The Thrill in Victory & the Shrill & Agony of Defeat

A beautiful fall day in Baltimore that in my mind couldn’t get any better. Not quite a chill in the air but gone was the sweltering summer heat that my bug trucks ‘360’ air couldn’t relieve even with both windows down. With just about a year under my belt as an exterminator I really felt I was hitting my stride and enjoying every new day and amazing situation I encountered. By now I had conquered many huge bee and wasps nests, tackled roach and rodent infestations that would be the main scene in any horror movie and dealt with so many different people & from all walks of life. My route that was handed to me as a huge disastrous mess was now, finally, running like a finely tuned machine. I was at a point where I had so much confidence in my job & truly felt there wasn’t any problem I couldn’t handle. Continue reading

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So Education Is The Key?

So as I’m pulling up at 9:02 for my 9 o’clock ‘retreat’ appointment, I see my client outside waiting for me looking all jittery and hunched over, staring straight down as he paces back and forth in the driveway smoking a cigarette. He see’s me, straightens up, tosses his smoke to the ground and crushes it into the dirt with his shoe. I can’t tell if he’s happy to see me or he’s ready for an all out brawl. Guess I’ll find out.

They say that education is the KEY to a successful route. It’s the KEY to promoting IPM, the KEY to better techs, the KEY to fewer call backs, the KEY public awareness and the KEY to the pest control industries future. I’m sorry, it is not.

Scoff if you will, call me a spray jockey who’s behind the times, revoke my license and take away my ACE sticker and patch. It won’t change the truth. If education is the KEY, I contend we must be at the wrong house. Continue reading

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Bug Trucks & Weed Whackers Just My .02

Waiting for the light to turn green at a busy intersection can be a place of great learning. It’s a brief pause and insight into the world that otherwise is passing by in all different directions and at all different speeds. You see these people and sorted vehicles who also begin to stack up at the light. Those across the intersection, the car behind you, the ones in the turn lanes and even those who’ve pulled into the corner convenience store for gas and some smokes. As you sit, the numbers increase. One by one they fill up the spaces around you and you can’t help but look around and notice the spectacle.

But there’s one vehicle I’m seeing more and more everyday and it’s truly very disappointing to me. I can’t help but feel a little sorry for its driver and maybe even a little more for the people whose driveway he’ll pull into later that day. Truth be told, and this is my opinion, I also feel that our industry too, takes a hit with this type of activity and there’s something about it that just seems so wrong. Continue reading

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Larry wise’m beginning to hate IPM

Sometimes the phrase “IPM” which is commonly thrown around in modern pest control lingo makes me sick. I’m tired of hearing companies advertise “we use IPM, integrated pest management”. Even the certifications that companies brag about receiving for using “green methods” have become irritating. Some people work hard for that patch and are well deserving of receiving some type of certification, but too many times, it’s a companywide deal and everyone has to go through the chore of gaining certain certifications. I’ve even heard of branch managers filling out all the paperwork and submitting the required information to the certification provider. Why would I want to participate? Continue reading

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Five Celebrities That Would Make Terrible Exterminators

rhondarousey Which celebrity do you think would make a terrible exterminator?

Last year, I visited the topic. You can find the original post here.

I have no idea why, but for some explainable reason, I felt the need to revisit the topic. This time, however, I’ve decided to include females.  

Let’s skip the formalities and jump right into the list: Continue reading

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An Open Letter To Myself

open letter·y·mo·ron



1. a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g.,faith unfaithful kept him falsely true ).

I’m writing this article with a supreme confidence. However,  I don’t mind saying the words come with some trepidation as well. Thus I thought it necessary to put the definition of the word oxymoron….. I’m just hoping the “moron” portion of the word is what you DON’T think of me by the time you’re done reading this.

On the one hand, I have many followers and exposing a vulnerable side is not what a true leader makes a habit of. But I also understand a true leader seldom swims with the stream and a true follower is just a leader in waiting.

