Update for Board of Pesticides Control

Update for Board of Pesticides Control

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Board of Pesticides Control

Board of Pesticides Control Update

The Board of Pesticides Control wants to keep you informed on issues that may affect you. We welcome your input and feedback. Please send your comments to pesticides@maine.gov.

In This Update:

Upcoming Board Meetings

The next Board meeting is April 5, 2024 it will be hybrid in Rm 101 Deering Building, 90 Blossom Lane, Augusta and on Microsoft Teams. For more information, visit the Board Meetings Page.

Upcoming Credit Meetings

The following programs have been approved for pesticide recertification credits. More recertification opportunities may be found on the BPC Credit Calendar.

March 15, 2024 – Rescheduled Applicator Recertification Credits from the Ag Trade Show

March 19, 2024 – Preseason Tree Fruit Meeting

  • Location: University of Southern Maine, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, ME (8 AM to 3:30 PM)
  • Approved for 3 pesticide credit (private, commercial)
  • For more information and registration

March 26, 2024 –Maine Vegetable and Fruit School

BPC Reminders

*NEW* Metro Exam Location

Metro Institute, the company that BPC contracts to administer pesticide applicator exams at different locations across the state, has opened a new testing location in New Gloucester. A list of exam locations is available on metro institute’s webpage.

BPC also has a brochure on how to sign-up for computer-based exams on available on our website.

Soggy Lawns

With the recent wet weather and lack of snow, BPC wants to remind applicators that the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for turf pesticides and fertilizers is available on our website to anyone interested in reviewing them. These BMPs were developed in 2009 in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders. It outlines operating standards, site assessments, making informed product choices, and how to interact with customer/neighbor relations. The full brochure can be found on the BMPs section of our website.

Product Registration Update

Always check to ensure all products distributed or used are currently registered in the State of Maine. Get a list of the current Maine registrations.


  • The BPC continues to receive calls regarding pesticide applications for mold and mildew remediation by unlicensed contractors. When pesticides (including disinfectants, germicides, virucides, mold and mildew killers, etc.) are used during mold and mildew remediation for compensation (“for-hire”), commercial pesticide applicator licensing is required in Maine.
  • This winter the BPC has also received a number of calls pertaining to structural pesticide applications conducted indoors. Investigation of these complaints has revealed disregard for use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Risk Minimization as required in CHAPTER 26: STANDARDS FOR INDOOR PESTICIDE APPLICATIONS AND NOTIFICATION FOR ALL OCCUPIED BUILDINGS EXCEPT K – 12 SCHOOLS.

Section 4. Integrated Pest Management Techniques

A. Applicators must undertake pest management activities using appropriate elements of integrated pest management. In all cases, any application shall be conducted in a manner to minimize exposure and human risk to the maximum extent practicable using currently available technology.

B. Applicators must identify conditions conducive to the development of pest problems. Commercial applicators must provide to the client a written evaluation of pest conducive conditions and must provide specific recommendations for practical non-pesticide control measures.

C. Prior to any pesticide application, applicators must identify the pest specifically and evaluate the infestation severity and any associated damage except as provided in Section 4(C)(1) and (2) below.

1. Where there is a history of pest infestation and conditions are conducive to pest infestations, baits, gels, pastes or granular materials placed in areas not readily accessible to residents, employees, patients, or children and crack and crevice treatments designed to control commonly occurring pests in these areas may be used without specific evidence that a significant population is currently present.

2. For specific public health pests designated by Board policy, baits, gels, pastes, granular materials or crack and crevice treatments placed in areas not readily accessible to residents, employees or customers may be used without specific evidence of an infestation.

Section 5.  Risk Minimization

A. Prior to pesticide application, applicators must take into account the toxicity of recommended product(s) and choose low risk product(s) based on efficacy, volatility, the potential for exposure, the signal word on the pesticide label, the material safety data sheet and any label language imposing a ventilation requirement.

B. Unless prohibited by the label, only baits, gels, pastes or granular materials and crack and crevice treatments may be used when residents, patients, children, customers and unconsenting employees are in the same room.

C. Prior to making an application, applicators must also consider the following: 

1. The principal uses for the room to be treated including if it is primarily occupied by sensitive individuals such as children, older adults or persons with chronic illnesses.

2. The type of treatment being made and the likelihood that people or pets will come into contact with the treated area following the application.

3. The volatility of the product being applied and the practical need to ventilate the treated room(s) prior to re-entry. In all cases, label statements relative to ventilation or re-entry shall be minimum requirements.

4. The type of ventilation system, if present, including whether it serves only the treated room(s) or the entire building, and whether it can and should be shut off while the treatment is performed.

