The day starts like any other, the break of dawn has barely cracked the eastern sky but Robert has already risen and gently taps the button on top of the alarm clock hoping to let his wife sleep in. It doesn’t work. His bride of 30 years stirs and reaches across the ruffled blankets only to find an empty pillow. Captured by the moment he can’t help but stare and a broad smile cracks across his weathered face. He leans over, kisses her and whispers, “sleep for a while, I’ll be back before I go.” The cold floor is a stark reminder that another day has begun and no matter what he’s accomplished, there will be no favors extended to him this day, no easy path for him to take.
The smell of fresh coffee awaits Robert as he makes his way downstairs and his cold lunch sits perched on the refrigerator shelf with a note the says, I love you, Thanks for working so hard.
He takes a sip as he gazes out the kitchen window. The morning dew blankets the ground and he can hear the song of early morning birds welcoming in the new day. Across the drive his truck shimmers in the mix of the fading moon and breaking dawn. By now his mind has caught up to the speed of which this day will demand. He tries not to think of the few accounts that he’s dreading today and almost–almost finds himself wishing he hadn’t agreed to scheduling the new start at to end his day at 4:30.
It’s 6 am on any given day, the beginning of yet another day that has been like so many over the past twenty five years. This is a day in the life of a single operator. Continue reading
In this article are my thoughts concerning goal setting for the single operator, the mom and pop or smaller pest control company. We all want to grow our businesses and of course by grow, I mean to add to the bottom line, ie: dollars. This is not only natural it is also imperative. No dollars at the end of to many days usually means we’re closing our doors. So we set about doing the very best we can at accumulating dollars. We make plans to achieve dollars, we have meetings on ‘how to’ create dollars, we struggle, we plot, we dream and we even set almost every goal we have centered around reaching certain dollar amounts. The dollar becomes the central drive and focus, however;
What if I told you that dollar centered goals could be in reality, a detriment to actually attaining your goal?
What? you say! How can this be? Please read on. Continue reading
If you were a professional exterminator where would you look to find and treat German roaches? No doubt, this question, or some reasonable facsimile of it has crossed the mind of many a pest control do it yourself person as they’re plunking down big bucks on some professional grade chemical.
It’s one thing to be able to buy the products the pros use but it’s a whole other ordeal to figure out just where to put them. It’s for this reason I believe most all of the Diy attempts at pest control fail. It’s not uncommon at all for me (or other pros) to be called out on a job where the home owner has already spent $200 , $300 or more already to get rid of a problem. By this time the frustration level is very high and soured looks often accompany the realization that the pro they’ve just hired for $200, $300 or more is going to use the very same products they have just tried and failed with.
The right tools- in the right hand make all the difference… perhaps it’s time for a lesson from the pros. The following is the result of a survey conducted of almost 1000 pest control professionals from literally all around the world. They responded to one question from pestcemetery.com about where is the #1 place to find German roaches — but they couldn’t hold back and what they provided was so much more. Continue reading
Rodent traps have been part of a massive ongoing effort to getting rid of rats and mice since time began. Rodent control devices are big business but it seems like there are just as many if not more of home made traps. Contraptions and designs from the gruesome and border line cruel to high-tech and perhaps completely painless. Man has been driven to these innovations because rats and mice do millions if not a billion or more in damages to food, houses, personal belongings and related health care costs every year. In some countries the rodent populations are completely out of control. Rats and mice are simply an everyday, every hour of everyday occurrence. I truly wish this wasn’t the case.
But modern traps and devices don’t have to be the driving force of rodent control- in fact- the old cliche comes to mind of “why reinvent the wheel?” Continue reading
In my many years as a hired killer I’ve seen many different formulas when it comes to killing German roaches. Some involve heavy doses of noxious home brew liquids, others are recipe’s of poisons and food. There’s even a few I’ve seen that are very specific procedures and these are usually coupled with some sort of potion or substance that works in combination with the specified steps.
The problem with these is that they seldom seem to work (if at all) and since most are touted as ‘safe for humans and pets’, the human tendency of over kill (use to much) almost always kicks in. This can be down right dangerous or at the very least, counter productive.
Recently I came across an old newspaper clipping taped to the inside of kitchen cabinet with instructions of one such concoction- I was told it was from a New York newspaper of some 25 years ago. It reads;
Way To Kill Roaches–To The Editor (see above pic)
This is for the Very Bugged who said they live in a low income housing project and have a serious problem with roaches. We have found the best roach killer and it is very cheap and harmless to pets and humans. Buy a box of 20 Mule Team Borax and put it in all closets and kitchen cabinets, as well as all along the floor close to the baseboard.