Just how do you tell 1400 raving Facebook followers, over 1000 Twitterites, 80,000 plus monthly blog reader and all the readers from the largest state industry association magazine in the country that hey, you’re maybe not all you’re cracked up to be…….that you’re human and that on many, many restless nights you too, worry, over the future and just how you’re gonna muster the strength to face another day? 

Perhaps for some the “moron” part is starting to sound like it fits right about now, or maybe you’ve inserted your own word….braggadocios.   I understand.

Recently I’ve had a few direction changing events happen in my life that have helped me tremendously. Sharing them here I can only hope they either help or nudge someone into a better direction, as they did for me.  It is with a profound humility that I offer this article and with a heart full of gratitude I write these words. So if you’re interested….please read on. Continue reading

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Creepy Critter Ambassador


Me in preschool I am the forth one from the left in the striped shirt with an insect in my pocket no doubt.

Me in preschool I am the forth one from the left in the striped shirt with an insect in my pocket no doubt.

Last year a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of a group of us back in preschool. When the comments were being posted about who was who someone said “ There is Christy in the red striped shirt with an insect in her pocket, no doubt.”  Even at fours years old I was already known for playing with bugs and I do not remember a time that I did not have a Bug Zoo in my bedroom.  I know I drove my Mom crazy dirtying up her jars and the chasing the many escapees that wandered around the house.

Fast forward a few years (OK maybe a few decades and Bachelors in Entomology later), I read in my local paper about an insect group meeting that weekend at the Oakland Nature Preserve (ONP), which is just a couple of miles away from my home in Winter Garden Florida.  I was so excited to meet and hang out with fellow insect geeks as for many years I had felt alone.  At my first meeting I meet a fellow Entomologist Christian Miller whom was the gentleman running the group. Continue reading

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Truly Nolen–All Heart

truly nolen tampa, Fla. — Close to 140 Truly Nolen employees came out to walk, run or support the Lupus Foundation of America’s Walk to End Lupus Now on Sunday, May 3 at the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa. Edward Henry, a district sales trainer with Truly Nolen, first became involved with the Lupus Foundation last year, after learning that his wife was diagnosed with the disease.

Henry was delighted by all of the support shown by his Truly Nolen family. “When word of the event got around the district I was amazed by how many of my co-workers wanted to support me and my family by attending the event,” Henry said.

Not only did his co-workers attend the walk, but the company also made a $1,000 donation, handed out over 400 sport packs to fellow walkers, and had the company’s brand new signature mouse limo and community express truck equipped with grills and flat screen televisions, on site.

We here at Salute the great men and women of Truly Nolen and say Thanks, for the high standard you have upheld all these years. We will strive to be worthy of your example.

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German Roaches Exposed; From The Mind Of Jeremy Miller

Jeremy miller roaches, Blattella germanica, are nasty little pests that are typically brought in to the home, workplace, restaurant, food processing plant, etceteras, by ‘hitchhiking,’ meaning that they are transported from one location to another by accidental human transportation.  They are typically, as adults, a touch over half an inch long are tan to dark brown in color with two longitudinal, roughly parallel, black stripes on their pronotum (shield like area behind the head).  These roaches have a practically world wide distribution thanks to their hitchhiking ways. 

Blattella germanica  are omnivorous meaning they will eat just about anything including each other.  In the home they are typically associated with the kitchen and bathroom areas because of these areas provide a water source.  However, in severe infestations, they can be found throughout the home.  Continue reading

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Why I fight bugs by day and computer bugs by night

Luke guy eye’s amazing to think that we’re the only force between the human race and over 200 million insects. I mean, what’s stopping these guys from taking us over? There are single ants with the power to bring a man to his knees. And yet many don’t think twice about it.

Mind Blowing.

As a pest control professional it’s great to think I have saved a young child from another bed bug bite, or from a little one from falling into a mound of ants.

