Today Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced that her office, along with 16 other District Attorney’s Offices in California, resolved a civil case involving pesticide violations and unfair business practices against Jeffrey M. Van Diepen and Pestmaster Services LP (formerly known as Pestmaster Services Inc.). The stipulated judgment requires the defendants to pay $575,000 in penalties and costs and requires them to contract out training for their employees, give prior notice to county officials of pesticide applications, hire an outside compliance manager, and other requirements to ensure their compliance with the law. Mr. Van Diepen was required to surrender his California pest control licenses and is barred from ever getting them back.

The complaint in the civil case alleged, and Van Diepen and Pestmaster admitted to:

  • Submitting a Proposal to the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015 with misleading statements indicating that Pestmaster’s policies and procedures were in compliance with all EPA, OSHA, federal, state, and local regulatory guidance.

  • Performing pesticide applications for hire without registering with the county Agricultural Commissioner.

  • Performing pesticide applications without submitting monthly pesticide use reports.

  • Not providing information as to pesticide use when requested by the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.

  • Performing structural pest control work between November 21, 2017, and January 3, 2018, and between October 15, 2020, and January 27, 2021, without a valid license.

  • Failing to ensure their employees were trained as required and that they used all required personal protective equipment.

  • Making recommendations for use of pesticides without having a Pest Control Advisor license and without registering with the County Agricultural Commissioner.

  • Allowing unlicensed individuals to contract for structural pest control work or performing structural pest control work without being properly licensed.

  • Failing to leave the required notice at the property where the pesticide application was made.

The violations started in 2015. Several County Agricultural Commissioners issued Pestmaster Notices of Violations. The violations continued after the District Attorney’s Office contacted the company in 2017.  Pestmaster is a nationally franchised company headquartered in Reno, Nevada, and holds many government contracts for pesticide work.