Monday, June 7, 2010

Questions a Tech should be Asking

The questions a tech should be asking themselves on each job.
By Ralph H. Maestre, BCE

Which pest am I dealing with?
Proper identification of a pest is important for obvious reasons. It helps you decide how to approach the job. The miss-identification of termites and ants will cause you headaches. With that said, many pest are approached using the same techniques, an example would be many of the store product pests. With stored product pests you need to know the species, this will help you narrow down to the infested product, but the treatment will be similar. You will use pheromone traps and direct treatment to infested area. Proper preparation is also important.

Why is the pest there?
All animals need four essential items to survive: water, food, harborage, and temperature. When each of these is removed, the animal either leaves or dies. Notice pesticides are not mentioned.

What do I need to do now?
Do I inspect? Do I vacuum? Do I treat? Do I monitor? Do I clean? Etc.
Inspection is a key, this will allow you to verify the infestation and where it may be coming from. Once you decide on a treatment plan, you may need to schedule a follow-up to verify that your plan worked. This is important when a carpenter ant nest has not been located. It is not necessary for all pests; an example would be for yellowjackets and other stinging insect, the customer will let you know if the job was successful after 3 days. Scheduling a call-back for a customer like this will waste time and money.

What do I do to prevent the problem from recurring?
Sometimes this is simple and other times it is very difficult to get a client to understand the importance of repairs or exclusion work that may be needed. Sometimes it is sanitation that needs to be improved. This must be documented for quality control, to prevent liability, or preventing losing the account. We may be able to help in performing the repairs or sanitation. Ask you field supervisor or service manager for help.

So to review, every pest needs four things to survive; water, food, harborage, and temperature. The adjustment of any of these will reduce the pest problem. All four and the pest will leave or die.Four questions should always be asked on each job. Which pest is it? Why is the pest present? What do I do now? What do I do to prevent the problem from recurring? Approach each job this way and answer each question correctly and you will solve the pest problem and have a very happy client.

For more tips on pest identification, visit Magic Exterminating, a NYC Pest Control company, and look at our pest identification guide.