Welcome to the Structural Pest Control Board

Study Material and Scope of Examination for Applicator License Branches 2 and 3

The following outlines the scope of the applicator licensing examination, and provides a list of reference material sources available to pest control operators to use in training employees to take the examination to become licensed as a pesticide applicator.


  • Typical harborage areas for structural pests in different life cycle stages
  • Structural deficiencies and construction practices that invite pest entry and harborage


  • Common signs of wood-pest infestations and infections
  • Methods to minimize pesticide exposure to non-target pests and organisms
  • Effects of pesticides on surfaces
  • Factors that influence or enhance pesticide effectiveness
  • State laws pertaining to worker safety in pest control operations
  • State laws pertaining to handling and storage of pesticides
  • Contents of wood-destroying pests and organisms inspection report
  • Procedures to notify consumers and persons in adjacent areas about planned pesticide application
  • First-aid techniques to treat injuries resulting from pesticide exposure
  • Methods to handle pesticide explosions and fires
  • Different types of emergencies resulting from misapplication of pesticides
  • Contents of major sections of pesticide labels
  • Types of property damage that could result from pesticide application
  • Laws pertaining to storage of pesticides during transport
  • Different types of foundations associated with different types of structures
  • Chemical control measures for non-termite wood pest infestations
  • Laws regarding use of personal protective equipment
  • Techniques to prevent pesticide accidents during application
  • Techniques to mix volumes of pesticides
  • Methods for preventing pesticide spills
  • Procedures for cleaning and maintaining personal protective equipment


  • Chemical families of pesticides used for structural pest control
  • Level of toxicity to humans of chemical families used for structural pest control
  • Occupant conditions (e.g., age, health) with potential for increased risk of sensitivity to pesticides
  • Residues associated with different pesticide formulations on different surfaces
  • Effects of temperature, rate of dilution, and ventilation on pesticide odor
  • Mode of action on pests of chemicals used for structural pest control
  • Pesticide formulations suitable for different surfaces and different pests
  • Procedures for determining rate of application and pesticide dilution ratio


  • Manufacturer's label restrictions on treatment application
  • Equipment for applying liquid pesticides
  • Methods to repair, maintain, and clean liquid application equipment
  • Methods to repair, maintain, and clean dry chemical application equipment
  • Techniques to confine pesticide applications to treatment areas
  • Methods to clean up and contain pesticide leaks and spills
  • Prescribed methods for safe disposal of used pesticides and pesticide containers
  • Laws related to reporting pesticide spills and leaks
  • Factors that influence compatibility of pesticides combined at time of application
  • Label contents prescribed by state and federal agencies
  • Requirements for area preparation for different treatment applications
  • Types of, and procedures for, use of personal protective equipment
  • Application of pesticide label information to select pesticides for spot treatment
  • Types of, and procedures for, use of pesticide application equipment


  • Procedures for containing spilled liquid pesticides
  • Symptoms of oral, dermal, and respiratory overexposure to applied pesticides and materials
  • Procedures for disposal of absorbent material used to soak up pesticide spills
  • Procedures for containing and removing spilled dry materials
  • Procedures for disposal of used pesticide containers
  • Laws and regulations related to storage, disposal, and transportation of pesticides
  • Procedures for cleaning and maintenance of application and personal protective equipment
  • Procedures for preventing malfunction of application and personal protective equipment
  • Reference sources for first-aid procedures for overexposure of pesticides to humans or animals
  • Application of safety precautions on pesticide labels to prevent overexposure of pesticides to self and others
  • Laws and regulations related to consumer notification of pesticide application


  • Business and Professions Code, Division 3, Chapter 14, Structural Pest Control Act or www.pestboard.ca.gov
  • California Code of Regulations, Title 3, Division 6, and Title 16, Division 19, www.pestboard.ca.gov
  • Department of Pesticide Regulation's Pesticide Safety Information Series N, www.cdpr.ca.gov
  • Mallis, A. (2004). Handbook of pest control (9th Edition). G.I.E. Media, Inc.
  • O'Connor-Marer, P. (2006). Residential, Industrial, and Institutional Pest Control (2nd Ed.). Oakland, CA: University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program Agriculture and Natural Resources.
  • University of California Statewide Integrated Management Project Agriculture and Natural Resources. (2000). The safe and effective use of pesticides (2nd Ed.). Oakland, CA: Author.