In all my years of pest control I’ve only had a couple of run ins with the state inspector. Actually I wouldn’t call them run ins per se, rather just a brief question and answer period. Fortunately for me, I had the right answers and proper materials they asked for so my encounters were quick and painless.
Pest control by necessity is regulated and for the most part your states agriculture department is charged with this task. Inspectors basically are the fact finders for the department who investigate consumer complaints and also make routine visits to pest control offices to make sure you are in compliance with the states laws. While they are charged to serve the public, you won’t find any better advocates for the industry. Most inspectors have extensive backgrounds actually in the business of pest control. Many are previous owners of companies or people who ran service departments or had other hands on positions. This bodes well for the lowly bug man who gets stopped on a blistering hot day who may not have on his long sleeve shirt. I’m not saying you’d get a free pass- just that this inspector knows how it is and may simply choose to encourage you to have proper PPE’s. Now it can also work the other way in that you can’t so easily buffalo these guy’s with lame excuses. ie; I doubt you’d get much sympathy for not reporting termite activity in a crawl space when there’s a fat old mud tube 3 feet from the entrance. He’s gonna know you didn’t even stick your head under.
Now I’ve written about this subject before but I recently attended a meeting (ceu’s) where a state inspector spoke on compliance, spill control and the many stories he had of actual encounters with techs in the field. Most were head scratching moments and some just made you think how in the world in that person ever get a job doing pest control.
So to help you avoid that pitfall, I give you the top 5 things you should never say to your state inspector. If you can add to the list, please do. Who knows, you could help a fellow pest control technician avoid the dreaded laugh eh em, I mean “wrath” of a state inspector;
#5 Honestly, the rig only leaks when I’m stopped.
#4 Yeah, this trucks a mess, unlabeled containers, leaks, you name it. But it’s not mine-my truck is in the shop.
#3 (inspector finds pest truck running, unlocked, in area with children playing and no tech in sight. He inspects the OPEN tool boxes and writes almost his entire report as the tech finally comes out) Hey, give me a break, I only left it for a minute and it’s hot so I wanted to keep the a/c going.
#2 WDO inspector says with a sly grin to the 60 plus and somewhat overweight state inspector. “You’ll have to take my word for it, the damage is all the way in the back of the crawl, you’ll never make it.” Ten minutes later the state inspector comes out armed with pictures, damaged wood, handful of live termites and his own, sh&t eating grin.
#1 And the number one thing you should never say to a pest control state inspector! ” Hey buddy, my taxes pay your salary- YOU WORK FOR ME! (not a good idea, these guys aren’t cupcakes you know)