PCOC Alerts

PCOC will be sending out weekly updates, to our members, regarding COVID-19 and the Pest Industry. It is our intention to keep all PCOC members informed and up to date with vital information during this unprecedented time.


April 3, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory

Chris Reardon’s Interview about COVID-19 and what is new

We continue to work closely with the Structural Pest Control Board on a whole series of issues.  We are currently discussing ongoing topics such testing, continuing education and other requirements that might be streamlined during this time.  We know that many of these topics will become more challenging in the weeks ahead, therefore, we continue to have discussions with the leadership of the Board.  From everything we’re hearing, this will go into late May, early June at the earliest, so issues could be subject to change depending on circumstances. 

We are also working with the Department of Pesticide Regulation on utilizing our industry to help with the application of disinfectants to assist with COVID-19 sanitation. The licensing approval of the use of sanitizers/disinfectants is still working its way through the regulatory process.  As I mentioned last week, there was some limitations on use for our industry and we are asking for a waiver during this time.  This needs to be ultimately approved by Governor’s office.

We’ve had numerous comments from our members concerning people breaking into trucks and  stealing our PPE.  It’s a valuable commodity right now so make sure you lock away all your equipment on daily basis.  It’s only going to get worse in the coming weeks!      We just found out today that the California Legislature will not be coming back on the initial April 13th date they discussed.  Legislative leaders have not yet determined a date for return but will keep you updated as we know more.  They are still working through emergency regulations and budget items on COVID-19.

We know there continues to be questions about potential upcoming events and the best way we can respond is as we know more in the coming weeks and will keep you informed.  We are putting together a virtual PCOC Board of Directors Meeting for April 14th. We will provide you with more information, links, etc., in the coming days. 


 Please be safe and don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help you in any way!


March 27, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory

Employers are now required to post this Employee’s Rights Poster
(Click for the PDF Version for Download)

We continue to work closely with the Structural Pest Control Board on a whole series of issues.  We would like to thank the Board’s Executive Officer Susan Saylor for her leadership during these challenging times.  We talk on a daily basis and currently the Board is looking to extend the 90-day window for new employees and are also looking at other important options to assist our industry in the coming days and weeks ahead.  Members can still send exam applications to the Board. The Board will have them entered into the system so when exams are up and running again, they will be ready to schedule.  Like many state departments, the Board has a skeleton crew and is telecommuting, accordance to Governor’s guidelines. 

We are also working with the Department of Pesticide Regulation on utilizing our industry to help with the application of disinfectants to assist with COVID-19 sanitation. Currently, there are license limitations, so PCOC is requesting, from DPR, to allow at least temporary licensing. This would permit our essential services to be utilized, in additional ways, to help fight this virus.  We expect to hear something early next week!

We also haven’t forgot about rodenticides and the continued use of sulfuryl floride for structural pest control.  We continue to monitor the ever-changing legislative calendar.  We will also be following up in regards to the meeting we had with the CALEPA Secretary, Jared Blumenthal, and DPR Director, Val Dolcini, on structural fumigation.  Dominic DiMare, PCOC’s Legislative Advocate, continues to be our lead on both issues particularly in the capitol and appreciate all he does for us.

Dominic DiMare’s Update Highlights

Current CA Landscape
Calif. Governor Newsom Announcements: Financial Releif & 90-Day Grace Period for Mortgage Payments
$150M Protecting Homeless
$1.1B Emergency Funds For Hospital Capacity, Schools and Vulnerable Population
Budget & Budget Bills Related to Crisis
Federal Stimulus Package Breakdown

We know there continues to be questions about potential upcoming events and the best way we can respond is as we know more in the coming weeks and will keep you informed.  We are putting together a virtual PCOC Board of Directors Meeting for April 14th. We will provide you with more information, links, etc., in the coming days. 
 Please be safe and don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help you in any way!


March 25, 2020 – Travel Authorization Letter

We have received several requests for a Travel Authorization Letter template to use during this time of the “Shelter in Place” order. 

PCOC has created a Travel Authorization Letter Template [Download] for our members. In this document, there are several sections to be customized to your company’s specifics. 

We strongly recommend, that in addition to this letter, you attach the Governor’s Order and the Order from Homeland Security (Homeland Security’s: Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce; and highlight page 9, Public Works, third bullet) as part of the document that you send with your employees. 

It’s also important to note, consistent with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), California Department of Health Services and our local public health officers, that we practice social distancing and health measures that protect both our employees and the public we serve.

There are a lot of moving parts and things are changing rapidly but you can be sure that pest control in California will continue to be essential service during this crisis!  Please don’t hesitate to contact at PCOC, if you have any questions!


March 24, 2020 – Essential Services Clarification

We have recently received some questions regarding our designation as an essential industry. 

As you know, the definition in the Governor’s Order, that references Homeland Security’s: Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce (page 9, Public Works, third bullet), lists the term “exterminators” which, according to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, means all branches of pest control in California. 

