By John Burton
TRENTON – The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined a Monmouth County pest control business nearly a half million dollars for allegedly misapplying pesticides to locations in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, including as number of restaurants and the Red Bank Housing Authority properties.
The DEP levied the $495,000 fine against Zapp Termite and Pest Control, Trident Boulevard, Neptune, and its owner, Vincent K. Taylor, and revoked the firm’s pesticide applicator business license and Taylor’s applicator license, according to the DEP.
As a result of a complaint from a resident, the DEP had sent investigators to sites treated by Zapp. Investigators discovered that the firm repeatedly misused pesticides in and near food preparation areas, including near kitchens sinks, refrigerators and in dining areas; applied pesticides too frequently; used pesticides intended for outdoor use indoors; and failed to provide to consumers state required information about the type of products being used and dates of applications. Investigators also found that the company’s vehicles lacked required safety equipment, and observed employees using improperly marked containers for pesticides, the DEP charged.
There are no reports of anyone directly harmed by the firm’s alleged actions, but it had the potential to expose people to harmful levels of these products, said John Giordano, DEP assistant commissioner for compliance and enforcement.