What License Do I Need to Treat Mosquitoes, Fleas, and Ticks?

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Pesticide license categories often have overlapping areas of applicability, resulting in confusion over exactly which license category is required for a particular pest in a specific treatment site. Examples include mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. First and foremost in consideration is that the target pest is appropriate for the category of that license. The paragraphs below describe the distinctions between various license categories depending on the pest, its habitat, or host.

Aedes albopictus mosquito on leaf blade

Image: Aedes albopictus
by Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org
Licensed under a Creative Commons,
Attribution 3.0 License.

Mosquito Control

Many pesticide applicators licensed in Ornamentals and Turf (Category L) have been asked by a client if they can also apply pesticides for mosquito control to an outside area. The answer to this question is always “NO.” Because mosquitoes are not a pest of Ornamentals and Turf, the applicator would need either a Public Health Pest Control (Category B) or a “P” phase Structural Pest Control (SPC) License. The presence of a structure (for example, a house, school, or office building) determines whether the Structural License or Public Health License is required.

To determine which license is required for mosquito control, consider the following:

  • If the intended target site of treatment is in, on, over, or under a structure such as a crawl space or deck, a “P” Phase Structural Pest Control License is required.
  • If the intended target site of treatment is in landscape areas away from a structure, then Public Health is the correct license category. However, the Public Health License cannot be used to do any pest control in, on, over, or under a structure, nor may the Structural License permit pesticide application for mosquitoes away from a structure.

 Clarification for Misting Systems (Residential)

  • If the intent of the misting system is to control mosquitoes in, on, over, or under the structure, you are required to have a “P” Phase SPC License.
  • Mosquito control away from the structure, for example, near shrubs, other plants, and lawns can be done with a pesticide license in the Public Health category.

Flea and Tick Control

  • Fleas and ticks are listed as structural pests; therefore, a “P” Phase Structural Pest Control License is required to control fleas and ticks indoors or in, on, over, or under any structure.
  • For commercial outdoor control of fleas and ticks, a license in the Public Health category is required.
  • For control of fleas and ticks on pets, poultry or livestock, a license in the Agricultural Pest Control-Animal (Category K) subcategory: Pet Grooming, Poultry or Livestock, respectively, is required.

For more information, view the guidance document “MOSQUITO CONTROL DIRECTED TOWARDS STRUCTURES — — FREQUENTLY ASKED