Know your legal rights for pest control in Alabama
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – Do You Know Your Rights As A Homeowner With Pest Control? It took two years, but the state of Alabama and the Department of Agriculture finally reached an agreement with a pest control company they say has broken state laws. The deal brings the state nearly $ 1 million and refunds to consumers.
Termites can be quite a problem in Alabama.
“Termites are a big problem in the state,” says John McMillan, the state’s agriculture commissioner. “We have a pretty big responsibility to protect our homeowners.”
The Department of Agriculture regulates the pesticide industry that operates in Alabama. The state requires pesticide companies to adhere to certain regulations. Other states don’t require it, but Alabama companies must do an initial inspection to make sure the home does not contain any type of wood-destroying organisms, and then do an initial treatment followed by retreatment.
Without these first steps, says McMillan, “it could cause more problems and more damage to homes. For example, they would be much slower to discover, or at least potentially.”
“When they start this service with this company, they expect their home to be protected because that’s how it traditionally works,” added Tony Cofer, director of pesticide management for the Department of Agriculture.
Officials say Knox Pest Control failed the initial inspection for 517 customers. The state also alleges that the company incorrectly failed to report start-up costs for treating and re-treating properties that it had not previously treated, in violation of these state regulations.
The state and the company have reached an agreement that will allow these consumers to receive their choice of termite treatment and inspection service or a refund totaling approximately $ 539,000. The company also pays the state $ 987,000 in fines and attorney’s fees.
“A person’s house is their most important investment, so they need an expert and pay an expert to look at these things because the average person doesn’t understand,” says Cofer.
Knox Pest Control publishes a statement stating: “
“Our fourth generation family business has strong ties to the state of Alabama and a history that dates back to the mid-1940s. We pride ourselves on providing safe, consistent, and affordable pest control services,” said John Knox, CEO of Knox Pest Control. He continued, “We have an A-plus Better Business Bureau rating and an excellent reputation. We would like to emphasize that we have not received any complaints from customers affected by this settlement. While we believe our work has been challenged by the Attorney General and the Alabama Department of Agriculture has met industry standards, we see the state interpreting its regulations and determining that we are not complying. We accept this agreement and are in the process of contacting our affected customers. We intend to move on from this and will continue to provide our customers with the friendly and professional service they have come to expect. “
Before entering into a termite protection contract, you should always consult the person’s pesticide license, which is issued by the Department of Agriculture. You also need to know that there are two different legal contracts; one that provides retreatment only and the other that provides retreatment and repair of damage in the event that termites invade your place.
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