The changes will tighten company and employee accountability and offer consumers increased information and protection, according to Larry Lewis, spokesperson for the Utah Department of Agriculture.
Regulators have been working on the changes for more than a year. Lewis said they were partially the result of the alleged misuse of the pesticide Fumitoxen by the now defunct Bugman Pest and Lawn Inc., in February 2010, when two little girls died a few days after the pesticide was applied on the front lawn of their Layton home.
“That situation brought us to our investigations, looking deeper into (pesticide use) in other communities. We found a number of violations of the use of Fumitoxen and other materials,” Lewis said.
The changes require that consumers be notified ahead of time, and given specific written information, when the use of pesticides labeled “danger” or “danger-poison,” are to be used.
The rule will also require pesticide companies to have a management plan on file for consumers and local emergency responders, so proper first aid can be given if needed.
And companies will have to better train employees who apply pesticides in following label instruction and records-keeping.
Lewis said the rule changes will require more responsibility on the part of management to ensure those applying pesticides are doing so correctly.
He said the rule changes will also affect how pest control companies control termites.
He explained that pest control companies need to be more vigorous in applying pesticides than what is generally found in the industry, to control termites. According to a Department of Agriculture press release, “Generally four gallons of an approved product is applied per 10 linear feet for ever 1 foot depth.”
Lewis said it takes a lot of product, but that when used according to directions, it is generally safe for use around humans.