Bees don’t need a ladder but Mel does

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 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 upbees on a ladder 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.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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