Guest post by: Melisa Arnold, A.C.E., Horizon Pest Solutions, LLC, Kansas – visit her blog about her adventures in pest control: https://pestcontrolchatter.blog/
West Nile. Zika. Encephalitis. Mosquito!….
Duck. Duck. Duck. Goose!….
We’ve all played that game. When it comes to vector borne diseases, IT’S NO GAME. Customers don’t think so either. I can’t stop mosquito season from happening, but as a Certified Applicator, I can make it more comfortable and more tolerable.
In The Summer of 2020...
In the Summer of 2020, I started a pest control business. Maybe, not the best idea during a pandemic, but I am making it work.
Some of my first customers wanted their yards free of “pesky, buzzing mosquitoes”. With little knowledge of how to properly make a mosquito application, or what pesticide to use, I called my supply vendor for advice. I purchased the recommended product and a backpack mist blower. After carefully reading the label and SDS, I confidently understood how to use the product.
The backpack mist blower came fully assembled, except for one clamp. I put only clean water in the tank so I could get used to the adjustments on the nozzle. That process helped clean out any debris that would lessen the efficacy of the product. When I had it “just right”, I went out to the local archery club to practice – a great place to find mosquitoes, and a some lost arrows. After a few rounds (with the mist blower), I was ready for some customers.
A Mosquito Service Before An Outdoor Wedding
I scheduled a mosquito service for a friend who was hosting an outdoor wedding. Treatment was done the day before the rehearsal. Using the mist blower, I treated trees and vegetation near the house, under the deck, at the eaves of the roofline, and under the porch awnings. All are within the limits of the label, and my applicator licensing.
Customer service dictates that you treat all clients fairly, including your closest friends. I give a fourteen day guarantee for outside treatments. I am hesitant about longer call back times due to Kansas weather being finicky since statehood. As we said our goodbyes, I gave a reminder to “call if you need anything”.
Four days later, just two days after the wedding, I got THAT phone call. “Hey, just want you to know, we are getting eaten alive. I don’t want to complain, but can you spray again?”
I gave a 14 day guarantee, so, yes… I will come back for free.
I Tried Stop The Bites! For The Retreatment
Wondering what I had done wrong, I referred back to the label. The only explainable reason was that I had mixed at the minimum rate. Rather than have low efficacy the second time, I chose to use another product. I remembered getting a sample of a 25b exempt mosquito product. Stop The Bites! was used for the retreat.
Soon after, a second customer asked for a mosquito treatment. Their yard condition were suitable for the traditional mosquito insecticide, the same product I had used for my friend. “This time,” I thought, “I’ll mix at a medium rate.” I pulled the cord on the mist blower, and was off to treat. I gave the same 14 day guarantee. Six days, SIX DAYS!! That was the efficacy.
I Now Use Only Stop The Bites! For Mosquito Treatments
After doing retreats for those two customers, I decided I was NOT using that traditional mosquito insecticide for other clients. I switched to ONLY using Stop The Bites for all my mosquito customers.
I haven’t had any callbacks for other mosquito customers since switching solely to Stop The Bites!.
Any green product for mosquito treatment should be reapplied at 3-4 week intervals to help maintain a comfortable yard that your family can enjoy.
I am not opposed to doing additional pesticide treatments if the first one fails, but I don’t want to have the customer second guess my knowledge or ability. Customer service isn’t about “1 and Done”. It’s about making them feel like part of your family. Greet them with a smile, a strong How Ya’ Doin’, and a hearty handshake.
“The only true way to fail, is to quit.” – Daymond John