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Structural Pest Control



Structural pest control refers to controlling wood-destroying organisms or household pests (i.e. cockroaches, termites, moths, ants, bees, fleas, wasps, ticks, silverfish, mice, rats, etc.) in and around commercial or residential buildings and structures.  The rules concerning structural pest control deal with identifying infestations, the process for conducting inspections, managing pesticides for use in commercial or residential buildings, and all phases of fumigation.


Structural Pest Control Section Mission Statement

To protect the health and safety of the public and the environment by regulating the structural pest control industry and the pesticide products used, to improve the quality of structural pest control services and reduce fraudulent, unscrupulous activities.



Pesticide - Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest, it also includes any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.

 Restricted Use Pesticide – A pesticide required by the environmental protection agency to bear the designation on its labeling "Restricted Use Pesticide based on the potential of the product to cause unreasonable adverse effects on human health, or the environment including pollinating insects, animals, crops, wildlife, or water sources when used according the label directions. 

Continuing Certification Units - A unit of credit awarded by the Division upon satisfactory completion of one clock hour of approved classroom training.  02 NCAC 34 .0102.  Click here for more information on recertification training opportunities.


Legal Issues

Licensing and Certification

Pesticide Storage

Use Inconsistent with Labeling

Unlicensed Pest Control


Sub-standard Work

Recordkeeping Violations


Applicable Law

Structural Pest Control Act of 1955 – N.C.G.S. §§ 106-65.22 – 106-65.41

Structural Pest Control Administrative Rules – 02 NCAC 34 .0101 – 02 NCAC 34 .1206

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)-


NCDA&CS Structural Pest Control Information



Do I need a license to engage in structural pest control?

Yes, unless you are engaging in pest control on your own property or the property of your employer.  N.C.G.S. § 106-65.25(d).  However, to use a pesticide that has been designated as a restricted use pesticide, even on your own property or the property of your employer, you must be qualified as a certified applicator for that phase of structural pest control or be under the direct supervision of a certified applicator for that phase.  N.C.G.S. § 106-65.25(b)(3).

There are three phases of structural pest control, and each one requires a different license phase.  Phase 1 (the “P” phase) is the control of household pests by any method other than fumigation.  Phase 2 (the “W” phase) is the control of wood-destroying pests by any method other than fumigation.  Phase 3 (the “F” phase) is fumigation.  N.C.G.S. § 106-65.25(a).


What is the difference between a license and a certification?

Certification allows one to use restricted use pesticides.  An applicator must be certified before using restricted use pesticides even on his/her own property.  N.C.G.S. § 106-65.25(b)(3).  To become certified, the applicant must either attend Registered Technician School or have completed the Registered Technician Training Program, pass the Core (general competency) exam, and pass an exam in every phase for which certification is desired.  N.C.G.S. § 106-65.26(c).   Even if one is certified, he or she cannot perform structural pest control for hire without a license.  For information on the certification examinations, click here.

A license allows one to perform structural pest control services for hire on someone else’s property.  There are a few ways an individual can meet the qualifications for obtaining a license:


1)           Qualify as a certified applicator for the phase for which he or she is applying, have two years experience in the field of structural pest control in the phase for which he or she is applying, and pass an examination;

2)           *Qualify as a certified applicator for the phase for which he or she is applying, have two years of training or some equivalent combination of  training and practical experience in field of structural pest control in the phase for which he or she is applying, and pass an examination;

3)           *Earn a degree from a recognized college or university with training in entomology, sanitary or public health engineering, or related subjects, and pass an examination.

*Applicant for license may be required to go before to Structural Pest Control Committee for review and approval to sit for the exam. 

N.C.G.S. § 106-65.26(c).  Note that if an individual has less than 12 months of practical experience, the Committee is authorized to decide whether he or she has enough experience to take the exam.  N.C.G.S. § 106-65.26(c).  For information on the licensing examinations, click here.

You may not apply for a license if, within the last five years, you have been convicted, pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or forfeited bond for any felony, crime involving moral turpitude, or a violation of N.C.G.S. § 106-65.25(b) (misuse of or fraud involving a structural pest control license).  N.C.G.S. § 106-65.26(d).


How do I obtain a structural pest control license?

 Instructions can be found on the Structural Pest Control Section’s website.


I have obtained a license.  How much insurance do I need?

N.C.G.S. § 106-65.37 requires that all licensees provide evidence of their financial ability to compensate persons harmed by their use or application of pesticides.  02 NCAC 34 .0902(b) sets the minimum coverage amounts for liability insurance policies at:

              1)           Single Limit

                            Property Damage                         $100,000 Each Occurrence

                            Bodily Damage                             $300,000 Each Occurrence

              2)           Combined Single Limit    $300,000 Each Occurrence

Licensees must provide proof of adequate insurance by submitting a Certificate of Insurance to the Pesticides Division.  If the insurance policy expires, is cancelled, or drops below the minimum requirements, then the license will at that point expire as well.


What is the difference between a Commercial Certified Applicator and a Non-Commercial Certified Applicator?

 A Commercial Certified Applicator is an individual which has passed the certification exam, has been issued a card and is working/ under a licensed pest control operator.

A Non-Commercial Certified Applicator is an individual which has passed the certification exam, has been issued a card and is applying Restricted Use Pesticide(s) on the property owned by their employer.

The examination is the same for each. The difference is a commercial certified applicator can apply Restricted Use Pesticide(s) for hire but they must be under the supervision of a Licensed Pest Control Operator.


 How long are certifications valid?

