Court Ruling Upholds Montgomery County Pesticide Ban

Departments - News

June 5, 2019

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Montgomery County (Md.) is one step closer to implementing its prohibition on the use of cosmetic pesticides on lawns, following a May 2 ruling by a Maryland appeals court. This decision could have implications for pest management professionals involved in the lawn care market.

On May 2, the Maryland Court of Special Appeal in Montgomery County, Maryland v. Complete Lawn Care, et. al., found valid the county’s 2015 ban on outdoor pesticide use on private property by residents and professionals. That ban did not apply to agricultural land and golf courses, and it would not have stopped the sale of lawn pesticides in the county. The ban was supposed to take place in 2018, but it was put on hold after a coalition of residents, businesses and the trade group Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), filed a 2016 lawsuit.

Both RISE and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) shared concerns over this recent ruling. In NPMA’s May 3 Policy Week in Review e-newsletter, the association wrote: “Although structural pest control uses are exempt, this ruling is very problematic, as it sets a precedent of a locality banning specific products that have already been approved for use by the EPA, setting up a patchwork of regulation. If this ruling is allowed to stand, we expect to see other counties in Maryland and states without preemption look to attempt something similar.”

RISE issued a statement noting it disagreed with the decision, which the trade group said failed to consider the strong opinion issued by the Circuit Court for Maryland in 2017, finding the county ban was illegal under existing state law and the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive pesticide regulatory program.

“We believe the county’s ban on consumer and professional pesticide use on private property is preempted by existing state law and we are disappointed with the decision of the Court of Special Appeals given the well-reasoned opinion of the lower court, which found the county’s ban to be preempted by existing state law,” the RISE statement read. “We remain concerned that this local pesticide regulation undermines the state’s authority in regulating pesticides and ensuring they are used properly and safely throughout the state. The necessary expertise and enforcement capability are provided by Maryland Department of Agriculture.”

RISE added that it is “currently evaluating next steps to help ensure that each Montgomery County resident has the right to decide for herself or himself whether to use pesticide products that have been approved by the state of Maryland.” — Brad Harbison

Rutherford Named President of Terminix Commercial

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — ServiceMaster Global Holdings in May announced Greg Rutherford has succeeded Deni Naumann as president of Terminix Commercial.

“We are strengthening our Terminix Commercial team to continue delivering on the commitment we have made towards this important ServiceMaster business. Greg joining us is a great next step to build on the progress we are making with this fast-growing commercial pest management business, which has benefited from a strong foundation built under Deni’s incredible leadership,” said Nik Varty, ServiceMaster chief executive officer. “Our commercial business will greatly benefit from Greg’s leadership and experience in developing people, building strong teams, delivering strong results, and cultivating frontline-led organizations.”


Rutherford joins ServiceMaster from Republic Services, a Fortune 300 company in solid waste and recycling services, where he was division president of Energy and Environmental Solutions. In his 13 years at Republic Services, Rutherford worked his way up through roles of increasing responsibility, including general manager, market vice president, area president and region vice president.

The company also announced the promotion of Aric Schroeder to vice president of National Accounts and general manager of Copesan Services, succeeding Naumann, and reporting to Rutherford. He will be responsible for continuing the strategic direction for Copesan and Terminix National Accounts and will oversee the Copesan operating companies, Holder’s Pest Solutions and Wil-Kil Pest Control.

“I want to thank Deni Naumann, who has shared her desire to spend more time with her family and community in retirement but, to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of the established direction of Terminix Commercial, will remain in a consultative role with ServiceMaster,” said Varty. “Since joining us through the Copesan acquisition, she has provided incredible leadership and shown us a path toward sustainable, profitable growth in our important commercial and national accounts pest control businesses.”


Purdue’s Dr. Gary Bennett To Retire in June

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Dr. Gary Bennett, professor and director of the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management at Purdue University, will be retiring June 30, following a storied 50-year stint leading one of the largest urban entomology programs in the country.

At this year’s Purdue Pest Management Conference, Bennett was recognized for having led the annual educational event for 50 years. In this same period of time, he’s helped develop many next-generation urban entomology researchers, and his lab has performed important research that has benefited pest management professionals.

“I’ve enjoyed the ride and had a good time, and I will continue to work with the industry on some things. It just won’t be at Purdue,” said Bennett, 77, who told PCT he decided to retire in order to travel more with wife Milta and spend more time with the couple’s children and grandchildren.


