Is Our Industry Doing A Terrible Job At Promoting Our Professionalism?

end of your rope httP:// you ever get to the end of your rope and just say out loud “enough is enough?” When you’ve been pushed on and tugged at and trodden over to the point that you just can’t stay silent anymore. I guess we as an industry haven’t reached that point because we’ve been blown about with every wind of doctrine and I fear a perfect storm is now brewing.

It’s one thing when you’ve had a bad day and the wrong word comes from a client who has no clue about our industry. Truly, this happens too often but our profession is not unique to it. The wolves are always at the door of any good endeavor. It is however entirely different when the purposeful tearing down of our noble profession comes from within-

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.
John F. Kennedy

History Unchanged

It’s said that the great advancements of mans health and prosperous well being is directly related to advancements in medicine, plumbing and pest control. Yes, pest control.

I won’t blow smoke up your stack by saying I’m as smart as a Doctor, shoot, we aren’t even as clever as the average plumber to charge a trip fee…. well, that may be true but you take any one of these professions out of our history and you’d have mass sickness, disease and rampant pestilence with very little hope for a comfortable existence. One needs only to look at our history to see when each of these occupations truly kicked in and the great strides forward that soon followed. For further confirmation simply gaze over to other areas of the world where these benefits have not been employed. There you will see our fellow mankind stricken with all kinds of illness, poverty and despair. It’s my guess, that they would only be to happy to see the bug man coming down the road to ‘spray’ their home.

I’m Not Sure We See It That Way

I’m not sure why, but it seems like an awful lot of very smart people in our industry seem to look down on the very profession they claim to love and promote. Just this year a prominent pest control newsletter (it’s a member only sign in site but the link will take you there) had as their cover story the 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring and why we as an industry need to embrace it. Do you know who Rachel Carson was? What she stood for and the pseudo science she used to successfully crank the wheel of this big ship? Granted, it didn’t happen over night but neither can you steer a battle cruiser on a dime. The turn has been slow and steady because no one from 1962 on cried foul loud enough and now we’re just about at our 180.

Another prominent example is, we here in Florida are fortunate enough to have DACS (Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services) inspectors sit in for many of our meetings and ceu’s. This is more than fine and I applaud them for their keen interest. However, when as a group we are told that “No one should be using a B&G for service in this day and age” and how unprofessional we are if we do– well, I got a problem with that. (this happens quite a bit and involves more than a hand sprayer)

And then there is the forums, the TV and radio ads, the Facebook postings and the non stop chatter of cyber space. Companies claiming that others in their own industry use dangerous, lethal, deadly poisons and that for the sake of you, your family, children and pets, don’t allow them to spew these noxious chemicals around your home.

Wow, I just want to say “Thanks a lot” when I see them at them at the next trade show. “You sure do know how to market, I can’t imagine the public not trusting us now. How bout about tech morale? We sure feel good about what we do after all this don’t we?

Hey, can a caulking gun evenly put out an IGR? What’s the residual of Borax on the floor as compared to some Suspend SC in a crack or crevice? Is your training so superior to mine that your techs can just do the outside and every problem indoors will magically go away? Must be, because the public is constantly told how irresponsible we are for interior service…where’s that on the label? The Mallis handbook? I realize you’re just attempting to get market share but PLEASEEEE! You’re doing some damage as well and it ain’t to just the single operator across town that you’d like to get rid of. It’s to all of us!

They say ‘think’ before you post or write anything so perhaps it’s best to stop right here. But I for the life of me can’t fathom how the pest control profession became it’s own worst enemy- that it’s eating itself. That somehow we think it best not tout our training and band together for the good of all. Not that I’m going to change what you do, not that I want you to change me. But ifeating ourselves anybody should be trusted to handle pest situations, pesticides and the potential risks involved…..shouldn’t it be those of us who have been trained for it? Whether green blue or red, big or small. We’re in a league of our own because of our knowledge and skill. It’s time to come to the table together and promote the good of our industry….not serve each other up for dinner.

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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  • The Buguy

    excellent point Jerry. Having been in the industry for over 18 years I am always surprised when a customer asks me if the safe products they heard advertised by the big Companies ad work as good as the ones that I use. I then have to explain that a little of what chemical we use properly placed exposes them and their families to minimal possible health issues, compared to the borax they have dumped all over the insides of their kitchen cabinets because the big guys say it’s safe.

  • Thanks Buguy,
    Interesting that just today I rode with a tech and we watched as a tech for a 100 million dollar plus company used a spreader for fertilizer. When he was done, the street looked like it had a gravel layer on top of it–same for sidewalks and drive. What galls me is they pay more for TV commercials in a year than I make… The commercials are filled with how great and safe they are and that “they are changing pest control because so often they don’t use pesticides at all” I say Thank God– if they did use more pesticides– we’d be polluted to the hilt… Oh by the way, their tag line at the end of each ad is… “one day everyone will do it this way” AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH Please just shoot me!

  • stuto1

    I love my B&G!!!! In Vegas we have very small house lots and its prefect for many of them. I used it more this summer than any other. I was able to spend less money and I use my best products instead of the cheap WPs I used in the past.

    All this outside only treatments is for their bottom line. They don’t really care about the customer. Its Big Box pest control. They stuff you into their Box and call it the best! Many customers are wise to this but their are many that just repeat what they have heard without question.

  • Daniel Dye

    Wow, Jerry…Hit the nail on the head, would ya!!

  • I carry mine where ever I go too!

    I think you’re right about clients being wise to it– for those who do want “more sensitive service”…. who’s the first one they call when their earth friendly approach doesn’t work? That’s right, just a good ol boy / gal with a stainless steel can in their hand that they know isn’t afraid to get a little dirt on their crisply pressed, long sleeve white shirts monogramed with BMP or PMP on the epaulettes –(that’s if we’d wear those things 😉

  • I had a “hammer in my hand kind of day” I guess. 😉

  • Dylan

    A lot of hate for the exterior service going on here, so let me share my take. For 11 years we were an inside/outside company for pest prevention services. Two years ago we began slowly transitioning to exterior with interior as needed and haven’t looked back. We care a great deal for our customers. We just have a hard time justifying inconvienceing them by taking time out of their day to treat inside when they’re not having issues inside. Now instead of splitting a 30-45 minute service between in and out, it’s entirely focused on the outside. We do NO more stops per day than we did before and now were applying 3-4 different high quality products and formulations outside . Our production didn’t increase and our material cost per day increased. Our callbacks decreased and the vast majority of our customers welcomed the change. Exterior works for us. It may not for you, but we should take the advice in Jerry’s post and stop serving each other up for dinner because we have different ways of doing things.

  • OK here is my take on this issue, agreed with everybody. As an industry we should take every opportunity to learn, many continue in our industry to do business the same way they were taught right or wrong. The B&G and Power Spraying is a tool which can be used when needed (for example I still use power spraying for ticks and weeds of course. Most of our work is from the outside, I remember going to homes where wettable powders were about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep at the corners. I applaud companies that train, earn their A.C.E. and promote sound solid advice (for example Jerry’s blog mainly to our industry) and others who attempt to teach We will always have those that never train or learn and always have the lower price and this in itself is where the public needs help in choosing the right companies. PPMA and NPMA (with QualityPro) is constantly striving to promote and challenge us to be better (if we choose). Those comments below show that our industry to doing better but we have a long way to go. So my hat is off to those you see the best and strive those those goals.

  • Thank you

  • stuto1

    lol, I guess saying that we inconvenience our customers if They want the inside treated is not “serving each other up for dinner”?

  • Dylan

    You’re right, it’s not.