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Thursday, April 24, 2014

DEQ guidelines for hiring pest control applicators

The Division of Environmental Quality wants the community to be mindful of health and safety regulations when procuring the services of professional exterminators or pest control applicators.

A pesticide is any substance used to control pests. Pests may be target insects, vegetation, fungi, etc. Most control the pests by poisoning them. Unfortunately, pesticides can be poisonous to humans; some are very poisonous, or toxic, and may seriously injure or even kill humans. Others are relatively non-toxic.

Pesticides can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, or mouth. The most important thing to remember is that you should always use caution whenever you work with any pesticide!

Homeowner advisory

For those building a home or commercial building, DEQ reminds you that prior to conducting pesticide treatment on concrete structure or building foundation projects, there is some information you should be aware of, including obtaining a permit to apply pesticides for pre- or post-construction projects.

Only a professional pest control applicator can perform the structural treatment. The applicator must be trained and licensed. “Your family’s health and safety may be compromised if the company or applicator is not permitted, licensed, or certified,” said Reina Camacho, manager for the Pesticide and Storage Tank Branch at DEQ.

In selecting a professional termite or pest control company, residents can call DEQ to verify the permit status of these applicators. Camacho said residents can also inquire if operators or applicators of a particular company are licensed and certified.

“This is important, because the application of pesticides and other chemicals must be performed or supervised by a certified pesticide applicator. A company’s track record and appropriate insurance are other factors to consider when selecting a professional,” she said.

Pesticide applicators operating on Saipan are Advance X Terminators, No Ka Oi Termite & Pest Control, Pacific Daiken Corp., and Western Pest Control.

DEQ also recommends that homeowners:

- hold a pre-application meeting with the hired company to review what pests to be controlled;

- review the extent of the problem;

- check the active ingredients in the pesticide chosen;

- review potential adverse health effects and typical symptoms of poisoning associated with the active ingredient;

- check the form of the pesticide and application techniques; and

- review non-chemical alternatives available (such as baiting systems).

Construction company advisory

As soon as you receive your Earthmoving Permit from DEQ, we recommend you:

- Contact a professional pest control company and provide the establishment with:

1. A vicinity map (and driving directions)

2. A building foundation and footing plan

3. An estimated timeframe for when the foundation shall be ready for pesticide structural treatment

- Once the professional pest control company submits a completed Pesticide Structural Treatment Permit Application to DEQ, there is a 10-business day processing period.

- Upon review and approval of the permit application, DEQ shall communicate with the professional pest control company to schedule the pesticide structural treatment application. (Application is usually performed within 2-days after the permit has been approved.)

- The pesticide structural treatment application shall be performed during business hours (8am-5pm). For applications outside of business hours, a written request must be submitted to DEQ for approval, prior to the application.

- The pesticide structural treatment application is best performed in the late afternoons, as most pesticides require a 4-hour re-entry interval at the treated site.

DEQ cautions that there are health effects of pesticides, depending on the type of pesticide. Pesticides are designed to kill pests but many can also pose risks to people, thus DEQ requests that construction personnel and homeowners understand the reasons for permitting, and cautionary statements and requests cooperation from the community. (DEQ)

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