To think I am an bug assassin in who brings peace to the mother, and sanity back to the husband. It feels good. Continue reading

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My Temporary Passion Turned Life Long Quest

Dawna Galvinized Termite & Pest Control started my working life at 15 years old in several service industries. Waitress, hostess, fast food, employment agency, moving company, sample demonstrator, switchboard operator, among many other jobs that I floated through looking for a career. I started my career life at 19 years old in the “Public Service/Law Enforcement” industry. I thought I had, but just never found my niche.

I was in my mid-30’s, when I stumbled into pest control. I started dating and quickly became engaged to a guy who was “a bug guy”. He asked me to help him out and work a “Temporary, Part time” job in a large family owned pest control company office. “Only until they hired a receptionist, or the lead secretary returned from maternity leave.” One 45 hour week later, I was hooked. So much for “Temporary, Part time”. I was hired full time, permanent.  Continue reading

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Setting The Tone

Stopping 100 mph shot

Stopping shots at 100 mph-Setting the Tone

Since beginning as a licensed applicator and technician in 1976, I’ve been doing pest work a long time. Pest pros see all sorts of things when working in customer’s homes but it was when working as a pest management consultant on a bed bug remediation project that an incident happened that would forever set the tone for how I viewed bed bug projects, as well as how I conducted bed bug remediation work from that day forward.

Years ago I received a call seeking assistance at a large apartment complex.  The call was from the property owner who had been referred to me by an industry colleague.  During our initial conversation it was reported that the apartment complex was experiencing a long-standing bed bug situation, that the problem had been on-going for at least four years and that it had progressively worsened.  By the time they had contacted me they were on their fourth pest company.  They had simply had enough and were at their wits end.  During the conversation, the situation and plan of action regarding the necessary remediation work was discussed and agreed upon.

Soon after, I was on location and up to my neck in bed bugs.  It was immediately clear that the problem would never be eliminated if the work being done was allowed to continue in the manner observed.  The efforts were haphazard, ineffective and, obviously, not working.  No one involved was happy and much needed to be corrected. Continue reading

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A Night in the Life of an Entrepreneur

Titus pest control’s three am. I can’t sleep. My mind is racing.

I stare at the ceiling. I count sheep. I listen to the crickets outside my window.

For the last two hours my cell phone display has illuminated the bedroom walls as I check the time over and over again.

Fifteen minutes feels like days.

An hour feels like eternity.

I want sleep.

…and even though my schedule is completely empty for the day ahead, I need sleep.

Stress is a formidable foe, and for a quite an extended period of time, it’s gotten the best of me. I have no appetite. I’m constantly in a state of worry…

…and, as I’ve mentioned before – I cannot sleep. Continue reading

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#‎readytotaketheplunge -Starting Your Own Pest Control Business

mantisshirt following article is a series of comments taken from a very lively pest control group discussion. The question was asked;

“ How much money did you have in your pocket on day 1 when you started your own business?”

and the answers and insight seemed to me to be quite telling.

So if you are considering starting your own pest control business or have already taken the plunge and perhaps things aren’t quite what you thought they’d be.  Take heart. Many have blazed the trail before you and I am hopeful that this quick glimpse into the minds of those have or are going through what you’re experiencing, will give you a some hope, some light at the otherwise long dark tunnels end.

For maximum effect, read this as it was, a live active discussion. Names have been taken out and some comments were rearranged for continuity. Remember the topic question was; Continue reading

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Life With Bugs- Ryan’s Story of Passion

ryan ridgley with mask remember junior high like it was yesterday. Rocking my corduroy JC Penny’s pants with my silk shirt and sweater vest, a set of railroad tracks in my mouth, and glasses that looked like they were out of 1975, I was not what you would call a cool kid. I was not a comic book nerd, I did not sit around playing D&D, I was not a 4.0 student. I was a different breed of nerd. Continue reading

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