For the life of me I’ll never understand why bug companies are in lawn care. Not the insect part – that part I get, but something about loading up your rig in the morning to go off and fight pythium blight just doesn’t seem to fit the mold of a pest control professional. How can it be pest control if there are no crawl space battles with rats & mice? No complex ant strategy that involves a walk on the roof or a full fledged inspection that would rival any great detectives in history? No, just a poor tech loaded up with fertilizer & having 20 to 25 fast paced yard sprays (in one day) with a rig that spews out 9 gpm and a wind that ALWAYS seems to be blowing in your face. Add to that, a homeowner who’s still in his pajamas chasing you down to play a game of 20 questions and the ever popular “guess where I found a yellow blade of grass.” You drag 300 feet of hose, have a gun that shoots 1/2 a pattern and a manager back at the office who’s threatening to make you work Saturday if you don’t sell some accounts. Yea, something to me just doesn’t quite fit the pest control definition in this scenario. If you ask me, lawn care has a darker side, an evil undertow that’s not so obvious to the casual onlooker. But for those of you in it, you know it’s grip and the life it squeezes from you.
Temptation Can Make You Pay Dearly
The WDO (wood destroying insect real estate inspection) is the industries #1 source of litigation but lawn treatments have got to be a close 2nd. Don’t believe me? Consider the fact that MANY bug companies have standing accounts with sod companies and trailers loaded replacement grass standing by – Yea, in my mind if anything has the chance, lawn spraying might just surpass the WDO. It doesn’t matter if it’s the homeowner who sprayed Round -Up in between visits or that the sprinkler system was hit by lightning 6 weeks ago and the grass dried up. It’s all the lawn techs fault and who can prove any different?
It’s a popular (and one that does work btw) strategy to use lawn spraying as a tool to get other services. People like bundling services- paying one company, making one call. So flyers hit the mailboxes and the fierce competition drives the price down to mere pennies per thousand square feet and promises of a green Utopia abound. On average, lawn treatments cost 20% in chemicalcompared to just 4% for pest control and by far are a more steady source of complaints which means returned visits and spent time whether you treat or not. While some folks may see a roach or a spider in their home and call you back, more lawn clients than I care to count are actively out in their yards, on their hands and knees looking for imperfections. Once found, the call goes out and even if you manage a satisfactory explanation- They want the whole yard treated again and of course that’s at no additional cost.
Envy Is A Deadly Sin
There’s something about man and a green and healthy lawn. It’s as if that’s his birth right and anything but a lush deep green is offensive to his good nature. Well, there is one thing worse, if his neighbors yard is greener than his.
Of course if you want to find the source of all your lawn troubles you go back to the beginning right? It is written plain as day in the first book of the bible which for many- is the “label for living.” This verse occurs right after the great downfall of man and it’s just erie to me what was mentioned first as a consequence for the actions of Adam & Eve.
Gen 3: 17b & 18: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Thorns and thistles, (weeds) weren’t in the original garden and the ground definitely was not cursed. Now not only was it vexed, but it was gonna take work to maintain it.
Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
And it’s been HARD WORK ever since.
Well, maybe this is all a little far fetched for you and you’re just a bit skeptical. That’s Ok, I understand. I too was at that point once in my career where the dream of providing lush, green lawns was a calling I couldn’t ignore. Visions of happy families enjoying thick green turf all brought about by my magic spray wand filled my head and so I too, went the way of lawn care treatments.
It’s only after years of dealing with the lost souls that I believe I now have solid, undeniable proof that lawn treatments are the devils tool. Besides clients who;
wander around their lawns with flashlights and magnifying glasses, who call at 10 pm and talk for over an hour, who call to complain while they’re on vacation, (just happened this week) who win lawn of the month but still complain, who want a detailed chemical analysis of why 3 blades of grass were found yellowing in the southwest corner, who can’t believe their dog could pee in such a perfect circle, who just know the Johnson’s across the street fertilize 15 times a year, who want to help using Round Up while you’re gone, who hire TWO lawn companies and hope neither finds out about the other, (this also happenedjust this month) who schedule your ‘free complaint’ service while you’re there doing the regular visit.
…….. Besides all that, what more proof do you need than the worlds most popular fertilizer blend shares the worlds most fiendish number? hmmmmmmmmm 😉