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Why Pest Control Is Worth The Money

by Northeastern Exterminating on 12/13/15

When homeowners take notice of pest issue in their home they immediately want it out. Its never at the right time, sometimes before a family get together or home event. Some DIY homeowners will take a ride to the local hardware store with well intentions to purchase products specifically targeted for their pest problem. The wise homeowners will reach for their laptop or smart phone and begin to Google "local pest control companies". The DIY homeowners believe that pest problems are something you should always try to take care of your self and they feel that pest control isn't worth the money. Those DIY-ers couldn't be more then wrong.

One main aspect to eliminating a pest problem is to know where the source of the pest is coming from. This is something a PMP will attempt to locate and mitigate this source as soon as possible. For example, a sweaty or leaky pipe in a basement could be contributing to your rodent infestation. Pest Control Professionals have extensive knowledge in what areas would breed and attract certain pests. Sometimes just eliminating the attracting source will elimiate the pest all together. Sometimes a DIY-er would just treat for the issue and never try to locate the source which is cause the infestation to grow overtime. 

Hiring a professional may cause a homeowners to initially spend a couple hundred bucks but could save them thousands in future repair bills. A homeowner that does not understand the full extent of what pest they are dealing. Some pests are silent vandals. Unless the homeowner opens up a wall or does some investigative work they'll never find out their home is about to fall over. For example if termite damage goes unnoticed and untreated, a $1000.00 termite treatment sounds very expensive until its compared to $25,000 in damage repair. 

Identification is probably the most important part of treating for pests and this is where PMPs truly shine. Misidentifying a species of insect could render a treatment ineffective. Understanding the pest at hand is key to a successful treatment. A homeowner who is treating themselves for mice when they really have an infestation of rats will never get rid of this issue. A seasoned PMP will know where this particular pest will eat, drink, nest and yes, even poop. 

As a homeowner, your health should be taken into consideration when treating your home for pests. After all, its your castle. Your family lives there. You may even have pets or babies, its your sanctuary. Purchasing store bought products and placing them around your home could be putting your whole family in danger. Its better to hire someone who understands the 'Who,what,where,when and why's' of product application. Pests are also known to spread disease so you want to get rid of these things quickly without delay. 

The bottom line is that as a homeowner when you decide to hire a professional, you're going to have an experienced, licensed individual who is looking out for your best interest to team up with you to get rid of these pests. They may even teach you a thing or two in the process. Sometimes you get what you pay for. A $11.00 product at the hardware store may seem like a good idea but it could do more harm then good. When you hire a pro your allowing someone who has years of experience of continuing education behind his/her belt.  

Bed Bugs Without Borders

by Northeastern Exterminating on 12/09/15

During bed bug awareness week (April 22-April 26) the National Pest Management Association does a good deal of publicity to spread the awareness of bed bug and bed bug related education for the general public. For this year the NPMA Did a survey related to bed bugs called the Bugs Without Borders Survey on Bed Bugs. The NPMA's survey was directed at the professionals who treat for bed bugs. Here is a summary of their findings:

  • 76% of all surveyed pest management professionals find that bed bugs are THE MOST difficult pest to control. 
  • A whopping 99.6% of all surveyed pest management professionals have either asked to perform a bed bug treatment or have performed a bed bug treatment within the past year! That is truly a great percentage!
The professionals that have treated for bed bugs within the past year have treated 
  • 98% of PMPs have treated in mult-unit apartment buildings
  • 96% of PMPs have treated in single family homes
  • 75% of PMPs have treatedIn hotels/motels
  • 47% of PMPs have treated in college dorms
  • 41% of PMPs have treated in schools/daycare centers
  • 33% of PMPs have treated in hospital or health care settings
  • 21% of PMPs have treated some sort of public transportation
The scariest statistic that the National Pest Management Association has found that 72% of PMPs claim that the incidence of bed bug infestations have gone up in their service area. Yikes! 

Guarantees Of Pest Control Work

by Northeastern Exterminating on 11/27/15

Whenever a homeowner is in need of work by a private contractor, one of the most important aspects of the job that help determine which company they will use is the warranty or guarantee period and details. Price and company reputation are also considered by the customer but guarantee period is always what makes the customer feel comfortable with the work being done. With pest control, a guarantee is very important to give because pests can cause structural damage to homes and can cause psychological/physical harm to customers. 

