Blazing A Trail In Pest Control
Almost every pest control business has a website — but I challenge you to find one that gives you advice on how to solve pest problems (and I don't just mean sell products and tell you how to use them).
I started working in the pest control industry as WaspKill UK, almost ten years ago. Working for myself from day one meant I wasn’t subject to the hidden rules of the industry or the industry way of doing things.
I came from a medical and teaching background, meaning I handled pest problems differently to other people in my industry.
I always had a desire to solve pest problems and not just treat them. In essence, I wanted to find the cure, the solve.
All too often I would come across a customer who had been through two or three pest control companies to solve a problem, and they were so distrusting of me after the negative experiences with others that it was upsetting. Even now the temptation to just walk away from some customers is very strong.
I wanted to go home at the end of the day and know I had done something well, that what I did mattered. I wanted to know I had made a difference and not just a sale. It truly hurt in my first few years of the business when I was unable to solve pest problems for people, at the level I wanted and that they were expecting!
Doing Things Better Than The RestAs time progressed I searched for better ways of doing things, for quicker ways of solving things and I did indeed succeed.
Remember, treatments keep making money but can tarnish your reputation, damage the environment and our wildlife, whereas solutions deliver the real value for money, drive recommendations, and respect the wider environment.
"Solutions grow your business in a more sustainable way, delight your customers and nourish your reputation."
The world is crying out for a better way of managing pests, a better way of helping customers and I think I have discovered the answer.
Pest Control Described MedicallyOK so it's hardly rocket science, but it all comes down to education. The trouble is that the traditional method of dealing with pests is outdated and confuses customers.
So let's look at rodent control in buildings as an example.The Traditional Rodent Control Model:
Bait, Stink, Flies, Repeat!
The New Rodent Control Model:
History, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Exclusion & Treatment, Cured!
When discussing a problem with a customer I quickly gain: a history (what's happened), assess the signs (what is seen), the symptoms (what you can't see), make a diagnosis (your conclusions), carry out remediation to exclude rodents, and eliminate any rodents trapped inside. The result = problem cured.
Most people understand this logic, and they find it easy to understand why they have the problem, along with the processes required to solve it.
Over the last decade, I’ve lost count of the number of customers, particularly with rodent control problems, who feel let down by other pest control operators who offered a pest control service, but not a pest elimination service, and there is a very big difference.
So do consumers need better advice and if so where can they get it — who can they trust?
Do Pest Control Customers Always Need Professional Help?If we can help customers better understand the “reasons” they have pests, we can advise them how to take immediate action to bring pests under control and we can then step in when required to ensure safe and rapid elimination.
With information still locked within the industry, consumers are fighting a losing battle in the war on pests. History has shown that innovation will evolve no matter what we try to do to stop it.
When The Internet Is WrongThe advent of digital media means people can access huge amounts of information about pests, but far too often this is written by people with no professional connection or hands on experience of the pests they are discussing. This wastes time, money and hands the advantage back to the pests!
Discovering advice that solves is the holy grail for consumers and if we can be as much of a tutor as we are technicians and salespeople, then pest control will become safer, more effective and more humane as a result.
Consumers need solutions, but in most cases are so bombarded with information to the contrary, that solutions no longer make sense.Worse still, many consumers believe what they read online more than the pest professional they employ to help them and there is always a well-meaning relative or friend who thinks they can do it cheaper or better!!!
As an example of the misinformation around: 80% of my customers have never made a connection between rats in their homes and a sewer fault, with around 50% who don’t believe me when I tell them it’s a drain related problem.
Only once we have CCTV imagery do customers finally start to make the connection and trust us. This contrasts against 80-90% of all rat problems inside buildings being related to faulty drains.
If drain related rat infestations are so common, why in 2016 do people still not realise this problem is so common? Misinformation, Misinformation, Misinformation.
The internet is a guide, your relatives and friends are a guide, a pest professional who only sells a treatment is a guide, a pest control professional who sells a treatment, advice and wants to solve your problem is the one person you really need.
Asking lots of questions when booking can help you discover those that know their stuff compared to those that are simply firing away at a well-honed but shallow script.
Why Do We Still Rely On Pesticides?
The use of pesticides for the sake of it, for the benefit of profit, is completely unregulated (the law has no teeth — yet!) and harms the environment.
Knowledge is key to developing a better understanding of pest activity and good housekeeping can often solve a pest problem just as surely as pesticides and fake, useless, repellents and plug in devices will.
If we can teach people how to solve pest problems effectively then we will reduce pest problems and pesticide use by default, worldwide! Now that's a big claim, but I believe it's accurate and common sense, especially in relation to our homes.
Change is coming to the pest control industry, more and more people like myself are coming, and the industry and the wider world will never be the same again because we came this way.
Join the revolution, be the difference that makes the difference — your children might just thank you for it.
The Bristol Rat Company — Solutions in an industry full of treatments.