Pesticides control or destroy pests by interfering with their metabolism, life cycle or behaviour. As some pesticides can threaten human health and the environment, the EPA controls their use in NSW and provides advice for people working with pesticides.
Pesticides – NSW overview
Pesticides control or destroy pests by physically, chemically or biologically interfering with their metabolism, life cycle or behaviour. Pesticides can be natural or manufactured substances.
Preventing pesticide misuse
If you think pesticides are being misused, it is important to report this to the EPA.
Pesticide use in NSW
Some plants, insects, bacteria, fungi and other organisms occur naturally in the environment but in some situations can have health, environmental and economic impacts, and become pests that must be controlled. Pesticides are an effective way of destroying, suppressing or preventing the spread of pests.
Licences and advice for occupational pesticide users
Certain pesticide users require a licence from the EPA . If you work with pesticides, you must ensure you use only registered pesticides covered by a label or permit and take all measures to avoid harming other people or damaging the environment.
Use eConnect EPA to apply online for POEO, Radiation, Dangerous Goods and Pesticides licences, to manage your licence and submit annual returns.
Integrated pest management
Integrated pest management (IPM) is an environmentally sensitive way of managing pests. It uses a combination of practices and control methods with the aim of preventing problems from occurring and reducing the need for pesticide intensive activities such as broadacre spraying.
Registration and off label use
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is the Australian Government regulator of agricultural and veterinary chemical products. You will need approval from APVMA to get a permit for a pesticide, vary approved labels and gain a research permit for pesticide trials.
Compulsory pesticides training: you must also maintain your competency
Pesticides can be dangerous if incorrectly applied or managed. Training in their correct use helps prevent mistakes being made and enables those who use pesticides in the course of their work to minimise the risk to themselves, their families, the community, trade and the environment.
Compulsory record keeping
All people who use pesticides as part of their job must record their pesticide use. Keeping records can help track the effectiveness of pesticides; reduce health, trade and environmental impacts by providing vital information if an incident occurs; and defend the pesticide user by demonstrating they used pesticides responsibly.
Compulsory notification of pesticide use
Certain pesticide users must give notice that they are planning to use pesticides. This includes applying them in places such as public parks and near schools and applies to aerial applications from an aircraft or remotely piloted aircraft. The EPA regulates notification of pesticide use to protect human health and the environment.
Pesticides public register
The Public register of pesticides licences can be searched by licence number, type, date and status.