The main objective of a pesticide handler, sprayer, and applicator (vegetation) is to mix and apply pesticides on vegetation and foliage including lawns, crops, trees, shrubs, and/or other plants. They also apply herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides to foliage and vegetation. Most of the time, these professionals apply these chemicals using a spray system, but they may also use other application methods such as crop dusting and vapor and soil infusions.
The day-to-day activities performed by a pesticide handler, sprayer, and applicator (vegetation) include filling sprayer holding units with a specific mix of water and chemicals, carefully formulating pesticides and herbicides, and loading application machinery with chemicals. They also connect ducting, hoses, and nozzles to application machinery; power on application machinery; and operate machinery and chemical applications. Additionally, pesticide handler, sprayer, and applicator (vegetation) disassembles and cleans the machinery and provides instructions on how to properly handle and dispose of any leftover chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
Individuals in this position usually work outdoors or, sometimes, in a greenhouse environment. A large amount of standing and walking is required. Depending on the company, frequent travel may be required. A pesticide handler, sprayer, and applicator (vegetation) must work with other members of their team, who also apply chemicals to vegetation. They may also work directly with customers or clients, including in setting up appointments for the pesticide applications. These professionals often work full time, with some weekend work often required, and report to a general manager or field manager.
A minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent is generally required for this position, and one to three years as a pesticide handler or sprayer is strongly preferred. Additional state and federal training and certification is usually required. A pesticide handler, sprayer, and applicator (vegetation) must have a strong knowledge of chemical mixing, as well as understand how variables such as elevation, weather conditions, distance, and obstructions can impact a chemical mix and application. The ability to lift at least 50 pounds is also needed.
Pesticide Handler / Sprayer / Applicator, Vegetation Tasks
Ensure eradication and proper removal of target pest population.
Adhere to local and federal regulations regarding pesticide storage, application, and disposal.
Apply pesticide solutions to residential or corporate landscapes, wild vegetation, or agricultural crops.
Maintain, clean, and repair pest management supplies.