Pesticide Application

Fulfilling an association’s maintenance responsibilities may result in the need to apply pesticides to common areas and in some instances to an owner’s separate interest.  When pesticides are applied, residents of the association must be provided with notice concerning the time of application and the pesticides to be applied, among other items of information. The laws governing what must be provided differ depending upon whether the pesticides are to be applied by a licensed pest control operator, or instead by someone who is not licensed by the State of California to apply pesticides (i.e., the association’s general landscaper).

Use of a Licensed Pest Control Operator
When an association retains a “pest control operator” that is licensed by the State of California, the pest control operator has to provide several items of information to the association so that the association may pass that information on to its residents. The information required to be provided by the operator to the association, and then passed on to the association’s residents, generally includes:

  • The date(s) of the schedule application of pesticides to the property;
  • The identity of the pesticide by brand or common chemical name; and
  • The precautions printed on the pesticide label or included in laws or regulations to protect persons doing the application.

For more information, see California Code of Regulations Section 6618(b).

Use of an Unlicensed Pest Control Operator – New Civil Code Section 4777
Legislation was enacted in September 2016 to impose requirements on associations that use persons to apply pesticides who are not licensed pest control operators. As a result of that legislation, new Civil Code Section 4777 will be added to the Davis-Stirling Act effective January 1, 2017.

Section 4777 generally requires an association to provide notice to its members and residents of the association’s development when pesticides are to be applied to an owner’s separate interest, or to common area, by an unlicensed pest control operator.  The notice must generally include information regarding:

  • The name of the pest(s) to be controlled;
  • The name and brand of the pesticide product to be used; and
  • The approximate date, time and frequency with which the pesticide will be applied, in addition to specified language in the Code disclaiming that pesticides are toxic chemicals.

This notice must be provided at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the pesticide application by posting notice in a conspicuous location within the common area in which the pesticide is to be applied. If a posted notice is not practicable, notice must be provided by individual delivery.  For more information, see Civil Code Section 4777.