New Restrictions on Pest Control Operators Will Help Prevent Pesticide Pollution

July 16, 2012 10:00 am · 23 comments

The following is a press release from the BASMAA’s (Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies’ Association) regarding new statewide pesticide regulations that take effect this week.

The new regulations put limits on exterior spraying in order to reduce stormwater pollution from pesticides. Exterior or perimeter spraying is commonly used to combat ant problems at home in the Bay Area during the summer months and during rainy season–both peak times for ant invasions. This will have a direct impact on what professional pest control companies can and cannot do.

Press Release Below:

When ants invade, many homeowners take a big step and hire a professional pest control operator to get rid of the pests fast. However, new regulations from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) mean pest control companies will be following an updated set of guidelines governing their work.

The new regulations restrict the use of 17 pesticides by businesses that apply these pesticides to homes, other structures and landscaped areas. The regulations decrease the amount of pesticides used around structures in perimeter spraying and specifically prohibit pest control applicators and maintenance gardeners from applying pesticides when it rains, when puddles are present and over drains or natural drainage areas, according to DPR.

Why the new rules? Because runoff from homes and yards to storm drains is a documented source of water pollution. Spraying pesticides around the foundations of homes is a major cause of this runoff pollution. In fact, monitoring data from the California Water Boards indicates widespread pyrethroid pollution in suburban and urban waterways throughout the state; pyrethroids are a commonly used type of pesticide.

“Perimeter spraying of potentially harmful pesticides is a cause of water pollution,” explains Geoff Brosseau, executive director of the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA), a regional consortium of stormwater agencies committed to reducing water pollution. “These new regulations will be instrumental is helping to decrease stormwater pollution in the region.”

DPR Director Brian R. Leahy called the new regulations a “milestone” because they will protect surface water from structural pesticide use. “The pest control businesses already following these practices voluntarily have found they can effectively treat for ants and other structural and landscape pests. We are confident the regulations will significantly improve the water quality of urban area runoff.”

“BASMAA applauds the Department of Pesticide Regulation for enacting these new rules, and we encourage people to go a step further and choose one of the several pest control operators in the Bay Area who are certified in less toxic, integrated pest management (IPM) methods,” says Brosseau. While traditional methods of pest control usually only involve periodic application of pesticides, IPM certified contractors are taught to look for the sources of pests.

IPM includes is a decision-making process that guides pest managers toward efficient, effective, and sustainable pest management that emphasizes pest prevention, use of non-chemical methods and has minimal impact on stormwater runoff, people, and the surrounding environment.

To find lists of pest control operators in the Bay Area who are certified in less-toxic integrated pest management or for more information on less toxic pest control, visit

Enough Already!! July 16, 2012 at 10:04 AM

GREAT . . . More Government Regulations, from yet another BIG GOVERNMENT Czar, Agency, Departemnt, etc. . . . . . . .

Land of the free? July 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM

restrictions, restrictions, restrictions,
is this still the land of the free???? I’m afraid we are heading the other direction.

Green is the new Red July 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

This is absurd. But wait, there’s more……. These nazis will soon be prohibiting you from washing your own car in your own driveway at home. Contra Costa Health Dept already has a guy running around “checking up ” on small businesses and will issue citations for washing a car at work. You can even get a citation for failing to close the lid on the trash can. It’s over the top crazy.

Vote the left out of office !!!!! They are insane. We can’t afford this nonsense. No one wants to live like this and no one in their right mind would bring a business to California. WTF? Doesn’t anyone want a job anymore?

Howard K Mullins III July 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM

@Green is the new Red

Why would anyone want to work anymore? With all of the free stuff given away by our government, many can live a very comfortable life without lifting anything more than a finger to change the remote.

All anyone has to do is look at recent history to see that this leftist political path has been taken before and has failed every time. People eventually rebel and many innocent people die.

Insanity and narcissism is rampant in the left. Lying is the common language of the political class.

The people are about equally divided between the left and right. In government, with compromise a long forgotten virtue, its an all or nothing proposition. Sadly, I believe this country will follow the left to the bottom. Good reason to find another place to live.

The Real McCoy July 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

You false “conservatives” need to stop running your mouths about things you know nothing about. You make those of us who are real Republicans look stupid.

Kirkwood July 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Interesting! Pyrethrin used to be considered a “safe” pesticide because it occurs naturally in chrysanthemums. Apparently the synthectic version is not, although over the last two decades the EPA had been increasingly intolerant of any insecticide or herbicide.

jtkatec July 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM

So I load up on chili powder, dousing my yards with it, (thereby getting rid of ants and cats), rains come, and all my chili powder washes into the storm drains, reaching the creeks and waterways, and VIOLA, we have cajun seasoned fish!


frambley1 July 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM

I guess we should all just drink poison. You people are just complete morons.

