Commercial Pest Control | FAQ for Businesses & Landlords

Commercial Pest Control

People in Massachusetts expect a high standard of safety and sanitation in places of business, workplaces, and dwellings. 

The state legislature does, too. 


The Massachusetts Authority of Health Boards Legal Handbook plainly states:

According to “healthy homes” principles, a home should be kept dry, clean, ventilated, pest-free, contaminant-free, and properly maintained.


Pest infestations can threaten food safety, cause establishments to fail health inspections, and ultimately shut down. In addition, negative online reviews due to pest infestations can seriously impact your brand’s reputation. – Ecolab

The bottom line is, nobody wants a fly in their soup. If you’re a business owner or landlord in Massachusetts, keep reading to find answers to frequently asked questions concerning commercial pest control. 

Boston Globe article photo overlooking Boston

Image provided by

Is the tenant or landlord responsible for pest control?

Commercial Pest Control for Landlords

In most cases, landlords are responsible for pest control. There is an exception, however… 

Chapter II of the Massachusetts Sanitary Code provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts states:

The occupant of a one-dwelling unit is responsible for extermination – however, the owner is still responsible for the upkeep of compromised structural elements that would permit pests.

In a dwelling with one dwelling unit, the occupant is responsible for exterminating all rodents, cockroaches, skunks and insect infestation and maintaining the unit free of these, provided, however, that the owner shall maintain any screen, fence or other structural element needed to keep rodents and skunks from entering the dwelling

In most cases, however, occupants of a dwelling of two or more units / a rooming house are not responsible for extermination and the responsibility falls wholly on the owner.

In a dwelling consisting of two or more units or in a rooming house the owner is responsible for exterminating all rodents, cockroaches, skunks and insect infestation and maintaining the unit free of these.

Triple-deckers along Edgewood St in Boston

Triple-deckers along Edgewood Street in Dorchester. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

What are the fines & penalties in Massachusetts for having a pest problem? 

Commercial Pest Control Regulations

In the City of Boston, health violations can mean court summons and compliance inspections… 


If we find an infestation or rodent activity, we will write and serve abatement notices to the property owner or manager. We will also perform a compliance inspection within 7 – 10 business days after the initial inspection. 

Additionally, the Massachusetts Board of Health (MAHB) monitors businesses for their compliance and safety protocols when it comes to pest control. The MAHB Guidebook states… 

[The MAHB will] Issue orders for compliance, revoke licenses and permits (where applicable) and take other enforcement action as warranted to ensure abatement of a rodent infestation. Relevant regulations include: 

  • 105 CMR 410.000: Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation 
  • 105 CMR 430.000: Minimum Sanitation and Safety Standards for Recreational Camps for Children
  • 105 CMR 590.000: Standards for Food Establishments Massachusetts Board of Health

Milford, MA Health Inspection

Milford, MA Health Inspection

Can I treat pests on my own business’s property in Massachusetts? No! 

Do I need a licensed exterminator for my business in Massachusetts? Yes.

According to Section 10 of the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act:

The department shall require that all persons who are applicators of pesticides in public and private places used for human occupation and habitation, except residential properties with three or less dwelling units, shall be so licensed or certified with such special designation.

That’s where A1 Exterminators has you covered.

A1 pest control technicians are licensed and certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Pesticide Bureau, the New Hampshire Division of Pesticide Control and the Maine Department of Agriculture. We guarantee the highest level of professional competence.

Learn More about A1 Exterminator’s Commercial Pest Control Plan

Click here to contact A1 Exterminators about properly treating your business’s property.