What is the difference?

Lawn weeds
Consumers and companies alike need to know the difference between licensed and certified lawn services and their ability to control lawn weeds. Photo by P. McDaniels, courtesy UTIA.

The grass is beginning to grow, and so are the weeds.

Consumers and companies alike need to know the difference between licensed and certified lawn services. University of Tennessee Extension’s Darrell Hensley, a specialist with the UT Pesticide Safety Education Program, explains.

“Can a company provide weed control as a service without a license or certification? Yes,” Hensley said. “But they must remove weeds by hand or, if they remove them mechanically, this must be the only task performed. Can any company spray pesticides to control pests?  Well, this is where it gets tricky, especially for landscape companies,” he said.

Since 2009, individuals that provide weed control using products containing an active ingredient known as glyphosate may offer this service, if it is provided in conjunction with other lawn or landscape maintenance practices. However, Hensley cautions that companies that apply glyphosate products must become certified through the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and hold a Limited Herbicide Application (LHA) Certification. They must also retain liability insurance.

In Tennessee companies that provide horticulture lawn or landscape pest control services using herbicides, fungicides or insecticides must also retain a Horticulture Lawn and Turf (HLT) license, a valid certification, liability insurance and a bond. Each type of company that applies pesticides must display their certification number or license number on their vehicle.

The rules and regulations that pest control companies must follow may be found by visiting UT’s Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) website: http://psep.utk.edu  or by visiting the Tennessee Department of Agriculture website at: http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/regulatory/aip.shtml

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.



Darrell Hensley, UT Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, 865-974-7958, dhensley@utk.edu


Download article