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)


    Gypsy Moth Management

    gypsy moth Karla Salp Washington State Department of Agriculture

    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)

    Gypsy Moths Are Making A Comeback in Vermont. Why? (VAAFM)


    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

    • In-person meetings will not be held in Spring 2021 due to ongoing quarantine measures. Thank you for your understanding.
    • 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


    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.

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