MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the second time in less than two years, Lorenzo Blade was arrested for impersonating a licensed pest control professional.
Now Blade faces five charges, including a felony count for impersonating a licensed professional in a Mid-South neighborhood.
According to court records, Blade sprayed a northeast Memphis house with herbicide in April, telling the resident that he was a licensed professional. But police investigators said Blade’s pest control license and business charter were revoked by the state in 2009.
Those same documents show Blade was arrested and charged with the same crime in Somerville in December 2017.
It’s something experts say is a scary gamble to take.
“They may think there’s a one size fits all. This chemical will kill everything, so let’s just spray it all over the house. Let’s just spray and pray,” Rosie’s Pest Control owner Andy Long said.
Pest control professionals use hundreds of various chemicals and deal with dozens of pests and critters. Local agencies say they require months of training before an employee is sent out into the field.
“They’ve gotta know how to read the label, how to apply the products properly. Generally, most companies are gonna say several weeks to several months before you’ve got a competent, trained person,” Jamison Pest and Lawn owner Pat O’Bryan said.
As the weather gets warmer and the insects and pests come out, make sure you’re dealing with the people that are trained and certified.
“You can look us up on the state of Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture website and see that we’re certified. We’re in good standing, and yeah, just do your research,” Long said.
— By Peter Fleischer