This Is A Test, Only A Test

I want to warn you…. Do not talk about bugs within earshot of me. I will become part of the conversation, whether or not you approve. A couple of warehouse associates were made aware of this fact recently.


I was completing a service, mostly minding my own business. I am listening to noises from people, machinery, forklift traffic, and 2-way radios. As I came from behind a stack of crushed cardboard boxes, I hear this part of a conversation – “You gave me head lice.” “Well, that’s your problem.” A little bit of panic set in. Should I address this? Should I stay away?

When I’m in full view of the two employees talking, I see one of them laughing – shocked that I had heard them. They were only joking with each other, but what IF that HAD been the real scenario.


I could offer to inspect the locker rooms, break rooms, offices, or anywhere else necessary. I would research residual spray chemicals to treat said areas. I would advise employees to speak to the management about any policies that may be in place at the facility for such an instance.

If this were a real emergency, and not only a test …. this is where the direct, no holds barred communication with your customer comes into play. I understand that this it NOT a conversation anyone wants to have with a customer. This would not be an easy tat-a-tat. All parties involved would be squeamish, uncomfortable, and anxious.

We, as a pest management professionals, are there to handle pest issues. It’s in the job description. We are skilled and educated. Our customers have confidence in our abilities. That’s why we were hired. Open, honest conversations must be the basis of customer relationships. We will have pride that we did the right thing. Our customer will appreciate the professionalism.

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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