A few years ago I was part of a large group of bug men being led around a a large campus to give a bid for services. There were the big shot sales men from the mega firms, managers of medium sized companies, techs sent out by their bosses and even a little ol single operator,– me. We toured each building and got a description of what was expected and were able to ask questions.
Like any other time you get a bunch of competitors in the room you can’t help but kind of size the ‘other guy’ up. We puff out our chest a little bit, try and sound smarter than anyone else with our questions. And you’d always steal a glance at the different pest pros in the room and wondered, “How many trucks does he have?” Or look at someone else and think, “Who’d hire that joker?” For me, my glances and thoughts were those of “If I could only be!” I was by far the smallest guy there and most likely the one with the least shot of getting the bid, so I can only imagine what those folks thought about me. 20 years later and if they read my blog, the question is still the same.
Still, in this bid circus we were in, it wasn’t me who stood out but two gentleman who couldn’t be at any further distance apart in their approach to pest control. One was the owner of the company that currently serviced the account, (he wasn’t happy to have to be there because our bid escort relied on him for all sorts of ‘inside ‘information’ & asked him to answer a lot of our questions). The other was an owner of a small 2 or 3 man company who piped up with a comment on EVERYTHING and just had to be the smartest guy in the room. Besides his annoying interjections, the odd thing about this fellow was that he always wore a crawl suit wherever he went. Ceu’s, trade shows, it didn’t matter and this official inspection was no different. To this day me and a few colleagues still
Early on in our tour we were in a long hallway that has been plagued with trailing ants and wandering roaches etc. that would come in from any of the many exterior doors. Our guide made it clear that this (and many other places) needed to be treated and of course looked to the current vendor to have him explain how they did it. Visibly annoyed, he simply replied, “We use a hand pump sprayer.” Immediately Mr. Green Jeans piped up and said in an accusatory tone, “You use a B&G? I wouldn’t be caught dead with one of those things!” From there he gave us all a 3 or 4 minute diatribe on the evils of sprays and his version of a sound treatment. Needless to say we were all rolling our eyes, quietly fidgeting and waiting for our tongue lashing from this cover-all clad’d man to cease. Unfortunately the rest of the walk through was much the same but no one really took this guy seriously. But I wonder now all this time later. Has his vision of pest control taken over? Is the B&G a thing of the past?
Spend anytime as a tech in this business and somewhere down the line, you’re going to get ‘The Stare’. In years past it was always from a homeowner or person outside pest control who for whatever reason felt you were spewing noxious poisons with that tiny stainless steel can. In recent times this trend has increased and I must say, sadly it’s from more and more pest control “professionals”. This disturbing shift has me puzzled and it’s more pronounced with the advent of the internet. A post on a forum or an article on a blog all seem to lean to a ‘better way’ of doing things because to continue with how we’ve done it for more than a century is irresponsible, short sighted and going to kill us all. Even in popular TV shows like Billy The Exterminator, The Verminators or Infested you never see a B&G. Well, I take that back… When you do see the techs going into a home with one they’re always clad in plastic cover alls and space aged looking respirators. The viewer is left to think “just what the hell do they have in that thing?” and of course they’ll be wondering that too, when you show up with on in hand.
I guess I’m rambling a bit here but I have so much more to say. (I guess there’ll be a part two) But let me ask you this. Do you use a B&G? and if not what’s so wrong with it as a tool? I have 3 on each truck and use Demand, Suspend or Arilon (just to name a few) for most of my work. Aren’t these products tested?–Am I killing people with my shiny liquid dispenser? Am I not a professional? I’m a little thick headed but just how is 6 ml (milliliters) to a gallon of water a deadly combination? Especially since just one tank full can service almost a whole days worth of houses. Is it just the visual stigma you don’t like or the constant cry of the band wagoners too much to ignore? I’ve been honest with you–please give me your honest opinions and or facts. In any case, we as an industry have ratcheted up this problem and now we need to figure out–just what to do with this 800 pound gorilla in the room.