Are You A Pest Control Chemical Using Lab Rat?

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague today and as usual, it didn’t end up where it started and it got me curious about what others have to say.

The place that our little chat started was how neither of of have very much room in our trucks and the different options we had to solve our dilemma. The topic it led to was the fact that both of us have a similar approach with our products. Both purchasing and use, and how this may be to our detriment.

We both acknowledge that we see others doing things the opposite of our way far more than doing the same. At first blush we figured that our way was of course better but in our honest evaluation, (that’s why I love talking to this guy) we realized that these other companies were doing just fine. In fact, most were blowing it out of the water business wise. So, is this something we should change? We’re both comfortable with how we approach our chemical purchase and use but is it the best economically? Do customers even care? And, if we could hear from our competitors about how and why they do it, what would they say?

Do You Have To Have Everything?

Here’s how me and my buddy go about this subject. In my truck and shop I have so many things. Products like moth lure traps, fruit fly traps, pheromone roach sticky traps, non repellants concentrates of every kind, mole products, fake rock bait stations, biozyme, bio zaps, foams, gels, granules, baits for everything you can imagine, igrs galore and so on and so forth. For him, he’s more of a lawn guy and his trucks are filled with every kind of weed killer, adjuvants, concentrates, fertilizers and nutrients that would cover any and all situations. If you want to talk application equipment the same rule applies for us both. Our realization was– WE DON’T USE 1/2 THIS STUFF ON ANY REGULAR BASIS AND IT JUST GATHERS DUST OR TAKES UP VALUABLE SPACE!!

So Why Do It

The thing with me is I love gadgets and specialty products so this accounts for some of the things I buy. (I’m not allowed in Lowes or the distributor anymore without a list-strict order from my wife) Now nothing will ever replace a wooden snap trap but show me an electronic rat zapper in a plastic tube with a blinking light & I’m breaking out the credit card. “Hello, my name is Jerry and I’m an impulse buyer.”

Another reason I go in on this approach is every year or so I get some crazy call for a massive fly infestation or clothes moths or the Indian Sasquatchuan Harp Vole. (I made that up) Now I know the chances of me seeing this pest again or needing the special application tool more is low but here it is and I’ve got to have what I need right? So needing just a trap or two or just whatever I go into the distributor and find out I can only get ‘said product’ by the case, gallon or lot. Soooo, figuring I may need some down the line I buy it–thus I use my 3 ounces of ‘X’ and the rest sits waiting for the next rare but possible migration of the Man O War Horned Chirp Beetle. (Linnaeus is a distant cousin)

The Biggest Reason For My Approach

I just feel it sets me apart. When I walk into an account I get far more ‘raised eyebrows’ when people see my tool belt or when I whip out a professional looking fruit fly trap than my competition would with a can of CB 80 fogging up the place. Or instead of just placing a glue board next to a couch I put mine in a fold up Trap-Rite station. Got ants? I have sweet baits, protein gels, 3 kinds of feeding stations and a bait gun. Too many times I hear from clients that all the other company did was spray the house with a shiny spray can, charged $80 bucks and left. For me, I not only want to be prepared for every situation, I also want to look the part, and for me, this is the biggest reason I buy what I buy and stock my truck to the hilt.

Are You A pest Control Chemical Pincher?

Now I don’t want to disparage you if this is your approach- after all I think I see the wisdom of your ways. Do you fit into the category of the many I see who seem to operate with just a few really great chemicals/products and run your route? Maybe just a jug of Demand and a IGR? Perhaps just dusts and baits or some other combination? Like I said, I see techs with super busy routes adding new customers all the time and they’ve got all kinds of room in their trucks and tool boxes. They’ve gotta be getting good results right? Customers still want dead bugs bottom line and it must be that they don’t care if you are toting around a lab on wheels or just your magic puff duster as long as they get results.

I know that when I started back in 84 we didn’t have the plethora of things we have now but I still was able to get rid of peoples pest problems-Still, I was the first in my company to have a system III and at the front of the line to try out anything new. Even back then I had to be creative to fit everything in the little Ranger I drove around the city streets. But now some 30 years later I wonder, do I really need all this stuff?

What say you?

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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  • Dylan

    This is an interesting topic and one I think of often when I pull alongside another bug truck and scout out what is going on in the bed. I see very successful companies with 50 gallon split tanks in the back with electric reels and no back packs. I can only assume they power spray each clients home. This leads me to wonder what their chemical of choice is. Can they really afford to spray 5-10 gallons of Demand on every job or are they just using a generic Bifenthrin or Permethrin? On the other hand, there are the successful companies that only have a tool box in the bed and every time I see them at a clients home, they’re going around the outside with just a B&G. I use a backpack for exterior pest control 95% of the time, but have a 100 gallon tank for when I feel power spraying is necessary.

    I’m always curious about the customers perspective on the different approaches to exterior treatments. Do they see power spraying as dangerous and detrimental to the environment? Or do they feel gypped by the guy spraying so little out of that little1 gallon tank. I know in theory it should not matter, as long as pest problems are resolved/managed, but I’m still curious about their view.

  • For most of my clients that cancel and then come back–they almost always comment. “They didn’t do what you do.” I think customers see the B&G only approach and want more but like you, I see outfits out on the road or going around a bldg. all the time like this and I can only assume the customer is happy.

  • stuto1

    I am starting to accumulate some seldom used pesticides and gear but I guess its nice to have if I EVER need it.

  • Two words…. biblical apocalypse — You’ll be the wealthiest guy on the block once that hits 😉