Actually, you probably donât have bedbugs
The news media have gotten people so totally paranoid that nine out of ten people who call me donât have a problem. Some companies take advantage of that by charging you to treat something that doesnât exist. If they canât show you a bedbug, donât pay them to treat.
When youâve got trees or shrubs touching your house, my job is a lot harder
Youâve basically built a bridge for ants and other insects that allows them to walk right in and avoid the spray I put down around the perimeter of your house.
After I started this job, I moved all the food in my pantry into plastic containers with sealed lids
Itâs the only way to keep out various rodents and insects, which can easily eat through paper and cardboard.
The biggest mistake people make in trying to eliminate mice is not using enough traps
I always use at least a dozen. And since mice are suckers for chocolate, I place pieces of 3 Musketeers bars in my snap traps and line them against the walls (where rodent foot traffic is highest).
Some customers get mad if I charge them $150 for a quick two-minute procedure
So if a problem is simple, Iâll bring in extra gear, take my time inspecting, and draw things out.
Worried about harm from the treatments?
Ask me for the safety data sheet and a copy of the pesticide labels, which list chemical side effects. By law, I have to provide them to you.
You should ask your pest control guy for his cell number
Most of us guarantee our treatments, which means weâll come back for free if you still have a problem.
Even in a pigsty, I find itâs hard to tell someone they need to clean up without offending them
But if I come out to treat your roach problem and then recommend that you wash the dishes, what I really mean is, âYour house is the problem. Clean it!â
Donât worry: We can be discreet
We once had a customer who thought she had bedbugs, and she was embarrassed. So we put all our supplies in backpacks, wore coats over our uniforms, and brought pizza so we didnât look suspicious.
If youâre getting a termite treatment, check the spacing between the holes they drill to insert the chemicals
They should be no more than 12 inches apart.
Please save a sample of the insects you want me to treat
If you bring me out for ants, and I canât find any, I canât do a proper treatment, because different species need to be treated in different ways.
White porch lights attract the flying insects that spiders eat, so thatâs where spiders build their webs
Try yellow bug bulbs instead, and put your lights on a timer.
Go ahead and ask me for a discount
Even though I work for a big company, Iâm authorized to reduce the price for a customer at the drop of a hat. Sources: Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist and director of technical services for the National Pest Management Association; âTermite Terryâ Singleton, a pest control professional in Orange County, California; and pest control professionals in Virginia, Illinois, and Canada.