The majority of pest control customers want very little to do with helping your service. Of course this a bit of a generalization but I don’t think this statement is that far off from the truth. There is however, a very small percentage of my clients that do absolutely anything I recommend and are very proactive with their service. It’s these folks who you just wish you could bottle and replicate. Unfortunately there are so very few of them and all you can do is admire their effort and dream of the day you sign more of this type of client on.
I found one such homeowner or should I say he found me? On my Ask The Bug Doctor tab he sent me a simple question about bugs in appliances and a picture of his refrigerator that all of us exterminators have seen 100 times. What was amazing however, after I sent him a simple reply he wrote back and described the herculean efforts he took to rid himself of german roaches in his appliances and kitchen. Like I said, if I could, I’d bottle this guy but for now- I simply APPLAUD him and urge anyone else who has a roach infestation and is reading this article. Do what Matthew did and you’ll get the results you desire. Great job Matthew! This was what he wrote:
Hello Bug Doctor,
Thanks for the quick reply! Nice to talk to someone that “get’s it”. Hands down one of the worst experiences of my life.
I got the keys to my new home on December 8th and didn’t move in until February 18th. I guess I did a pretty good job in a short period of time, but man did I go “all-in” and I’m still not done with the aftermath. I decided i wasn’t moving in until the bugs were gone and was paying both my mortgage and rent at the same time, so I had to move fast. Luckily I am single so it made things a bit easier. To get rid of the bugs I went into what I called “Total Annihilation Mode”. Basically rolled up my sleeves, did tons of research, got some help and went to war:
• Professional Exterminator (treated 3 times inside, twice in the attic – pretty much had to force him to do the attic space)
• Shrink wrapped and removed all appliances after the house was treated by the exterminator.
• Had all cabinetry and bathroom vanities removed (which was terrible because it was all new, circa 2009)
• Removed 8 vents for the central A/C system, 53 switch plates, 8 fire alarms, 23 lighting fixtures and recessed lighting covers
• Had A/C system professionally cleaned
• Treated all openings with boric acid, including around the entire floor/baseboards and all of the above mentioned holes (switch plates, lighting fixtures etc..).
• Deep Cleaning of entire house
• Caulked bottoms of baseboard. Covered the caulk job with 1/4″ bayshoe (actually saw a tiny spider on the floor the other day, try to scurry to the bayshoe and couldn’t even get all the way under it to hide).
• Cleaned all switch plates, lighting covers, and vents with a combination of bleach and a citrus de-greaser. I cleaned it all, not just the pieces with roach poo.
• Had the house professionally painted, with all walls sanded, and all cracks caulked.
• Purchased styrofoam gaskets for all the switch plates that supposedly help keep critters out and also save on energy costs.
• Professional Exterminator company comes back every month now for an exterior treatment at $40 a visit. Might switch to bi-monthly soon.
So a little background on the house: I literally got my keys as the previous owners are driving away and walked into a freshly bug-bombed new house that I had no idea was plagued with roaches until after it was too late. The previous night I had done my final walk-through, simply to check that the appliances were still there since we were doing a side deal ($2200 for all four appliances). The electricity was off in the house at that point and I didn’t bring a flashlight. It was a grueling process to purchase this house and bugs were the last thing on my mind. I had visited the house about 5-7 times prior over the course of 8 months, had two inspectors and my real estate agent with me at different times and NOBODY noticed a thing (or at least said something about it).
The best part? The previous home owner was…..a professional cleaning lady by trade. She was apparently doing such a good job cleaning prior to each visit that no-one had a clue. However if knew what I now have learned from your site, I would’ve been able to spot it from a mile away. I spoke to a neighbor last week who told me the previous home owner used to collect recyclables and pile them up outside the kitchen window. I’m crossing my fingers that that’s how they got in and that they’re not coming from the apartment next door.
As you requested… attached are some pics for you to use. I even got you one with a bug trapped in the LED screen =). I will send them across a few emails so you can get the scope of what I dealt with, and hopefully beat. I am still not ready to put back my kitchen and haven’t had food or water in the kitchen since I got the place. I am now just getting back to the appliances. I have a company that quoted me about $500-600 to clean all the mechanical parts of the appliances but I still will need to clean everything else. Not very excited to do this, but I’m completely tapped for cash now after doing all of the above. The one major downside to everything is I will have to live without a kitchen for a very long time now to get to the point of having enough $$ to pay for one.
Above all, thanks for all the help from your site!