Todays blog is from a friend and colleague of mine Jerry Schappert – he blogs at http://www.pestcemetery.com – I have been following his blog for some time, the blogs are informative and interesting. Jerry is a Certified Operator from Florida with over 25 years experience and started his blog in 2007. I like Jerry learned everything about bugs in Florida, warm weather, lots of rain usually = lots of bugs. So welcome to our 1st guest writer and hopefully he will write some more articles for us and you can always follow his blog. Thanks Jerry!
In pest control there is a lot to learn and even after years of training there are some lessons that just don’t come easy. Besides learning how to safely apply and mix chemicals a good bug man needs to know when not to treat and when certain products should be used as opposed to others. Of course a working knowledge of the habits and needs for the different insects he or she will encounter is paramount and without these simple building blocks a promising career might be shot down in frustration and futility.
One trait or skill that I just haven’t found in any book or discussed in the thousands of meetings I’ve been in is a technicians ability to identify a certain pest just by the eye witness account of the customer. Now most if not all clients mean well and do their best to describe a bug that they have been seeing but as so often happens the description is hardly ever even close to what the real culprit is. Without a body or some droppings or any physical evidence it is up to the service tech to put on their detective hat and figure out what insect is plaguing their customers home. http://pestcemetery.com/pincer-bugs-aka-earwigs It was long and brown and fell from bathroom towel when I took a shower. At this point you’d think I could give you a 3 step process of narrowing down the possibilities but like I said there is no chapter in the technicians handbook of pest control for ‘long brown towel dwelling bugs’. In some cases you could get a few more answers with a couple of pertinent questions but a lot of times this will be all there is to go on. The truly amazing aspect of this however is not what the answer is to this particular question but that in these situations your local bug man can indeed find the solution and often zero’s the identification down to just one bug. There’s an strong factor to many pest control professionals and perhaps it comes from the many hours they were fascinated by insects as kids and would stare like a huge giants over an ant colony watching their every move on a warm sunny day. It may be the endless curiosity they posses which stops them in their tracks when they see a new bug that hasn’t registered in their brain and they feel compelled to scoop it up and hit the books looking for every trait and name this foreign creature goes by. You can always tell a great bug man from a good one just by watching them dissect a problem and how they analyze every seemingly meaningless crack or crevice that could provide harborage for a bug or at least yield some tiny clue that others would over look. Those are the techs that will find your answer and won’t need to base it always on a broken wing or pile of fecal pellets left behind. Now even I get lucky sometimes and so often it comes down to just one detail such as the time of day the bug is seen which may lead me to a lamp they may be attracted to or a window sill and lo and behold there is a dead one or two at the base. From there I know to look in a clothes closet or the food pantry etc. Other times it may be the description of it sort of wiggled when it moved and I know http://pestcemetery.com/siverfish-firebrats get their name partially because the way they walk and so the search is on and my treatment can be specifically targeted and effective. Those are just a couple examples and I’m sure there are many more that us bug guys could bore you with for hours. Perhaps they’ll share some stories in the comment section below. So the next time you see a bug but couldn’t catch it or it simply disappears you can rest assured that you have a professional resource at your disposal. That would be of course your bug man. Now I’ve never seen him but he’s kinda big, a bit hairy and he has some sort of strange light on his head, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding him.