  • Through the course of these inspections, it has also come to our attention some confusion surrounding the definition of Crack and Crevice Treatment which is defined in Chapter 26.

Section 1. Definitions

C. Crack and Crevice Treatment. For the purposes of this regulation, Crack and Crevice Treatment means using an injector tip and placing the tip inside an opening to apply small amounts of pesticides into cracks and crevices in which pests hide or through which they may enter a building. Such openings commonly occur at expansion joints, between elements of construction, and between equipment and floors. These openings may lead to voids such as hollow walls, equipment legs and bases, conduits, motor housings, and junction or switch boxes. This does not include spraying a band covering the baseboards or mopboards or spraying above the baseboards or mopboards.

EPA Update – EPA Provides Update on Streptomycin Uses on Citrus

Released on March 3, 2024

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing the following update in light of the Ninth Circuit’s December 2023 decision that vacated the 2021 registration amendments for streptomycin because of the Agency’s failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act. The 2021 amendments added a time-limited use on citrus crop group 10-10 for two streptomycin sulfate pesticide products. The Citrus crop group 10-10 includes orange, tangerine, lime, grapefruit commodities and varieties of these citrus fruits.

On February 5, 2024, the Court’s order vacating the 2021 amendments became effective, making it unlawful to sell or distribute AGRI-SEEDTM 50 WP also branded as FirewallTM 50 WP (EPA Reg. No. 80990-3) and EACTM Streptomycin Manufacturing Use Product (EPA Reg. No. 91275-1) labeled for use on citrus. On March 4, 2024, EPA issued a Notice of Use Termination and an Existing Stocks Order for Time-Limited Use on Citrus Crop Group 10-10 for these products. The existing stocks order addresses use of these streptomycin products on citrus and authorizes limited sale and distribution of some of these products that are already in the possession of growers or in the channels of trade and outside the control of the pesticide companies.


Streptomycin is an antibiotic that is registered for use as a pesticide to control bacteria, fungi and algae on fruit, vegetables, seed and ornamental crops. AGRI-SEEDTM 50 WP and EACTM Streptomycin Manufacturing Use Product were first registered in 2003 and 2002, respectively. In 2015, the registrants submitted applications to amend these registrations to add a new use on citrus. After an opportunity for public comment, EPA granted these registration amendments on January 12, 2021. On March 25, 2021, Migrant Clinicians Network (along with other environmental and farmworker organizations) petitioned the Ninth Circuit for review of EPA’s registration decisions. On December 13, 2023, the Court issued an opinion vacating the 2021 registration amendments for use on citrus. The Court’s decision to vacate these registration amendments became effective on February 5, 2024. As of that date, it has been unlawful to sell or distribute these products labeled for use on citrus.

Existing Stocks Order

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA may permit the sale and use of existing stocks of a pesticide that has been cancelled or suspended. Existing stocks are those products that have been released for shipment as of the date or the cancellation or suspension. On March 4, 2024, EPA issued an existing stocks order for AGRI-SEEDTM 50 WP and EACTM Streptomycin Manufacturing Use Product. Absent an existing stocks order, it would be unlawful for registrants and downstream sellers and distributors to sell or distribute these products, even for destruction or relabeling. Additionally, this existing stocks order will ensure that any use of previously purchased product is consistent with the product labeling.

EPA’s order allows for sale and distribution of existing stocks by the registrants for purposes of proper disposal, lawful export, or relabeling. For downstream sellers and distributors and end users, EPA’s order is divided geographically because EPA understands that the only use of AGRI-SEEDTM 50 WP on citrus is in Florida.

Thus, in all states except Florida, EPA is permitting sale and distribution of existing stocks of these products already in the possession of growers or in the channels of trade and outside the control of pesticide companies, until May 31, 2024 to accommodate use against fire blight on crops such as pears and apples (which was not impacted by the Court’s order). EPA is also prohibiting any use of AGRI-SEEDTM 50 WP on citrus in these states as of the date of the order.

In Florida, EPA is only permitting sale or distribution of existing stocks of these products already in the possession of individuals other than the registrants for the purposes of proper disposal, lawful export, or return to the registrant (e.g., for relabeling). However, because EPA recognizes that there are likely existing stocks of AGRI-SEEDTM 50 WP in the possession of citrus growers, EPA’s order permits use on citrus for the current growing season (until August 31, 2024) provided that the use is consistent with the previously approved labeling ensuring that users must comply with existing labeling protections for human health and the environment.

For complete details on the existing stocks order, please see EPA’s Notice of Use Termination and Existing Stocks Order for Time-Limited Use on Citrus Crop Group 10-10 on Certain Streptomycin Sulfate Products.

Next Steps

EPA will continue to update the public and the states as it evaluates and takes any actions related to streptomycin use on citrus.