When creating a guarantee on a pest control treatment the pests biology must be taken into consideration. Life span, harborages, and food sources must be thought about so that the terms and conditions can be specified in the contract. If a customer doesn't have proper sanitation conditions this may breach the guarantee. As the customers will be at home much longer then the PCO they must do their part to keep the place pest free by keeping unfriendly pest conditions. Warranties/Guarantees are a two way street. Most reputable companies will have terms you need to follow to keep these warranties/guarantees valid. In pest control guarantees some of these terms may be very detailed so be sure your pest control professional explains these to you in detail and make sure you read what you sign.

Some pest control companies will try to be competitive with their guarantees. There are usually industry wide similarities on how long certain guarantees will last. Companies may also try to match competitors guarantees to have an upper hand or be on a level playing field. As a customer, you must be careful of suspiciously long or non-existant warranties. If the warranty is too good to be true then dig a little deeper on that company. Work that is performed without a guarantee or warranty should be questioned. There may be reasons for no guarantee but usually all work should be guaranteed. 

Pest Control Is A Team Sport

by Northeastern Exterminating on 11/04/15

When a customer calls a pest control company they sometimes have unreasonable expectations of errdication. With no work done on the customers part they want the pests gone and they want them gone NOW. Naturally as a customer you'd think "Well, yeah what am I paying you to do?". Most of the time as PCOs we can indeed get rid of the problem with little help from your end. There are other times where we need your help big time. Today we will speak about in what situations we need customers help and how they can help.

So you're noticing Rats running around outside your home as if its a playground. Jumping out of sewers, trash cans in the street and then running into your backyard to burrow. As pest control professionals there are a few things we can do to eliminate this issue. We always love to monitor the situation first. Monitoring helps us understand what type of products to use and where to apply these products. We may want to return on a monthly or quarterly basis to re apply our products, but thats only half the battle. As a customer you have to do your part in this situation. Reach out to the local sanitation department and explain to them that the garbage bins sometimes are poorly managed and ask what they can do about this. Explain to them you often see rats running into the trash receptacles. If you're in NYC you can dial 311 and make a report so the city can join forces and do their part to help with their end as far as sanitation and investigating further. If you have open trash cans you may want to cover these with rodent resistant lids to prevent the rats from being attracted to your area. If your yard is burrowed into often by rats there are even times when people turn their yard into cement. 

When Pest control pros get a call from a customer about German & American cockroaches its usually when the problem is a bit bigger then the customer understands. Again as PCOs we will come to the account to monitor the situation and identify the type of roach. Once identification is made treatment will begin. We can promise to eliminate the current problem but cannot promise that in due time the problem will not return if you don't do you're part. In NYC waterbugs are a big problem in basements and cellars of homes. Usually there are damp conditions, standing water and even open sewer lines which help breed conditions for American Cockroaches. During the treatment the PCO should inspect and make recommendations as to what they recommend you do to prevent further issues. A dehumidifier may be necessary in a damp basement. You also may be asked to clear any debris that could be harboring the American Cockroaches. For an additional fee, a mesh screen can be installed over sewer caps and pipe openings to prevent further entry into the home. Follow the directions of your technician or you'll be flushing money down the drain. With German Cockroaches its a good idea to keep those kitchen cabinets clean and free of debris. Using glass canisters for foodstuff is a great way to keep the roaches out of the boxes that we all know they love to hide in. When you return from grocery shopping, throw out those boxes ASAP and put the products into a glass jar. We will usually reccomend to customers with high level infestations to clean out their cabinets once a month and use a vacuum to suck up any crumbs. As the problem gets better you still want to keep up with this maintenance. 

Bed Bugs are usually all up to the pest professional to eradicate. The only effort we ask the customer to consider is where they may have gotten this issue and be careful not to reintroduce new bed bugs to their homes. Although we all know its very difficult for us to figure out how we've brought home these critters, just always keep an eye and ear open. When visiting friends, relatives or going on vacation always have your bed bug alert antenna up! 

