It’s that time of year when the fly-by-nighter pest control “companies” come out of the woodwork to canvass neighborhoods (door-to-door)! We recently had 2 of our regular preventive maintenance clients call us and warn us.
THE FIRST OCCASION
Our client informed us that the salesperson tried to pressure her into signing up with them. They even went so far as to tell her that “LIND wasn’t going to be in business very much longer”. This, of course, was a bold faced LIE. Thanks to our dedicated client, we were tipped off to this “company”.
I immediately got on the phone to our local Pest management company Washington State Pest Management Association (WSPMA) as well as the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). I was informed by the WSPMA that this company was not a member of the WSPMA and that their headquarters were out of Salt Lake City Utah!! I was also informed, by the WSDA that they had other complaints about this company.
THE SECOND OCCASION
Another client was approached by the same company at their door. The “salesperson” was calling into our office and made it sound like he was a relative of our (elderly) client and was calling in to cancel his services. The “salesperson” made an attempt to pronounce our client’s last name but did not do a convincing job of it. Recognizing this as a red flag, our account representative asked for him to hold. As she was putting him on hold, he heard him say to our client “I’ve got them on hold, now you just need to find out how much your services are so I can see how much of a discount I can give you”. Again very questionable business practice to put it nicely.
When our account rep got back on the phone, she spoke with our client (the salesperson handed him his cellphone…uhhhh…Covid!) and advised him that maybe he, and his spouse, should review all of their paperwork before jumping to a rash decision. They called the next day and let us know they were staying on service with our company.
THE THIRD OCCASION
A “salesperson” knocked on our door at our personal residence. It was the same company!!! I asked him if he had any credentials stating he was with the WSPMA or a license showing that he was certified with the WSDA. Of course he didn’t. I told him who I was and the unethical sales practices we got wind of, and the fact that I had been speaking to the WSPMA and the WSDA regarding his company’s questionable ethics. He got real nervous after that and made some derogatory remarks and started to walk off (quickly).
I had one more question for him as he was leaving. I wondered why he wasn’t wearing any protective equipment (no mask, gloves, etc.) during this time of Covid-19. He had a laminated sheet that I’m sure a hundred homeowners (or more) had all touched and held. Of course he had no response to this either.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Even though canvassing, door to door, isn’t illegal it is a pretty shoddy way of trying to build a business (in my opinion). However, IF one is going to do it, they should be properly certified in their business they are representing. Pest control is serious business. We are mixing pesticides and applying them in and around your homes and businesses. We should ABSOLUTELY be licensed, certified, trained, and experienced to do this!! It is companies, such as this one, that give our entire industry a bad name. As you can see, I’m pretty worked up about this! I don’t like it when some “kid” comes around representing a company who:
- is not local
- is not licensed nor bonded
- does not belong to the local association that every other legitimate pest control belongs to
- practices pressure sales that are both unethical and deceitful (often preying upon elderly folks)
PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH AND ASK
- Are you licensed with the WSDA? I want to see your credentials.
- Are you a local company? Where are you based out of?
- Do you belong to the local Association? (WSPMA) Washington State Pest Management Association supports, reprimands (when necessary), oversees, etc. all of our local pest companies that belong to the association. Any company, worth their salt, belongs to this organization.
- What product(s) do you use?
- How and where are they applied?
- Will you give me a cost? (before they ask what your current cost is so they can’t undercut it. If they are cutting the cost they’re most likely going to need to cut a couple corners)
- Can I think about it and give you a call?
- Do you have a card?
- Will you leave me a written quote?
- Why are you coming to my door without proper safety precautions (a mask) during this time of pandemic? Do you not care about my health?
- Why don’t I see a work truck? (Most of these guys are either dropped off or they are in their own personal car)
Thank you for all of you that are using professional pest control services.
There is a great need for it and there is plenty of business to go around. I am on friendly terms with many folks throughout our industry. It is beneficial, for everyone, to have professional folks to keep us in check, to bounce questions off of, to discuss and problem solve the occasional head scratcher pest issue, and for general friendship and camaraderie with folks that share a common interest and passion. There is no place for companies that practice poor ethics and are downright deceitful. Unfortunately every industry has these “fly-by-nighter” folks who try to take advantage of people and take commerce away from the people in the field whom have worked for many, many years to hone their skills and provide the utmost service that people deserve.
