This is important. The pesticide industry is very poorly regulated in New Mexico. Pesticide applicators have to have different categories on their license depending on what they are doing. There are over 18 different categories. The most common one is Structural Pests (7A). Vertebrate Pests (7B) is common as is Wood Destroying Pests (7D). Public Health Pests (8) is common. There are also categories in Agricultural Pests, Agricultural Weeds, Animal Pests, and many others. 7A is necessary to treat common household pests such as roaches, ants, spiders, stored product pests and others. 7B is required to control rodents, bats, birds and other vertebrates. 7D is required to control termites, wood boring beetles and carpenter ants. 8 is required to control mosquitoes, flies, fleas, bed bugs and other vectors that transmit human or animal diseases. This is okay, but the problem is that it is very poorly regulated. Pesticide applicators are required to get four hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) every year in any category. If someone gets 4 CEUs in 7A, they are automatically re-certified in every category, except 7D. 7D does require four CEUs every year. Someone could pass a test in weed control and get certified in that category and never attend another class in weed control and still get re-certified, even if they go to some other class.
This is what I recommend. If you have to hire a pest control company (and you usually don’t), make sure they are properly licensed in the category you are hiring them for. If you have mice, make sure that the pest control technician that comes to your house has a license with the category 7B on it. If they don’t, don’t let them service your house. Also, ask them for documentation showing that they went to a 7B class to get four CEUs. If they refuse to show that documentation, don’t let them in. If they went to such a class, they would have documentation that they attended. I have taught CEU classes for the NMDA for over 20 years so know how the system works.
I have asked the NMDA many times to require annual training in all categories for years and they always say they are working on it but nothing happens. One reason is they don’t have access to classes to teach these classes. There is no one at NMDA who can train people as their inspectors are very poorly trained. I never recommend calling the NMDA if there is a pesticide issue as they rarely do anything. Sometimes they do but it is rare. One instance last year where a pest control company sprayed pesticides along the baseboards in a fire station left puddles of the pesticide. The fire station contacted me and I contacted the NMDA and they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. More recently, a NMDA inspector went to Conchas Lake about that pesticide misapplication I have mentioned in a previous post, and he actually laughed and was amused about the situation. I talked to the NMDA acting director last year and he admitted his staff is poorly trained and that he was going to hire a pest control company to train them. I am not making this up. Basically, if you have any pesticide issues with a pest control company, I recommend taking legal action.
If you have carpenter ants, the exterminator needs a 7D license to control them. If you have flies, ticks or bed bugs, they need a 8 license to control them and if you have mice or pack rats, they need a 7B license to control them.
Be very careful if you hire a pest control company and examine their credentials carefully. If you aren’t in New Mexico, check the regulations where you live and see if they are properly enforced.