It’s also important to note, consistent with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), California Department of Health Services and our local public health officers, that we practice social distancing and health measures that protect both our employees and the public we serve.

There are a lot of moving parts and things are changing rapidly but you can be sure that pest control in California will continue to be essential service during this crisis!  Please don’t hesitate to contact at PCOC, if you have any questions!


March 20, 2020 PCOC Weekly Advisory

As you might imagine, since Governor Newsom’s declaration last night, there have been a lot of questions and concerns about industry. We, at PCOC, will do everything we can to get you the latest information and updates on issues affecting our industry.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced last night that all Californians should shelter in place.  As you know, the pest control industry has been labeled an essential industry not only in the governor’s order but also individual orders by county and by Homeland Security (see page 9, Public Works, third bullet)

As many of you know, PSI test sites are closed through April 12!  Talking to Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB), they will be working with a skeleton crew, as well as telecommuting.  SPCB is working through all the issues related to testing and will be issuing guidance, along with the next steps.  PCOC is communicating with SPCB on a regular basis and SPCB understands the challenges and have reached out to us to be helpful. In addition, PCOC has just been notified that the SPCB office in Sacramento is closed to the public. They are accepting communication via phone, email and US Mail.

The California Legislature is in recess until April 13.  They could very well extend this date depending on the situation at the time.  In regards to the status of AB 1788 (Bloom) Rodenticide bill, right now the legislature plans on passing an emergency budget in June. In addition, they could possibly do a special session sometime in the summer, but this bill, and our PCOC sponsored by AB 2373 (Rubio), unlikely will be heard this year.  This is always

Earlier this week, we posted a separate page on the PCOC website related to COVID-19.  This new page lists important links to information on this issue, not only in California but nationwide.  Also, please access to the NPMA COVID-19 website that has tremendous background. NPMA did a webinar today and provided a great information guide HERE. PCOC has been working with our partners at NPMA and we appreciate their assistance during this uncertain time. 


HR INFORMATION

As a way to help PCOs navigate through our current situation, Tammy Comproni from CA HR Connection, our HR company, would like to help.

Tammy has provided us with a document that will help us clear some things up. Take a look HERE

Visit COVID-19 California HR Connection website to help you through this time


March 17, 2020

Consistent with the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) believe the last thing Californian’s need to worry about is pest control during this crisis.  Pest Management Professionals are on front lines of protecting public health on a daily basis. PCOC intends to work with all levels of Government including but not limited to the California League of Cities and the California State Association of Counties. In addition, PCOC will continue to work with our federal partners and other key stakeholders to insure our communities are protected. During these trying times, PCOC and our industry are here to assist in protecting People, Property and our Food Supply.   

The professional pest control industry, an essential service, is responsible for the protection of public health, food and property.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have prepared a list of significant public health pests https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/list-pests-significant-public-health-importance, many of which are controlled by the professional pest control industry.  We play a vital role in protecting our nation’s public health and food supply.  Pests can spread diseases such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease, salmonellosis, hantavirus and encephalitis.  Stinging insects force half a million people to the emergency room every year.  Cockroach and rodent allergens trigger asthma attacks in children; rodents contaminate or consume about 20% of the world’s food supply and bed bugs can cause allergic reactions.   The importance of the pest control industry to the nation as an essential service cannot be understated.

Additionally, the pest control industry is trained, tested and certified in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Technicians routinely employ the use respirators, eye protection, gloves, and clothing to conform with safety requirements established by EPA and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.   With over 135,000 service technicians on the ground in the United States backed by over 19,000 companies, we stand ready to continue our fight against pests and diseases.  With COVID-19 on the mind of all US citizens, and the world, we want to be sure we continue to serve the country in our battle with the diseases spread by pests. 

As an essential service industry, we will continue to service the nation’s food production facilities, grocery stores, medical institutions, multifamily housing units, warehouses, homes and businesses.  We cannot afford to have our medical facilities, groceries stores or homes uninhabitable due to pests and pest related diseases, particularly as we tell citizens to stay home.  There is not a segment of the food industry that could comply with federal sanitation and health regulations without an adequate pest control program.

As officials consider next steps regarding emergency response and potential restrictions on business operations in your states, we respectfully request that the pest control industry be recognized as an essential industry, providing a service that is indispensable in the effort to protect public health and our nation’s food supply.

Appended below is the language that was used in San Francisco and other California municipalities that have shelter in place orders.

For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Businesses” means: i. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure; ii. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other nongrocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences; iii. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing; iv. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals; v. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services; vi. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities; vii. Banks and related financial institutions; viii. Hardware stores; ix. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses.

We intend to use the above language to make our case that we are a critical industry in this difficult time.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We will keep you fully informed as these discussions continue.

Chris Reardon
Executive Vice President
Pest Control Operators of California
Phone: 916-372-4363