MPMA Legislative Alert - HF 1255

A bill for an act 1.2 relating to environment policy; authorizing cities to adopt certain pesticide control 1.3 ordinances; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 18B.09. 1.4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
1.5 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 18B.09, is amended to read: 1.6 18B.09 PESTICIDE APPLICATION IN CITIES.
1.7 Subdivision 1.Applicability.This section applies only to statutory and home rule charter 1.8 cities that enact ordinances as provided in this section.
1.9 Subd. 2.Authority.Statutory and home rule charter cities may enact an ordinance, 1.10 which may include penalty and enforcement provisions, containing one or both of the 1.11 following:
1.12 (1) the pesticide application warning information contained in subdivision 3, including 1.13 their own licensing, penalty, and enforcement provisions.; and
1.14 (2) the pesticide prohibition contained in subdivision 4.
1.15 Statutory and home rule charter cities may not enact an ordinance that contains more 1.16 restrictive pesticide application warning information than is contained that which is provided 1.17 in subdivision subdivisions 3 and 4.
1.18 Subd. 3.Warning signs for pesticide application.(a) All commercial or noncommercial 1.19 applicators who apply pesticides to turf areas must post or affix warning signs on the property 1.20 where the pesticides are applied.
1Section 1.
REVISOR JRM H1255-1HF1255   FIRST ENGROSSMENT State of MinnesotaThis Document can be made available in alternative formats upon request HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES H. F. No.   1255NINETY-FIRST SESSION Authored by Wagenius, Hansen, Acomb, Fischer, Becker-Finn and others02/14/2019 The bill was read for the first time and referred to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Policy Adoption of Report: Amended and re-referred to the Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division02/13/2020
2.1 (b) Warning signs must project at least 18 inches above the top of the grass line. The 2.2 warning signs must be of a material that is rain-resistant for at least a 48-hour period and 2.3 must remain in place up to 48 hours from the time of initial application.
2.4 (c) The following information must be printed on the warning sign in contrasting colors 2.5 and capitalized letters measuring at least one-half inch, or in another format approved by 2.6 the commissioner. The sign must provide the following information:
2.7 (1) the name of the business organization, entity, or person applying the pesticide; and
2.8 (2) the following language: "This area chemically treated. Keep children and pets off 2.9 until ...(date of safe entry)..." or a universally accepted symbol and text approved by the 2.10 commissioner that is recognized as having the same meaning or intent as specified in this 2.11 paragraph. The warning sign may include the name of the pesticide used.
2.12 (d) The warning sign must be posted on a lawn or yard between two feet and five feet 2.13 from the sidewalk or street. For parks, golf courses, athletic fields, playgrounds, or other 2.14 similar recreational property, the warning signs must be posted immediately adjacent to 2.15 areas within the property where pesticides have been applied and at or near the entrances 2.16 to the property.
2.17 Subd. 4.Application of certain pesticides prohibited.(a) A person may not apply or 2.18 use a pollinator-lethal pesticide within the geographic boundaries of a city that has enacted 2.19 an ordinance under subdivision 2 prohibiting such use.
2.20 (b) For purposes of this subdivision, "pollinator-lethal pesticide" means a pesticide that 2.21 has a pollinator protection box on the label or labeling, or a pollinator, bee, or honey bee 2.22 precautionary statement in the environmental hazards section of the label or labeling.
2.23 (c) The commissioner must maintain a list of pollinator-lethal pesticides on the 2.24 department's website.


