Label Is The Law

I once read a statement that said, “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, just wait until you hire an amateur.”

I am taking issue with The Homeowner who thinks anyone can do pest management and not follow regulations. I don’t like that our “For Certified Applicators” products can be sold to the general consumer. I doubt that most people read labels and SDS’s. Hell, it’s been a minute since I’ve read one thoroughly. They change all the time. I better get busy.


I was watching through my front window as a neighbor used some pesticide he bought from the lawn and garden store. From across the street, I could tell he was trying to kill some kind of stinging insect, probably a wasp. He would spray, then jump. Spray again, then take off running as he was looking over his shoulder. The entire time, he never let go of the trigger handle. That store-bought pesticide was getting sprayed on everything.

He was aiming at the soffit corner, but missed nearly every time. As he kept darting out of the way, pesticide was coating his house, flower bed, sidewalk, and his car. I became concerned about this behavior, and went to talk to him about what happened.

I read the container label, and helped him understand that this product was not for any type of flying insect or wasp. Only for crawling insects and only for exterior foundation/ground level application. He said he didn’t know. I made him aware that even the general homeowner applicator is responsible for following ALL label requirements and/or restrictions. The state department of agriculture could impose fines on him.


Some reminders to Mr. & Mrs. Homeowner – Those chemicals that get purchased at the farm supply store must be handled properly, and can be just as dangerous as the ones we licensed professionals use. Most times, the active ingredient is the same, just at a lesser concentration percentage. Caution and care MUST be used when applying near your home, family, animals, and any part of your property. Read the damn label. Know what the emergency response criteria is, in case you have an allergic reaction, get it in your eyes, mouth, or nose. For the love of your life, wear some PPE. Using a respirator, eye protection, gloves, and water resistant clothes is a great place to start.

So, you think this is too much of a hassle? Fine! Call me. Hire me. I will be the professional you need.

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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