November 2019
The Inspector
Thanks for joining us!
We had an absolute blast at the 2019 PPMA Annual State Conference! Our thanks to the many attendees who joined us for educational sessions, the vendors who showcased their products there, and the world-class speakers for sharing with the group. Thanks again to the Education and Conference Chairman Jeff King of the Pest Rangers for all his hard work and dedication to the event.

We can't wait to see you next year at "the Nook!"
2019 Platinum Partners
Continuing Education
Technical Spotlight
Is That Pesticide Too Old to Do the Job?
Determining a Pesticide Product's Shelf Life

Written by Techletter. Reprinted with permission.

A pesticide's shelf life is the period of time that it can be stored before it deteriorates, or the length of time that it will remain effective and still work. There are four main factors that affect the shelf life of a pesticide:

Time - Everything ages and very few things (maybe wine and cheese) get better with time. As a general rule, any pesticide that has been opened and stored for more than one year should be checked for effectiveness (see below). Open containers of dry pesticides should be disposed of after one year. Most products, though, will remain effective for at least tow years, some longer when stored between 40-85 F (4.4-29.4 C) unopened, in original containers.

Storage Conditions - Even pesticides that have a long shelf life under ideal conditions can deteriorate rapidly when exposed to environmental extremes. Overexposure to humidity, air, and light, and especially temperature, can cause chemicals to lose their effectiveness much sooner than expected. Pesticides last longer when stored in a cool, dry place. Storage areas should be ventilated with temperatures between 40-85 F (4.4-29.4 C). Pesticides should never be placed in direct sunlight either in storage or inside your vehicle. Exposure to very cold temperatures can cause pesticides to separate or gel. This can be a permanent, irreversible change, but sometimes the pesticide can be restored to normal with warming and shaking.

Stability of the container - While a pesticide still sealed in its original container should last for years, once the container is opened, deterioration begins. To slow the breakdown, reseal opened containers as tightly as possible. Over time, pesticides can increase in acidity and containers can corrode, crack, seams tear or seams fail. Containers vary greatly in their ability to protect the pesticide in case of flooding or other moisture infiltration. Pesticides in glass, metal, or plastic containers have the greatest protection, pressurized spray cans can corrode, and paper or cardboard packaging offers little protection at all in damp conditions.

Stability of the formulation - Whether the product is dry, liquid, concentrate, or ready-to-use makes a difference in its shelf life. Dry formulations such as dusts, wettable powders, or granules usually store better at low temperatures than liquids, but they break down more easily than liquids when exposed to high temperatures, humidity, or sunlight. Formulations that contain low concentrations of active ingredient generally lose effectiveness faster than more concentrated formulations. Certain inert ingredients in the product, like stabilizers and emulsifiers, will also affect its shelf life.

How to tell if that pesticide product is too old

It's normal for many pesticide formulations to separate or clump to some extent as they sit, but excessive separation or clumping that cannot be remixed is a clue that the product has deteriorated. If you suspect a pesticide may have deteriorated, mix a small amount in a jar to see how it mixes:

  • If an emulsifiable concentrate forms a sludge or the mixture separates when water is added, instead of forming the normal milky coloration, it means the product has lost its ability to form an emulsion.
  • If a wettable powder is cakey and will not mix with water, the product has deteriorated.
  • If a dust or granular is clumping and can not be separated by shaking, the product may be too damp to be effective.
  • If a normally clear liquid has developed a milky appearance, water has probably gotten into the container. If moisture gets into a container of oil-based pesticide, you will be able to see it as a separate layer.

Many pesticides change properties as they break down. Some become more toxic, flammable, or explosive. Some liquid pesticides build up gases which can rupture a container, or put you at risk when you open the container. Contrary to what you might think, the characteristic smell of certain pesticides becomes even stronger as they deteriorate. An unusually strong odor in the storage area may mean there is a pesticide leak or spill, but it can also be an indication of deteriorating pesticides.

Old pesticides not only don't work as well, they can also clog and damage your application equipment. Mix some in a jar to check the consistency before you add it to your equipment. Unfortunately, there is no good way (outside of a laboratory) to check whether an old product will still kill pests other than to treat an infestation and monitor the results.

