SPCS is responsible for regulating the pest control industry in the State of Texas. SPCS's authority is set forth in Occupations Code, Chapter 1951. Our mission is to provide a vital function in the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Texas and the environment by licensing, regulating, and setting standards and criteria for Structural Pest Control. We act as an investigative arm of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Structural pest control refers to the process intended to eliminate or remove unwanted insects, plants and/or animals in or around man-made structures.
Anyone who is in the business of pest control, including small companies owned and operated by a single individual, must have an SPCS commercial license. This can include landscape and lawn maintenance companies that perform weed and plant insect control around homes and businesses.
SPCS also issues noncommercial licenses to some employees of schools, universities, hospitals, day-care centers, nursing homes, warehouses, food processing plants, and local, county and state government who perform pest control for their employer.
Anyone who believes that a regulation of the Structural Pest Control Act has been violated by an individual or company can file a complaint. Please note that a less than completely successful treatment does not mean the law has been violated.
Common complaints that SPCS can review are:
- Operating a pest control business without a license;
- Fraud and/or misrepresentation;
- Pest control practices that are harmful to the health of people or the environment;
- Failure to honor contract specifications that specifically deal with application methods, pesticide amounts, re-treatments, re-inspections, etc.;
- Incomplete or inaccurate wood destroying insect inspections and reports;
- Failure to issue correct disclosure documents and/or information sheets.
A SPCS licensee cannot make untrue, misleading or deceptive statements to you relating to structural pest control and cannot refuse to provide service because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or mental or physical disability.
Disputes SPCS Cannot Settle
- Jurisdiction over complaints involving disputes between license holders and consumers involving repayment for insect damage or damage repair.
- Jurisdiction over crimes committed by someone licensed by the SPCS. Such matters should be referred to the local law enforcement authorities.
To File a Complaint
Submit a complaint form, by mail, email SPCS@TexasAgriculture.gov, fax 888-232-2567 or call SPCS at (866) 918-4481.
Before filing a complaint, please consider the following:
- Contact the pest control company directly to let them know about your dissatisfaction. Most companies want to keep your business and will often attempt to resolve your concern.
- Check all the specifications of a contract or service agreement. If you have questions about certain terms or language used in the contract, please contact the company and ask for an explanation or definition.
Gather as much relevant information or documentation (such as invoices, treatment records, inspection records, diagrams, disclosure documents, correspondence, etc.) between you and the pest control business. Be prepared to provide copies of this documentation to the SPCS.
If your allegation involves a wood destroying insect inspection or report for a real estate transaction, please read the "Scope of the Inspection" at the top of the Official State of Texas Wood Destroying Insect report.
The Complaint Process
The complaint will be reviewed to determine if SPCS has jurisdiction concerning the complaint allegations. If SPCS does not have the proper jurisdiction to investigate your complaint but another state agency is believed to have the jurisdiction, SPCS will refer your complaint.
Your complaint will be assigned to a SPCS inspector. The inspector will contact you and may want to meet you to ask additional questions and review and/or gather any physical evidence. The inspector may also collect relevant information from other sources. The inspector will then submit a report to the TDA Enforcement Division.
Enforcement will review the inspector's findings and determine if a violation has been committed and if there is adequate proof. Violations will result in an enforcement action.
Please remember that finding a violation will not necessarily resolve a dispute between you and the party in question.
The process can take as little time as a few days or as long as a few months, depending on the circumstances involved in each individual complaint. Additionally, SPCS jurisdiction is limited to determining if a violation of the Structural Pest Control Act and Regulations has occurred and does not include the authority to require a licensee to enter into a settlement with or pay restitution to a complainant.
You are allowed one free copy of the SPCS's investigation report when completed. Your one free copy can be obtained by making a written request to the SPCS's office in Austin. There will be a copy charge if more than one copy of an investigation report is requested.
Information About Pesticides
National Pesticide Information Center is a cooperative effort of Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that provides pesticide information to any caller in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. NPIC provides objective, science-based information about a wide variety of pesticide-related subjects, including: pesticide products; recognition and management of pesticide poisoning; toxicology and environmental chemistry. NPIC operates 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, 7 days a week, excluding holidays. Phone: 1-800-858-7378 FAX: 1-541-737-0761