ASPCRO addresses illegal pesticides, fumigation


June 16, 2019

The Public Health Committee (PHC) of the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) currently is working to address the problem of online sales of illegal pesticides. As Pest Management Professional reported in its March 2018 cover story (“Illegal pesticides crackdown”), there is both a global market for pesticide products and an ease with which these products can be purchased via the internet. In response, the PHC is developing information critical to educate both business owners and consumers.

For example, frequently asked questions reported to regulators have centered on how to identify legal pesticides from counterfeit products. It is important for business owners and consumers to ensure the product is legal for use in the United States. Knowing how to identify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration number and directions for use, and to identify clues that indicate a product may be unregistered or counterfeit aid in protecting users from illicit products. Knowledge of how to spot illegal products helps safeguard the industry and the public at large.

In an effort to support the educational materials being developed, ASPCRO is forming a task force with the primary purpose of sharing information among pesticide regulatory officials and product registrants when counterfeit or illegal products are found in the marketplace. The idea behind this approach is to get a better sense of the scope of the illegal and illicit use of pesticides across the country.

Fumigation issues

ASPCRO’s Building Code Committee (BCC) met last month to discuss the results of a recent survey of State Lead Regulatory Agencies (SLAs) regarding polyurethane spray foam insulation (PSFI). The issue has been raised in a few states that rely on structural fumigation for termites in structures that use PSFI. It’s a problem primarily for closed-cell foam, thanks to its use as insulation during construction. The foam may be trapping sulfuryl fluoride (SF) gas, thereby extending the aeration procedure of a fumigation. The noted structural areas of concern include attics, wall voids and crawlspaces of fumigated structures.

Twenty-two states responded to the survey, but only five states reported complaints related to the use of PSFI. Of those five states logging complaints, only one enforcement action was taken. That enforcement action involved an inaccessible area on a wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspection report.

Currently, four states reference building codes in pesticide regulations, and three states have either building codes or pesticide regulations that require inspection gaps. The results of the survey will be published soon on In addition, ASPCRO currently is drafting a white paper outlining the challenges presented by PSFI applications to assist states with this issue.

The BCC also discussed a fumigation-related issue that concerns protected wildlife in Florida: A detached garage was fumigated where a protected species of bats was known to be living. A concerned neighbor contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) about the incident. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) also was contacted to investigate the fumigation. Although FDACS did not find fault with the fumigation, FWC charged the fumigator with a violation of protected wildlife.

It should be noted the fumigant product label only addressed domestic animals, not protected species or wildlife. As a result, fumigators should be aware and take care to protect state-sanctioned wildlife when fumigating structures.

Last but not least, ASPCRO will be joining the International Code Council soon to stay apprised of industry news, building codes and building practices that could affect structural pest control.

Annual conference set for August

ASPCRO’s 63rd annual conference will take place in Franklin, Tenn., Aug. 28-30. The meeting will begin with a welcome from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. It also will feature a 90-minute session on “Managing Different Generations” from Leonard Wood, CPM, founder of L. Wood Consulting in Tallahassee, Fla., and the lead business process consultant for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Meeting highlights include food safety and pesticides; two tracks on rodenticides and fumigants; and ASPCRO’s popular “Hot Topic” session, providing the association with 10-minute news flashes of current and upcoming topics that affect the industry.


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