Opposition to the Creation of a Patchwork of Pest and Vector Control Regulations - HF 1255 Throws Bed Bugs, Cockroaches, Mosquitoes, and Ticks a Lifeline in Minnesota


  • The Minnesota Pest Management Association (MPMA) strongly opposes repealing pesticide preemption and allowing cities to ban pesticides both indoors and outdoors that are vital to protecting public health and property. Dangerous and deadly pests do not respect political boundaries and travel freely across the 853 cities in Minnesota. A patchwork of pesticide laws, where pesticides listed in HF 1255 are banned, will make it incredibly difficult to manage bed bugs in hotels, cockroaches in restaurant kitchens, and ticks and other stinging insects in your backyard.
  • HF 1255 will ban pesticides with a pollinator protection box on the label or labeling, or a pollinator, bee, or honeybee precautionary statement in the environmental hazards section of the label or labeling. HF 1255 does not take into account indoor or outdoor uses. Many of the pesticide products that are targeted in HF 1255 are used indoors against ants, bed bugs, and cockroaches, where pollinators are not present.
  • HF 1255 skirts the scientific regulatory process and bans pesticides based on preference rather than science. Nor does HF 1255 respect the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) licensing of pesticide applicators. Licensed applicators must undergo extensive examinations, training, and recertification in order to commercially apply pesticides.
  • Banning vital public health protection tools may exacerbate inequality, hinder Minnesota’s ability to adapt to climate change, and protect public health and property from dangerous and deadly pests.

HF 1255 will Make it Incredibly Difficult to Manage Bed Bugs in Cities that Adopt Ordinances

  • HF 1255 would create a patchwork of bed bug control regulations that would have a negative economic impact on hotels and various businesses, but perhaps the scariest impact is on health care facilities. Why should health care facilities in one city have different bed bug control regulations than health care facilities in another city? A 2018 survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association, commissioned by a third-party market research firm in conjunction with survey trends with a previous partnership with the University of Kentucky, found that 36 percent of pest control professionals have treated for bedbugs in hospitals, 39 percent in doctor’s offices and outpatient facilities, while 59 percent did so in nursing homes.[1]
  • A recent study showed that on average, a single report of bed bugs in traveler reviews lowers the value of a hotel room by $38 and $23 per room per night for business and leisure travelers respectively.[2] Bed bug treatments are made inside structures, pose zero risk to pollinators, and help keep hospitals, hotels, nursing homes, and other important places bed bug free.

MPMA Member Companies Protect Pollinators by Following Pollinator Best Management Practices (BMPs)

  • MPMA acknowledges the importance of pollinator health but stresses the impact that the structural pest management industry has on pollinators is nominal. Pesticide risks to pollinators are not only focused on the toxicity of a chemical, but also the potential for exposure. Structural pest control is very unlikely to lead to exposure. Similarly, exterior treatments applied to the structure or to the soil and other areas around the structure are also unlikely to result in significant exposure. MPMA members support, teach, and implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) developed by the National Pest Management Association, which greatly increases the ability of our members to safely use pesticides in a manner that doesn’t impact pollinators.[3]

Repealing Pesticide Preemption Puts the Minnesota Brewing and Food Industries and their Ability to Comply with FSMA at Risk

  • Food processing plants, distribution centers, grocery stores, breweries, and restaurants all rely on pest management services to ensure a safe product and prevent contamination and disease outbreak.
  • Local governments regulating pesticide use will make it harder to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), as the Preventative Controls for Human Food Regulation within FSMA requires that food plants have a written preventative pest management plan.
  • Allowing cities to ban pesticides in HF 1255 would entice food processing companies to leave Minnesota because they may not be able to comply with FSMA and it would make it too costly or difficult to adequately protect their products from dangerous and deadly pests.

Pesticide Regulatory Uniformity is Vital for Ant, Bed Bug, Cockroach, and Fly Management in Minnesota Structures

  • There are many instances where the pesticides targeted in HF 1255 will be used indoors without a threat to pollinators. The structural pest management industry opposes grocery stores, food processing facilities, breweries, homes, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants having different ant, bed bug, cockroach, and fly control regulations because these are dangerous and deadly pests that do not respect local government boundaries. For example, why should a restaurant in one city, have different cockroach control regulations than a restaurant in another Minnesota city?

