Monday July 15, 2013

RUTLAND (AP) -- The Vermont Health Department has advised several people to leave their homes within a week because of pesticides used to treat bedbugs.

The state also suspended the license of Cary Buck of AAA Accredited Pest Control in North Clarendon, who’s accused of spraying homes with the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been banned from indoor use since 2001.

Vermont Health Commissioner Harry Chen tells the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/15rdu8W) that the state is testing 50 or more households that were treated for bedbugs. So far, five homes have tested positive for chlorpyrifos.

The state has advised people in two households to vacate their homes within a week so they could be cleaned. In a third case, a household was told to leave within 48 hours.

The state started to investigate this spring when residents of a Rutland area home treated for bedbugs reported an overwhelming odor, officials said. The state suspended Buck’s license in June after several tests.

Chlorpyrifos, which is usually used to kill pests in farm settings, can affect humans’ central nervous system and cause dizziness, nausea and confusion, the Environmental Protection Agency says. Low levels can also be linked to sleep and memory problems, Chen said.

Buck said he has not used the pesticide since it was banned for indoor use.

Buck, who said he used a different pesticide, deltamethrin, said he would likely fight the license suspension. "I’ve been in this business 28 years. I think I know what I’m doing by now," he said.