As bed bugs continue to plague our towns and cities, it is important that as a pest control operator, you have an efficient and ef...
Bed bugs are among the most distasteful of pests. When people suspect these creepy-crawlies might be invading their homes or offices or the hotels they frequent, they want them out... now! This aversion, coupled with the tremendous resurgence of bed bugs, spells a potentially colossal revenue stream for pest control specialists.
Building an effective bed bug program is key to tackling this persistent pest.
One of the big questions your pest management firm needs to answer as you embark upon a program is whether you will form specialised bed bug teams or simply schedule bed bug work with your general technicians.
The advantages of the team approach are that the technicians quickly acquire expertise and streamline their processes, and that you avoid the challenges associated with adding bed bug gear to your already equipment-laden vehicles.
Pluses to the route technician model are ease of scheduling and reduced physical wear and tear on the technicians.
While the team model may enable your company to provide higher-quality service, the route technician model may increase your efficiency and profitability. Both models are seeing success in the field, so it's important to weigh out the pros and cons and see which option makes the most sense for your operation.
Which of your team members will make the best bed bug technicians? Well, you should look for someone who:
Since bed bugs have only made a comeback in the past five years or so, bed bug technicians have as much - often more - experience with the pests as their managers do. So when the technicians run into a challenging situation, their manager can only provide so much guidance. It is critical for managers to go out on bed bug calls regularly, administering treatments and learning the nuances of the business.
Establishing a protocol is vital to your program's success. Bed bug work is methodical: try skipping any of the necessary steps, and you'll see how fast a bud bug service can fall apart. In nine out of 10 jobs, you won't see a bug in the dresser, but you have to check every dresser for that one in 10.In essence, every company should have a written list of the steps that technicians need to follow to provide effective service.
What constitutes effective service? It depends on your customer. There are situations where eliminating the pest problem simply isn't feasible from a budgetary standpoint. You should have a control protocol in place in addition to your elimination protocol.
A general rule of thumb is to estimate the amount of time the work will take and then get the per-hour, per-technician rate you need to be profitable. Then monitor your actual hours to ensure your estimates are accurate. It's easy to get involved in time-consuming activities - waiting for tenants to leave their units, for example - that will quickly drain your profitability.
Many companies ask tenants to strip their beds, empty dressers and closets, stand their beds up, move the furniture from the walls, etc. however, assessing the situation first and asking tenants to do only what is necessary is a better step forward. Why? Most of the extensive preperation is created to address bugs that "might" be in the closet, for example, when in actuality, you only see bed bugs there perhaps 10 percent of the time. Simply asking tenants to clean and tidy up their home so that there is enough space to to the job is sufficient in most cases.
The final step in developing your program is deciding how to treat the infestations. Tools include the following:
Hotels and offices present unique situations. In hotels, bed bugs are fairly predictable. You know where to look for them, and you have the option of removing headboards and pieces of furniture if they become overinfested. Also, clutter is not an issue. The negatives? Tenants occupy the space for shorter time periods, so identifying the problem can be difficult. Many times, travellers carry the bugs home before realising there is an issue. Once the problem is uncovered, the room must be vacated for treatment.
Offices can be tricky. With so many people coming and going each day, open communication is critical. Office managers need to educate the employees to report any suspected bed bug activity. Then you need to determine which method will be best and exactly how you're going to schedule these jobs, considering most offices want to be serviced after regular business hours.
What makes sense for one company may not make sense for another. You need to evaluate your market, your capabilities and your goals. Build your program around that, and you'll find success.
Article provided by Pest Control Charter