Don’t be satisfied with pest control ‘sweet spots’

There’s a tendency in pest control technicians to hit the same places time and time again with regular service visits. The reason could be that the customer wants those spots done because they’ve seen a bug there and now and forever that spot MUST be sprayed. Now for this situation you might just have to grin and bear it, as long as it isn’t against the label or for safety reasons you can’t but this is not really the ‘sweet spots‘ that I’m referring to. I know what you’re thinking and ‘no’ it’s not that either.

What is a sweet spot?

A sweet spot is an area in a home that for some reason just always attracts the pests. Much like you and I might keep returning to a favorite restaurant even though it’s always packed and we have to fight the crowds, pests will also seek out great spots like this and exploit all it has to offer. It could be roaches that always seem to show up behind the refrigerator, mice in the bottom drawer of the oven and really the list could include just about anywhere in a home. The logic is fine for this because if something is conducive once it will more than likely be conducive again and they are areas that should always be checked regardless. The problem however is that sometimes techs will look at those areas and see nothing and be lulled into believing they have everything under control when in fact, their target may just be a few feet away in another location.

Why wouldn’t the pests be in the sweet spot?

Many times the reason the pests might leave a favorite area is because the residual insecticide is very strong and they detect and avoid it. Maybe it’s a new customer that you just started and this is your 1st or 2nd regular service. Being the great technician that you are you really cleaned that area out with your initial so no self respecting bug would dare go in there until things cool down. Maybe it’s as I stated above and you hit that area so much because your client is standing near by to make sure you treat their check list every time. Or perhaps you were able to educate the homeowner and they pest proofed the spot by cleaning up or patching some cracks in which case I say kudos to you and a job well done. What I hope isn’t the case however is that you develop tunnel vision of sorts and are thinking that just because you don’t see these pests in all their old haunts there aren’t any to be had. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been surprised to find roaches, mice or what have you in a place you’d least expect them just because they were blocked off from a great nesting site.

How to avoid the sweet spot lull

I’ve always taught people to shake things up a bit on regular service accounts. pests are so versatile and can be just about anywhere. The minute you say never in this business is the same moment you’ll be shocked, amazed or embarrassed about where this pest has been hiding from you. If you always start at the door and go to the right to treat then every once in awhile go left. If the B&G is your favorite tool, put it down and go through the home with just a duster and a flashlight. This simple little tip forces you to see things differently because you’ll be looking at it from different angles and with other tools. Of course there is tons of other things like fecal droppings left behind etc. but those are things that any good tech should be doing regardless of the direction they’re going. So avoid the sweet spot trap but not so much that it becomes a favorite hide out once again and lets go kill some pests.

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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