After explosion of mosquito populations across the state, many Michiganders are turning to pesticides. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is advising the public to avoid falling victim to scams and illegitimate businesses.
Businesses offering pest control services such as mosquito spraying must be licensed by MDARD, and they must employ applicators who have passed MDARD’s pesticide proficiency examinations. Pest control businesses must also meet minimum experience requirements, carry liability insurance, and may only apply pesticides registered by MDARD. Before making an application, all licensed companies are required to specify an approximate schedule, frequency, and duration of their services.
Consumers should be aware that pest control businesses are legally required to obtain their consent before making a pesticide application and must provide the following information:
- The name of the applicator that performed the service.
- The time and date the application was made.
- A description of the target pest to be controlled.
- A list of pesticides applied, including the common name of the active ingredient(s).
- A list of precautionary warnings or reentry restrictions that appear on the label of the pesticide applied.
- Detailed information about the risks and benefits of pesticides.
Most importantly, you can avoid pesticide treatments all together with the following steps that will safely reduce mosquito populations:
Removing any puddles of water or standing water around your home to reduce breeding sites.
Keeping grass and shrubs trimmed short, reducing places for flying (adult) mosquitoes to rest.
Using permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.