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.


June 8, 2020 – Update

Structural Pest Control Board Information

Locations below is currently opened.  Aside from adhering to social distancing with reduced seating, PSI is pretty much back to “business as usual”

California

Northern:        Redding

Central:           Fresno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, Union City and Walnut Creek

Southern:        Atascadero, Carson, El Monte/Santa Fe Springs, Irvine, Riverside, San Diego, Visalia and Ventura

Bonus:             Agoura Hills, Bakersfield, Diamond Bar, Lawndale

STILL CLOSED: Burbank


May 22, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory

We, at PCOC, will do everything we can to get you the latest information and updates on issues affecting our industry. PCOC will transition back to our normal monthly Newsbriefs starting next week. This Weekly Update will be the last. We will still continue to send you updates as needed.

Structural Pest Control Board Information

We would like to let you know that PSI is open and testing has resumed. Since there has been so much confusion on who could and couldn’t schedule and test, SPCB has been waiving the requirement for “no shows” to reapply and repay, and will continue this practice through the end of May. SPCB staff actually logged on to PSI yesterday, and seats were available at some locations yesterday!


May 15, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory


Notice from the Department of Fish and Wildlife

New – Trapping Report Required for Pest Control Trappers. By law, beginning July 1st, 2020, ALL trappers will be required to complete a 2020-2021 Trapping Report Form (DFW1389a), or submit a sworn statement of your annual take of fur bearing mammals and nongame mammals by July 1, 2021. Failure to do so with result in your trapping privileges being suspended (see the enclosed Notice, Section 467, Title 14, of the California Code of Regulations). A trapping report is required even if no animals were taken (enter “0” for number killed). Pest control trappers may not sell furs.

2020 Trapping Renewal Notice

Dept. of Fish & Wildlife Website
For more information, contact the Department at (916) 928-5852 or SPU@wildlife.ca.gov.

Alameda County New Construction Requirements

Though this new requirement may not currently effect the entire state, it may soon. And though it may not effect all of our industry, it may very well effect those that are in Termite related work.

Article from Holland & Knight’s West Coast Real Estate and Land Use Blog

Alameda County New Requirements


May 8, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory

PCOC President, Mike McKenzie, talks about his time as President.

Structural Pest Control Board Updates

Many of you have seen the numerous emails on PSI and testing.  We expect a few start up pains. Please keep us informed as we proceed.  PCOC  really appreciates SPCB and their help on this important issue to our industry.  We will continue to update all of you as we learn new information.

For more information regarding PSI and testing, please visit PSI COVID-19 page.

Department of Pesticide Regulation Updates

There continues to be lingering issues related to providing regulatory assistance on PPE.  There are certain products from other countries that can be used and others that can’t, depending on the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approval or whether they have adequate documentation for FDA.  The other challenge is DPR doesn’t make the calls by themselves because DPR has to consult with OSHA and USEPA.  We learned late yesterday that the problem with PPE is coming to a head because we’re not the only ones impacted!  We were told to expect guidance soon.

DPR Released a Notice on May 7, 2020 regarding the use of Pesticide Use Near/Around Schools and Homes, please see the notice HERE.


May 1, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory

Structural Pest Control Board Updates

Testing is starting to occur slowly in California and we continue to push to insure we can test as soon as possible!  We’ll keep you informed as we know more about potential dates.

Department of Pesticide Regulation Updates

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

N95 Alternatives for Pesticide Handling, PDFDownload

Gloves for Pesticide Handling, PDF Download

PCOC Expo Announcement

It is with great disappointment to announce that we are cancelling our PCOC Expo for June in Monterey. 

We have looked at every possible scenario and we don’t see how it would be possible, under the circumstances of limited crowds, to safely protect our members while having a successful event!  While we know the timing won’t work for June, we are looking to produce a hybrid event at our September Board of Directors Meeting in Paso Robles to allow our sponsors/affiliates to exhibit their products and  to have key speakers as well. 

As you all know, we are in uncharted waters, but your participation in the success of PCOC and our industry is more important than ever.  Because we don’t have all the answers right now, I hope you’ll be patient with us as we work through these difficult issues in the future. We will be working with all of you in the coming weeks to determine the next steps for our expo participants!  Please stay safe!


