The Times…They are a Changing written by Daniel D.Dye II. An associate certified entomologist with over 4o years experience Daniels insight and expertise is highly sought after in the pest control industry. We are thankful for his contribution and hope we can look forward to many more articles, podcasts and interactions. Daniels other passions are photography, spiders and the study of snakes. You can see Daniels work in these areas here. www.floridabackyard snakes.com on the web and his Facebook group here. www.floridabackyardspiders.com is very popular on the web and also has a companion Facebook group here.
I’m sometimes asked, which control product should I for a certain pest or which product is better, this one or that one? In many cases a control product is not needed at all. While I believe the control products we have at our beck and call are important tools, it’s my opinion we rely on them way too much.
Yes, I would agree German Cockroaches, Bed Bugs and possibly a few other pests are pretty much impossible to eradicate without these products; however, there are still many pests that can be controlled without applying a drop. In some cases, it’s just a cultural change or something as simple as removing a conducive condition or maybe even an environmental modification. By the way, there’s very good money in performing exclusion work, not just for rodents, but also for insects, spiders and other occasional invaders.
In my forty years as a PMP, I’ve seen many products come and go. Let’s face it, the pest management industry is changing. We have lost some very good control products over the years and I’m sure we’ll lose some more. Most organophosphates are gone. Carbamates are dwindling away. Neonicotinoids are under the gun. Even Fipronil is under the microscope.
As time goes by, many of our product choices may disappear…and then what? Especially if there are no products to take the place of the ones we lose.
Now I have a question, “How much do you really know about the pests you’re trying to control every day?” All too often, we rely on the bait & wait or the spray & pray approach when servicing customers, instead of learning why that pest is there in the first place. Now, don’t take me wrong, this doesn’t always apply to all pest. German roaches and bed bugs come to mind.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies, requires knowledge of insect identification, insect biology, customer education and a thorough understanding of the pest control products you have at hand. IPM also uses a variety of control tactics (mechanical, cultural, biological and chemical), which is based on biological knowledge of the pest you’re dealing with.
Besides the inspection, one of the most important steps of IPM is the proper identification of the pest. We start by learning how to identify pests quickly; guessing will often get us in trouble. We should have reference material at hand and use them when needed. Some great reference materials are the NPMA Field Guide to Structural Pests, PCT Field Guide for the Management of Structure-Infesting Ants and the PCT Field Guide for the Management of Urban Spiders, just to name a few. We should attend training classes with the attitude that we’re going to learn something new and take good notes. Then take this knowledge and apply it whenever possible to control pests without using a drop of a control product…Before we are forced to. We, as professionals, will be ahead of the game.
We should set ourselves a goal and feel challenged to attain pest identification/biology skills. Learn something new daily about the profession we have chosen.
The more knowledge we gather about the pests we’re controlling and the more professional we appear, the more confidence our customers will have in us.