Next time you're in the market for a good pest control company please remember that pest control is a joint effort. You are to expect after hiring the pest control company a great reduction and even elimination of your problem. The main pointer is to listen to any recommendations your PCO makes during his treatment. If you have a pest problem at home and would like some recommendations or tips leave a comment below or contact us at We would love to help in anyway possible.

How New Startup "Common" Should Handle Bed Bugs

by Northeastern Exterminating on 10/19/15

Theres a new startup in Brooklyn, called Common. It is similar to Air BnB but with a twist. Instead of short stays its more of a monthly rental, but at lower costs then market value. It is a hot commodity due to its freshness, cost, and appeal to millennials. Basically, its a 19 room house with bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms. The prospective tenants send an application to Common and if they are accepted they pay below market rent. Common basically does all the work involved of being the landlord and finding room mates. Common takes care of background checks, liability etc. This sound great for such a fast growing city like Brooklyn. Read more about them here.

The main concern we have with Common are our concerns with bed bug issues. To date, rental services such as AIR BnB have no rules that state the hosts should have annual pest inspections done. Air BnB pretty much let the host rent out their space until someone complains. The only time AIR BnB will jump into action and address any bed bug issues is when there is a complaint of bed bugs by a guest. Air BnB are commended that they actually get involved at some point, but we feel as if they should get involved in these bed bug issues before they become a problem. Although many feel as if these companies are here for the quick buck, sometimes they aren't just aware as to the severity of bed bug infestation in NYC. 

What these big rentals companies do not understand is that when people are staying at a Air BnB location for a short stay, they may not notice the bed bugs at all. Sometimes these infestations could get pretty serious before any guests figure it out. By that time these bed bugs could have been spread around the city and even potentially brought home with the guests. There have been many occasions that we have treated Air BnB properties and the host has not even notified Air BnB. 

So, We challenge this new startup, Common, to get aboard and have a 6 month check up of pests on their properties become mandatory. We urge Common to reach out to us and have some dialogue about this very real issue in NYC of bed bugs.  We have some ideas that we can believe that may help you be differeniate your self from the typical landlord/rental situation. When you inform your customers of how you intend to be different and go against the grain when it comes to bed bugs, you will seem more well rounded and educated of the issues in the city your starting up in. The worst reputation NYC landlords have are when they are faced with problems such as bed bugs. So ,Common,  wants to try to be so different, we think they should develop something to keep bed bugs away in the first place! 

7 Dangers Of Pest Inspections

by Northeastern Exterminating on 10/13/15

When an professional pest control inspector is at a jobsite there are many dangers they may encounter. Pest Control isn't just about killing bugs -- its about investigating. As professionals, they have to put themselves in situations where other service professions may not have to. When inspecting be sure to be wearing personal protective equipment. PPE is just one part of the battle, but sometimes there are still hazards beyond that. Today we will point of some dangers that pest control professionals may encounter during an initial pest inspection. 

  1. During a bed bug inspection it might be wise to wear a thick pair of needle resistant gloves. You must always proceed with caution when putting your hand where your eyes have not seen. Over my 30+ years with experience I have seen guns, needles, and knives under boxsprings, pillows, and mattresses. Slipping your hand underneath the sheets or mattress could be very dangerous. Always shine your light before you put your hand in an un seen place. This could save you much stress, pain and discomfort. 
  2. When working on a construction site or near power lines please be careful of live power wires. When entering a basement for a termite or rat inspection be careful of standing water.If a live wire is sitting in that pool and water and you step in it, you could lose a life. If you stick your arm or head in a wall void be aware of live or broken wires.  Always look before you step and move. As inspectors we sometimes have the habit to look down during some inspections and looking up during others. No matter the pest make sure you have a 360 field of view before taking your next step. 
  3. If inspecting a private home make sure you have permission of the OWNER of the property before entering any doors or windows. Also be sure that there are no unaware occupants in that house. If you open a door and someone unexpected is behind it, it could get ugly. If your inspecting an apartment building, make sure you have both the landlord and tenants permission to be in the location before you get arrested for trespassing. If you're lucky enough to not get attacked, the tenant or owner will surely call the cops if you're not in a place you're supposed to be. 
  4. When crawling under any homes for a termite inspection be sure the home has great support. If you move the wrong way the home could partially collapse on you resulting in injury or death. 
  5. If your contracted to do any wild animal trapping be sure to have properly working equipment. Always do a weekly check of your traps to make sure they are working properly. The last thing you need is a defective trap door after you've caught an angry raccoon. 
  6. When doing inspections for birds and animals be sure to be careful when on roofs. Some roofs may have weak points that you can fall through if you're not careful. When inspection take a light step before stepping down. Also be sure to tie your self down when hanging toward the edge of the roof to look for breaches in the gutters and siding. 
  7. Be sure to wash your hands before and after jobs. Sometimes crawling around and handling products that may be around pest excrement could be very dangerous. Rather then getting your self sick, please wear gloves and be sure to wash your hands up to your elbows before smoking or eating. A quick bite to eat could easily turn into a month long hospital stay!  
When performing pest inspections remember this, never step or put a body part in any area you cannot see. There are too many horror stories of PCOs that have been badly injured and have ended their pest control career a bit early due to these type of mistakes. No matter how many hours you work or when you have to be at your next account remember safety is priority. Don't rush, haste makes waste! 

