Taking Control of Pests This Month

Paying tribute to the pest control industry, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) founded National Pest Management Month. The April event seeks to raise public awareness about pest control and the risks associated with household pests, and provide information to homeowners on avoiding infestations.

This month-long event comes on the heels of massive rainstorms—which translate into a heavy pest season. With all the rain we’ve had this year, pests such as fleas, termites, carpenter ants, and cockroaches will be out in full force. Assistance from a pest control professional will be key in helping protect yourself and your family against possible health and structural threats.

To find out more about National Pest Management Month and to get tips on protecting your home, visit the NPMA’s website at www.pestworld.org. To check the license of a pest control professional, visit the Structural Pest Control Board’s website at www.pestboard.ca.gov.

DCA is Here to Help All Year Long

Just because National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) has ended doesn’t mean you aren’t protected. As #NCPW2017 wraps up, DCA wants to remind consumers that our resources and programs are available any time of year. This past week, we’ve shared details on many of them.

An informed consumer is a protected consumer: consider yourself empowered! Learn more at www.dca.ca.gov.

Also, see our complete list of free publications at www.dca.ca.gov/publications/publications_list.shtml, subscribe to our award-winning magazine, Consumer Connection, and follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @DCAnews.

Don’t Let Dry Rot Destroy Your Home

dry picOn June 16 in Berkeley, California, six students died after a balcony they were standing on collapsed. Inspection reports showed that the collapse was caused by dry rot. On July 3 in Folsom, California, a man was killed when a stairway at an apartment complex fell on him.  Dry rot is the suspected cause of the collapse.   Since then, dry rot has become a hot-button issue.

Dry rot is a type of wood-destroying fungi that compromises the structural integrity of wood due to a variety of factors, such as excessive moisture or conditions deemed likely to lead to (or cause) infestation or infection of the wood (e.g. leaking pipes or condensation).

For homeowners with raised, wooden decks and lofts who are also concerned about their safety, there are measures to take that can help to prevent or to repair structural dry rot damage.

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION:

  • Regularly inspect your wood deck/loft carefully for cracked, warped or splintered boards to see if they are soft or moist and free from any insect infestation.  If you notice any signs of damage, it may be necessary to contact a licensed professional to determine what repairs, if any, are needed.  Making a small investment early on can save a lot of money and worry down the line.
  • CHECK FOR WATER LEAKAGEMake sure there aren’t any broken water pipes or sprinklers in your yard that allow water to seep under your deck or loft.
  •  WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS TURN TO A PRO: If all this sounds like too much work, you can always hire a licensed professional.  After all, they’re trained to observe and detect things that you might overlook.
  • WHO TO CALL: The Structural Pest Control Board is here to help. If you have questions about a structural pest control company and need to verify their license status, log on to www.pestboard.ca.gov or call (916) 561-8700. You can also contact the Contractors State License Board at (800) 321-CSLB (2752) or log on to www.cslb.ca.gov to check the status of a contractor’s license.

Hiring a Pest Control Company to Combat Bug Infestations

shutterstock_246709621Yet another issue concerning the drought—an increase of household pests. The lack of rainfall is causing bugs such as ants, spiders, and cockroaches to come indoors in search of water. In addition, the past winter, which had fewer days than normal of freezing temperatures, didn’t do its typical seasonal job of killing pests’ eggs.

According to the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Structural Pest Control Board (Board), many household pests are easily controlled: “Good housekeeping and thorough sanitation are important as aids to control or prevent infestations of many pests.”

However, if your home’s pest infestation gets out of control, you may want to seek help from a professional pest control operator. Prior to hiring a company, make sure you’ve done your homework. Be aware that any company that controls mice, rats, pigeons, spiders, ants, roaches, and other household pests must be registered with the Board. Also, the operator who applies the pesticide must be licensed, so ask to see proof of licensure. You can also confirm a company’s registration or a license by contacting the Board’s Licensing Unit at (916) 561-8704 or doing a license search on the Board’s website, www.pestboard.ca.gov.

For more information about pest control and finding a qualified and licensed pest control operator, visit the Board’s website at www.pestboard.ca.gov.

Exam Subversion Defendant Pleads Guilty To Two Felonies

Will also pay $400,000 in restitution to the Department of Consumer Affairs

SACRAMENTO – A southern California man accused of subverting state licensing exams has pled guilty to two felony burglary counts and will pay $400,000 in restitution to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Larry Holmes, Jr., and a business associate were arrested in January following an investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation. The investigation revealed ACEAPP Training, which was operated by the pair, helped people cheat on numerous state licensing exams.

Exam materials for 12 different state-administered exams were illegally obtained affecting licensing entities including the Structural Pest Control Board, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Industrial Relations, the California Secretary of State and other departments.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case,” said Susan Saylor, the Executive Officer of the Structural Pest Control Board, who originally requested the investigation. “Exam subversion is not only illegal, but it can put consumers at risk and will not be tolerated.”

As a result of the guilty plea, Holmes was sentenced to 30 days in county jail, 30 days of Caltrans work projects, placed on three years formal probation and ordered to pay $400,000 to the Department. He has already paid $200,000 and the rest will be paid over two years. A Superior Court Order was also issued against Holmes which suspends his Pest Control Operator’s license pending final resolution of his administrative case.

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The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California Consumers. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.dca.ca.gov.