All Creatures Great and Small

NM Pesticide issues

This is the response I am sending to the NMDA and many of our state legislators. I also copied the governor, some environmentalists and others. It is very long but I covered several issues.

If the NMDA does not want to consider cockroaches as vectors of diseases, that is okay. However, there are incidents of cockroaches causing many health issues. I realize ants, bees and other insects can occasionally cause problems, but cockroaches are more likely to than other insects. German roaches in heavy infestations can cause a lot of health problems. Currently there is a class action lawsuit going on where many tenants in an apartment complex are involved in a lawsuit because many of them got sick from roach infestations and from mice and bed bugs. I can’t reveal the details of the case as I am working with the plaintiffs. The results will certainly make the national news. American roaches and Oriental roaches frequently live in sewer situations or septic tanks and can be problems. However, I respect the NMDA’s decision even though some of the pest control companies I talked to didn’t know what kind of diseases cockroaches can cause. This is information all pesticide applicators should know.


Here is something the NMDA can do to help with this problem and to help eliminate people without licenses from applying pesticides. This is a common problem and it is hard for the NMDA to control as they have a limited number of inspectors, probably due to financial reasons.

First, cancel all the different pesticide categories and lump them into only two. One major category will be based on pesticides, their use, understanding, obeying the label and knowing the hazards of the pesticides. If an applicator is well versed in pesticides, they can treat any insect or plant pests by correctly following the label. There is no reason for the NMDA to require knowledge of the pests. The applicators will have to learn this on their own or they won’t be in business very long. All applicators that treat for structural pests, wood destroying insects, weeds and most other pests can have a single license. The only exception should be a requirement to have a Public Health License to deal with known vectors of diseases as these can be hazards to people and animals. All pests in the NMDOH Vector Control Manual should be included in this license category and that includes cockroaches and mice.


Bed bugs should also be included since they are now known to be possible vectors of Chagas disease. They weren’t known to be vectors before the manual was written. There haven’t been any cases of Chagas disease in NM yet, but why wait until it happens before dealing with this.

Include bed bugs and kissing bugs in Public Health as kissing bugs can also spread Chagas disease.

November 17, 2014

Philadelphia — The bed bug may be just as dangerous as its sinister cousin, the triatomine, or “kissing” bug. A new study from Penn Medicine researchers in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics demonstrated that bed bugs, like the triatomines, can transmit Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, one of the most prevalent and deadly diseases in the Americas.

The following info on Chagas disease is from the Mayo Clinic. Chagas disease can cause a sudden, brief illness (acute), or it may be a long-lasting (chronic) condition. Symptoms range from mild to severe, although many people don’t experience symptoms until the chronic stage. Symptoms include swelling at the infection site, fever, fatigue, rash, body aches, eyelid swelling, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting, swollen glands, enlargement of your liver or spleen.

Signs and symptoms of the chronic phase of Chagas disease may occur 10 to 20 years after initial infection, or they may never occur. In severe cases, however, Chagas disease signs and symptoms may include irregular heartbeat, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, difficulty swallowing due to enlarged esophagus, abdominal pain or constipation due to enlarged colon

I know the NM Pest Control Association is aware of this as Chuck Simko wrote a letter to the editor of the Rio Rancho Observer several years ago mentioning this. The purpose of the letter was to make people know about this so they would be more likely to call an exterminator if they have bed bugs. I would hope the NMDA would know about this and am surprised bed bugs weren’t put in the Public Health licensing.

We should only have two classifications of licenses. General Pest Control and Public Health Pest Control. This will be a lot easier for the NMDA to conduct training seminars than they have now. They don’t have people who can conduct training seminars in all the current categories so that is why currently someone can take a seminar in structural pest control and be re-certified in weed control. That has to be changed.


Also, the NMDA should issue a badge with everyone who is properly licensed. The badge should have the name of the technician and the license number and they should be required to wear it whenever they apply pesticides in homes or businesses or on private or public property and should include government employees who are licensed. Then people will know if their exterminator is properly licensed when they come to spray and they can prevent them from spraying if they aren’t wearing the badge. I realize people can ask a pest control technician to see their license, but most people don’t even think of that. If the technicians are required to wear a badge it will do a lot to prevent unlicensed people from spraying pesticides. This would be fairly inexpensive compared to hiring more inspectors.


I also suggest that the NMDA requires Pesticide Notification whenever pesticides are applied in public buildings or in public areas so nobody is unknowingly exposed to the pesticides.  They can require it according to the NM Pest Control Act, but they refuse to do so.  There are people who have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and other people with health issues and children who should not be unknowingly exposed to pesticides.  When I was IPM Manager for the City of Santa Fe, I required Pesticide Notification if any pest company applied pesticides on city property or in city buildings.  The pest companies didn’t like it, but they complied.  The people in Santa Fe really liked it.