Manufacturers often list the shelf life of the pesticide on the container. If you know when you purchased it, you can determine if it should still be viable. If you don't have that information, check with the manufacturer. A check of the lot number, stamped on the container, can tell you when the product was manufactured. Most pesticides are not backed by the manufacturer if stored longer than two years.
Small Business Spotlight
11 Things Your Small Business Should Do Before December 31

Originally published by Fundbox Blog. While published in 2014, we think it has some good things to consider.

The holidays are a great time to plan your 2015 business strategy, but there are also a number of financial, tax, legal and management priorities that need to be taking care of before the year is over.
Here are eleven things your small business should do before December 31.

Defer Income (or Not)!
Looking to reduce your tax liability? Small businesses and freelancers can defer income until next year by invoicing after December 31. Obviously, you’ll have to pay that tax eventually, but if you need to reduce your estimated tax payments this year, it’s something to consider. Don’t forget, however, that deferring income this year could push you into a higher tax bracket next year. If you’d rather absorb the tax liability now, invoice early and as soon as a project is complete, rather than waiting until the end of the month so that you can declare the income in the 2014 tax year.

Review P&L Statements and Make Last Minute Purchases
Sure, this is something you should be doing year-round but taking some time now to review your P&L statement can also inform any last-minute purchases. If you’ve made a healthy profit this year (and have the cash flow), are there any major purchases that you could make before December 31 and write off as a tax deduction? What about a charitable donation (also tax deductible )?

Think of ways to reward your employees, if you have a formal performance management program, be sure to conduct employee reviews and determine if and how you’ll reward employees for performance against goals. Will you make those purchases/payments before the year-end or after (2015 pay-outs can help employees defer their income until next year)?

Max Out Your Retirement Plan Contributions
If you’re self-employed and have an IRA you have until tax day 2015 (April 15) to make contributions, but maxing out your contributions before December 31 will lower your taxable income for the year. The max contribution to an IRA in 2014 is $5,500 (plus an extra $1,000 if you are aged 50+).

Line Up Your 1099 Information
If I had a dollar for every time a client sends out 1099s to contractors after the January 31 deadline, I’d be a rich woman! Check that your business has a W9 on file for each contractor it works with (this is one of the most common reasons for missing the deadline). If you use accounting software, you’ll need to set this up in your system. You can also use an online tool called Track1099 that pulls the relevant info from your accounting software and streamlines the process of generating and delivering your 1099 forms.
If you are a contractor, make sure newer clients have your W9 on file.

Review Fringe Benefits Paid Out During the Year
Wage reporting season is just around the corner. Employers can prepare in advance by gathering and reviewing any taxable fringe benefits paid to employees in 2014 such as prizes, reimbursements for moving expenses or education programs, as well as transportation subsidies and health and life insurance.

Take Care of Your LLC/Corporation Obligations
LLC and Corps are required to hold annual meetings, if you haven’t done so yet schedule yours! Likewise, many incorporated businesses may be required to file an annual report at the end of the calendar year (the timing and requirements vary by state). Don’t miss this deadline; it can result in penalties and late fees.

Review Your 2014 Estimated Tax Payments
How much revenue has your business made this year? Have you paid enough estimated tax to avoid underpayments? Or could you have overpaid? Review your books adjust your final 2014 payment as required.

Make the Move Towards Incorporation
If you operate as a sole proprietor or partnership and have scaled your business in 2014, you may want to consider whether an LLC or Corporation makes sense for your business. Incorporating can protect your business assets and afford tax savings, but not always. For a look at the pros and cons, read: Is it Time to Incorporate your Small Business?

It’s Year-End Inventory Time
If you operate an inventory-based business, the IRS may need you to complete a year-end inventory count. It can also help you manage and reconcile your financial statements. Depending on the size of your operations, this can be a large undertaking. Read this article for tips on Procedures for Year-End Inventory Count .

Don’t forget to find ways to celebrate your business successes. Even if your year was challenging and not filled to the brim with good news, look for the wins and share and celebrate them with your team. Oh, and if you choose to party with your employees and clients, the costs are tax deductible – if there’s a business purpose for the get together.

What other things should you take care of? Make sure your website is up-to-date, scope out your marketing plans for the New Year, drop deadbeat vendors (and clients if you feel so inclined) – what’s on your year-end to-do list?

