Dear Ms. Coombs:
As someone involved in the California pest control industry, I am gravely concerned about a petition pending before the California Air Resources Board (CARB) asking CARB to essentially ban the use of sulfuryl fluoride in California. I strongly oppose a ban on the use of sulfuryl fluoride in California, which would result in a multitude of unintended, yet devastating consequences to the health and safety of millions of California residents, the California economy, and my business.
Sulfuryl fluoride fumigation is the only proven way to completely eradicate termites when they infest residential and commercial structures. It is also highly effective in eliminating bed bugs, cockroaches, and rodents. Although many termite companies conduct spot or alternative treatments as needed and appropriate, these other treatments are not as effective, especially if pest infestations are well established and difficult to locate or reach.
In the real world, structural pests like termites, if left unchecked, can destroy and weaken buildings to the point they are uninhabitable, unsellable, and unsafe. We provide sulfuryl fluoride fumigations for many reasons, including:
- To provide certainty to banks and buyers that properties are free from termites and other pests as part of real estate transactions.
- To eliminate pests that compromise the structural integrity of buildings and make them vulnerable to earthquakes.
- To help revitalize communities by preserving existing buildings and houses.
- To eliminate bed bugs, cockroaches, and rodents, which can cause serious public health issues, from a wide range of buildings, including:
- Homes, apartments, and condominiums, including low-income housing and homes and communities for senior citizens.
- Homeless shelters.
- Libraries, community centers, government offices, and other publicly accessible buildings.
Banning sulfuryl fluoride in California would also put hundreds of Latino business owners and employees out of work. Latinos own an estimated 70 percent of structural fumigation businesses, and about 90 percent of the workforce is Latino. Our industry provides a living wage and opportunities for advancement to many immigrants and those without college educations.
Sulfuryl fluoride fumigation provides an essential and critical public service. In making your decision, please consider the many benefits of sulfuryl fluoride and the serious ramifications that would result from banning sulfuryl fluoride in California. Thank you for your time.