Pesticide / herbicide notifications should be posted at least 24 hours before the application and stay up about 5 days afterwards.  The notification should mention the target pest or weeds, the pesticide / herbicide being used, how it is going to be applied, the active ingredient of the pesticide / herbicide and the name of the company and  phone number of the applicator in case there are any questions.  Pesticide / herbicide labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) should be made available for anyone that wants them.

I think that is clear that all of our citizens have the right to go anywhere on public property, or commercial property open to the public, without worrying about their safety being jeopardized.  Nobody should have to unknowingly be exposed to pesticides / herbicides and risk serious health issues.  This will be easy to enforce. I realize the pest control companies won’t like it, but people’s health is more important.


There are other issues that are important as well, including many birds being killed by pesticides even though many of the birds being killed are protected in NM as are horned lizards which can be killed by the glyphosate in Roundup which causes the lizards to dehydrate and die. As everyone knows, birds are on the decline in NM and almost everywhere else, and pesticides are an issue with this.

Here are the laws;

2017 New Mexico Statutes

Chapter 17 – Game and Fish and Outdoor Recreation

Article 2 – Hunting and Fishing Regulations


17-2-15. [Horned toads; killing, selling or shipping from state unlawful.]

“It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully kill or to sell horned toads within the state of New Mexico, or to ship them from the state. “

17-2-13. Songbirds; trapping, killing or injuring prohibited.

“It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot, ensnare or trap for the purpose of killing or in any other manner to injure or destroy any songbird, or birds whose principal food consists of insects, comprising all the species and varieties of birds represented by the several families of bluebirds, including the western and mountain bluebirds; also bobolinks, catbirds, chickadees, cuckoos, which includes the chaparral bird or roadrunner (Geococcyx novo mexicanus), flickers, flycatchers, grosbeaks, humming birds, kinglets, martins, meadowlarks, nighthawks or bull bats, nuthatches, orioles, robins, shrikes, swallows, swifts, tanagers, titmice, thrushes, vireos, warblers, waxwings, whipporwills [whippoorwills], woodpeckers, wrens, and all other perching birds which feed entirely or chiefly on insects.”

Basically, pest control companies should not broadcast spray pesticides around homes or businesses as the pesticides will kill bugs that can be eaten by the birds. Pesticides should only be applied in crack and crevice format outside.


I have to disagree with the statement that mosquito fogging targets a specific pest. The statement said, “Management strategies directed at primary public health pests tend to be inclusive of larger areas (i.e., neighborhoods, cities); directed at a specific species using species-specific management strategies and techniques (mosquito fogging)” Mosquito fogging is total pesticide pollution that affects many other insects in the area, including bees which are essential to the environment. It also kills many insects that feed on mosquitoes and can seriously affect any nesting baby birds in the area and it will chase bats out of the area and a single bat can eat a thousand mosquitoes in one night. When I was IPM Manager in Santa Fe, I never allowed mosquito spraying. We applied larvicides in all city waters and educated the public on what they needed to do to keep mosquitoes from breeding in their yards. Mosquito spraying should not be permitted anywhere in NM or anywhere in the country. Even the Center for Disease Control has said that mosquito spraying is the least effective method of mosquito control.


I would like the legislators reading this to focus on these issues. I know you can’t do anything with this session coming up, but you can address in the next one.

Consider making Pesticide Notification a law so nobody is unknowingly exposed to pesticides.

Please ban the general outdoor spraying for any insects on private and public private to protect the birds that are protected by law. There are alternative methods that work.

Please require the NMDA to issue badges as described above to all pesticide applicators.

Please ban mosquito spraying from trucks and planes in NM

Please ban Roundup in NM as it has serious health issues as documented by the thousands of lawsuits Bayer / Monsanto is going through. There are safer herbicides.


As I mentioned, I have over 45 years of experience in the pesticide industry and I have conducted Continuing Education Units (CEUs) training classes for the NMDA for over 20 years.

I will help any way I can with any government agency or other organization.



About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


2 thoughts on “NM Pesticide issues

  1. This question is concerning bedbugs. Aren’t bedbugs unable to live when humidity levels are below 50 percent?

    Thanks Bugman….great column.

    Posted by swbunjardinier | December 7, 2019, 6:00 pm
  2. No, bed bugs don’t require humidity levels. Dust mites do require a humidity level of 60 percent.

    Posted by askthebugman | December 8, 2019, 9:45 am

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