 Certifications and licenses are valid for five years. 02 NCAC 34 .0309.  To recertify for another five-year period, a certified applicator or licensee may do one of the following:

  • Take a reexamination between January 1, prior to the expiration of the five-year recertification period, and June 30.
  • Earn Continuing Certification Units during the five years immediately preceding expiration of the certification.  The number of CCUs required is as follows:
    • Recertification in any one phase – 10 CCUs total, five of which must be solely applicable to the phase in which recertification is desired;
    • Recertification in any two phases – 15 CCUS total, five of which must be solely applicable to the first phase and five solely applicable to the second phase in which recertification is desired;
    • Recertification in all three phases - 20 CCUs total, five of which must be solely applicable to the first phase, five solely applicable to the second phase, and five solely applicable to the third phase in which recertification is desired.

Licensees and noncommercial certified applicators must earn at least one of the required CCUs in at least four years of the five- year recertification period; while commercial certified applicators must earn at least one of the required CCUs in at least three years of the five-year recertification period.  CCUs will not carry forward past the end of the five-year recertification period. 

Licensees with an inactive license are also subject to these requirements.

If you are a cardholder, you can check your transcript online here.  If you are a consumer, you may also check this link to see what training an individual has taken during their 5 year certification period.


What are the recordkeeping requirements for license holders and Certified Applicators?

Yes.  Whether you are a licensee or a noncommercial certified applicator, you must maintain all structural pest control records and pesticides and application equipment at the office location to which your license or certified applicator’s card is issued.  02 NCAC 34 .0328.


How should pesticides be stored?

Pesticides should be stored in labeled, leakproof containers.  The labels must contain the following information: (1) the manufacturer’s complete brand name of the product, (2) the percentage of each active ingredient, (3) the EPA registration number, (4) the signal word, and (5) the use classification (general or restricted use).  As a general rule, pesticides should be stored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions on the original label, in a dry, ventilated area.  Pesticides must not be stored in any container that is either specifically designed to contain or that has contained any food, beverage, medicine, or animal feed.  02 NCAC 34 .0407 and 02 NCAC 34 .0402.

Restricted use pesticides have additional restrictions beyond general use pesticides.  02 NCAC 34 .0408.   These rules are as follows:

Restricted use pesticides must be stored in a way that will prevent unauthorized access, in a storage area that is locked while unattended.  A warning sign must also be posted next to all entrances to the storage area which reads: “PESTICIDE STORAGE," "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY." "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL ________________."  .  Restricted use pesticides must also not be stored within 50 feet horizontally of a private water supply and 100 feet horizontally of a public water supply.   You must maintain a prefire plan for each storage area, file the plan with your local fire department, and request in writing at least a yearly inspection of the storage area by the fire department or emergency services.  Additionally, you must maintain an inventory list, by brand name and formulation, of all pesticides (both general and restricted use) stored in the storage area.  The list must be updated every 30 days, and you must maintain a copy in a separate location outside the storage area.


Do I need to have a termite treatment for the home I am building?

 The North Carolina Building Code requires all new homes under construction must have a termite treatment. This treatment must be done in accordance with NCDA&CS- Structural Pest Control Laws and Rules and Regulations 02 NCAC 34 .0505.

Any pesticide used for termite control must be approved by the Structural Pest Control Committee.  A list of approved termiticides is available here.


What is required in a written agreement before any termite work is started?

 Before signing any termite agreement, it is recommended that the consumer read over all aspects of the work being performed. Look to see if a waiver is attached. The waiver is part of the binding agreement which informs the property owner which treating specifications are being omitted. Look over the guarantee to determine whether you are being offered a retreat-only guarantee or a retreat/damage repair guarantee. 

A retreat-only guarantee means that if termites infest the property while the termite agreement is in place and in good standing the pest control company will retreat to control the termites in the area(s) of infestation with no additional charge to the property owner.  With a damage repair guarantee, the pest control company will treat for termites as well as fix any damage caused by the termites. These contracts often have exclusions of what termite damage will be repaired.

A brochure on written agreements is available here.


What is a Wood-Destroying Insect Report (WDIR 100)?

 Any written statement as to the presence or absence of wood‑destroying insects or organisms or their damage in buildings or structures for sale shall be on the WDIR 100. An incomplete or inaccurate Wood‑Destroying Insect Information Report shall not be acceptable and the issuance of such a report is grounds for disciplinary action by the Committee. No Wood‑Destroying Insect Information Report or Wood‑Destroying Organism Report shall be issued before an inspection of the building or structure is made. 02 NCAC 34 .0602.


How can I find out who is licensed or certified to do structural pest control in my county?

 The Structural Pest Control website has a database of all individuals licensed and certified to do structural pest control in North Carolina.


How do I file a complaint against a pest control company?

 All complaints must be handled through the Raleigh office. Please submit in writing a summary of your complaint, the pest control company(ies) involved, and your contact phone numbers and address. Complaints can be sent to:

Structural Pest Control
Box 1090 MSC
Raleigh, NC 27699-1090

Phone number: (919)733-6100

Fax number: (919)733-0633


A brochure describing the complaint process can be found here.

A Map of NCDA&CS Structural Pest Inspectors can be found here.

Disclaimer: The materials available on this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this Web site does not create an attorney-client relationship between NCDA&CS and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of NCDA&CS or any state employee.

Some links within the NC Ag Law website may lead to other sites. NCDA&CS does not incorporate any materials appearing in such linked sites by reference, and does not necessarily sponsor, endorse or otherwise approve of such linked materials.  

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