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Maine Board of Pesticides Proposes IPM Standards for Indoor Applications
(Beyond Pesticides, August 30, 2004) The Maine Board of Pesticides Control, a division of the state Department of Agriculture, has proposed new regulations that require commercial applicators to follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures inside occupied private and public buildings.

The new rules require that applicators provide 24-hour notice of all applications to all residents, employees or other persons who routinely occupy the building on a regular basis; and requires that applicators follow IPM standards which forbid routine, scheduled spraying and recommend alternative techniques.

The Ellsworth American reports that the measure is being opposed by “every tourism type association that has Maine in front of it,” according to board director, Robert Batteese. Mr. Batteese said the biggest change in the rule is outlawing preventive monthly spraying in restaurants, grocery stores and nursing homes. Instead, the new rule stipulates that pesticides be used only once a bug or rodent is seen. “They need to identify the pest first so they know what they’re spraying for,” he said, sparing workers and patrons unnecessary exposure.

Richard Grotton, president of the Maine Restaurant Association, and others representing the tourism industry want to continue preventive baseboard spraying with pesticides so no customer ever has to see a bug.

Chef Rich Hanson, of Cleonice restaurant in Ellsworth who uses sticky traps and other pest control devices that don’t involve spraying chemicals, says the new rules will have little impact on his restaurant.

“As a restaurant working with mostly organic meats and vegetables, it would be a disconnect to spray chemicals of any kind. We try to keep that stuff out of the food chain. Any changes in pesticide use won’t be a hardship for us,” Mr. Hanson told the Ellsworth American.

The propsosed rules exclude management of stinging and biting insects using general use pesticides (pesticide products available to the general public), antimicrobial pesticides and all K-12 school uses. Also exempt are the use non-volatile baits, gels, pastes and granular materials placed in areas inaccessible to residents, employees or customers.

The Board of Pesticides Control will make a final decision on the rule at its September 8th meeting. For a copy of the new rule, visit the Maine Board of Pesticide Control website.