The following article is posted by permission by its writer, Paul Bello, a certified entomologist with decades of pest control knowledge in all aspects of the industry. This stream of consciousness came with a very active and comment laden thread in the closed Facebook group pestcemetery.com. If you’re not a member and you’re in the pest control industry, you might want to request to join. The learning never stops and the insight from pros found AROUND THE WORLD is astounding. Here is one example.
Retail Pesticide Products; Why It’s a “Non-Issue”
Recently there’s been a thread in which retail products, particularly rodenticide products have been discussed.
As a result of that discussion a few questions via PM were received so, I figured that I’d share my responses to these inquiring minds here below:
1. Are retail products an issue “business wise” ?
Absolutely NOT, here’s why. If you’ve not done so lately, take a leisurely stroll through a home depot, lowes or ace hardware. Look around and observe that these big box stores have electrical, plumbing and paint departments. Each of these are well stocked and supplied with many of their industry’s respective best or nearly best available products. Isn’t that a fair and reasonable observation?
Of course it is.
Now think of this. Isn’t it fair to say that there are numerous electricians, plumbers and painters working and making a living each day? Why yes, that’s true. Do any of us wonder how those trades can possibly earn a living with all that “DIY Stuff” so widely available? The answer to that is simple, there are folks who are going to DIY and others who aren’t. And, since I have these trades well represented in my friends and family, I’ve yet to hear anyone gripe about the retail availability of these materials and products.
Additionally, check out the retail pesticide aisle and you’ll easily see that this “department” isn’t really a full department nor is it nearly as well stocked as those others are.
As such, WE need NOT worry about the DIY product availability serving as serious competition to our service business.
2. But wait, aren’t ALL these DIY products going to hurt my business?
There’s plenty of pest control work for all those who are willing to do it and who are also willing to go out and get it.
You’re not busy or working to your capacity? Stop staring at your phone and waiting for it to ring. Do what you need to do to get work there’s plenty out there for folks willing to build their businesses and people of this Industry are doing it successfully every day. In fact, folks like PCer Hal Coleman are even willing to tell you how to do so for FREE . . .
We need to remember that there is ALWAYS going to be a portion of the market who will choose to do things themselves and never hire a pest professional until absolutely necessary.
Actually, the percentage of the total US population which our industry serves on a regular basis is likely far lower than many folks think. Back in the 90s we commissioned a professional, nationwide consumer study to determine these numbers and it was certainly “an eye opener” as the numbers were way low.
Nevertheless, we need to stop worrying about stuff we can’t do anything about, stuff that doesn’t matter and take care of our own business.
3. What about product safety?
Oh no Y’all they’re selling some of the most hazardous rodenticide AIs on the shelves of these retail stores. What ever do WE do???
Please note that by “we” I really mean you. Just sayin . . .
Here’s what we do;
Cause getting all excited and “fired up” about this is a) Above our pay grade, b) Much ado about nothing, c) Wastes our valuable time which could be otherwise spent for more important purposes and, get this, d) Beyond our jurisdiction.
These products are regulated just as the professional industry products are. Oh, and here’s another shocker for ya; Nearly ALL the AIs available to the professional industry are, in some form, also available and represented in the retail market as well.
The hell you say? But no, check it out, you’ll see . . .
Yes, I get it. We could argue that these rodenticide products, if used improperly, could kill all the pets and young children in the county.
Imagine if my neighbor’s feline succumbed to an accidental feeding upon a retail rodent bait block? Poor little Mittens, I’ll miss her.
And wait !
What if a child ate some of that stuff?
That would be horrible right?
Well, wouldn’t it?
Yes, of course it would be horrible !
However, please search your own memory banks.
Kwik, I’ll wait . . .
OK, if you’re from the drug laden 70s and 80s, I’ll wait a tad longer . . .
Now, that said; when was the last time you heard of a story or stories where a bunch of pets or children were actually poisoned by these products?
C’mon, really. Where’s the actual credible data on that?
No, were not accepting Hilary voter type stories.
We mean REAL data.
There isn’t such data and, even if there is, such occurrences fall below an actionable threshold and we know that this is so.
We know it’s so because if there was such data on these hazardous occurrences then the regulatory folks assigned with the responsibility to safeguard the public from themselves would pull these products from the retail shelves.
End of story.
Oh, here’s another update: Trump won.
4. No wait, that can’t really be your take on this is it? Isn’t there at least SOMETHING we can do?
Oh, Okay. Sure, here’s some suggestions to consider. I’ll let Y’all decide which are viable and which aren’t for yourselves:
* Join NCAMP:
You know, the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides.
* Join PETA:
No, not “People Eating Tasty Animals” (note that I actually have a tee shirt for this purchased in VA directly across the street from their HQ.)
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
* Protest outside these retail establishments each third Sunday of the month. Maybe even start a Rodent’s Lives Matter march/grass roots movement type thing?
* Write to the EPA.
* Write a blog, article or other such information to better inform the consuming public and customers in your area.
* Publish a product use “Tips Sheet” such that folks who might choose the DIY route are better informed on proper use and reduction of potential hazard.
In conclusion, thanks for the PMs that got me ranting about this. I needed a brain break from my real work.
I feel better now . . . You can find Paul Bello at this link.