Failure is not an option but it is a reality

Without excuses or lofty explanations of why, I thought it best to let you know that I have failed at my craft on more than one occasion. Pest control is not an exact science as one would think. There are many times where situations dictate you to think outside the box. Move to slow or make the wrong decision and you will fail.

While some of you are undoubtedly sitting there reading my articles and thinking, “Man this guy conquers all”, I would like you to realize that even with 25 years I still fail. I may know the habits and tendencies of a whole host of insects but still sometimes the solution eludes me.

I do my very best to learn from the experience and while it doesn’t happen as often these days, failures still come my way.

Here is one of them.

A very dear friend of mine wanted their home treated for pest control, they had no real issues at the time and for about a year everything was fine. I serviced inside and out and always did what I thought was a good job. That changed.

I got a call from the Mrs. saying she was seeing large ants appear and could I come out. I inspected the area and to my surprise there were quite a few carpenter ants roaming around the living room floor no worse from the wear even though I had recently sprayed. I did, again what I thought was enough to rid them of the ants. It did not help and the ants got worse.

My friend was a laid back guy but after about my 7th trip out and no real results he was getting frustrated. I was now going way beyond ‘just enough’ and pulling out every trick in the book. I went out at night (Carpenter ants are nocturnal), I treated every void I could find, the attic, the trees in the yard, the fence line you name it I did it all. The ants got so bad the Mrs. was putting towels down at the base of her bedroom door to keep them out while they slept. Nothing worked and I was out of anything new to try.

My good friend (still is to this day) still had options and he called me to tell me he was going to try someone new. It was an uncomfortable call to say the least and I know he felt bad but I’m sure I felt worse. It ended there and my confidence was shaken for a while but to be honest I was a little relieved as well.

I never asked him again about it but I wonder what finally happened and what the answer I could never find was. It’s been almost ten years now so I suppose I could ask but I never do. I’d like to say I’m way past that but since I’m writing about I guess not quite 100%.

I take pride in my work as I’m sure you do as well and I endeavor to impart as much helpful knowledge I can on this site. So let me leave you with this.

Lloyd Jones:
Those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed.

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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  • I understand what you went through. I have been in a few situations that baffled me. Fortunately i have met quite a few great friends within the industry and have created a extensive network of other pest control operators through out the country. With every ones knowledge and experience, ive always found the answer. That is why the pest control industry is so great.

    Karl the Bug Man
    EnviroCare Pest Solutions
    Columbus Ohio

  • admin

    It’s good to have friends.

  • I live in colorado and have a huge problem with ants and need to deal with them once and for all. The problem is outside not in, and they come by the millions it seems. Are there any home remedies short of an exterminator that might work?

  • admin

    I’m glad to hear these ants aren’t inside, sounds like you have a lot of em. Without knowing which ant it is I’ll go with my best guess.

    The pavement ant is probably the most common outdoor ant in Colorado and he is not known to come inside very often. Baits are always preferable for ants outside so Maxforce ant bait or something similar is available at Lowes or Home Depot for 10 or 15 bucks. The bait works on multiple ants so it may be just fine if I am wrong. You can sprinkle it near the nest or trails and they’ll take it back to the nest.

    Another quick reduction method would be to spread DE (diamataceous earth) on the lawn. It’s available at any pool store and not a pesticide. Wear a dust mask anyway and either use a spreader or a gloved hand to put a nice coat or layer all around the yard. 2 things, the first good rain and it’s gone plus it’s a bit messy to apply. It will however give you a quick kill and with any luck steer the buggers away. You may want to bait afterwards but don’t do both at the same time.

    I’d be happy to come by and help the next time I’m in your neighborhood but all the ants are dormant usually in the winter–at least up on Keystone where I’m at.

    Thanks for reading
    The Bug Doctor

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