To throw (someone) under the bus is an idiomatic phrase in American English meaning to sacrifice a friend or ally for selfish reasons. It is typically used to describe a self-defensive disavowal and severance of a previously-friendly relationship when the relation becomes controversial or unpopular.
It’s funny to me (in a sad way) that this phrase is all to true in the pest control industry. So many who make their living eradicating pests seem to want to equally obliterate the industry that has been so good to them. Another applicable phrase might be “killing the goose that laid the golden egg.”
I in no way wish to impugn honest people who are simply working their tails off to provide for their families and make a living. That said, how can I stand by and have my chosen profession demeaned, denigrated and disparaged by those who are just in it for a fast buck and know not of what they speak? (or maybe they do)
Roots Go Deep
It most likely started long before, but 1962 seems to me to be the tipping point in which your average person started to turn on the average pest control technician. Rachael Carson’s work, Silent Spring laid much of the ground work for the negative shadows cast on the pest control industry. For this article- I have no interest in debunking her research. That’s been done and this, by many scientists and those in the “know”. Still, her work is still successfully throwing your professional exterminator under the bus some 50 plus years later.
Now- Ms. Carson was never a pest control professional, God forbid. Btw, she wasn’t a scientist either, but the real shame to me is that there are many, too many so called pest professionals who too easily discount the industry that serves them so well. On one hand they earn their living dispensing advice and or service but on the other, they trash the very occupation they are employed in. This to me is the definition of a pest control driver throwing the pest control industry–under the bus.
If you want examples there are many but how bout I just cite two.
Recently a new website was launched. Professionally done, real pros who wrote it up and a sales funnel to rival all the best. I’m sure just the right key words were employed and $1000’s of dollars were spent to make this thing a huge splash. The problem, at least for me was that this person, only known as Calvin, threw the industry he claims to be a ‘expert technician’ in, under the bus. Oh and the funny part–when you go to Calvins product pages you’lll see so many things that are FOR SALE ONLY to those who have licenses to perform pest control. Does that seem odd to you?
Calvin of DIY Pest Control Power said, “We are not like traditional exterminators ready to blast everything in their way with antiquated pesticides and chemicals..
Really???? Is that “traditional pest control?” Since when has this become such a tradition? I wonder if Calvin reads the latest trade magazines? Peruses the advertisements or a articles? To me, it’s obvious he does not. Or at least he discounts the great technological advancements as something below his level of thinking. To bad, I’m sure when he needs CEU’s he avoids those industry experts who tout less product more knowledge and do so with 50 plus years of experience. How’s that for a tradition?
And what about that rogue voice in the wilderness- one who’s not so afraid to post only his first name. RICHARD FAGERLUND: Here are a few of his quotes.
I guess my mission in life is to help eliminate pesticides from our society.
The pesticide industry defends the use of pesticides because pests in the United States kill 100 – 300 people annually. They claim people need to be protected from these hideous pests. There are over 325,000 certified commercial pest control applicators in the United States using pesticides. It is the National Academy of Science’s estimate that pesticide poisoning causes over 10,000 cancer deaths every year and creates over 20,000 cancer cases. These figures don’t include neurological damage, heart disease, lung damage, birth defects, miscarriages and other chronic exposure deaths.
The first company I worked for was King Pest Control in Hollywood, Fla. I went to work for them in 1969. We did monthly pest control by spraying baseboards in people’s homes. There were no rules or regulations dealing with applying pesticides in those days.
Finally, in 1995, I gave up working for pest control companies and went to work for UNM as its pest control specialist. I worked for UNM for 11 years before I finally retired and it was interesting to say the least. I started using least-toxic products and the campus community loved it.
Well GREAT. Thanks Mr. Fagerlund– No links supplied, no supporting data but hey–Just say it and that’s all we need. How bout this for a link…a study… definitive proof? I’d say so. Yeah, it’s my link but oh well. It’s legit.– I can’t seem to follow yours. Well- it’s not hard to find your book– I guess that’s good anyway.
There are TOO MANY “pest control professionals” who have jumped ship and forgotten their roots. Sure, they’ve been around awhile but that only makes it that much more unbelievable. Are these folks so short sighted that they haven’t seen the great progress in the industry? Have they not witnessed what the rest of us have? New innovation, new leaders and new voices that have everybody else has seen? Including the public!
Have they not noticed that this industry has been evolving LONG before they ever showed up? Do they rail on the auto industry because years ago gas and pollution wasn’t a problem but now that it’s sensitive to that it should still be castigated because we can’t get beyond the past?
Just questions…that’s all… Folks like this are free to post, publish and SELL information and products like this but I’m sure they won’t be happy when they are challenged.
That’s ok I guess, this article will never stop them- or those on e-bay or DIY sites that abound. No, they’ll not rail on the freely available products consumers can put down by the pound, or gallon or haphazard abandon. I don’t see them on the DIY sites telling you to coat your cat in motor oil to get rid of fleas or the folks who illegally apply Termidor or other “professional only” products for their pest woes… Nope– they’ll just continue to bury the one segment of pro’s who continue to train, learn, experience and move forward with all the latest and greatest innovations this world has ever seen. They’ll question their motives, their resolve. All without impunity. Why? Ask them….But hey, Thanks! Thanks for all you do and we really appreciate you throwing us under the bus!