I Have No Filter – Part 2

My mind is still racing from the last post. Yours, too? Good. Let’s keep going. Maybe a little slower this time.

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When you start inspections at your accounts do you look at the filters in the HVAC systems? No? Why not? You look at them in your own home. Well……..?

Those systems are designed to draw airflow into buildings and homes. Your car has a filter under the hood, and under the dash, that does the same thing. Filters are used to keep out dust, debris, and allergens. I bet when you HAVE looked at them in your home or car, or your lawn mower, you likely found an insect or two. Wow! Another type of pest control device. Sort of.

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As add-on services go, changing HVAC filters should be a no-brainer. Those filters are fairly inexpensive, even for the name brands. This could be done at the regular service visit. Adding notes to the service ticket will let the technician know what size filter a customer needs, and at what intervals.

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A former customer had complained that bees and box elder bugs were getting into the break rooms. I searched around for windows open, doors open, or any explanation how insects got into this area. Nothing. Something? As I walked by a return air vent my brain said “Open it”. I removed the butterfly screws and pulled off the cover. Behind that filter – that didn’t quite fit – were a lot of insects just waiting for the opportunity to come in.

I found the janitor and asked that the return air vent be vacuumed. I went outside to inspect the seams of the ductwork. I did find a couple of places to be sealed. A few dabs of caulking was an easy fix. I recommended that the proper size filter be used. I offered to provide that service.

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I took my car to the dealership for service. While I was waiting, I noticed the display at the counter was part of an air filter from someone else’s car. Caked with dirt, debris, and some insect wings. I couldn’t believe how a driver would let this issue go for so long. The service manager said the owner didn’t want to replace it. SMH!

I wondered if that car’s driver had more than the random dust particles flying around on the inside, attaching to the dash, radio buttons, steering wheel column? I’ll bet allergen levels were through the roof. AaahhhChooo!

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I service commercial accounts that have blower motors for various things. On top of those are …. you guessed it….. filters. When I can’t find an insect source, I start questioning if that filter has been cleaned recently. Those filters should be on a Master Sanitation Schedule. Sometimes, best intentions go awry, and they don’t get cleaned.

Dirt, dust, trash, insects can attach to these filters, or any filters. They need to be cleaned regularly. Not doing so can cause damage to the blower itself. It could make for a very cozy harborage. Insects don’t care about the noise. In food plants, that’s a normal occurrence to them. Help your customers with this information. They will thank you…. an trust you a little more every day.

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 including a DOT CDL/HazMat. 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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