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New Mexico Pesticide Inspections and Complaints

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is the lead state agency for regulating pesticides. This responsibility includes annual inspection of pesticide applicators and investigating complaints of alleged pesticide misuse.

Pesticide Complaints

The Pesticide Enforcement Program investigates allegations of pesticide misuse or other violations of the New Mexico Pesticide Control Act. Examples of pesticide misuse reported to the department include: off-target movement of pesticides that may or may not result in property damage; unintentional human or animal exposure due to misapplication; improper pesticide disposal; violations of labeled pesticide safety requirements; suspected bee kills; or other pesticide uses contrary to stated requirements on a pesticide label or the Pesticide Control Act. Pesticide related complaint examples that are not within the scope of New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s authorities include those involving warranties, applicator promises, refunds, or bad business practices.



The preferred method to report a complaint is to the department’s fillable Pesticide Incident Form. You can also download the Pesticide Incident Form and fax it to the department at the number provided on the form. Additionally, complaints can be phoned in to our office during normal operating hours at 575-646-2134, or after hours at 575-646-3007, or emailed to

When reporting a complaint, the following information is helpful during the early stages of the department’s investigation. Depending on the nature of the incident, not all of the following may be applicable: 

  • Complainant’s contact information;
  • Specific location of the alleged misuse;
  • Nature of the alleged misuse (e.g., pesticide drift, safety violation, human animal exposure, bee kill, property damage);
  • If known, origin of the pesticide application (aerial applicator, pest control operator, neighbor); and
  • If known, provide any information regarding the pesticide (e.g., name, herbicide, insecticide).

The confidentiality of information submitted by or collected from a complainant cannot be maintained, however, New Mexico Department of Agriculture will initiate an investigation based on a complaint submitted anonymously. 

Suspected Human/Animal Pesticide Exposure

Although New Mexico Department of Agriculture does not directly address potential health issue (human or animal) associated with pesticide exposures, the department will investigate to determine if the exposure was the result of a pesticide application made in violation of the Pesticide Control Act. Depending on the circumstances, potential health issues can be addressed through one or more of the following: dialing 911 for emergencies related to human pesticide exposure; contacting a physician or veterinarian directly; or contacting the New Mexico Poison Control Center regarding human and pet exposures (1-800-222-1222 for immediate/emergency help). When possible, preserve an article of clothing for analysis if the suspected pesticide is unknown.

Investigation Process

Once a complaint has been received, a New Mexico Department of Agriculture investigator will conduct an on-site interview with the complainant. During the on-site interview, additional information will be collected, and if relevant, the inspector will collect physical samples (plant, soil, surface swabs) for laboratory analysis and photograph damage.  If the source of an alleged pesticide misuse application is unknown by the complainant, the investigator will work to identify the source.  Complaints received anonymously will still result in an investigation.

Expected Outcome

Not all complaints can be resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant. New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s pesticide investigations are limited to determining if an infraction to the Pesticide Control Act took place; attempt to identify the source of the infraction; and assess penalties.  Once an investigation is completed, complainants will be provided a final report. The department’s investigations are not intended to be sufficient for litigation purposes, nor for determining the extent of damage, or in determining economic losses.

Brad Lewis, AES Division Director