Lake July 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Less toxic usually means less effective – Remember when termite treament lasted 5 years – Now 6 months

@7 jtkatec July 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Now that was funny!

Diana July 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM

As an employee of an east bay pest control company, we checked out the Dept. of Pesticide Regulation website as soon as we got this article (from our other division’s office). As far as we can tell, this is just the usual government BS, which, if you read the text of the final regulations, looks a lot more restrictive than it actually is. As long as it’s not raining, or there is no standing water, or one doesn’t just spray directly into storm drains, you can use pretty much anything you want. AND it can be applied by soil injection directly into the ground around trees (as a systemic) or into wasp and yellow-jacket nests in the ground, with no change in the regs at all. I guess no one at the state government level has figured out that GROUNDwater ends up in STORMwater eventually. A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Mr. Bassman July 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

As a former pest control operator fully trained in I.P.M, I’ve got to say this is just more unnecessary regulation. Rules already exist that cover avoiding any runoff into storm drains. The small amount of pesticide sprayed directy around the homes has very little chance of “running off” into the streets, even after a rain, ” when they cannot be used anyway.” As far as looking for the source of the pests, when it comes to ants, good luck. Most likely they are nesting in the lawn or surrounding areas and coming into your homes looking for water, food, cool or warm air depending on the season. A good barrier sprayed around the structure is often the best and only way to deal with them.

Anon July 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Green is the new Red is correct. Just wait until the next round of water regulations come out. Adding to what Red stated, it’s already illegal to wash your own RV on your own driveway, if it’s an impervious surface.

Pyrrhus July 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

How is regulating businesses from spraying when it’s raining or near natural run offs a bad thing? To me it’s sad that businesses aren’t practicing common sense and it takes the big bad government to step in and give them some. Your freedom of being able to spray all your crap in the yard is affecting my freedom to enjoy tasty seafood. And for what? So you don’t have to be inconvenienced with a little ant in your house.

The thing that kills me is that anything environmentally friendly is considered a leftist agenda. Keep stripping the land of all it’s resources and what will you have left? A barren wasteland. Sorry, but government regulation when it comes to the environment is important otherwise you’ll end up looking like this:

This is the Citarum River in Indonesia.

slagheap July 16, 2012 at 4:22 PM

i tuned in to count the number of childish, backward, comments compared to the number of rational, cogent, statements. it’s running about 6 to 1 in favor of stupid, if you count plain self-serving ignorance ( the groundwater comment kills me. )

Nemo July 16, 2012 at 4:32 PM

@11 and 12, you both sound pretty reasonable, and obviously have first hand experience in this field so it would be pointless for me to try and argue with you. But as regards the pest control industry in general, I would like to ask this: I understand there can be infestations that can only be eradicated by aggressive use of neurotoxins. But how is it conscionable that pest companies go door to door trying to sell “maintenance plans” where they will dump a monthly dose of poison on your house, when you don’t already have a problem?

Big picture: I wonder what the eventual effect of regularly spreading poison on every nook and cranny of our civilization will be? In the future we may see an inexplicable surge in cancer, autism, and birth abnormalities. …oh wait a minute…

Like I said, you guys are supposed to be the experts. My expertise only goes as far when I meet these people at the door, and they point to the spiders in my eaves and bushes as evidence that I need to nuke my whole house with neurotoxin. Clearly the “birds and bees” talk was not part of your training. I don’t need to poison anything specifically BECAUSE I HAVE spiders, ants, bees, worms, moths, beetles, etc. etc. crawling around everywhere. I practice basic housekeeping hygiene and there never seems to be a problem. If anybody strays into the house I kill ’em.

mike mac July 16, 2012 at 7:18 PM

I suggest we trap all the vermin and deliver it to the Agency. They must have figured out a way to take care of the problem.

JC July 16, 2012 at 9:47 PM

We used to have a company spray every month and we always had ants in the house. We could not afford their service and we we no longer have infestations! We manually kill the ants we see and look where they enter and block it and or spay raid on that spot. No problems like before!

anonares July 16, 2012 at 10:05 PM

@Nemo Good points. I have seen technitions applying spray at a number of houses throughout the county. I have seen one person drag the hose across areas that they have sprayed and drape it into the pool to save a few feet of hose. I am sorry if some of us don’t reguard you as scientists with your regurgitated faux education.

David July 17, 2012 at 2:01 AM

boric acid, sugar, and water kills ants and the acid neutralizes before the rain comes. but thats to easy i guess.

Killjoy July 17, 2012 at 8:27 AM

What this really means is that Terminix and other pest control companies can use this as an excuse to jack up their prices.

RanchgirlCA July 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM

We spray on our own, rather than paying for a service and have had better luck. Sorry, if the ants come in I’m gonna get rid of them.

Charlotte Black July 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM

haha why would they put restrictions on professional pest control companies who need a certain amount of product in order to get of pests like ants.

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