EPA set to impose new rules for termite pretreatments

By Jon Statom, Palmetto Exterminators

Did you know that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing new use direction changes for pyrethroid-class insecticides, the chemical commonly used in termite treatment applications in homes? These proposed guidelines have been commonly followed by the industry, but now the EPA is planning to require that they be followed.

Below are the new EPA regulations that will be imposed when a pyrethroid-class insecticide is used in a new construction pretreatment:

  • The treatment site must be covered prior to a rain event in order to prevent run-off of the pesticide into non-target areas. 
  • The applicator must either cover the soil him/herself or provide written notification of the above requirement to the contractor on site and to the person commissioning the application (if different than the contractor). If notice is provided to the contractor or the person commissioning the application, then they are responsible under FIFRA (the law that governs pesticide use) to insure that: 
  1. if the concrete slab cannot be poured over the treated soil within 24 hours of application 
  2. the treated soil must be covered with a waterproof covering (such as polyethylene sheeting) 
  3. the treated soil must be covered if precipitation is predicted to occur before the concrete slab is scheduled to be poured. 
  • Do not treat soil that is water-saturated or frozen. 
  • Do not treat when rain is falling. 
  • Do not allow treatment to run off from the target area. 
  • Do not apply within 10 feet of storm drains. 
  • Do not apply within 25 feet of aquatic habitats (such as, but not limited to, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, permanent streams, marshes or ponds, estuaries, and commercial fish farm ponds). 
  • Do not make on-grade applications when sustained wind speeds are above 10 mph (at application site) at nozzle end height. 

Home Builders, if you currently use the soil treatment method for termite control, your pest control operator should be advising you of these rule changes.