We also sprinkle some on door sill and any place they, the roaches, have a run. This will kill all the roaches in 2-3 weeks, as the roaches walk in the borax, they carry it to their nest on their feet and it kills the young ones.
Tsk Tsk- While in most cases I’m in favor of learning from those who’ve blazed the trail before us, in this instance this kitchen made creation is about as useless as 99% of anything else you’ll hear of and not nearly as safe as the writer suggests. Continue reading
Like the hobo house spider, the giant house spider is a native of Europe that has found its way to the United States through human activity. It is active in the Pacific Northwest.
The spider is named as such because of its incredibly long legs. Females can have leg spans of approximately 45 millimeters in addition to its 18-millimeter body size. Males on the other hand can have longer legs of up to 75 millimeters, and body sizes of 12-15 millimeters.
The giant house spider also builds funnel-shaped webs most often in a corner or in between objects not frequented by large animals or humans. It squeezes itself into the narrow end of the funnel and waits for a victim to pass by before it pounces on it. Not many are known to escape, of course; the giant house spider previously carried the Guinness World Record for top spider speed at 9.73 feet per second until it was surpassed by sun spiders in 1987.
Something about running a pest control route that happens to everybody, not just me. People give you stuff!
Now it doesn’t happen everyday and it’s not always a big ticket item, but there is definitely some sort of karma thing or serendipitous energy that follows your humble bug man and you just never know when its going to pop up.
Now I’m not a big believer in blind luck nor am I completely sold on the idea of Karma but I do agree you you reap what you sow and once in a great while, good things (and bad) just seem to show up whether you deserve them or not. The following is a list of some “freebies” that have come my way or that I’ve seen for others. Looking back, it’s just sort of fascinating to think about.
If you’re not growing you’re dying. Anthony Robbins
The minute you’re satisfied with where you are, you aren’t there anymore
Risk is essential. There is not growth of inspiration in staying within what is safe and comfortable. Once you find out what you do best, why not try something else?” – Alex Noble
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. – Benjamin Franklin
Strong words and I’m a pretty big believer in learning from others, especially those who have achieved such great heights as those I’ve quoted. However I often wonder, is it ever ok to just sit still? Would it be acceptable to not have a plan to grow. I mean, where do you stop? Is one million dollars that magic plateau? But once you hit that isn’t the next most logical step 2 million, 3 then 10, why not 100 million or even 1 Billion dollars? If you were to live by these axioms in the literal sense then the answer is most definitely yes. On the other hand- could your life be fulfilled if you stopped somewhere along the way and just said, “There, I’m where I want to be, I think I’ll stay here awhile.”
What do you think?….. are you fat and happy?
Over the past few months I’ve gotten several questions about ‘how to blog.’ How to get started, where does your traffic come from, how do I compete? These are all great questions and the world of blogging has changed since I started and there are many theories and strategies. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be able to give you all the available information in one or even a whole slew of articles. The purpose of this writing is just to help aspiring writers a little hand in getting going…and getting going is the most important thing.
This article is a reprint of a guest article I wrote for www.howtomakemyblogblog by Marko Saric who I learn a lot from still. So with that in mind, it’s not pest specific but a general idea of what helped me climb the traffic ladder in the beginning days of my writing. It seemed to help a few folks back then & I’m hoping it will do the same for you.
As my feet grudgingly take me to my last stair downward, an over powering feeling of helplessness comes over me like a cold wave. In front of me is just the first part of an all but impossible task that I cannot avoid, there is no way around it and there is no escaping the horror which is just mere moments away.
To the left of me seems like a mile of food stalls. All of them need to be combed over, scoured for any sign of the evil life that infests this place and treated. To the right, a long long isle of nothing less. Like a huge life sized chess board this deadly game challenges my every fiber, takes me to the limits and practically exhausts my every ounce of energy and I have not even unleashed the first drop of my wares. Unlike the game of chess, my enemy has no set of rules which to play by and has quickly learned how to exploit the limitations that I must adhere to. With limited time to get this weeks horror filled episode behind me, I remind myself of a French Proverb–
“You cannot play at Chess if you are kind-hearted”
and I press on. (see part 1 here)
It’s Tuesday, 2:30 am: It is my first stop. A weekly account that is the crown jewel of my branch, indeed the envy of the region and one that rivals any in the entire company. The company, that is at this time, the largest pest control firm in the world.
As I enter the acre and a half sized room the bright lights accost my eyes with an unrelenting glare. The huge expanse is eerily quiet as I survey my account from the top of the marbled stairs. The reflected shine from the walls, tiled floors and counter tops gives the illusion of a city on a hill, a respectable establishment beyond all reproach. For a moment I’m lost in the spectacle, briefly taken in with the mirage.
