Are Fumigants Going Away or Not?

May 21, 2010

A few weeks ago I commented on the removal of Fumitoxin and generally, Aluminum and Magnesium Phosphide, from any residential use. The banning of these products was directly related to the deaths of two innocent children in Utah, at the hands of an apparently untrained pest control applicator. (I am told that the use record for ground fumigants by the California pest controllers is very clean).
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Fumigants are going away

April 8, 2010

Yesterday, I received a newsletter from the National Pest Management Association. The news was not good for Hearts Pest Management or for any other pest control company in the business of fumigating burrowing rodents such as gophers. In the past few years, negligent pest control applicators have been endangering people with off-label fumigant applications, resulting in the needless, outrageous death of children. For those of us who practice responsibly, we have no choice but to deal with the change in treatment required. The EPA has now banned the use of aluminum and magnesium phosphide in residential areas and inside a 100 foot perimeter of any structure. See the full EPA announcement here. We must now find ways of eliminating burrowing rodents as pests without a very valuable tool that when used properly did an excellent job, without secondary poisoning. Now we are left with less effective methods that may inflict secondary poisoning on birds, dogs and cats. But at least we will have fewer worries about people. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise even for our company. You just never know when you are going to have an employee who refuses to follow rules. These new restrictions are for our own good, whether we like it or not. But I do not enjoy the prospect of dealing with existing and future customers that are looking for effective solutions. Time will tell how this plays out, but now we are heading into new uncharted territory. One concern I have is that one man shops will try to sneak by, using fume illegally, taking pest control customers away from larger companies that are abiding by regulations. We can only wait and watch.

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