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Industry response to pandemic is outstanding

|  May 6, 2020
PHOTO: SOUTH_AGENCY/E+/GETTY IMAGES

PHOTO: SOUTH_AGENCY/E+/GETTY IMAGES

Nobody could predict the COVID-19 pandemic and its rapid spread. When we learned earlier this year about the possibility of an emerging public health issue, the professional pest management industry took warnings seriously and kept a close eye on the developments. It was not only a matter of business preparation, but also one of serving customers to protect against this previously unencountered virus. Companies investigated possible ramifications on business, their inventory of supplies, and possible effects on their customer base — even before the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) sounded the alarm that a pandemic was approaching.

A NEW SERVICE EMERGES

Customers are clamoring for their pest management companies to provide disinfection services. The industry in general wasn’t even seeking out customers, but rather responding to requests for service. While technicians were adept at disinfecting areas where animals were removed, disinfection of large areas was new to most technicians. Suppliers and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) jumped right in to educate and provide proper guidance so that the job was done right and pitfalls were avoided. Educational materials were developed and deployed in the span of a single week, with training held continually ever since, both online and via conference call.

When the pandemic quickly became reality, there was some confusion as to which sanitization and disinfectant products would be effective. Using standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC) published a list organized by brand name of products deemed effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A PDF of the list is online here.

The EPA then prepared its own list, List N, which it updates here at EPA.gov. List N provides the generic names used when the EPA registered the products, because each product can have multiple market names. The EPA further supplemented the list and added other effective products that also control SARS-CoV-2.

Merely a month after we first considered the pest control industry’s vital role to ease the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the industry conducted strategies with near military precision. They executed preparation plans, educated technicians at the companies that chose to perform disinfection and sanitization services, and supported regulators and trade associations to develop the best possible outcome during the pandemic. Nice job, everyone — stay safe.

Read more COVID-19 coverage here: MyPMP.net/COVID-19


BAUMANN, a PMP Hall of Famer (Class of 2013), is VP of technical services and regulatory affairs for Nisus Corp., Rockford, Tenn. He can be reached at gregb@nisuscorp.com.

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