Another installment of the Pest Detective; See if you can crack the case and pass the quiz.
The sign on the gate read; “My Dog can make it to the gate in 2.8 seconds, can you?” So Keith thought it best to toot the horn and wait for the home owner to give the all clear. Sure enough within the alloted time three growling dogs were happy to greet him. Two of the beasts came flying off the front porch and didn’t touch any of the 8 or 9 stairs leading to the ground. The third was just a small Yorkie or some such thing and popped out from the dirt underneath the deck. From the front door came a whistle and the pups obediently ran to the sound. The Yorkie turned to snarl one last time and Keith knew that one could be trouble.
The homeowner had a cat in her arms and sat down in a rocker near the side of the porch. “Don’t bother coming round to the stairs, I’ve got it gated but the dogs will never let you up anyway.” she said in a warning tone. The house was a mobile home that was pretty high up off the ground. The front porch was really just a covered wooden deck with lattice skirting and the lady of the house glared down at Keith as if from a throne and said in disgust, “I’ve had your boys out here 4 or 5 times and ain’t none of em got the fleas outta my yard. What makes you think you can do any better?”
Now Keith was just here to help and although he could have taken offense to the ladies rudeness he instead calmly began to piece the story together by asking questions. As Keith stood below she rocked back and forth with the cat in her lap. She grabbed a somewhat rusty flea comb off the rail and began combing its long white fur. “I take care of my animals she barked, I’m always grooming em out here so I know when they have fleas.” Tufts of fur fell to her feet and mixed with the Yorkies from previous brushings and some floated over the banister. Keith knew his only chance at keeping this customer happy was to find the problem and get rid of it quickly and to somehow do it all with a smile.
Keith’s neck began hurting looking up so long listening to her version of events. He knew that this was really only the 3rd visit his company made-once inside and out and then a re-spray of the yard 10 days later and now today. He heard about the fiasco of the initial service from the original tech. What should have been a simple job took 2 hours as the lady insisted on every square inch of the house and yard being soaked and gawked over his shoulder the whole time with endless suggestions and comments. The second service wasn’t much better when the Yorkie from hell launched a surprise attack from his protected lattice fortress. This wasn’t happy client to begin with and she didn’t like the cost of the treatment so she was gonna make darn sure she got her moneys worth. She wanted the whole yard sprayed again but without getting to the cause of the matter he knew they’d just be out again.
Keith knew the tech they sent out was very good but pest control is an exact science in an inexact world– throw in a overbearing customer and it could be easy to get distracted. It was way to early to even think about re-spraying indoors and the old gal insisted she had all her pets treated just as instructed and even produced the empty applicator vials to prove it. She was very through as she recounted each and every move the tech made with both visits albeit her story did change a bit from time to time. She let slip that her kitty and small dog not only got topical flea medication but bathed as well but neither went past the porch (much) if they went out at all. She wasn’t real happy when Keith pointed out this could be a lapse in treatment even though he was polite.
“Got no fleas in the house she said in a raised tone, none on the big dogs who don’t come inside anyways but I still find some on the cat and my little ‘Smootchie’. (the dog from hell had a name-huh) Your man sprayed the whole yard, TWICE- I know cause I went right along with him and watched. So why is it I have fleas on my little dog every time I let him out? I paid for this WHOLE yard to be sprayed and it’s like you didn’t do nothing!”
In her growing anger the lady really dug down with the stainless steel flea comb and the cat murred as a huge thick tuft hit the deck floor. Keith just smiled, turned towards his truck and said in a confident voice, “I think I have your flea problem solved, you need to keep the pets on the porch for awhile and maybe grab a broom.”
Have you solved the mystery like Keith? Just what is it that gave him the confidence to make such a bold prediction and what exactly is he going to do? It’s time to put on your super sleuth hat and see if you have this one nailed too, like a true Pest Detective.