The Ever-Changing Landscape of Pesticide Regulation


A pesticide is a chemical used to prevent, destroy, or repel pests. Pests can be insects, animals, weeds, fungi, or microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. Pesticides also are used to kill organisms that can cause diseases.

LAWN STATEMENT IN GASTONIA NCMost pesticides contain chemicals that can be harmful to people, animals, or the environment. For this reason the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates operators who apply pesticides to protect public health and the environment.

These are some popular types of pesticides, and their purposes, that Morrison Lawn & Landscape uses on our Gastonia and Bessemer City lawns and landscapes:

Fungicides kill fungi, including blights, mildews, molds, and rust. We typically use fungicides for diseases on shrubs (leaf spot on indian hawthorn) and for diseases on lawns (brown patch disease on the turf).

Herbicides kill unwanted plants. There are 2 types of herbicides: selective and non-selective. Selective herbicides kill weeds; non-selective herbicides kill weeds and grass. We frequently use selective herbicides for broadleaf weeds (chickweed, henbit, clover, dandelion) and grassy weeds (crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass). We use non-selective herbicides for weeds and grass in beds and for breakthrough on concrete surfaces (sidewalks, driveway, curbing, etc).

Insecticides kill insects and mites that feed on plants. A common use is the application of fire ant bait.


JOE MORRISON OWNER GASTONIA NCAnyone who ac­cepts compensation for applying any pesticide on someone else’s property must be licensed. Here are the facts about licensing for commercial pesticide applicators in North Carolina.

The applicator is required to pass a certification exam appropriate to the area in which the applicator wishes to work. The initial start-up cost (2 day course, training manuals, exam, and licensing fee) is approximately $210. The license must be renewed annually and the fee is $75 per year. Additionally, re-certification requires 10 continuing education credit hours every 5 years. Continuing education is fundamental as pesticides, just like pharmaceuticals, are constantly evolving. Research, education, and government agencies are constantly producing “safer” chemicals, pest-specific pesticides, better application methods, and tougher pesticide laws.


Unlicensed applicators may face monetary penalties up to $2,000. These cases include landscape companies applying pesticides for maintaining residential lawns without a certification or allowing their certification to expire by not obtaining their required credits.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services employs over a dozen local pesticide inspectors who enforce the NC pesticide law and perform checks on a regular basis during the spring and summer.

All lawn care maintenance and landscaping customers benefit from being in the hands of a skilled operator who understands and follows the label directions, can correctly store and mix chemicals at the proper dosage rate, and accurately calibrate the delivery mechanism.


BACK PACK SPRAYER IN GASTONIA NCIn addition to good application procedures (accurate rate with a calibrated applicator at proper temperatures with no wind drift), the timing of treatments is critical to obtain successful results.

Do you know which chemicals need to be “watered in” for activation? Do you know which chemicals need “24 hours of dry weather” to ensure good uptake? Do you know which chemicals should not be applied the day before, day after, or day of mowing your lawn? Do you know which chemicals are less effective in cooler temperatures? Although many products promote that they are “rain fast within just one hour”, the bottom line is effectiveness may be reduced if rainfall (or customer irrigation) occurs within 24 hours of application. Have you ever seen someone spray a lawn on the day you knew it was going to rain because they don’t have the flexibility to change their schedule?

At Morrison Lawn & Landscape, we give your lawn and landscape what it needs, when it needs it. We have been licensed in “ornamental and turf” since 2001. We know our mowing schedules. We know our customer’s irrigation schedules. We carefully monitor the weather forecast several times a day. We take great care to give our customers the most bang for their buck. If you have interest for us to visit your Gastonia, NC property for a free consultation for lawn service and herbicide, fungicide, and insecticide needs, contact us today at (704) 813-2545. Click here to contact us via email.