Re; Palmetto bugs YIKES

The following is the tale end of a series of e-mails from my Ask The Bug Doctor feature on my site. The ‘Nice lady’ who wrote really couldn’t have been more gracious both to me and to her pest control company that she had hired to get rid of a palmetto roach infestation she was experiencing. As with so many of the e-mails I get for advice the writers have pest control service and these folks seem to go to great lengths in doing their part to aid the process. ‘Nice Lady’ is one of those people and she indeed took every word to heart and did not only what I suggested but also her technician. (which wasn’t much) With I think her 3rd letter I knew she wasn’t getting the results and it’s against my nature to tell anyone to cancel service especially service from the “backbone” of the industry, the small companies. Instead, I wrote to her what I would do if she were my customer.

Nice Lady;
Thank you for your previous email. We have since sprayed the outside of the townhouse (end unit) with insecticide, taped around outlets under the kitchen sink, spray the patio, put “Seven powder” dust around the doors, and we still find dead ones on the kitchen floor in the morning. Any ideas, and is there no end to this?? Should we cancel our bug man who sprays once a month (very nice and sprays outside and inside) and get Terminix or some big company?? Thank you in advance for any advise, we just want this to stop.

From: “” To: Nice lady with Palmetto bugs
Sent: Mon, September 20, 2010 9:36:13 PM
Subject: Re: Palmetto Bugs-Yikes

Hi Nice Lady,
I feel your frustration. As I remember you have the ‘big roaches’ and It sounds to me like you’ve done quite a bit, I wish more of my customers would take initiative like that but to be honest I kinda get upset when they do-  NOT THAT IT’S A PROBLEM WITH YOU or my customer, it’s just that I feel like that’s what their paying me for and somewhere I AM missing it. So saying that I will tell you what I would do if you were my customer.

#! I would break out my duster and find every void both inside and outside (voids outside like siding, weep holes, cable and utility lines etc.) and dust very thoroughly–this includes all the plumbing areas and any area I had previously dusted– I would do again with an eye to see if I missed something or if I could get it deeper into the void

#2 I would treat the attic either with bait (Niban) or fog it with my fogging machine

#3 I would search the exterior where roaches may have a chance to breed and build up.  ie; log piles, heavy mulch etc.

#4 I would look for any and all sources of moisture and make recommendations to re-route the moisture as in a/c lines or leaky gutters or spigots

#5 I would set up a one time ‘sticky trap’ barrage to catch runners and narrow down the area of most activity and use that information on my next visit. The area that showed activity would get TORN apart (figuratively of course) Plus I would treat the areas now like this where you are telling me you see them.

#6 I would advise you if things need to be adjusted sanitation wise such as clutter in the garage, trash cans maintained and cleaned, gutters cleared out, landscaping issues and anything else that gives these little guys an edge.

Big roaches aka peri-domestic roaches don’t need to be a long drawn out process. Finding moisture spots is key and dusting voids is crucial (finding them is important too cause there not always in the obvious places) Short of that or if it’s impossible to correct these situations then you must rely heavily on baiting.  Exterior treatment is also a must. I’m not sure what to say about switching companies, big firms do not guarantee better results in my mind. It comes down to the tech in your home. Having said that I guess big companies do have an advantage for support but service mgrs. don’t routinely come out on every call so in the end it’s you and your service person.

Please don’t mis read my words as I just reread this and I don’t mean the ‘tone’ to be harsh. It’s not meant to be. Sometimes when I get letters like yours I write from the perspective as to what I would do and how I would feel having a customer go through this so I kind of get emotionally invested. I HATE WHEN MY CLIENTS HAVE BUGS–especially such solvable problems like yours. So I thought writing to you the way I would do it might be of the most help rather than text book type answers. Sometimes in pest control you just have to get after it and I think that is what your person needs to do at this point.

I hope this helps.

The Bug Doctor.

Nice Lady
Thank you so much, fantastic advise, the only other sad thing (besides the bug status) is that your business is not in Ft. Lauderdale 🙁

” Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss

It’s so hard to KEEP let alone get customers these day’s, watch and take care of who you have.

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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