CHEAP WORK

Cheap work is what I’m talking about today, those companies that I can’t figure out how they do it.

So lets say a home is about 150 lineal feet, complete exterior of that building. What’s the cost and I know everyone’s is different. I see prices out there at the low end of $298

Termidor (yes you want Termidor) probably at least 30 gallons or approximately $67

Cost of labor 5 hours at $15 = $75

Cost of doing business – NPMA (National Pest Management Association) several years ago suggested 32.5% = $97

Total $239 – profit of $59

For all the liability we encounter are you willing to take in $59 as profit, what if you hit a pipe? Homeowners, if they aren’t making money, they won’t be around very long. Make sure it’s a complete exterior.

Do business locally and don’t automatically take the cheap proposal. ProBest has been a QualityPro member since early 2005, actually just after I bought the place.

Construction

Construction is a trying mess from time to time with me. Sometimes I wonder what they were thinking, or not thinking. This photo is a prime example of the problems that Termite companies experience. Where are those termites coming from and sometimes in construction you may find the prime cause of the issues.

Once in Florida I ran across a wood floor with sleepers, which kept the wood from sitting on the concrete and possible affected by water or condensation. But it turned out to be saw palmetto roots coming up through the slab after it was buried and not removed.

If you’re building a home check the soil before they pour the cement and request stuff to be looked over. It’s your house.

Termite Awareness Month

Termite Awareness Month, ok you’re going to mention that he dates are wrong. Well you’re right, but NPMA is looking at the East Coast where most of the action occurs with termites. Here in Arizona we wait for the monsoon, yea if it ever happens. When it rains, it takes about a month to get the termites going and then we see activity. On the East Coast they are more active beginning in February and then depending on rain and time of day they swarm. Here is AZ really have I seen a swarm, I was sitting on I-17 waiting for an accident to be cleared when a swarm happened and I could see them landing on the car. Termite Awareness Month in my book is whenever you have termites.

So watch for signs:

  1. Termite mud tunnels on foundation
  2. Down tubes or dirt on ceiling
  3. Baseboards crumbled inside to outside

Roaches

Roaches along with Bed bugs are the nattiest of bugs, except for flies in my book. Flies fly and then vomit on your food, they can be in your back yard and fly in and land right on that beautiful steak. Yuuuuck. But anyway back to roaches, everyone thinks they have the silver bullet. In my professional opinion it is a combination of protocols and knowledge is what it takes to combat these invaders. Any house, yes I said any house can get them, clean to dirty it doesn’t matter. They like to hang in box lids, touching top and bottom of their bodies and make their way into your home.

So some advice.

  1. Check boxes before putting them in cupboards.
  2. If it is pasta or rice, freeze box then place in sealable containers.
  3. Even dog/cat food can have pests, check it out.
  4. At the first sign of cockroaches/roaches call a Professional. 480-831-9328
  5. Roaches hide so once inside, they will go the far away hidden areas. Don’t install those motels in the bottom cabinets, that isn’t where they are going to be.

Thanks to Michael Brinkman for permission to use the picture.

Cat versus Dragon

Cat versus Dragon, every once in awhile you have that moment to take a picture that just has to be taken. This cat and probably very nervous Bearded Dragon, were just hanging out. The owner said they do it daily and have been doing it for a long time – unlikely friends, right?

What does this have to do with pest control? Many people ask if we can kill or get rid of lizards. We can’t and don’t, lizards eat bugs and are a natural way to get rid of pests, especially crickets. Just like bats they eat a lot of bugs on a weekly basis. I’ve also seen cats play with scorpions, never reacting to stings if stung. But still no reason to have bugs in your house.

Pocket Gopher issues

Pocket gopher issues along with rodents digging up your yard or playfield can lead to injuries. The kids or adult are running and step in a hole breaking ankles or wrists in the effort to have fun. Not so much fun in the Urgent Care or hospital.

Pocket Gophers generally plug the opening while rats and other vermin don’t – so seeing the picture if can easily identify it as a pocket gopher. They tend to remain in their burrows only coming above ground in an emergency. If their den was flooded or snakes are invading then they probably will do what they have to to escape.

Ticks

Ticks can be a real problem with your pets, birds may fly into your backyards or even visit your local park. Without your knowledge your pet picks them up and return to your nice sweet home. Now you have ticks.

Ticks are one of the only bugs that we use our power sprayer in the backyards. Because they tend to climb to the tops of grasses and weeds and wait for their prey. You have to be vigilant because they will come inside and set up home. I’ve seen them in a sofa and that took awhile to figure it out.

Holes – Rodents – Those things that should live outside.

So what are all those holes around your home? No idea, could be rats, mice, spiders and/or snakes. Well it’s a good bet that you wil find out soon, either the temperature or the rain will probably draw them out. Or maybe you have seen something. Better call before they start scavenging for food especially if its rodents. They really like to gnaw on wires and pipes, that will cost more than the preventive treatment.

  • Check home for holes and entry points. Fix them
  • Check screens.
  • Check for fallen fruit.
  • Check garage door for entry points.
  • Call ProBest if you need an opinion 480-831-9328

Foundation termite tube

Foundation termite tube on the house can be the surest signs of termites. I can spot those things from the road while driving (safely). So besides this obvious sign what else do you look for:

Baseboard – I hold up my first 3 fingers like the Boy Scout sign, now mush them together. The wood being eaten from the inside buckles, after the termites are gone the wood will dry out and actually get worse. Yes it’s time to replace baseboard. If you find damage here check outside as there is probably a Foundation termite tube.

Down tubes – can appear anywhere and drop from any ceiling. Typically on a one story house – the ceiling. 2 story home again usually the ceiling first floor, why you ask. When Subterranean termites hit the ceiling wood beams there is generally a header and they follow the grain of the wood. Usually I find termites on the 1st floor ceiling rather the 2nd floor ceiling.

Desert Holes

Desert holes can mean just about anything. I have seen mice to rats and even snakes emerge from various holes. With rodents such as mice and rats expect snakes to be right behind. That includes rattlers so use extreme caution while hiking or even around your home.

If you notice desert holes, check them out. One of the BIG things with me when I’m checking homes is to check pool pump and air conditioning units for signs of rodents. If you see poop, it is time for bait stations – these little pests gnaw pipe and wires. That bill alone will be several hundreds of dollars. Check your property monthly and avoid the headaches and call ProBest Pest management for all your pest needs 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176.