Bennett said the decision to retire wasn’t easy, as he’s enjoyed leading the annual conference and other training events, as well as working cooperatively with PCOs and other industry professionals — people he counts as his closest friends. Bennett said his professional highlights at Purdue include working on technology that has helped the pest control industry (e.g., IGRs) and observing students succeed in urban entomology-related fields post graduation.

“Everything I’ve been involved with at Purdue and with the pest control industry I’ve enjoyed and that’s why I’ve stayed so long,” he said.

While Bennett’s post-Purdue plans in pest control aren’t fully plotted out at this point, he does plan on staying active with the Indiana Pest Management Association.

Purdue’s plans to replace Bennett’s position are to be determined. As PCT reported earlier this year, Purdue is in the process of filling the John V. Osmun Endowed Chair of Entomology at Purdue University — a position that is expected to be filled in time for the 2020-21 academic year. — Brad Harbison


Rollins Finalizes Acquisition of California-Based Clark Pest Control

ATLANTA — Rollins announced on April 30 that it had completed the purchase of Clark Pest Control of Stockton, Calif.

Clark is a family-owned company established by Charlie Clark in 1950 and is headquartered in Lodi, Calif. It ranked No. 9 on the 2019 PCT Top 100 list. Currently, Clark operates 26 locations and offers both residential and commercial pest control throughout California and northwestern Nevada. Clark’s Robert Baker will stay on to run day-to-day operations in California.

Gary W. Rollins, vice chairman and CEO of Rollins, said, “This family-owned business is a great addition to Rollins’ family of brands. We see great opportunity for this company and its employees.”

Baker, president of Clark Pest Control, added, “The Clark Pest Control family is proud to become a member of the Rollins Inc. team. We are excited for the opportunities this brings for the Clark employees.”

Also included in this acquisition are real estate properties and Geotech Supply.


Date, Venue Announced for ICUP 2020 Conference

BARCELONA, Spain — The dates and venue for the next International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP), which is held once every three years, have been announced by the organizers.


The conference will again be held in Europe and will take place from June 29-July 1, 2020, at Pompeu Fabra University, in Barcelona, Spain.

The 2020 organizing team is chaired by Dr. Rubén Bueno from Laboratorios Lokímica, based in Alicante, Spain. Dr. Rubén Bueno said, “Since the close of the previous ICUP 2017 in Birmingham, our 2020 Organizing Committee has been working hard laying the foundations for what promises to be another stimulating and productive event.”

As at previous ICUP events, the program will address the science and management of a wide variety of urban pests and vectors, including those of hygiene, structural and medical importance. Pests of rising significance, which have caused researchers to reevaluate management practices and the future direction of urban pest control, will be addressed. The impact of regulatory and stewardship challenges will also be included.

Details regarding attendee registration and how to offer a paper for consideration by the organizing committee will be announced in the near future when the ICUP 2020 website goes live.

Presentations from the previous conferences can be found on the central ICUP website at

This will be the tenth in the series of ICUP conferences. The previous conferences have been held in Cambridge, England (1993), Edinburgh, Scotland (1996), Prague, Czech Republic (1999), Charleston, S.C. (2002), Singapore (2005), Budapest, Hungary (2008), Ouro Preto, Brazil (2011), Zurich, Switzerland (2014) and Aston, Birmingham, UK (2017).


NPMA Announces Results of 2019-2020 Board of Directors Election

FAIRFAX, Va. — NPMA recently announced the results of its annual Board of Directors election. NPMA’s executive committee will consist of the following Board members:

  • Chris Gorecki (Rollins, Atlanta) will serve as president.
  • Scott Steckel (Plunkett’s Pest Control, Columbus, Ohio) will serve as president-elect.
  • Justin McCauley (McCauley Service, Benton, Ark.) will serve as treasurer.
  • Marillian Missiti (Buono Pest Control Co., Belmont, Mass.) will serve as secretary.
  • Dennis Jenkins (ABC Home & Commercial Services, Lewisville, Texas) will serve as immediate past president.

