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Emergency Control of Mosquitoes: Texas Requirements

Common questions about the emergency application of pesticides to control health risks and how to comply with the Pesticides General Permit TXG870000.

What is a pest emergency situation?

A pest emergency situation occurs when any level of government determines that a pest condition presents a significant risk either to human health or the environment and must be controlled through the application of a pesticide. For example, an outbreak of mosquito or other insect-borne illness may require you to apply pesticides before being able to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) for coverage under the Pesticides General Permit Microsoft Word Document.

Emergency Control of Mosquitoes: Texas Requirements Adobe Acrobat PDF Document (RG-511)

How should I respond to a declared pest emergency situation?

When a governmental entity declares a pest emergency, the TCEQ automatically authorizes immediate pesticide application for that area. Not all pesticide applications require an NOI for authorization.

Level IA Operators:

You must submit a paper NOI to the TCEQ no later than 30 days after beginning the emergency pesticide application.

Level IB Operators:

You must submit a Self-Certification Form for Level IB (TCEQ-20604) to the TCEQ regional office that services the area where you are conducting the emergency pesticide application.

Level II and III Operators:

Though there are permit requirements, as a Level II or III operator, you do not need to submit paperwork to the TCEQ unless we request it.

How do I know if I am required to have permit coverage as a Level IA Operator?

Those applying certain pesticides in, over, or near waters of the United States (U.S.) in Texas must consider the total land area to be treated in a calendar year before determining the operator level and permit requirements.

Level IA Operators meet the threshold criteria because the pest treatment area (TA) for one calendar year is:

  • 6,400 contiguous acres or more of land containing water
  • 200 linear miles at water’s edge (whether treating one or both sides of a river)
  • 100 surface acres in water

Multiple treatments on the same or different acre or mile do not add up to meet the threshold.

And they apply:

  • Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP)
  • State-Limited Use Pesticides (SLU)
  • Regulated Herbicides (RH)

See Pesticides General Permit: Am I Regulated? for more information about your operator level and whether you need a permit.

Is an NOI required for each Pest Management Area?

You may submit a single NOI for a countywide permit if you have six PMAs within a single county or your PMA is the same as your county’s jurisdictional boundary. If you have 11 PMAs within the state of Texas, you may submit a single NOI for a statewide permit.

What if I contract with a local pest-control service?

Pest-control companies hired to apply pesticides are not responsible for submitting the NOI or other requirements associated with the permit. Those companies are responsible for the proper handling of the pesticides and complying with the Texas Department of Agriculture license requirements.

Whoever controls the timing, location, method, and means of the pesticide application is responsible for complying with the permit requirements. For example, representatives from multiple local governments may decide that aerial spray application is the best approach for a PMA. Each entity is responsible for complying with the permit requirements for the PMA in its jurisdiction.

What if my area of pesticide application is smaller than the threshold criteria for Level IA?

Those who meet the PMA criteria above but apply only general use (GU) “over-the-counter” pesticides are considered Level IB Operators.

Also considered Level IB Operators are private entities that meet the TA criteria above and apply RUP, SLU, or RH to an area with only private access.

Level II Operators are those applying RUP, SLU pesticide, or RH on any area less than the criteria above or GU pesticides on any area less than the criteria above but greater than 1 surface acre of water.

Level III Operators are those applying GU pesticides to less than 1 surface acre of water.

What are the requirements for an emergency pesticide application?

The requirements are the same regardless of whether the pesticide application is routine activity or due to an emergency situation—with one exception: Level IA Operators may submit the paper NOI within 30 days after the emergency pesticide application has begun. There are different requirements for each operator level.

Level IA Operators must:

  • Submit NOI form (TCEQ-20601) and $100 application fee
  • Develop and implement a Pesticide Discharge Management Plan (PDMP) Microsoft Word Document
  • Develop and implement written Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Practices as described in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency IPM Fact Sheet for guidance. Conduct a visual evaluation before, during, and after pesticide application
  • Prepare and submit an Adverse Incident Report (TCEQ-20624), if applicable
  • Prepare and submit a Spill/Leak Notification, if applicable
  • Pay an Annual Water Quality fee assessed Sept. 1 on active permits
  • Submit a Notice of Termination form (TCEQ-20602) when permit coverage is no longer required
  • Prepare and keep onsite an Annual Report Adobe Acrobat PDF Document

Level IB Operators must:

Level II Operators must:

  • Complete Self-Certification Form for Level II (TCEQ-20605) and keep readily available
  • Conduct a visual evaluation during and after the pesticide application
  • Prepare and submit an Adverse Incident Report (TCEQ-20624), if applicable

Level III Operators must:

  • Follow directions on the product label

What are the annual reporting requirements for an operator with more than one PMA?

Level I Operators must prepare only one annual report for each of the PMAs that meet or exceed the annual threshold. The report(s) must be readily available upon our request.

The annual reporting requirements are the same for emergency pesticide applications as for routine pesticide applications.

If I am a Level IB Operator and I add a new PMA, does that require an NOI?

You may increase a PMA and not be required to submit an NOI to obtain permit coverage. However, if you decide to use RUP, SLU, or RH instead of general-use pesticides, you will become a Level IA Operator.

If a new PMA is added or expanded, then you must submit a revised Self-Certification form to your TCEQ regional office and update your PDMP to include the additional PMA.

Must I comply with all of the requirements for the full permit term once I no longer meet the criteria for a Level IA Operator?

An emergency situation may require treatment of a much larger area than what you treat routinely. A Level IA Operator may return to a lower operator level.

If you will not reach the annual threshold criteria during the remainder of your permit term, or you stop applying pesticides, or the permittee changes, submit a Notice of Termination (NOT) to the TCEQ.

Only operators who submitted an NOI are required to submit an NOT.

When is a Notice of Change required?

A Notice of Change (NOC) is applicable only if you are a Level IA operator.

You must submit an NOC to report supplemental or corrected information if your original NOI was not complete or accurate, or you are increasing your current PMA, or adding new PMAs, or adding other use patterns. For example, if you selected mosquito control and other insect pest control in the original NOI and you want to add vegetation and algae or animal pest control.

How much is this going to cost?

Only Level IA Operators must pay the $100 permit application fee and the annual water quality fee, which is assessed September 1 on all active permits. To avoid unnecessary annual water quality fees, you must submit an NOT when permit coverage is no longer required.

The annual water quality fee is $100 for one PMA or $500 for a countywide or statewide permit.

Where can I find more information?

A copy of the Pesticides General Permit TXG870000 and other related documents are located at Pesticides General Permit: Am I Regulated?

All of the referenced TCEQ forms are available at Forms Search. For a non-emergency pesticide application, you may submit the NOI electronically through the e-permitting system.

  • Notice of Intent (Form TCEQ-20601)
  • Notice of Change (Form TCEQ-20603)
  • Notice of Termination (Form TCEQ-20602)
  • Self-Certification Form for Level IB (TCEQ-20604)
  • Self-Certification Form for Level II (TCEQ-20605)
  • Adverse Incident Report (TCEQ-20624)

If you have additional questions related to the pesticide general permit, its requirements, or applicability to your activities, please call (512) 239-2847 (BUGS) or e-mail

Mosquito and other insect-borne illnesses, prevention, and statistics

The Texas Department of State Health Services provides information about West Nile Virus and Zika Virus.

The Center for Disease Control’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases also has additional information about West Nile Virus and Zika Virus.

Additional Links to Related Topics

EPA Pesticides webpage

Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Program

Texas Poison Center Network