Let’s Spend The Day Together

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the pest management professional? How about being my apprentice today? Are you ready? Follow me.

On the day this posts, we’ll be out the door by 6:15am to the first account. There are 3 stops today, two flour mills and a warehouse. These are my specialty.

Before we leave the driveway, we have make sure the vehicle is intact and safe for use. We’ll recheck the supplies that were loaded last night to make sure we have everything we might need, and to make sure the cargo is secure. Now, let’s hit the road. Not too far. The first stop is is close.

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Remember to sign the visitor log for safety & emergency purposes, greet the customer, and ask if there is anything of concern we should be aware of. With tools in hand – cleaning brush, scraper, flashlight, magnifying glass, notepad, pen- and all PPE, push the door code and enter the production areas.

First trap is to the left. Clean, check for damage, place against wall with entry holes to the back. Walk a few feet, inspecting as we go. Take a close look at overhead spouting, electrical conduit, fans, ledges, lighting, doors, windows, dock plates, wall/floor junctions, pallets with product, forklifts. Sanitation issues leading to harboring areas will stick out like a sore thumb… sometimes. There is no need to hurry. A thorough inspection is important.

Trap 2, Trap 3, Trap 4, Pheromone! It’s on the floor. Wipe off the dust, take the cartridge off the bottom. Looks like a flour beetle in there. Now, more inspection. We need to know where that lovely, tiny, brownish-red, elongated insect came from. We need to ask permission to use a ladder so we can see on the ledge of the product bins. Yep, insect trails. We’ll do a residual treatment today. Better take a look at the customer APL and the chemical label/SDS.

We’ll finish checking multi-catch traps. No mice found. Yay! Scan the light trap(ILT). Slip out the glue board. It’s a little dirty, and there are some small house flies. Twelve, to be exact. We can guess that a door had been open. The trash dumpster is on the exterior nearby. We’ll give those flies a clean sticky surface. One new board coming up.

Did you see it? The dock roll-up door has a bad seal. Better make a note. Rodents haven’t been an issue, but we’ll ask the customer to repair this. What did you think about the overhead pipes? Or the fan louvers? Needs some sanitation, huh? Make a recommendation. Let’s go scrape the crust at the wall/floor joint behind the product bins. Look at that! Sealant is missing. We’ll offer to fix that.

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It’s bait station week, too. All the tools we’ll need are already in the bucket. We have rodenticide, cleaning tools, bait station repair parts, date cards, ant gel, cockroach gel, and a plastic bag for old bait and mice. We’ve got various types of stations. Each has a different key, which are attached to the carabiner.

Choose the key for this station and open. Some rodent feeding. Record the information. We’ll place new bait on the rods. My personal rule is 1 piece of bait for every week you DON’T check. This account requires monthly bait servicing. All clean? Close the lid. Continue with the rest of the devices. Ahh, the fresh air.

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Finished? Now, let’s give the customer a report. It’s time to tattle. Offer the recommended solutions for an insect and rodent free facility. Don’t forget your signature. Have the customer sign, too. Put your “Time Out” on the visitor’s log.

What do you think? Are you ready for a full time career in pest management? Let’s get you an application.

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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