Spring Bugs Getting You Down? Give These Unusual Treatment Methods a Try!

After a bitterly cold winter, many people are looking forward to spring and the promise of warmer weather. However, along with the change in temperature comes an increase in the bug population. Roaches, stink bugs, ants and bees seem to come out of the woodwork in the spring and summer. Homeowners have two options: call in the professionals or try and get rid of the infestation themselves. There are a number of unusual home treatment methods circulating the web; the following creative remedies are certainly worth a try in the battle against the bugs!

Roaches

Dead Roaches Dustpan

There are very few bugs that upset homeowners more than roaches. If you’ve seen a few of these creatures lurking around, grab a bottle of hot sauce! Simply create a solution consisting of hot sauce and water, and spray the areas where you’ve seen the bugs. If that doesn’t work, use borax and sugar. Mix one part sugar with three parts borax. The sugar draws the bugs to the mixture, while the borax scratches at their exoskeleton.

Stink Bugs

stink bug

Getting rid of stink bugs is particularly difficult because of the odor they emit when crushed; most homeowners want to avoid the smell at all costs. Therefore, it is best to try and keep these pests out of the house to start with. If you notice the bugs are coming in from the windows or doors, take dryer sheets and rub them against the screens. This should discourage the bugs from coming into the house. You can use any dryer sheets you have available, but those with a strong scent are usually best.

Catnip is an herbal plant found in many stores, and it is another product that may be effective in warding off stink bugs. Simply sprinkle catnip around the exterior of your home, paying particular attention to areas where you’ve seen the pests in the past.

Ants

ants

Ants are a very common problem in the spring, and therefore, homeowners have come up with a number of ways of treating them. Chalk is one such method; try scribbling a bit in the areas in front of your doors. No one really knows exactly how this works, but it is thought that the little creatures don’t like the calcium carbonate in the chalk.

Do you have any baby powder on hand? Ants don’t like cornstarch, which is found in baby powder. Sprinkle a bit in the areas where you have a problem, and monitor the situation from there. Cayenne pepper works in a similar manner. Capsaicin, one of its ingredients, is also irritating to ants. If the baby powder does not work, give cayenne pepper a try instead.

Bees

Bee swarm

There are several things you can do outside to help ward off bees. First, try planting marigolds. These beautiful flowers are some of the best at repelling those pesky flying insects. Plant a few around the entrances to your home to keep the walkway clear. Also, keep your grass as short as possible. The longer your lawn, the more likely it is that bees will come buzzing.

Many homeowners are already seeing signs of bugs at their properties. You don’t have to let these little pests invade your space! Try getting rid of them with one of the treatment methods above. Some may sound a little silly, but they are certainly worth a try. If you continue to have a problem, give a knowledgeable pest control company a call. They can help you decide what to do next.

10 New Years Resolutions For The Pest Control Operator

As pest control operators (PCO’s), we all have inspiring visions for our companies in 2014. We want stability… We want growth. Without specific goals and resolutions, it’s going to be difficult to reach the growth and prosperity we all desire.

Here are ten New Years resolutions for PCO’s in 2014:

branding1. I Resolve To Build A Better Brand.

Many PCO’s wonder how to make themselves a brand. When your day to day operations keep you busy keeping your customers pest free, it is easy to postpone working on your business. Thinking about “branding” gets left on the back burner for another day. Ultimately your brand is what the public perceives of you. And you can influence that by what you show the public. It’s important!

I resolve that every interaction, from receipts, to signage, from website, to brochures, from all call greetings, to “hold” music, will convey the message of my brand. Each of these touch points will convey a core message, the message, which brings my signature service to life.

Learn More About Branding Here.

2. I Resolve To Embrace Social Media.

Social Media Icons

Gone are the days when a presence on Twitter or Facebook seemed like something of a luxury. Now days, as PCO’s, we must engage via social media if we are truly looking to expand our pest control businesses.

I resolve to embrace social media networks like Twitter, Google+, and Facebook this year, with the intention of building a better brand and growing my business. I will spend the time necessary to get to grips with these networks, as to not be left behind in this particular race.

3. I Resolve To Go Paperless.

Paperless

Here’s your PCO fact for the day: One of your techs can use almost 10,000 sheets of paper in a calendar year. Now figure this, an average tree only produces about 17 reams of paper—that equates to each one of your pest control technicians responsible for using 1.2 trees a year just by doing their job. Each tech uses over one tree a year! As PCO’s, we can change this!

