PCOC has a claim to uniqueness. The forerunner of the current non-profit trade association was initiated by members of private enterprise in hope that the state government could be persuaded to enact stringent regulatory legislation.
Over sixty years ago, in an unregulated industry, many a consumer was being bilked by itinerant pest control imposters. So in 1932 some 25 reputable operators with businesses in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas banded together to found an organization which, by strength of unified action, might improve industry standards and eliminate unscrupulous practices.
In 1935, in response to lobbying by what was then known as the California Pest Control Association, the California Legislature passed the nation’s first structural pest control act and set up rigorous examinations for admission to the pest control field, licensing, reporting, and strict work criteria.
In 1937, serious differences erupted between factions of the young association. Some members resigned and formed a rival organization. The competing groups were dissolved in 1942 in favor of the incorporation of the current Pest Control Operators of California Inc.
There were six charter districts; Los Angeles, San Francisco – Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, Fresno, and Santa Barbara. Membership totaled about 120 operators.
By 1947, a steadily growing and completely unified PCOC had achieved added protection for the public by encouraging the state to adopt still tougher pest control rules and regulations. These comprise the basis for Structural Pest Control Board policy today.
In 1983 the association hired a professional executive director and since then PCOC has grown to 19 districts throughout the state.
In 1994 the association compiled, published, and distributed to its members a history of the association’s first 50 years. It recognizes the foundation built by the founders of the organization.
Membership now numbers over 1,100 which gives PCOC the strongest association membership in the western United States. In fact, PCOC members account for about 80 percent of the state’s total volume of pest control business. Thanks to programs for insurance, continuing education, credit union, and legislative and regulatory representation PCOC members have a definite edge over non-members.
PCOC’s prime objective continues to be a constant upgrading of pest control endeavor. The association is also broadly involved in educational and training programs at both the consumer and trade levels. Management is by an executive committee composed of state officers elected annually. They are President, President-elect, Treasurer, Second Vice-President, Third Vice-President, Affiliate Representative, and Secretary. All serve without compensation. The Executive Committee reports to a Board of Directors comprised of elected representatives from each of the districts of the state.