Why Inspections Should Be The First Step In Your Pest Control Program

by Northeastern Exterminating on 10/06/15

Every single pest control treatment should start off with a visual inspection by the contracted pest control company. If your pest control tech. has arrived and started to treat based off your word or what you told them, they did the wrong thing. Inspections can help the pest control technician solve your problem with more precision and safety. Inspections can turn up a whole array of hidden factors that could contribute to future pest issues. Today we will list a few ideas of why inspection are so important.

  • Pest Identification is a very important part of pest inspection. When treating for a target organism there are certain products and methods you may use to treat. If a customer is complaining of waking up with bites and you treat for bed bugs you may not figure out that their problem could be fleas. This causes unnecessary application of material and a very unhappy customer. 
  • Inspecting for pest conducive conditions is great when creating a program on treating the pest. If a customer is having a carpenter ant problem or even worse, a termite problem, firewood standing against the house may be a big red flag. These inspections may also help if the pest professional notices something that is a potential pest problem waiting to happen and removal of these conditions could save you hundreds of dollars. 
  • Additional issues can come up when doing a pest inspection. When searching for rodent access points your pest professional may notice structural damage or security breeches. In addition they may find that you have a problem with additional pests. 
  • Being completely equipped for a treatment is ideal for the pest professional. An inspection will help the PCO understand how much material to bring, as well as PPE and proper tools. Without an initial inspection the PCO could be under equipped and give a unsuccessful treatment. Pest control is a science not a prayer. 
  • When paying for a treatment an inspection will help you get a more precise estimate for the job. 
  • The most important part of a pest inspection is you will get to meet the potential PCO! You will be allowing this person inside your castle and around your family, so you want to be comfortable with them.
After the tech has performed his or her inspection you may want to gather some information from them. Ask them what they have found, how they intend to treat, what the treatment duration is and get everything in writing! Whenever you have any work done on your home, its always a great idea to have an inspection done for obvious reasons as well. Sometimes people forget that inspections are just as important when it comes to bugs. 

15 Common Bed Bug Myths

by Northeastern Exterminating on 09/21/15

As good for society as the internet is, sometimes it spreads some great false rumors. Places like Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great platforms but sometimes could spread some serious mis-information. People who find out they have bed bug have their fingers ready to start google searching. This can easily take them down the wrong path and to make these small problems into big ones. That information makes the Pest Control Professionals job much more difficult. Not only do these myths and rumors cause problems to get worse but they cause the clients to spend much more money then they originally should. There are proper steps that should be taken as soon as you have bed bugs and if you do the wrong thing you can really make things very difficult.  Today we will post some myths that are completely untrue.

