This article was submitted by a Mel Lopas, a pest control professional from the great north west. Mel has a lot of experience in the industry and you can find him on facebook hanging out at the pestcemetery.com group sharing his insights. I think he might say-“Don’t try this at home” and you’ll see why when you hear his story.
In the side job article you mentioned your pay average of $2.20 a stop and needing to complete 17 a day. Then I read the article of your early years doing bee’s on a second story. Reading made me think about saftey. It seems when I first started all my jobs were yellow jackets and baldfaced hornets. You mentioned your service manager wearing a paper bag with holes cut in it. My bee suit consisted of a paper painters suit and a bee keepers hood, secured with duct tape.
The most dangerous memory I have was several techs attempted to treat a wall void but were too smart to do what I did. Being the new guy I wanted to prove myself. I extended a ladder 12-15 feet, climbed on an approximately two foot wide ledge, then pulled up the ladder onto the ledge and repeated the process. I climbed the ladder placed almost straight up with minimal incline. I grabbed my can of microcare, inserted the needle into the hole and sprayed. All it did was flush out the yellow jackets. They yellow jackets emerged flexing their arms and I could hear them laughing. Next I dusted. I never saw your how to dust video so like you I inhaled some dust. Then one entered the inside of the hood. Here I was 24-30 feet high on a ledge and fighting the instinct of flight. I just wanted to jump but by the grace of god I stayed calm. The yelllow jacket rested on the net and I was able to smash it. Having been a investigator of workers comp injuries and disability claims and all I learned in that business, I wonder today how I could have been so stupid. I’ve a couple cases of about six foot ladder deaths. The things we do in our business to appease a customer. Zero commision on this job but I guess the learning lesson was invaluable? I could have died or been disabled.
Glad you’re still with us Mel, and thanks for sharing.