Important update to pesticide licensees

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

ODA banner updated 2018 700x145

Pesticides Program

Important update to licensees


These certainly are difficult times, and we hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. 

Because of the number of questions we have been receiving on certain topics, we thought that we would reach out to you. One of the most frequently asked questions is the following:

Are Controlling Pests and also Agricultural Production Essential and Critical Functions?

Yes. I think we can all agree that controlling pests on food, feed, and other crops is essential and critical. We can also all agree that controlling pests such as rats, mice, and cockroaches in food warehouses, restaurants, homes, and other locations is essential and critical. Controlling disease vectors, such as mosquitos, is also essential and critical. See the linked resources below:

Below, we address other common questions and concerns. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact ODA.

Are People Still Working in the Salem Building at ODA?

Because of COVID-19, the building is closed to the public. However, there is a skeleton crew working in the building, and others are working remotely. Please email, rather than call, the ODA Pesticides Program. The response time has been usually 24-48 hours.

Testing centers and related questions

Are There Testing Centers Open in Oregon Where You Can Take An Applicator or Consultant's Exam?

Yes. Unlike most states, we are fortunate to have 2 testing centers open, with more planning to open in May and June. You will need to plan ahead and will likely have to drive a bit. Please note there is a high demand; please reserve a spot soon. 

Tip: If you do not see availability on your initial date of choice, please look for other possible available dates. We have received reports that people think a particular center is closed because there was not a spot available on the single date they wanted to test on.

For information on location and status of testing centers, and directions on how to schedule an exam visit our Taking Your Pesticide Exams webpage.

  • Will more testing centers re-open? It depends on the status of COVID-19, but we have been told that some centers may re-open in late April or early May. But this is a fluid and uncertain situation, therefore it is advisable to frequently check the status of testing centers. We have been keeping the ODA website updated — sometimes multiple times a day. 
  • Could a testing center close down after I sign up for an exam at a testing center? Yes. In this unlikely event, you will be contacted by Metro, Inc., and they will work with you in an attempt to find a spot at another testing location. Remember, this is a difficult time period for us all, and everyone involved wants to help. We are grateful and, frankly, thrilled that we have any testing centers open. 

Are Pesticide Licenses Still Being Issued and Pesticide Product Registrations Reviewed?

Yes. Our agency is still processing license applications and issuing licenses. We are also reviewing requests to register pesticide products. There may be small delays in certain instances, depending on staffing levels.

Does ODA Have Any License Types For Which An Applicator Does Not Need To Be Certified?

Yes. Oregon has two types of trainee license types. These are the: Immediately Supervised Pesticide Trainee License (no exam necessary) and Pesticide Apprentice License (only Laws and Safety is necessary). See our website for details. 

Are There Any Live Recertification Courses Being Offered?

Yes. ODA has developed guidance in which class sponsors can provide Live Webinars. Classes will be listed on ODA's websiteSearch for “Live Webinar” and contact the listed sponsor for registration information.

Side note: We recently emailed a document to class sponsors titled, “ODA COVID-19 Pandemic Response: Temporary Guidance for Sponsors of Pesticide Recertification Events — Interactive Live Webinar Option.” This document is listed with the Licensing Information under "Sponsor a Pesticide Class."

Other important issues

Could There Be a Shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) For Applicators This Season?

Yes. We anticipate a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) this season, particularly N95 respirators. There is a national effort to identify and list the pesticide products that require the use of a respirator. Despite the shortage, keep the following in mind:

  • Pesticides may not be applied without the label-required PPE.
  • No exemption or relaxation of the requirements has been made by EPA.
  • Pesticide users may need to select alternative practices or products, if required PPE is unavailable.
  • Pesticide users can use gear that offers more protection than what is indicated by the label.
  • Full-face respirators with an organic vapor cartridge are not sufficient without the particulate filter.

Is the Chlorpyrifos Workgroup Still Meeting?

The meeting originally scheduled for March 30 was postponed. This meeting will be rescheduled. Please check ODA’s website for updates. 

Are Pesticide Investigators Still Responding to Complaints?

Yes. Complaints are still being responded to and we will investigate potential incidents of pesticide misuse. The ODA Pesticides Enforcement Program is also enforcing applicator training, licensing and recordkeeping requirements. All staff are following social distancing guidelines during enforcement activities. Complaint forms may be found at on ODA's website or by emailing the Pesticides Program.  

Does ODA Have A List of Disinfectants Which Can Be Used Against The Virus That Causes COVID-19?

Yes. The ODA Pesticides Program has lists of disinfectants, resources, and safety materials. Please share this information widely.

ODA also has an agency-wide COVID-19 page, which covers a broad number of ODA programs and topics. 

ODA Pesticides home page