In 2014, I resolve to go paperless. Here are a few pointers to get us started on our journey to go paperless. First off, a PCO must provide convenient electronic access to pest control documents, from anywhere at any time. Secondly, the use of paper needs to be made inconvenient. It is critical to do both. If paper use is made inconvenient without offering a great alternative, going paperless simply won’t work.

Read More About Paperless Pest Control

4. I Resolve To Properly Address All Negative Online Reviews.

Negative Review

All of us hope to provide our customers with the best products and services we can, and most of the time we do. Part of being in the pest control business is getting an upset customer or two every once and awhile. It’s just the reality of dealing with pests… It can be tough to exterminate every single scorpion or spider. Sometimes these customers leave negative online reviews on services like Yelp, Angie’s List, or Google+.

This year I resolve to make a stronger effort and spend more time addressing these negative reviews. I will do this by (1) reading the entire review, (2) not reacting to angrily, (3) responding to the review quickly and sincerely, (4) stating who I am in my response, (5) make the situation right, and (6) offer an incentive for a return visit. I resolve that I will do this to each and every negative online review.

Click Here For Advice On Addressing Negative Online Reviews

5. I Resolve To Expand My Pest Control Knowledge.

PestWorld 2013

One of the most rewarding experiences I had as a pest management professional this previous year was attending PestWorld 2013 in Phoenix, AZ. I got to expand my knowledge on all things pests, and all things pest control. I got to catch up on some of the newest trends in the industry, and I got a few pointers for running a pest control business.

In 2014, I resolve to expand my pest control knowledge. I will look for opportunities to go to conferences and conventions, classes and seminars—anything that may help me get a leg up in the pest control industry.

Read About My Experience At PestWorld 2013

6. I Resolve To Finally Let That One Employee Go.

Employee Termination Notice

Unfortunately, all of us have that one employee who has lost some of his or her motivation. An employee who regularly shows up to work uninspired, simply going through the motions. Sometimes this employee is a cancer to the rest of the team. It’s time– They must go!

This year I resolve to let that one employee go, who is a detriment to our team. A lot of the difficulty in terminating an employee is a lot of the legal implications that you must keep an eye on.

Here Are 6 Tips To Successfully Letting An Employee Go

7. I Resolve To Improve Technician & Employee Morale.

employee morale

You’ve now finally let that one employee go—the one who needed a change of scenery. In doing so, employee morale may be low. Even if you don’t fire an employee, efforts need to be continually made to ensure your workforce is happy and productive.

I resolve to improve employee morale in my pest control business. I will look for ways to celebrate accomplishments, mix up a few of the usual ways of doing things, keep a positive attitude, and have more fun.

8. I Resolve To Offer An All Natural Pest Control Option.

Go Green

It seems like all natural pest control is all the rave right now. Many customers calling in with pest issues want the all natural option—until the problem escalates; then they just want the bugs nuked! Still, it’s an important market every PCO should try to tap into.

I resolve to develop and implement an all natural option for my customers in 2014. It can be just as simple as contact your chemical supply company, then marketing your new option appropriately.

Inventory Control9. I Resolve To Have Better Control Over My Inventory.

As pest management professionals, we have products that must be stored and distributed in multiple locations. It’s important to keep an updated inventory control system to track all of our products.

This year, I resolve to implement an updated inventory control system that includes product analysis, site representation, system cohesion, and employee training.

Here Are The Four Points Of Inventory Control

10. I Resolve To Better Manage My Online Reputation.

Online Reputation Management

The online reputation of your pest control business is so important that you literally cannot afford to sit idly by while it develops on its own.

I resolve to be proactive in managing my online reputation by frequently checking each of the review sites my business is located on.

Here Are Four Ways To Be Proactive In Managing Your online Reputation

Have any other New Years resolutions you’d like to add to the list? Comment below!

May 2014 be our most successful year yet!

Headless Ladybugs

A New Discovery of Rare ‘Headless’ Ladybug

It is said that if a ladybug lands on you it is a sign of good luck. This old myth proved to be accurate when a Montana State University student discovered a new species of ladybug that appeared to be headless.

Ross Winton made the discovery in a trap he set at a sand dune in southwest Montana. The MSU entomology graduate student was rather perplexed when he first saw the insect, thinking it was some kind of headless beetle. As scientists further examined the specimen, they were able to determine that the insect was actually a ladybug. The scientists also discovered the ladybug actually does have a head, but it’s hidden inside it’s thorax, much like a tortoise with it’s head tucked into it’s shell.