Silver Partners
Industry Updates
Changes to the PA One Call Law
PA Act 287 of 1974 went into effect in April 1975 and required excavators to call before digging. Coverage began in Allegheny County with six utilities, and expanded statewide by 1977. Calling before digging was an important first step in damage prevention, but did not work unless underground utilities participated. PA Act 172 of 1986 obligated owners or operators of underground utilities to become members of the One Call System.

The One Call law went through a series of enhancements in 1991, 1996, 2004, 2006 and 2008. Although the system was working to prevent damage and enhance the safety of Commonwealth workers and citizens, enforcement of the law was becoming more and more important.

The passage of PA Act 50 of 2017 brought four major enhancements to the UULP Law: A change in the enforcement authority; new obligations for utility owners to respond to excavators; new obligations for facility owners to provide maps of their facilities; and new obligations for reporting Alleged Violations of the law.
Vector-Borne Disease Study
From the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences:

We need your help! Pennsylvania ranks among the top three states with the highest rates of tick-borne disease. In 2017 Pennsylvania had the highest incidence of Lyme disease cases in the U.S., with 9,250 confirmed cases and an additional 2,650 probable cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Our college researchers and extension educators have established a team of experts to help Pennsylvania address the serious threat of vector-borne diseases, particularly those transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes. They are reaching out to Pennsylvanians to gather information to help inform their work through an anonymous, online survey. 
Below is a link to a story with more information and a direct link to the survey. Please consider filling out the survey and passing the request on your association members, public officials, local media outlets, etc.
Direct link to the survey:
Link to news story on survey:
Spotted Lanternfly
For up-to-date information on the Spotted Lanternfly and the current quarantine zone, visit the PA Department of Agriculture's website at the link below.

Bronze Partners
Legislative Update
The information below represents legislative activity (including bill introductions) that has occurred since the last newsletter. For a full listing of legislation that Versant is tracking for PPMA, please contact us at (717) 635-2320 or Activity marked HCO or SCO indicates a co-sponsorship memo which precedes the actual introduction of legislation and is designed to secure the support of other legislators prior to introduction as a bill.

HB 21 - Helm, Sue (R) - Amends the Engineer, Land Surveyor and Geologist Registration Law, providing for the regulation of the practice of home inspection; and making a related repeal.

This legislation is of particular interest to PPMA. The bill has passed through the House of Representatives and is now in the Senate for consideration.

SB 941 - DiSanto, John (R) - Amends Real Estate Tax Law, in sale of property, providing for notice of sale, for deed, for hearing and order for judicial sale and for additional restrictions and providing for condemnation orders.

PPMA is working jointly with NPMA on this legislation to ensure that work regarding pests is completed by an appropriate professional.

HCO 1764 Solomon, Jared (D) - Modernizes and overhauls the Landlord and Tenant Act.

The co-sponsorship memorandum has been filed. We await the filing of the legislation.
To update your company's service area, please follow the steps below:
  1. Log on to the Manage My Group area of the NPMA website. Please note: in order to access the "Manage My Group" area of the NPMA website, you must be a company administrator. 
  2. Click on "Company Information" from the drop down menu.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Service Area section.
  4. Download the excel template found on this page.
  5. Update this template to include all of the zip codes that you service.
  6. Save the file on your computer.
  7. In the Service Area section click Choose File. Locate the excel template file that you just saved. Click open.
  8. Click Upload file.
Once you've completed these steps your service on Find-a-Pro is instantly updated to include these new zip codes. 
If you are having problems accessing please contact NPMA at (703) 352-6762 or .
Articles of Interest
When her mother had trouble seeing out of the passenger side of the family.s Jeep Grand Cherokee, Alaina Gassler thought: science-fair project! But the Chester County teenager tinkered for hours with a miniature camera and other gadgetry, and the car.s .blind spot. stubbornly remained.... - Philadelphia Inquirer

  (Press Release)

Is there a better way to kill a spotted lanternfly? While stomping them out seems to be the most prevalent method, researchers now believe they are getting closer to finding a more sophisticated way to dispatch the hated invasive species. Researchers have sequenced and assembled the lanternfly’s genome after... - Allentown Morning Call