Local Governments Erecting Barriers for Tick Management—Regulatory Uniformity is Necessary for Protecting Public Health

  • For ticks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) asserts that Americans should consider hiring a professional pest management company for pesticide treatments around the home and in the yard and attributes pesticide applications as an effective way to reduce in tick populations around residences.[4]
  • In 2018, Minnesota ranked 6th in the United States for tickborne diseases with 26,886 disease cases reported.[5]
  • HF 1255 will make it incredibly difficult to protect Minnesotans from tickborne diseases like Lyme disease because they do not respect city government boundaries.
  • HF 1255 will make it much more difficult to protect Minnesotans from the Powassan virus (POW). POW is a tickborne flavivirus that includes a strain (lineage II or “deer tick virus”) that is transmitted by Ixodes scapularis. The virus can cause encephalitis or meningitis, and long-term sequelae occur in approximately half of those patients. Approximately 10-15% of cases are fatal.[6] 

Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus Will be Harder to Manage if Local Governments have Different Pesticide and Mosquito Control Regulations

  • Local governments banning pesticides outlined in HF 1255 will result in different municipalities having different regulations for mosquito control.
  • Historically, the primary arboviral encephalitides found in Minnesota have been La Crosse encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis (WEE), and West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis, but in recent years other viruses, like Jamestown Canyon have emerged as significant causes of disease.
  • These cases occur across the State of Minnesota and local governments setting different vector control and pesticide regulations will hinder our industry’s ability to protect people from mosquito borne diseases.

Highly Professional, Regulated, and Trained Industry

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and MDA are the two primary government agencies that currently regulate the structural pest control industry in our state. In order to serve their customers, certified structural pesticide applicators must undergo extensive training and certification protocols to meet rigorous federal and state standards and pass exams and earn a score of at least a 70% or better. Licensed structural pesticide applicators must become recertified every year to ensure they are competent and sensitive stewards of our environment. Additionally, two years of work experience are required to become a licensed Master pesticide applicator.

Pest Proliferation Under Climate Change

  • According to the CDC disease cases from infected mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas have tripled in the last 13 years.[7]
  • According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment: “Climate change is expected to alter the geographic range, seasonal distribution, and abundance of disease vectors, exposing more people in North America to ticks that carry Lyme disease or other bacterial and viral agents, and to mosquitoes that transmit West Nile, chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses.”[8]
  • According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment: “The health impacts of climate change are not felt equally, and some populations are at higher risk than others. Low-income communities and some communities of color are often already overburdened with poor environmental conditions and are disproportionately affected by, and less resilient to, the health impacts of climate change.”

Pesticide Approval, Evaluation, and Registration in the United States

  • The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is the statutory framework that enables EPA to regulate the use, sale and distribution of pesticides throughout the U.S. The objective of FIFRA is to provide federal control of pesticide distribution, sale, and use. All pesticides used in the U.S. must be registered by EPA. Registration assures that pesticides will be properly labeled and that, if used in accordance with specifications, they will not cause unreasonable harm to human health and the environment.  
  • EPA approves pesticide registration and usage only after each product has met extensive and specific health and environmental impact standards. During the registration process, EPA revises comprehensive human health and ecological risk assessments. EPA then opens the process up to the public for comment and further analysis. EPA exhausts immense resources on the registration and review of pesticides and uses the most current science-based information and peer-reviewed scrutiny. Additionally, EPA is continuously studying and re-evaluating products after approval.


[1] “Bugs Without Borders Survey.” 2018. Pest Control Technology Magazine.

[2] Carl Nathe, "Bed Bugs 'bite' the Wallet of Hotel Owners," ScienceDaily, July 14, 2015,

[3] NPMA Pollinator Best Management Practices (BMPs),    

[4] "Preventing Ticks in the Yard | Lyme Disease | CDC," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

[5] Jeremy Olson, “CDC Report Shows Minnesota as Hot Spot for Tick-Related Illnesses,” Star Tribune (May 2, 2018),

[6] “Arboviral Disease, 2018,” DCN - Minnesota Dept. of Health,

[7] “Illnesses from Mosquito, Tick, and Flea Bites Increasing in the US,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 1, 2018),

[8] USGCRP, "Fourth National Climate Assessment: Chapter 14: Human Health," NCA4,


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