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Should You Give Pesticides to Your Customers?

Technician giving customer a place pack
Just say "no!"
Illustration © Pinto & Associates, Inc.

"Just a Little Extra for Emergencies"

"Come on," says your residential customer, "leave me one of those tubes of ant bait, just in case." Or the apartment property’s manager insists that you leave rodent bait with her maintenance staff. A word to the wise: Don’t do it!

Maybe you think that ant baits or rodenticide place packs are pretty safe. But when you give pesticide to a customer or a friend, you give up control over what happens to it next.


Trouble down the road...

So, say you gave your customer some of your pesticide for them to use when you're not there. What could happen? After all, the products you use are pretty safe, right? Just think about what could happen.

  • Will the apartment staff simply hand over the rodent bait to the tenant? What if she leaves the place packs on her kitchen table and her two year-old gets at them? Who will the state regulators and the courts blame? Not the apartment staff. You.
  • What if you’ve got a little spray mix left over at the end of the day and your last residential customer asks if you can pour it into his sprayer? What if he sprays the residual you are using to control cockroaches on to his tomatoes and someone becomes ill?

It’s illegal to give away (or sell) any pesticide unless it’s in its original container with original label attached. Likewise, loose cockroach bait stations do not have the box’s original label attached and cannot be legally distributed to customers.

In many states, it is illegal to give away any pesticide product, labeled or not, without a dealer's license.

Besides the safety factor, there’s the professional factor. Do you think the apartment’s maintenance staff know the best places to apply rodent bait? If their baiting doesn’t work, you can bet you'll be called to fix the problem. Your reputation and your company’s reputation suffer.

When your customer asks you for pesticides, keep control. Just say “no!”

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