Flagrant misuse of pesticides forces a Neptune City exterminator to give up his license.

Vincent K. Taylor, operator of Zapp Termite and Pest Control, was also fined $495,000 for misapplication of bug spray in restaurants scattered through Monmouth and Middlesex Counties and properties managed by the Red Bank Housing Authority, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

State officials revoked the company's pesticide-applicator business license and Taylor's commercial pesticide-applicator license.

According to DEP, company employees routinely sprayed near food preparation areas such as kitchen sinks, refrigerators and dining areas, over-applied the chemicals and used outdoor bug-killing formulas indoors.

DEP Assistant Commissioner John Giordano said that no reports of harm to humans have surfaced, but the potential for harmful exposure led to the decision. "To make matters worse," he said in a prepared release, "the firm repeatedly failed to provide consumers with required safety information that is designed to ensure their safety when these products are used."

Agency officials say a resident's complaint led to inspections that revealed several disturbing findings. According to their investigators, Zapp failed to supply written information to clients noting the date of application and failed to specify which pesticides were used.

They also accused the company of neglecting to clearly label safety instructions, supply its contact information, and provide contact details for the National Pesticide Information Center, New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, and New Jersey Pesticide Control Program.

Inspectors also said that the company kept no list of stored chemicals, kept them in mislabeled containers, and lacked fire-prevention and spill-containment  equipment in transport vehicles..

The general information number for the DEP Pesticide Control Program is (609) 984-6507.