Plant Industry - Pest Control

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) understands that you may have many questions about starting a pest control company. A few frequently asked questions are presented below. If you are thinking about starting a pest control company or being employed by one, the NDA encourages you to contact its nearest office for more details. The NDA’s Las Vegas office can be reached at (702) 668-4561, or by emailing Jay Steele at, jay@agri.nv.gov; and at the Sparks-NDA Headquarters, Mary Hossay can be reached at (775) 353-3712, or by email at: mhossay@agri.nv.gov

1. How do I start a pest control company?

Every pest control company must have someone who qualifies to be its Primary Principal.

2. How do I qualify as a Primary Principal?

  • Proof of 2 years of verified experience related to the pest control license category sought; OR,
  • Proof of 6 months of experience related to the pest control license category sought AND 16 college credits in biological sciences from an accredited college or university related to pest control.
  • Primary Principal applicants must pass State and Federal fingerprint and background checks. Applicants who have been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude may be denied a Primary Principal license. Fingerprinting information is included in the Primary Principal Fingerprinting Packet.
  • Request Primary Principal Fingerprinting Packets from Mary Hossay at the Sparks NDA office at (775) 353-3712. The packet can be picked up at the NDA Sparks office for $5.00, or mailed for $10.00.
  • Be aware that fingerprint and background checks can take 1 to 3 months to process. 

3. Do I have to take a pest control exam to get a pest control license?

YES. Everyone must pass the Nevada’s pest control exams. 

  • The following will be the breakdown for applicator examinations:

  • Principals - Each Principal applicant must pass written examinations in the following areas:
    • Core; and
    • Laws and regulations; and
    • Specific category(ies) of pest control in which the applicant has requested to be licensed.
     
  • Operators - Each Operator applicant must pass written examinations in the following areas:
    • Core; and
    • Specific category(ies) of pest control in which the applicant has requested to be licenses.
     
  •  Consultant - Each consultant applicant must pass written examinations in the following areas:
    • Core; and
    • Specific category(ies) of pest control in which the applicant has requested to be licenses.
     
  • Demonstration and research specialist - Each demonstration and research specialist applicant must pass written examinations in the following areas: 
    • Core; and
    • Laws and regulations.
     
  •  Agents - Each Agent applicant must pass a Core written examination annually.

  •  Passing Scores for each examination is as follows:
    • Principal examinations: 70% for each written examination.
    • Operator, consultant, demonstration and research specialist, and agent examinations: 65% for each written examination.
     
  • Re-testing: applicants who fail to pass a section of an examination may be retested upon the expiration of the following minimum waiting periods:
    • Operator, consultant, demonstration and research specialist, and agent - 7 days
    • Principal - 10 days
     

4. If I have a pest control license in another state, can I be granted a license under reciprocity in Nevada?

NO. Everyone must pass the Nevada’s pest control exams.

5. Is study material available and, if so, how much does it cost?

The Core and Urban and Structural Pest Control Study Manual are available for free download. All other manuals can be ordered utilizing the order form on the Study Manuals web page. Click here Study Manuals to go to the Study Manuals web page.

6. Where and when are the exams given?

NDA Las Vegas:

  • Exams are administered at the NDA office in Las Vegas by appointment only, no walk-ins.
  • Operator, consultant, and demonstration and research specialist exams are given on Tuesdays. Exam appointments must be pre-paid and made in advance at least by the Friday before the Tuesday exam date.
  • “Principal” and “Agent” exams are administered by appointment on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

NDA Sparks:

  • All exams are administered at the Sparks NDA office Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Exam appointments must be made at least one week in advance; no walk-ins.

Elko area:

  • Contact Sparks NDA office for details.

7. How much does it cost to take an examination?

  • Initial Exam(s)
         Each initial examination (Core and each category) is $50
  • Subsequent exam(s)
         Each subsequent exam (Core and each category) is $35

8. What happens if I fail an exam?

All applicants who fail to pass a section of an examination may be retested upon the expiration of the following minimum waiting periods:
     Operator, consultant, demonstration and research specialist, agent - 7 days
     Principal - 10 days
      

9. If I pass one exam but fail another, do I have to take all the exams over?

NO, only the failed exam has to be re-taken.

10. How much are the pest control license fees?

  • $250.00 per business license.
         Note: Renewals: Effective 03/14/2016 a fee of $375 for the renewal of a pest control business that has expired will be charged. 
  • $50.00 per primary principal, principal location, operator, consultant, and demonstration and research specialist.
  • $350.00 per agent.
  • $50.00 inactive license.

11. How long is my pest control license good for?

All pest control licenses expire on December 31 and must be renewed annually.

12. If I cease engaging in pest control or have my employment terminated with a pest control business can I place my pest control license inactive?

Yes

  • An inactive license application must be filled out and a license fee paid.
  • Inactive licenses must be renewed annually.
  • Nevada's annual pesticide CEU requirements must be met.
As long as the above are met, a licensee can remain inactive indefinitely.

13. How do I pay for licensing material, study manuals, exams, etc.?

Fees may be paid by credit card, check or cash in the correct amount.

14. Does my pest control company have to have insurance?

  • YES
  • Insurance MUST be submitted on the NDA approved insurance form available in the Primary Principal License Application packet.

15. Are there any time limits that I need to be aware of?

  • YES
  • The entire licensing process must be completed within 90 days AFTER the Primary Principal applicant fingerprint and background checks have been cleared. If a Primary Principal license is not issued within this 90 day period, the applicant must submit another fingerprint and background check application. Please be aware that fingerprint and background checks can take 1 to 3 months to process. Fingerprint packets are available upon request.

16. Will I need continuing education to renew my license each year?

  • YES.
  • Principals must acquire 6 hours of continuing education each year which must include at least 1 hour of pest control laws/regulations.
  • Operators, consultant, and demonstration and research specialist must acquire 6 hours of continuing education each year.
  • Agents do not need continuing education, but must watch a video and take the Agent exam each year.

17. Is there an age requirement to qualify for a pest control license?

  • YES
  • An applicant has to have obtained the age of majority (which is 18 in Nevada) to have a pest control license in Nevada. An applicant must reach the age of majority before he or she can even take the exams or apply for a pest control license.

18. Do government agency personnel who handle pest control now have to be licensed?

  • Government agency personnel who handle pest control do not have to be licensed unless they are providing pest control "for hire". Government agencies that perform pest control as part of their mission and are funded by taxes or fees are exempt from licensing at this time. However, if the agency is providing pest control that may compete with private industry then the agency personnel are required to be licensed by the NDA.

19. Who is required to have a consultant license or a research and demonstration specialist license?

  • Consultant:
    •  The consultant license category is for employees of pesticide dealers who directly influence pesticide purchase decisions. For example, employees who understand a client's specific needs and make specific product recommendations would use the consultant category. Sales personnel who do not directly influence the purchase decision are not included. Speakers at continuing education seminars are also not included, nor are speakers at any event that only present technical data and give only generic recommendations.
  • Research and demonstration specialist:
    • The research and demonstration specialist category is for researchers who conduct experimental trials or demonstration trials for hire. However, it does not include researchers working for public agencies such as the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. It does apply to private independent researchers or pesticide company researchers doing experimental work in Nevada.