Time, Distance & Shielding-Principles In Pest Control Series #2

“Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.”

Gary Ryan Blair

There are a couple of aspects to the principle of distance as it relates to pest control. Let’s start with the obvious. You have to get as close to your target as possible. I’ve had people work for me (not for very long) whose idea of treating the garage was a quick swipe of the sprayer across the thresh hold of the walk through door. When asked about it they simply said any bugs in the garage would die once they tried to get in the house and crossed the barrier. -Oh boy- This same attitude of course permeated their whole strategy of pest control so needless to say they weren’t very effective.

Close Only Counts In Horseshoes, Hand Grenades… And Pest Control?

While today’s products are SO MUCH BETTER than in times passed you have got to get it either on, close by or in an area where the pest is or is expected to be. Roach baits for instance not only kill the cockroach who eats it directly but also those that eat its excrement, (yuck) The first affected roach does a lot of work for the tech because it deposits its fecal matter very near where it and others rest and hide. It can be far better than a 2 for 1 scenario but this won’t happen if you’re baiting in the next room where the roaches don’t venture. Termidor or Premise are excellent termiticides and can kill off whole colonies even when just a fraction of the nest comes in direct contact. But if you’re treating the house only, you couldn’t say with any surety that the shed 25 feet away will be protected too. If this were the case than why not offer the neighbors a termite guarantee? After all, we all know termites often infest more than just one food source.

Pest control is not a manufacturing job, not a retail store, it is service. Service is work and at times it’s very hard work. Taking the time and making the effort to crawl to the other end of the attic or contort your body under a sink- all so you can just get your product as close as possible to where your target pest is can make all the difference in the world. SERVICE IS THE KEY.

Another Aspect Of Distance

Distance no matter how small is still distance. I often tell those I train to think about what they’re treating with and the surfaces they are treating on. Many insecticides can be applied to a target area only to get swallowed up shortly there after. Surfaces like dry wood, bricks and cement will (depending on your product) soak up your application and very little residual will be left to kill your pest. The distance may only be a fraction of an inch but it is more than enough to make you look foolish. Other surfaces won’t soak but repel- stainless steel, tile or other hard surfaces cause run off and your application becomes a puddled mess on the floor. Think about where you’re applying and then think about what. Having a fully loaded tool box is the answer to this distance problem and that goes right back to the hand grenade scenario.


This is the second of the series Time, Distance and Shielding and these three go together because each principle depends on the other to have success. Time is always affected and even irrelevant if you don’t apply the distance rule. Residuals or methods won’t work in a thousand years if they aren’t close enough to affect the target or on the surface where the pest will be. Take the Time to get the Distance right and you won’t have to throw grenades.

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. Pestcemetery.com 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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