Each of the newly elected directors will begin their term of office on July 1. New members of the board of directors include:

  • Region 1 Director: Marty Overline (Aardvark Pest Management, Philadelphia)
  • Region 4 Director: Stuart Keenan (Ky-Ko Pest Prevention, Mesa, Ariz.)
  • Region 5 Director: Sean Rollo (Orkin Canada, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada)
  • At Large Member: Mike Bullert (Big Time Pest Control, Anderson, Calif.)
  • At Large Member: Scott Canady (Canady’s Services, Lumber Bridge, N.C.)
  • At Large Member: John Cooksey (McCall Service, Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • At Large Member: Ashley Morrison (City Wide Exterminating, Locust, N.C.)
  • At Large Member: Mickey Nolen (Nozzle Nolen, West Palm Beach, Fla.)
  • At Large Member: Betty Thornton (Alvin Pest Control, Alvin, Texas)
  • Past President Representative: H. Russell Ives (Rose Pest Solutions, Troy, Mich.)
  • Allied Director: Ildem Bozkurt (Bayer Environmental Science, Research Triangle Park, N.C.)
  • Allied Director: Ka Tsu (ServicePro.Net, Columbus, Ohio)
  • Associate Director: Emilio Polce (EcoChoice Termite and Pest Control, Conventry, Conn.)
  • Associate Director: Aric Schroeder (Copesan Services, Menomonee Falls, Wis.)
  • UPFDA Representative: Thomas Forshaw IV (Forshaw, Charlotte, N.C.)

These individuals join the current NPMA board members to round out the association’s leadership:

  • Region 2 Director: Eric Frye (Wayne’s Pest Control, Birmingham, Ala.)
  • Region 3 Director: Travis Swope (Griffin Pest Management, Santa Ana, Calif.)
  • At Large Member: Travis Aggson (American Pest Management, Manhattan, Kan.)
  • At Large Member: Brian Alonso (Columbus Pest Control, Columbus, Ohio)
  • At Large Member: Jeremy Clark (Dugas Pest Control of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, La.)
  • At Large Member: Marie Horner (Arrow Exterminators, Winston- Salem, N.C.)


FMC Offers True Champions Loyalty Program for the Professional Pest Market

PHILADELPHIA — FMC Professional Solutions announced in May it is offering a loyalty program for the professional pest management market. Enrollment for the program begins immediately. Those who enroll by July 4 will be awarded retroactively on eligible purchases from Jan. 1, 2019. These purchases also will receive 1.5 times their reward rebate and earn automatic Gold-Tier status.

“We are very pleased to offer an industry-leading rewards program to our valued pest management customers,” said Kevin Laycock, FMC marketing manager, Professional Solutions. “We have built a program that not only delivers strong financial incentives across our portfolio, it also provides member-exclusive resources including marketing materials and professional offers for businesses to help them grow.”

In addition to product rebates, the FMC True Champions program includes Solution Assurances, such as the Mosquito Promise guarantee for Talstar Professional Insecticide. FMC says its True Champions program is proud to strengthen its partnership with pest management professionals through a sincere commitment to the industry.

For more details on FMC True Champions loyalty program, visit


Three Zoëcon Label Training Modules Added to PCT’s DLC

VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — PCT’s Distance Learning Center continues to expand with the addition of the following label training modules from Zoëcon.

  • Gentrol Complete Aerosol
  • Lava-Lor Granular Bait
  • Musca-Cide Fly Bait Spray

Visit or PestWeb’s ProTraining website to get started on these modules. The label training modules are the centerpiece of PCT’s Distance Learning Center — a free service for the professional pest control market provided by PCT.

Created by Board Certified Entomologist and consultant Stoy Hedges, the courses use photographs, video clips and reference materials to challenge users’ knowledge, experience and problem-solving skills for a wide range of products and pest problems.

Accessible by PC, tablet or smartphone, Distance Learning Center training is presented in modules designed to take a half-hour to an hour to complete. This brevity gives individuals the opportunity to fit this education in whenever their schedules allow — even during breaks or lunchtime. And if a user needs to stop while taking a course, no problem, he or she can close the program and pick up at the point left off later.


Anticimex Acquires JP McHale Pest Management

Stockholm — Anticimex on May 2 announced continued expansion in the U.S. with the acquisition of JP McHale Pest Management, which operates in the greater New York area. With the acquisition, Anticimex says it further strengthens its market position on the East Coast as well as the strategic New York area. Paul Giannamore of The Potomac Company acted as exclusive financial adviser to JP McHale Pest Management.