Dust in the… where?

Dust in the…where?

(By Andy McGinty, LIPCA Insurance & Dr. Stuart Mitchell)  

Over approximately the last 2 years we have observed that while in the pursuit of structural pests such as bed bugs, fleas, and other influential insects, inappropriate or counter-labeler use of dust formulations has resulted in a significant increase of both claims and lawsuits.

Throughout the U.S., whether performed by pest management professionals or wildlife damage control professionals (licensed and certified to apply a dust formulation), some applications have resulted in third parties and/or consumers filing complaints with the courts and/or regulatory agencies. Claims are not limited to certain areas of the country. We have handled, or helped PMPs handle, exposures in all four corners of the country.

There is one common “statement” that we constantly hear with “dusting” or dust application claims. It is made by about every dusting expert and regulatory official as well as anyone involved with the claimant or plaintiff.

Of course there are some that disagree, but when you have a number of credible experts testifying to this statement being true, it does make it difficult for your defense. On the claims side, it is so easy. If you have an insurance person or expert in litigation that knows these exposures, CALL THEM! That is everything!

Dust formulations, when applied correctly or per labeler directions, are exceptionally effective in the reduction and elimination of pest pressures. However, nowhere on a dust insecticide label have we ever read, “apply per resident’s demands” or “applications should be per the property owners’ and/or residents’ requirements” or “treat if you feel like it.” So why do it?

Pragmatically, and within the IPM template, product labels blend all required information to provide the “How to…” within an environmental assessment. Dust applications must result in a fine surface film within unexposed and/or inaccessible sites. In pursuit of structural pests, dust applications must approach the IPM goal of environmentally benign as well as the prevention of claims and losses.

“If the consumer can see the dust, you used too much!”

To download “PestWest Newsletter 411 – Issue 23” in print ready format, please click HERE
or on the image below.

PestWest Newsletter 411 - Issue 23

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