Maryland Pesticide Safety Education Program

Many People think of “Pesticides” only as chemicals that kill insects.  When using this website, keep in the mind the correct-- and broader-- definition of Pesticide: any substance that kills, repels, or otherwise controls any pest. Herbicides (weedkillers), fungicides, rodenticides, insecticides, etc. are all types of pesticides."

Responsible management of pests and pesticides is an important component of maintaining a safe and plentiful food supply, protecting public health, and maintaining safe and pleasant public and private spaces. The Maryland Pesticide Safety Education Program ( PSEP), as part of the University of Maryland Extension Program (UME), provides training for both occupational pesticide applicators and those who use pesticides occasionally, such as homeowners/renters, public agency officials, and building maintenance staff. PSEP covers a broad range of human safety and environmental issues including pest identification, personal safety, and best pesticide handling practices from choice of a pesticide through proper application to storage and disposal.

PSEP helps pesticide applicators learn to use pesticides in the safest, most effective manner to control pest infestations while protecting the health of humans and the environment. PSEP offers educational programming for certified applicators, registered employees, and other occupational users of pesticides as well as non-occupational users.

UME and MDA work closely on pesticide applicator training.  As a regulatory agency, MDA’s primary role in applicator training is developing and administering certification exams.  UME takes the primary role in developing and delivering pesticide safety education to help private and commercial applicators pass MDA’s certification exams, as well as providing education to others who are not required to pass examinations but need or want to improve their knowledge and skills about using pesticides ion the safest manner.

Dr. Amy Brown serves as the PSEP Coordinator for the state of Maryland. Many other University of Maryland Extension faculty members play significant roles.