pesticide education

The UVM Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) works closely with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets to provide training and education resources for current and prospective pesticide applicators, ensuring proper and legal use of pesticides that reduces potential risk to human health and the environment.


According to the law, a pesticide is any substance "intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest." This includes insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, natural and biological pesticides, repellents, disinfectants, and others. (NPIC)


Current Topic: Applicator Trainings 2022

PSEP training in classroom

Save the Date!

Commercial Pesticide Applicator Meeting

  • March 28, 2022: via Zoom -Details TBA

Initial Pesticide Certification Meeting: Review and Exam

  • April 19, 2022: Armed Forces Reserve Center, White River Junction, VT
  • April 21, 2022: Robert Miller Community Center, Burlington, VT
  • Details (pdf) | Registration

Archive Topic: Lymantria dispar Moth Management

Based on the current stage of the outbreak, CHEMICAL CONTROLS ARE NOT RECOMMENDED for large-scale areas. However, there are practical, non-chemical steps homeowners can take to limit damage and decrease next year’s population: (VAAFM)
Management guide for homeowners (UWExt)
Gypsy Moth Life Cycle (MSU)
Gypsy Moths Are Making A Comeback in Vermont. Why? (VAAFM)

Archive Topic: COVID-19

Most pesticides will NOT manage the COVID-19 virus. The only type of pesticide that will manage a virus are DISINFECTANTS.
-Disinfectant Use Guidance During COVID-19 (PDF)
-EPA list of Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2
-CDC Hazard Communication for Disinfectants Used Against Viruses
-Poison Control Help 1-800-222-1222
-Planning for PPE Shortages (pdf)
-EPA Statement Regarding Respiratory Protection Shortages (pdf)


honeybee on apple blossom

Anyone in the state of Vermont who uses, supervises, recommends, or sells pesticides and/or trains Worker Protection Standard handlers/workers may be required to take and pass the CORE exam and all appropriate category exams to become certified. Certification is administered by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets to ensure that pesticides are used in a proper and legal manner.

Do I Need to be Certified? flowchart (PDF)

Which Certification do I Need? flowchart (PDF)

Purchase Certification Manuals and Download Inserts (VAAFM)

Online Training and Recertification Courses

Orange caterpillar on grape vine.

Resources to help study for pesticide applicator exams and/or to provide recertification credits for certified pesticide applicators. Open to the general public and certified pesticide applicators throughout the Northeast.

Go to online courses overview

Presented by University of Vermont Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

CORE Training

Core Manual Thumbnail

Resources to help study for the Vermont Pesticide Applicator CORE exam. These materials are NOT intended as a substitute for study of the manual and inserts.

CORE Manual Review Online Course (eXtension Campus)

Log in as guest to see course description. eXtension Campus requires you to create a free account to enroll in courses. Part of the national Cooperative Extension System. Preview eXtension Campus courses here.


Initial Pesticide Certification Meeting: Review and Exam

  • April 19, 2022: Armed Forces Reserve Center, White River Junction, VT
  • April 21, 2022: Robert Miller Community Center, Burlington, VT
  • Details (pdf) | Registration

PLEASE NOTE: The "CORE Manual Review Online Course" contains the same material as the in-person review (see above link button).

CORE manual details

The Northeast CORE Manual 3rd edition is an excellent introductory resource that covers information about pesticides, the health and environmental risks they pose, safety precautions which reduce those risks, proper use and handling of pesticides, and pesticide laws and regulations.  Understanding of the manual material is necessary to pass the Vermont Pesticide Applicator CORE exam.

Chapter 1. Some basics
Chapter 2. Pests
Chapter 3. Pesticides
Chapter 4. Formulations
Chapter 5. Pesticide exposure and risk
Chapter 6. The toxicity of pesticides
Chapter 7. Protecting yourself
Chapter 8. Responding to a pesticide exposure
Chapter 9. Heat stress
Chapter 10. Fate of pesticides in the environment
Chapter 11. Pesticides and water
Chapter 12. Pesticide resistance
Chapter 13. Principles of pest management
Chapter 14. Federal pesticide laws and regulations
Chapter 15. Pesticide residue and tolerance
Chapter 16. State laws and regulations (including inserts)
Chapter 17. Storing pesticides
Chapter 18. Transporting pesticides
Chapter 19. Pesticide security
Chapter 20. Emergency planning and response
Chapter 21. Application methods and equipment
Chapter 22. Pesticide drift
Chapter 23. Application safety
Chapter 24. Equipment calibration
Chapter 25. Calculations for mixing and loading pesticides
Chapter 26. Mixing and loading
Chapter 27. Managing pesticide wastes
Chapter 28. The pesticide label
Chapter 29. Professional conduct and liability

Other Pesticide Training

Leaf with pest damage


This work is supported by Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27143/1013802] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.