Do you know why they call throwing a hook tied to a string and pole with a little worm into a body of water” fishing”? Because if you caught something every time you threw that bait out there it would be called “catching.” I can only imagine if it were that easy there would be far fewer people doing it. Sure those who fished for a living might still be out there but I’m sure they’d have more time off and make a whole lot more money. On second thought I take that back- if everybody could do it that easily then perhaps we wouldn’t need the professional fisherman, we would just head out to the lake or river the next time we wanted salmon on the menu and whamo, in just a few minutes we’d have dinner.
Pest control service is a lot like this; it never ceases to amaze me that new and old clients alike expect immediate 100% results when they hire a professional pest control company. With a half hour service folks tend to think that a few ounces of spray and a man with a flashlight nosing around your home should get rid of every bug in sight and out of sight for that matter. In their minds this magic elixir from the shiny metal can has no boundaries and kills everything in its path. Of course if they think to hard they might begin to question their own safety but for some reason that’s always an afterthought and doesn’t last long. Just as long as their bugs are dead they’ll be willing to have the service. (Not many are too concerned for my safety which is ironic)
I don’t blame this on the consumer per se since just about every product out there claims- quick results- dead bugs fast- immediate knockdown-. Even the pest control ads claim -bug free living-we kill them all-total eradication-. So why don’t all the bugs just die already?
Without going into a chemistry lesson let me just say it takes time even after the best of all services. If you’ve baited for ants for instance, the bait has to work its way back to the nest, get to the rest of the colony and eventually the queen(s). A flea spray may indeed knock down 100’s or 1000’s of the blood thirsty insects but there are always a few who’ve escaped either on the pet or in an area that for some reason was or could not be sprayed. Ad to that the larva hidden deep in a chair or eggs in a remote crack and you truly haven’t got to your desired 100% level. I could go on and on about the many pests and how they escape thorough treatments or how in fact it make take time for the insecticide to finally kill them but suffice to say that; most insects are millions of years old and have had to duck and dodge all this time just to stay alive. There not going to go down so easily by a stainless steel can filled with water and an ounce or two of concentrate.
When is it time to spray again?
Almost all insecticides have a residual which is a good thing. It means for your home that even long after the bug guy has left his treatment is still working. Some companies have policies regarding re-sprays but almost all follow what the label says. ‘The label is the law.’ Some products call for 14 days and some 7 and so on but it really just depends on the product. If for instance your home was sprayed for fleas and two days later you still had a few jumping on you it wouldn’t make any sense to call the bug man back out to re-spray the home. At this point you would still have a strong residual in the carpets etc. that would still be doing its job and the fact that the product used recommends against spraying the whole house again so soon. I tell clients it’s sort of like taking six aspirin when two will do the trick. Your headache doesn’t go away immediately after just the two and it won’t with more pills either. On top of that it may not be the healthiest thing to do either so just be patient and give it time.
What most companies I’m familiar with may do to help you speed things up is give you certain tasks to aid the service. It may be vacuuming to get the fleas hopping more into the residual or something along the lines of caulking or screening to help keep ants or other pests out. About the only magic of pest control that I know of is something we can’t control. Even with placing all the proper products in all the right places it all comes down to a matter of time. Also a regular service schedule will go a long way in keeping the bugs out in the first place. If they can’t invade in great numbers and get established then that can give any home or business what’s referred to as a pest free environment.
As to my original point- what if all pest service and product killed every living bug that ever came in the room? It wouldn’t be called pest control.