The housing boom was great wasn’t it? In my town during that time we tripped over new customers almost everyday. New homes and communities sprouted up where cows and horses once happily grazed. Older homes got major up grades, palatial estates were suddenly the norm of those with even modest incomes and the art of house flipping caught on like the beanie baby craze. Builders, realtors and any business sector that had anything to do with housing thrived and grew with ease. People hardly argued over the price of things and almost as a matter of pride they seemed like they wanted to spend more.
This mini golden era wasn’t lost on the pest control industry either. Besides all the new pest control work, wdo/wdi inspectors did very well and pretreat work practically built 3 companies just in my small town alone. Literally a $0 dollar start up got up to and sold for a cool 1 million just five years after opening their doors almost all on pretreats. (just about the time their warranties ran out, hmmm- but I digress)
Hind sight being 20/20 maybe I should have joined in on this pretreat craze but I chose a different route and now that the bubble has burst it may have been a good thing. Besides, both then and now I still have some problems with the pretreat world- not the least of which is builders and cement contractors live in a whole other world and my time and schedule means nothing to them.
The other major problem I had was that pretreat label mandates called for huge amounts of volume to be compliant. 4 gallons per 10 square feet of mix meant a small area of 1500 square feet would require 600 gallons of liquid. This put little guys with 100 gallon rigs out of the game and that coupled with the competitions price wars going as low as .12 cents per square was more than ridiculous and I just never saw the benefits in that.
Well now maybe pretreats are on a more even playing field not only as a matter of price but also more labels now call for reasonable amounts of liquid that won’t wash away the foundation before it’s even laid. Heck, I’ve even put in a bid for a commercial job recently and if all goes well I’ll be looking for more.
There is still one problem I have with pretreats and that has to do with the math. In most jobs it might not matter much but on pretreats State agencies in charge of enforcement are cracking down. They’ll literally stand by your side and see how much you put out, watch you mix and even take tank samples so it behooves you to be right. While it might seem easy to calculate how many gallons you need and come up with a cost you might be surprised especially if you, like me, don’t do pretreats everyday. So why don’t you help me out with my pretreat and see if you can come up with the correct answers. Who knows, with your help I may live to spray another day or without it I could end up in the hoosegow. Then where will you go for all your pest control information? (don’t answer that) The job specs are on the test; Take The Test Now
Special Thanks to Cliff Culp, Owner of Ace Exterminators who helped me through some of this and showed me how to make pre treats a more profitable adventure. If my math is wrong don’t blame Cliff but go ahead and give me grief about it. I’d rather hear from you than the State Inspector. :0
Grab your calculator and follow this link to my fun page and see if you can pass the pretreat post test.