Pest control businesses deal with a variety of pests including insects and rodents. Pest control workers also help remove wild animals such as alligators or raccoons that become a nuisance or danger to humans. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) regulates pest control companies and oversees their licensing. Pest control businesses in Florida must be licensed. Proper training and education ensures the health and safety of the workers and customers, and protects the environment.
Review the minimum qualifications for taking the examination under Chapter 482.132 of the Florida Statutes on the FDACS website. You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED certificate and have practical knowledge of pest control, including scientific facts. If you have worked for three years as an "i.d. cardholder" for a Florida licensed pest control operator, you qualify to apply for your own license. Obtain the Employment Service Form DACS13627 from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to document your employment.
Perform at least 45 jobs in the areas of general household and rodent pest control, lawn and ornamental pest control, and termite and other wood-destroying organisms while working for your licensed employer. You need at least 15 jobs if you are applying for the Fumigation and Special Identification Certification. Obtain the Pesticide Application for Certification Exam Qualification Form DACS 13653 from the FDACS to document your practical experience.
Enroll in college to meet the educational requirements if you can't meet the three-year work requirement. Review Chapter 482.132 of the Florida Statutes for the specific degree requirements. Take courses in entomology, botany, agronomy, horticulture or general pest control technology to meet the required 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours. You also need at least one year of employment for a licensed pest control operator in addition to the education requirements.
Complete the application for the exam. In 2010 the FDACS exam fee is $300.00 for each category except fumigation, which is $200.00. Review the list of recommended study materials in the exam application packet and prepare for the test.
Take the examination, which is offered four times a year. After you pass the exam you will be a certified pest control operator.
Apply to the FDACS for a pest control business license. Obtain business insurance coverage. As of 2010 the minimum insurance required is $100,000 per person and $300,000 per occurrence of bodily injury and $50,000 per occurrence and $100,000 aggregate property damage.