Then, right on time, from a remote corner of the market I hear the faint squeaking wheels of the janitors mop bucket from what seems like a mile away. The dark figure moves slowly as the sound grows clearer. Deliberately his measured strides take the same path in the farthest isle along a seemingly endless row of food stalls. Until finally I watch as he reaches the huge bank of switches on a far corner wall. A sight I’ve come to dread.
adjective (of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research: while there was much anecdotal evidence there was little hard fact | these claims were purely anecdotal.
Not to long ago I wrote an article titled Chasing The Exceptions; The Route Killer. It’s an article where I explain the pitfalls of a small company owner or route tech who exhausts far too much energy and resources trying to solve that one dilemma that “doesn’t fit the mold” A problem that just creates more problems or that get’s stickier with every layer of evidence you think you’ve uncovered. In other words, a waste of time….And you know what?,, since writing that I’ve STILL caught myself doing exactly what I said I /you/we/ shouldn’t do!!! What’s up with that?!!!
The days grow shorter, it’s only 5:30 and the darkness is all but settled on the driveway. A crisp chill is in the air & it reminds our determined entrepreneur that another harsh period of time is upon him and his precariously perched business. Unable to see through his own shadow he fumbles in the pocket door of his truck for the socket wrench he keeps stashed for just this occasion, which unfortunately comes all too often. He knows every square inch of his truck by heart and easily finds his tool without aid of his trusty mini mag lite. He sees his wife’s silhouette in the light of the garage door and knows dinner awaits him but he has to fix the pull rope on his rig or tomorrows promise of a decent payday will be all but a bust. With little room to work it’s all he can do not to cuss out loud and throw his wrench across the yard as he smacks his knuckles for the 3rd time against the cold aluminum frame of his rig. ….
“ Daddy” comes a small voice from somewhere around his bumper, “you need to come in and eat so you’ll be strong enough to kill all those big bugs.” An uncontrollable smile cracks across his face and as he straightens up his stiff back he says with a disguised groan……“Oooooh…k little buddy, let’s go in and eat, besides, I gotta tell you about this HUGE rat I saw today—OH, OH, there he is”……the boy screams with excitement and runs away laughing uncontrollably as proud papa gives chase.
Our aspiring tycoon swoops up his boy and the two chuckle and giggle all the way inside. In passing, the dim garage light illuminates fully across his wife’s face, he can’t help but notice the worried look on the rock of the household. It is the 30th of the month, the mortgage and a slew of other bills are due in two days and there is no way (at least on paper) that they all can be paid.
The garage door closes & darkness swallows up the feeble light across his modest home. It’s going to be another long cold winter.
It’s hard to believe that www.pestcemetery.com is 7 years old. First off I can’t believe I haven’t even come close to running out of things to write about but what’s more incredible is, that I actually have people who read what I write. That’s pretty humbling.
The site started as an idea from my son who had convinced me blogging was a great way to make money. He’s doing that very well btw with his aviation blog, m0a.com. Me? eh, I better keep actually killing the bugs ;). My younger son gets credit for the name- it just popped out in a brain storming session we had while setting things up- Sooo, $6 bucks and a couple clicks later, pestcemetery was born.
In the first few months I wrote quite a few articles but was very discouraged when I saw that maybe, on a good day, 3 people clicked in. So, I thought I might attract some people using animated gifs and the like. I then loaded my articles with, digging termites, jumping fleas, flying bugs or just anything animated I could find, still, nobody came. Pretty depressing. Not knowing much about how to generate traffic or anything really I languished for about 10 months and was almost ready to give up. Well, I guess I did attract at least one visitor one day who was interested in my work- interested in destroying it! I remember logging in and instead of seeing my articles there was a large banner with foreign words on a flag and at the bottom in bold block letters- You’ve Been Hacked! That was extremely troubling that someone would go to such effort over an insignificant little bug blog.
The real problem was, not knowing enough about cyber space we had no way of fixing my site nor retrieving any of my work. For all intents and purposes, pestcemetery was dead.
Everyone says that “word of mouth is the greatest advertising.” Yet so few people take it much further than this. If indeed it truly is the greatest–why don’t we at least take the time to consider more about it? Why don’t we take the time to learn how to maximize this “greatest” asset to our business. The answer?….I don’t know, and, perhaps you don’t either. BUT,,, let’s not let that stop us from starting to at least explore just a little bit about referrals.
Now this is in no way a complete or exhaustive list nor is it a certified guru tested top ten. It is however a my top ten and I figured I’d share it with you. So with that said, PLEASE, if you have more insight or a tip you can add to it. I whole heartily invite you to do so. I think we could all use the help.