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Structural Pest Control Section

Structural Pest Control Investigation/Complaint Response Guide

What is Structural Pest Control?

Structural pest control includes the inspection for, identification of and control of any wood-destroying organism or household pest and the use of pesticides, or other substances, mechanical devices or structural modifications for the purpose of preventing, controlling and eradicating pests in and around structures, as well as all phases of fumigation.

Why regulate the Structural Pest Control Industry?

The Structural Pest Control Act was enacted because the General Assembly recognized that the inaccessibility of the areas treated and the complexity of the methods of treatment limited the general public's ability to adequately assess for itself the quality of structural pest control services contracted to be performed. The Act states that it is in the public interest to regulate the business of structural pest control "in order to ensure a high quality of workmanship and in order to prevent deception, fraud and unfair trade practices".

Who regulates the Structural Pest Control Industry in North Carolina?

The Structural Pest Control Act created the Structural Pest Control Committee and the Structural Pest Control Division, a Division of the NC Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services. The Committee is made up of nine members appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Governor, the Dean of the School of Agriculture of North Carolina State University at Raleigh and the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Health and Natural Resources. The Committee is authorized to adopt rules concerning methods and materials to be used in performing structural pest control work. In addition, the Committee makes final decisions concerning licenses, certified applicator cards and registered technician cards.

The Division enforces compliance with the Act and rules by routinely inspecting structural pest control work, investigating complaints and performing administrative duties related to examinations and the issuance of licenses, certified applicator cards and registered technician cards.

What should I do if I want an inspection by the Structural Pest Control Division?

To request an inspection, you must write a brief letter explaining your problem and the desire for a state inspection. You will need to include your name, address and phone number where you can be contacted and the name and location of the company involved. This information can be mailed or faxed to the Division. You should gather all contractual agreements or other documents related to the incident/ application and photocopy them prior to the inspector's arrival. The inspector will need these copies to include in the investigation file. Mail or fax the written request to:

North Carolina Dept of Agriculture & Consumer Services
1090 Mail Service Center Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1090
(919) 733-6100 Phone (919) 733-0633 Fax

When will the inspector contact me to schedule an inspection?

The inspector will contact the property owner within 24 hours after receiving the complaint from the Raleigh office.

In the case of an emergency such as a pesticide spill, poisoning, etc., a phone call will expedite an immediate investigation by the Division.

Is there a fee for an inspection by the Structural Pest Control Division?
No. There is not a fee for an inspection by the Structural Pest Control Division. All inspections are conducted as a consumer service.

What is the role of the Structural Pest Control Inspector?

The inspector will perform an on-site inspection and will review contracts, treatment records and labels of pesticides used. The inspector will also interview all involved parties. While conducting an investigation, the inspector may collect samples from areas such as treated surfaces, soil, and vegetation to aid in determining the accuracy of the treatment(s). The NCDA & CS Food & Drug Protection Division's laboratory will analyze the samples to identify the presence and amount of pesticide(s) in the samples. All information collected will be compiled into an investigation report and sent to the Raleigh office for review.

What happens after an inspector conducts an investigation?

After the inspector has gathered all of the necessary information related to a complaint, a District supervisor will review the case for compliance with the North Carolina Structural Pest Control Law or rules. Investigative files containing violations are then reviewed to determine the nature and extent of any regulatory action to be taken.

If evidence is sufficient to support a violation of the Structural Pest Control Law or rules, the Structural Pest Control Division will notify the pest control operator and take action in one or more of the following manners:

Completion of an inspection report indicating needed corrections. A re-inspection is then performed to ensure that corrections have been made,

Caution Letter,

Notice of Warning,

Negotiated Settlement Agreement,

Formal hearing before the Structural Pest Control Committee; or

Criminal action in Court.

Will someone keep me informed of the status of the investigation?

Yes, upon written request from the property owner. Deviations are required to be corrected within 30 days after the Division has notified the pest control operator in writing. Information concerning the inspector's findings will be shared with you while the investigation is in progress. The property owner can request a copy of the investigation file once the investigation is complete.

What are the penalties for violating the Structural Pest Control Law?

Any person found guilty in a court of law of violating the Structural Pesticide Law or rules adopted by the North Carolina Structural Pest Control Committee can be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor. The Structural Pest Control Committee may assess civil penalties up to a maximum of $2000 per violation against any person who violates provisions of the Structural Pest Control Law or rules. In addition, the Committee may deny, revoke or suspend a license, certified applicator card or a registered technician card.

Will I be compensated for damages to my property?

Not by the State of North Carolina, all fines collected by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services go into the State General Fund. The Structural Pest Control Division does, however, require that pest control companies comply with the terms of their contract and can sometimes facilitate resolution of such issues. If compensation for damages is a concern, a private civil action may be required to recover damages.

Who can I contact if I have questions regarding my investigation or complaint? You may contact the Structural Pest Control Division to speak with a District supervisor or to leave a message for the inspector who performed the investigation.

The purpose of this publication is to explain the procedures of the Structural Pest Control Division regarding consumer complaints. We hope this bulletin will answer questions you may have about investigation/complaint procedures. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Structural Pest Control Division at:

NCDA&CS Structural Pest Control and Pesticide Division, James W. Burnette, Jr., Director
Mailing Address: 1090 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1090
Physical Address: 4400 Reedy Creek Rd., Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: (919) 733-6100 ; FAX: (919) 733-0633

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