April 24, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory

Notice Regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

NPMA has received information indicating that certain personal protective equipment (PPE) items are in short supply. With the critical need for N95 respirators in the health care field, there are few if any “dust/mist” type respirators or particulate filters (N, P, or HE) available in the marketplace, as of April 2020. Some distribution outlets are predicting back-orders with delivery-dates in June, July, or later.

  • Pesticides may not be applied without the label-required PPE.
  • Home-made masks are not sufficient substitutes for label-required respirators/masks.
  • No exemption or relaxation of the requirements has been made by EPA.
  • Users may need to select alternative products or practices, if required PPE is not available. For example, re-usable gloves can be washed and re-used in the absence of disposable gloves.

Recommendations:

  • Review product labels to identify key products that require respiratory protection.
  • Evaluate existing inventory and/or availability of PPE.
  • Seek alternative products or practices if PPE is not obtainable. There may be a very similar product available with different label requirements.

April 17, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory

PCOC would like to thank all of those that participated in our first virtual PCOC Board of Directors Meeting on Tuesday, April 14th at 1:00pm. Considering it was the first time we attempted this, all went relatively well and 120 of you listened in and contributed as well. I would have much preferred to see all of you in Sacramento and spend time with our legislative representatives but we accomplished what we needed to under the current circumstances. Because the legislative session is still up in the air in terms of timing, we are considering some type of one day Legislative Day in August before they go back to their respective districts. We should know more in the next month or so. 

We continue to work closely with the Structural Pest Control Board on a whole series of issues. Our understanding of the issues of CE and testing is that we will get guidance soon regarding these issues. For those of you who are to renew this year, the renewal forms and fees are still due by June 30, 2020. Renewals are scheduled to be sent to licensees by the end of April. 

We are also working with the Department of Pesticide Regulation. DPR  came out with some guidance for Continuing Education, asking sponsors to consider developing and offering webinar or online courses to DPR licensees and certificate holders. To also think about making courses mobile friendly or accessible.  For those who have any questions or want to know more, contact DPR at CEmail@cdpr.ca.gov

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.  


April 10, 2020 – PCOC Weekly Advisory

We continue to work closely with the Structural Pest Control Board on a whole series of issues.  We continue to get questions regarding the lack of opportunity for continuing education and renewal dates.  The board is aware of these challenges and we are hopeful that this will be resolved in near future.  As I mentioned before, we work closely with the Executive Officer, Susan Saylor, and her team at the board so let us know if we can be helpful. Susan Saylor has informed us that some of the Live Scan sites are closed. Here is the link for the DOJ regarding the closures.

We are also working with the Department of Pesticide Regulation  and wanted to thank DPR Director Val Dolcini and his team for their efforts on the enforcement letter for the use of sanitizer.  We are also talking to them about PPE and the potential for regulatory relief due to the challenges facing our industry.  While the PCOC has little market influence, we continue find ways of utilizing our membership to assist us with use of these materials.  We hope to hear something soon and will keep you informed.

One of members made it on the local news! Nick Chase, from Nick Chase Pest Control, was highlighted by a local news crew for his voluntary efforts to combat the virus. He is providing sanitizing services at no charge to some of his local grocery stores, gas stations and hospitals. Watch the story HERE.

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.  Our virtual PCOC Board of Directors Meeting is on April 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm. We will provide more information, links, etc., later today to our Board Members. 

NPMA is hosting
“COVID-19 Disinfection Services: Critical Things to Consider Before Launching a New Service”
webinar on April 14th at 1:00 pm EST (10:00 am PST)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has fundamentally changed the business landscape for pest control companies around the world. Many pest control firms are considering disinfection as a novel service option, but before jumping in, our panel of experts will provide crucial items to take into consideration before launching a new line of business. In this one-hour webinar, representatives from Ecolab, American Pest/Anticimex, Rollins and NPMA will discuss critical items to consider to help you determine if this line of work is right for your business.


April 6, 2020 – Notice from DPR

The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has just released an Enforcement Letter regarding the use of Sanitizers/Disinfectants by Pest Control Operators. Please review carefully. While there is contact information on the letter, members should contact their local AG Commissioners with any questions on how to proceed forward. 


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