associated with a valid pesticide service licence unless their employer is exempt from requiring a service licence.

Licensed pesticide applicators must keep records of all pesticide applications for a period of no less than three years and must provide these records to any inspector on request within two weeks.

There are 11 categories of pesticide applicator licence:

  1. Aerial, which authorizes application of pesticides by aircraft;
  2. Agricultural, which authorizes the application of pesticides by ground application for the purpose of growing agricultural crops;
  3. Aquatic vegetation, which authorizes the application of pesticides by ground application to bodies of water;
  4. Forestry, which authorizes the application of pesticides by ground application in forest management operations;
  5. Fumigation, which authorizes the use of fumigants for soil fumigation within closed structure or under sheets;
  6. Greenhouse, which authorizes the application of pesticides in and around a greenhouse;
  7. Industrial vegetation, which authorizes the application of pesticides by ground application for controlling weeds in industrial areas;
  8. Landscape, which authorizes the application of pesticides by ground application in residential and commercial areas including but not limited to golf courses, parks, cemeteries, and outdoor nurseries;
  9. Mosquito and Biting Fly, which authorizes the use of insecticides by ground for the control of mosquitos and biting flies;
  10. Structural, which authorizes the application of pesticides other than herbicides or fumigants for the prevention or control of pests in and around structures, including the use of rodenticides on public or private land; and
  11. Special, which includes commercial seed treatment, tree injection, Rat Control, problem wildlife control, parks management, and on-farm fumigation.

An applicator must pass an approved training course in order to obtain an applicator licence.

Pesticide service licence

Any person carrying on a business involving the use or application of pesticides is required to have a valid service licence unless they are exempt. Potential exemptions include:

  • Municipal or provincial governments;
  • Rural municipalities;
  • Golf courses; and
  • Greenhouses.

A pesticide service licence is valid until Dec. 31 of the year it was issued. Each service licence holder must employ at least one licensed applicator trained in the same category(s) listed on the service licence.

Pesticide service licence holders offering aerial pesticide application must provide proof of drift insurance for a minimum of $100,000 for each occurrence in order to obtain their pesticide service licence. They must also employ a licensed pesticide applicator to handle and/or mix and load aircraft with pest control products.

Pesticide vendor licence

No person shall sell or offer for sale pesticides without holding a valid pesticide vendor licence. A pesticide vendor licence is valid until Oct. 31 each year. Each vendor must have a minimum of one valid dispenser listed. If a vendor operates more than one outlet, they must have a separate vendor licence as well as a valid dispenser per each outlet. A dispenser must be at least 18 years old and must have passed an approved training course to become a valid dispenser.

Every pesticide vendor is required to keep records of all pesticide sales for a period of no less than three years from the date of the sale and must provide these records to any inspector on request within two weeks.

For more information regarding pesticide licensing, contact the Pesticide Licensing Program at 306-787-4662.

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