There have only been two specimens of the tan, pinhead-sized ladybug ever collected, with another female ‘headless’ ladybug found 90 miles away in Idaho. Scientists say that this ‘headless’ ladybug is the rarest species in the United States, and is quite an accomplishment considering the ladybug isn’t much larger that a grain of sand.

Scientists generally use male species to catalogue and name new discoveries, so Ross Winton was given the naming right to the rare ladybug. He decided to name it Aleenius Iviei after one of his Montana State University professors. It’s common name will be “Winton Labybird Beetle.”

English: A ladybug, (Coccinella sp., probably ...

Using Ladybugs as Natural Pest Control

Ladybugs are quite amazing creatures. Aside from being a favorite insect among young children, ladybugs are a favorite among homeowners and gardeners as well. They are considered beneficial insects, because many species feed on aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs that traditionally wreak havoc on crops and destroy gardens.

Some homeowners and gardeners have a lot of success introducing beneficial insects into their gardens, flower beds, and property. These natural exterminators can provide a very useful pest control service. By providing appropriate living conditions, which require very little support, homeowners can encourage the growth and development of ladybugs and other beneficial insects.

Keep Your Eyes Open

The discovery of this new ‘headless’ ladybug is quite exciting news for pest control operators and insect enthusiasts alike. Scientists predict that humans have only discovered 20 percent of the world’s insects. Next time you’re out camping, or even in your front yard, keep a look out for any bug that appears to be out of the ordinary… You might discover a new species and get to name it!

Environmentally Friendly?

Environmentally Friendly Pest Control – What does it mean to be Environmentally Friendly? What is Green Pest Control? Is Pest Control Safe? These are all too common questions and none with a simple answer. So how do pest control companies answer these?

This is an interesting area of our industry.  In some states the use of the phrase “environmentally friendly” is illegal. Even if you only use your boots to smash the roaches.  In these states, the laws are enforced only partially.  In other words, if someone or some inspector at the state wants to harass you, they’ll enforce the law just for you and not against the competitors.  Generally the law is not enforced.

The real question in answering “Is pest control safe?” is exploring the potential risks of any given product, natural or man-made. For example: the EPA measures toxicity of every substance in the United States, including plain dirt. Substances with higher toxicity rates are labeled “danger” (gasoline, and paint for example). The next level down “warning” (toothpaste, household cleaners). The next level down “caution #3” (salt, botanical insecticides like cayenne pepper) the next level down “caution #4” (every other substance known to man not included in the first three categories). This has nothing to do with whether the substance is natural or organic.  Many natural substances are very toxic, cyanide for example or a popular one in Pest Control is “diatomaceous earth”, crushed silica\glass, this scratches the waxy cuticle of the insects exoskeleton and causes the insect to dehydrate, it is natural but also known to be very toxic to humans because the crushed glass is not metabolizable by our bodies and causes cancerous damage to our lungs. Even though diatomaceous earth is natural, it is very dangerous and Bulwark will never use it.  Many consumers do not know this.

Toxicity Ratings are based on whether or not your body can break down and metabolize the measured substance without damage to the host.  Often times products like salt are perfectly fine at a certain concentration but are lethal at higher levels of acute doses. Comparison wise, table salt is more toxic to humans than boric acid, but its highly unlikely that you will ever die or be injured from over exposure or over consumption of table salt.

Most Pest Control companies use insecticides in “warning” and “caution three” categories.  Bulwark never uses warning grade chemicals.  Our products fall within the “caution three” category.  Upon request consumers can receive “eco-smart” technologies for interior treatment.  The active ingredients in these products are various types of plant oils.  The products themselves are food grade quality meaning that they legally could be put in food in the United States.  Eco-smart technologies are only applied inside the home, and only on request because they have an odor to them which consumers generally do not like.  If the consumer does not request “eco-smart technologies” then we apply natural boric acid and other products which are made in a factory synthetically but are derived from a compound found in chrysanthemum flowers.  All these products are considered less toxic to humans than toothpaste.

Finally, the bulwark pest defense system, focuses on exterior treatments were the insects breed so that interior treatments are unnecessary.  It’s always going to be better to treat the source of where the pests are breeding in the yard with higher quality products to maintain a barrier or “bulwark” around the home.  This is a much cleaner method because interior treatments are rarely needed and only done on request.  Most companies use lower grade products on the exterior which break down rapidly and allow pests back into the home before the next service call.  That’s why many companies prefer to treat inside and outside every time.  They have to chase the pests back out of the home because the barrier did not last on the outside. It’s so much cleaner just to keep a good wall up so little or no treatments are conducted on the interior.

Hope this helps.  Please feel free to add your comments.


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