Commissioner Staples Launches Online Tool to Locate Licensed Pest Control Companies, Enhance Consumer Protection (10/15/2013)

AUSTIN — In an effort to protect Texas homeowners and businesses, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and the Texas Department of Agriculture today launched a new online tool to help consumers select a licensed pest control company. This tool makes it easier for Texans to find and identify pest management professionals in their area who have the required training and expertise needed to properly apply pesticides.

“Safety and security are important factors when letting someone in your home,” Commissioner Staples said. “Unfortunately, there are some unlicensed applicators wanting to take advantage of Texans. This tool empowers homeowners and businesses to feel confident they are getting experienced professionals with the training and education to provide quality services. The mission of TDA’s Structural Pest Control Service is to protect Texans’ biggest investments, their homes and the safety of their families.”

To view the new search tool new tool, click here. The tool is available on the TDA website at TexasAgriculture.gov. Users enter basic information like a zip code, business name or business license number, and the search function will display a list of licensed pest control companies in their area, including contact information and a map pinpointing the location of the company. As we enter fall, wildlife such as squirrels, rats and mice may target homes as a place to take refuge. Pest management professionals undergo the training and testing required to become licensed to handle specific pests.

“The structural pest control industry is deeply concerned about unlicensed, uninsured individuals that represent themselves as pest control companies to unknowing consumers,” said Don Ward, executive director of the Texas Pest Control Association. “The Texas Pest Control Association applauds Commissioner Staples for taking another big step forward in an effort to address unlicensed pest control businesses. This new search tool will certainly help consumers to select a properly licensed business.”

The Texas Department of Agriculture is designated as the state’s lead agency in the regulation of pesticide use and application. TDA is responsible for licensing and training pesticide applicators, overseeing worker protection, registering pesticides for sale in the state and working to minimize unnecessary impacts to agriculture, while enhancing protection of endangered and threatened species. For more information or to report an unlicensed pest applicator, contact TDA at (866) 918-4481.