IDPH protects the public from improperly prepared and used pesticides and from groundwater contamination around commercial pesticide storage sites and promotes the concept of integrated pest management in schools. Illinois has approximately 750 licensed structural pest control business locations as well as 60 registered non-commercial (not-for-hire, in-house pest control) locations that use restricted pesticides. IDPH licenses and routinely inspects each of these locations. It also certifies approximately 2,600 individuals by examination to use or oversee the application of general and restricted-use pesticides and investigates incidents of pesticide misuse.
How Do I Become Licensed or Certified?
Structural pest control is the management of structural pests, that is, pests associated with structures. It includes indoor as well as some outdoor applications of pesticides or devices intended to control structural pests (insects, spiders, rats, mice, birds, etc.).
The department LICENSES commercial structural pest control businesses and CERTIFIES technicians. IMPORTANT: To obtain a LICENSE, a business must first employ at least one person who is a CERTIFIED TECHNICIAN.
TO BECOME A CERTIFIED TECHNICIAN: Complete the Structural Pest Control Technician Application for either General-Use Pesticides OR Restricted-Use Pesticides. Choose your exam date/location preferences for taking exams from the Pest Control Exam Calendar.
Note that many businesses operate using only General-Use Pesticides. This requires at least one employee who has passed the department’s General Standards Examination. To use Restricted-Use Pesticides, an individual must pass The General Standards Examination AND one or more subcategory exams corresponding to the type(s) of pest control for which Restricted-Use Pesticides will be applied. Note that Restricted-Use subcategories can be added to an individual’s certification at any time, by submitting the application, fee, and passing the chosen subcategory exam(s).
Once your application for certification is complete you will receive a letter confirming when and where you are scheduled to take the exam(s) you requested. A score of 70 percent is required to pass each exam. Find which materials to study for each exam in: Structural Pest Control Examination Study Materials. For the General Standards Examination, study the General Standards Manual and Practice Exam, our Entomology/Pest Fact Sheets, and the Illinois Structural Pest Control Act and Code. To avoid late fees, certification must be renewed by December 31 – every 3 years.
TO OBTAIN A LICENSE: Submit a Commercial Structural Pest Control Business License Application and fee, and show your business has the required insurance by having your insurance company submit the Certificate of Insurance Form. When all is properly completed, your business will be issued a Commercial Structural Pest Control Business License and its employees may perform structural pest control. To avoid additional fees and fines, licenses should be renewed each year by December 1.
Entomology/Pest Management Fact Sheets
- Asian Tiger Mosquito
- Bats and Bat Exclusion
- Bed Bugs - (En Español)
- Bees and Wasps
- Bird Exclusion and Dispersal
- Biting Bugs or Something Else?
- Biting Flies
- Black Flies ("Buffalo Gnats")
- Brown Recluse and Black Widow Spiders
- Carpenter Ants
- Clothes Moths and Carpet Beetles
- Common Ticks
- DEET Insect Repellents
- Head Lice
- House Flies and Other Filfth Flies
- House Mouse Prevention and Control - (En Español)
- Mites Affecting Humans
- Mosquitoes and Disease - (En Español)
- Mosquito Prevention (FAQs)
- Mosquito Spraying (FAQs)
- Municipal Rodent Management
- Occasional Invaders
- Pest Control - Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro?
- Pyrethroid Insecticides
- Rat Prevention and Control - (En Español)