All buildings, which have an enclosed crawl space underneath and dirt floors, should have a vapor barrier. The vapor barrier should be a 6 mil polyethylene material black in color which lays flat on the ground. The purpose of this is to prevent moisture from the ground from rising up and absorbing into the wooden supports and sub-flooring in the crawl space.
A house without, or with an inadequate, vapor barrier (above picture) is vulnerable to damaging including fungus, rot, mold, and a variety of wood destroying insects.Click To Tweet
To correct this, our technicians have installed a 6 mil polyethylene barrier. It is installed to lay flat on the ground and navigates around support post piers, etc. Our technicians carefully lay this out as to not have it carelessly rest against any of the wooden support posts or other materials that would trap moisture. The area is covered 100% by our newly installed vapor barrier. This house is now clean and dry. It has no penetrating moisture or dirt odors.
April Showers bring May….Bugs
Well, March is over and it was pretty ho hum as far as the weather went. We had our cold days and (record) warm days. The bugs woke up from their winter slumber, especially the ants, and the April showers and (hopefully) a little warmer weather are sure to bring everything else out of hibernation.
Things to Look for
Make sure your gutters are clean, and your downspouts are flowing. Elbows should be in place, as well as splash blocks, to direct the water away from your house. Ants and termites are naturally attracted to areas of excessive moisture.
Take a look at your eave soffits. Are there gaps where siding trim meets the eave? Chances are nearly 100% that these gaps exist. Yellow jackets take advantage of these naturally attractive spots to enter into wall and ceiling cavities to create their nests. I have seen the first signs of this happening already. Now is the time to get out your caulk guns and seal these areas up. I did this at my own house a couple of weeks ago. A trip to Home Depot, an afternoon of work in the pleasant (not too hot yet!) weather and I have decreased my chances of these guys and other bugs getting into my house. I used a clear exterior product from DAP that goes on bright white. But not to worry it turns clear in no time and becomes virtually invisible. Next I sprayed around my perimeter and eaves to further secure my home against unwanted pest intrusion.
Check all of your window screens. Are they in place? Damaged? When the weather gets warmer, you’ll be glad that these are in place, and in good condition, to keep the flying bugs and insects out as you enjoy the nice summer breeze.
Speaking of Flying Insects
Mosquitoes. I’ve seen a new product on the market called Dyna Trap. This is a piece of equipment that is reported to emit carbon dioxide which mimics our exhaled breath which attracts mosquitoes. It also has a light to attract them. I came across this a couple weeks ago and did a little research. It sounds pretty good but comes at a little bit of a hefty price. I think around $180.00 or so. Then I saw them at Costco for about $70.00. I was going to pick one up, but when I looked at my cart and surmised my growing bill, I thought better to stick to my list. This is one of those moments when you say…..“Darn it, why didn’t I pick that thing up when I was there and I knew they had them in stock?” You know how it goes, you don’t have time to get back to Costco and when you do they’re out and probably wont be getting any more. Needless to say the jury’s still out on this product. If I get back to Costco and get lucky enough to get one, I’ll let you know how it works.
Be ready for spring and summer. Bugs will come and there is a good chance they will infiltrate your home somewhere somehow. If you don’t like pesticides around your home, at least make it more undesirable for pests. Using mechanical means of keeping them out, along with a responsible professional program of applying pesticides, is your sure ticket to a much more enjoyable spring and summer. THIS IS THE TIME TO DO IT!!! Try not to use the approach of doing things after the problem has already surfaced. You are now fighting the battle defensively rather than offensively. Look at it from this stand point. If you’re Pete Carroll, and the Seattle Seahawks are leading by 3 touchdowns in the first quarter, you feel much better about your chances of winning the game than if you are behind by 3 touchdowns, in the fourth quarter, and the other team has the ball.
April showers not only bring May flowers, they bring a whole lot more to the party! Have a beautiful spring and summer season and let us, here at LIND PEST CONTROL, help you enjoy your homes, decks, and patios in a bug free environment!
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4138 6th Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98406
P.O. Box 6947
Tacoma WA 98417