Ninja exterminator-what kind of customer are you?

Many years ago I had a client who had two major problems. One was a nasty roach problem and the other was, well, me. She was a nice enough lady but she must have felt ashamed to have a bug man. Having the dreaded roach she was set up as a monthly customer but she did not want any of her neighbors to know she had a pest service. I was instructed to park in the alley two lots down and enter the home promptly and quickly and shut the door behind me. Once inside I noticed all the blinds were drawn and she told me under no circumstance was I to spray anything outside where anyone could see me. This went on for a year which was her contract even though I cleaned up her problem in just a few visits. At the end of my service she wrote a nice note to my branch manager but I couldn’t tell if she was more satisfied with my work or the fact that I was so good as sneaking in and out with no one being the wiser.

Then there are the matter of fact clients who seem like that you are a necessary bother. No sneaking around for them, they just want you prompt and in and out once the job is done. These people are more of a minority in numbers but they are significant none the less. I won’t say that they are grouchy or hate to have a bug service but they want their visits short and to the point with very little talk other than job related. Pest sightings are given in a matter of fact style and even though they pretend to not care what you do with the information they’ll watch you to make sure you’ve covered the the areas where the bugs were spotted.

Thankfully these are not the prevailing attitude of pest control professionals in America and indeed most clients are quite the opposite. Almost overwhelmingly people are happy to excellent service pestcemetery.comhave a true professional come in their homes and provide service. Trust is something that most folks give freely and as long as their technician appears friendly and knowledgeable they are more than eager to have us out. These customers make my job such a joy and I believe they look to my service as an aid to maintain a certain level of comfort and security for their homes.

In all cases I believe the customer is thankful to have the service and I know for me I get an equal amount of referrals from each. The days of willy nilly spray jobs have long since been eliminated and most every company provides a clean effective service which people have come to rely on. Having done service work in many areas of the country this prevailing attitude of wanting professional service is widespread and whether they want to chat or just get the job done doesn’t alter that expectation. For most companies this arrangement works out fine because they too have evolved to a higher level of treatment and are proud of the work they do.

no parking in the alley pestcemetery.comWhile there are a scant few who fall into other categories they would be the subject of another less flattering article and become the ‘water cooler’ talk for the technicians before they head out on their routes in the morning. Pest control is such a great career and after a few years any good tech has enough stories to tell that he’s always a hit at a party or family get together. I’ve been at this for over 26 years now and only begun to scratch the surface as I write on my blog. I’m still waiting however for the next time I’m asked to park in the alley way but since where I live now there are no alley’s I’ll have to sharpen up my ninja skills.

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. Pestcemetery.com 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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  • Great story!! That hasn’t happened to me yet but i still have a long ways to go till I have as much experience as you do.

    Karl The BugMan
    EnviroCare Pest Solutions
    Columbus Ohio Exterminator

  • The Bug Doctor

    That’s the beauty of our career. There’s always something new and exciting- or at least memorable.

  • Before I started working for Rentokil I really didn’t have any understanding of the importance of pest control.

    Recently I saw a Rentokil van (but it could have been any professional pest co van) parked outside the village store near the school that my sister works at and my first thought was: “Good, I am glad they have pest control – under control!”.

    Until pest control is necessary, many people don’t even think about it. The expression “prevention is better than a cure” now applies to my home. I keep an eye on the rubbish bin area, make sure no food is dropped on the decking outside and keep an eye out for broken drains/guttering – so that I minimise the chances of needing to call “us” out!

  • The Bug Doctor

    You’re right- it’s awareness that comes either when you have a problem or you have someone in the home who works for a company. I guess the same could be said of a plumber or carpet installer–you start to notice what’s fresh in your mind.

    Thanks for reading
    The Bug Doctor

  • Mel Lopas

    Be it commercial or residential. I’m always approached by a nosey neighbor or customer of an establishment. They’ll ask “what type of pest problem do they have?” My standard response is “they have no problem because they use me. Iam here doing prevention. However, these types of problems arise in this neighborhood ” Then enquire if they have any pest problems I could resolve for them.

    For the customers you described above. I let them know, if I am approached its not a big deal. I wont tell anyone Iam here for anything other than prevention and if you’re that concerned you tell them the same. The response is usually the same. They “get it” and I can see the relief on their face.

  • The Bug Doctor

    I think part of being a good exterminator is also being a psychologist. Wish we were paid like them too.

    Excellent advice
    Thanks for reading
    The Bug Doctor

  • Mel

    Delusional parasitosis is a completely different story.