  1. Bed bugs are not invisible. Although the eggs can be pretty small and the 1st install nymphs can be tiny too they are definitely visible to the naked eye. Unfortunately an unexperienced individual can easily passover a location with bed bugs but once they are pointed out by a professional, they are very visible. Unless you're supposed to be wearing glasses that is. 
  2. If you're living in an apartment building bed bugs CAN come from neighboring units. Its best to alert the landlord and have adjoining apartments inspected prior to treatment. This can help lessen the time that you're dealing with the bed bugs. As with any other pest, bed bugs must be eliminated at their source. You can't seal them out, they'll find a way.
  3. Covering your mattress in a mattress encasement is not going to rid you of your bed bug infestation. If the encasement is good enough it may trap some bugs inside the encasement, but the problem is everywhere else. Bed bugs do not only hide on your mattress seams. They love boxsprings, bed frames, night stands, cracks in your floors, window sills, picture frames..well you get the point. Sealing up the mattress is just going to cause you to spend $40 dollars and delay treatment. The problem will get worse in the mean time.
  4. Just because you had a mattress encasement and it claimed to be "bed bug proof" doesn't mean its a bed bug security system. Bed bugs will find a way to thrive. Purchasing a mattress encasement will never guarantee you will not get bed bugs.
  5. Bed bugs do not fly, they just don't. Trust us.
  6. They bite everyone in the bed. Sometimes a couple will express that the husband is all bitten up but the wife hasn't gotten one bite. They are both being bit, but only the husbands immune system is reacting. 
  7. Can you take a look at my bite and tell me if its bed bugs? No, not even a doctor can do that. Not even a really good dermatologist can ID a bed bug bite. Sorry. 
  8. Self treatment will seldom work. Its not what you use, but how you use it. I wouldn't trust my mechanic to get rid of my bed bugs and I hope my mechanic wouldn't trust me to fix his power steering pump. Please never use foggers or any aerosol products. If you treat improperly it will work as a repellant and spread the bed bugs all over the house. The best advice is don't touch a thing! 
  9. Bed bugs cannot live on you. They will usually feed when you are lying still sleeping in bed. Once they get their fill, they will crawl back into their hiding place. They are not body lice and will not live on you. 
  10. Some clients think that if they move from their bedroom to try to escape from the bed bugs it will eliminate the problem. What this will cause is the problem to spread to all other bedrooms and make the problem worse. After 7-14 days of no meal bed bugs will actively seek a new meal. This can send them into the kitchen, living room and even neighboring apartments. Don't try sleeping on a hammock either, that won't work! 
  11. Rubbing Lavender or cedar oil all over your body will repel the bed bugs is just not true. Unless you want to smell nice, this just doesn't work. Bed bugs prefer blood over lavender. 
  12. If your trying to outsmart a bed bug by sleeping with long pants, a long shirt with socks and gloves on it just won't work. They will find a way to bite you. 
  13. Depending on your sleeping pattern bed bugs aren't nocturnal. If you try to change your sleeping patterns, the bed bugs will follow. Don't think sleeping during the day will cause the bed bugs to pack their bags. It will just cause them to bite you during the day. People have tried and failed. 
  14. Doesn't matter if you're dirty or clean bed bugs want your bedroom. Although a cluttered apartment can be much more difficult to detect a problem causing it to worsen and go unnoticed, bed bugs do not have OCD. They are very excepting of your lifestyle actually.
  15. You heard heat and subzero temperatures can kill bed bugs? Thats actually true, but putting all your belongings out in the winter or summer for a few days will not kill the bugs. Its been tried and it just doesn't work that way.
Our best advice is to hire a professional when your suspicious of bed bugs. Hire a reputable company and ask them the proper steps you should be taking next. Don't try to self-treat. Many people fail during self treatment and make the problem much more difficult to get rid of. If you have any bed bug myth questions feel free to email us at or Contact us. Educate yourself! 

Spending 9-5 On The Road

by Northeastern Exterminating on 09/15/15

When working on a route in a pest control business you'll spend much of your time in your vehicle driving. All service technicians from every trade know how tough it is spending most of your day in your iron lung. No matter what state the business is located in there are perils of driving. Here in New York City you'll spend plenty of time behind the wheel, which can be tough on the body. Sometimes you'll spend more time getting to a stop then you would spend treating the customers home. Today we have added some tips that help us stay healthy and sane while out on the route! 

  • Breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner. When you spend 8 plus hours on the road you need fuel to keep you going. Snacks, sandwiches, nuts,water and coffee are every road warriors top diet. Packing snacks and healthy options are great for those last minute belly fillers to prevent you from stopping at the fattening drive through. Fast food can weigh you down and your potential customers don't want to smell what you've been eating for lunch. Having 2-3 meals a day at the dash board diner can be a little depressing so if you have time FaceTime a family member while you eat! 
  • Hygiene must be your top priority if you want to impress your customers. No one wants a smells sweaty guy/gal in their home treating for pests or selling a job. Ever talk to someone with bad breath? When living in your car and eating you could develop pickle breath. If its a hot day you could smell like a bag of onions. On our trucks we will always carry the following items - Mouthwash, Colgate wisps (Mini one use tooth brushes), deodorant, breath mints and baby wipes. Sometimes in-between stops its always a good idea to freshen up, especially during a hot summer day or after you just ate a garlic sandwich. 
  • Always, Always carry a full change of clothes. Trust us, we learned the hard way multiple times. 
  • Be prepared to take cat naps. Sometimes you get to a stop early or the customer is running late. Use this time to catch up on your sleep from the night before. First remember to set your phone alarm! Sit back relax and take that power nap. It will freshen you up for your next job and have you feeling nice and refreshed. Make sure its okay with the boss first, don't want to get caught sleeping on the job but naps are a life saver. Its better to sleep while parked if your tired! 
  • If you like to work out you'll need your gym time! Sometimes when you have no time to go to the gym you need to improvise. Instead of taking a nap in-between jobs, if you arrive early you can do some push ups! It sounds ridiculous but as any health nut knows you always want to get your gym time in. Keep a jump rope in your center console, nothing like a PCO who has good endurance when its time to chase around those pests! 
  • Its always a good time to catch up with a great podcast! If you're a PCO and need a little entertainment during a treatment you can listen to many of the pest control podcasts to keep you from dozing off and day dreaming. Our favorite to listen to is! 
Pest Control Techs in New York City can start as early as 5am and end pretty late so taking all this advice will help keep a technician balanced.  If there is anything you do on the road to keep you sane and you would like to add it, please comment below! 

A Temporary Goodbye To Titus Pest?

by Northeastern Exterminating on 09/08/15

Anyone who knows Steve Jackson knows that he is an awesome guy who knows a lot about his line of work. Family man, hustler, old fashion hard worker, and over all good guy Steve is the last of a dying breed. After hearing some rumors he might be moving and selling the business we wanted to reach out to see if these rumors were true. We would like to thank Steve to take time our of his busy busy schedule to speak to us.

James: Hey Steve! Well, after listening to your latest episode on Arthropod alley, it sounds like your looking to sell the business and leave town. Its probably a bitter sweet endeavor since you have much a well oiled machine over there at Titus pest. How long has Titus Pest been in business? I know I see my business as my baby and the customers as my children, it must be hard to let them go? Are there any accounts that you'll really miss in particular? 

Steve: Titus has been around for five years. I see my business and customers very similar to you. I'll miss a huge percentage of my customers. My customer base is mostly in a 10 mile radius, so I see them at the grocery store, movie theater, high school events, church... It's going to be tough.

James: Thats something I can really related to. All our customers are part of our family and I couldn't imagine saying goodbye. How do you think the pests in warner robins reacted to this news? 

Steve: We haven't leaked the news to the arthropod community. This type of thing takes planning and cooperation from colleagues. 

James: I think all the pests will be pretty happy to hear your leaving town. Since you're the best, I don't think anyone can do it quite like you.How do you want Titus pest control to be remembered? 

Steve:Hum.... Long pause. I don't see this as the end of Titus Pest Control --just the end of Titus in Warner Robins. When my wife retires from the military and we can settle down in a community for more than 3-4 years, I'll consider bringing back Dan "The Titus Can".

James: Thats great to hear Steve! Cant wait to see titus pop back up in a few years I am really looking forward to it. Steve, do you think you will continue to be a PCO during the move? Any other possible careers you've considered? 

Steve: PCO for life. It's in my blood.

James: Good answer! Phew.. I was hoping you'd say that. You can't take the Pest Control outta the man! Steve, I never really hear from those who sell their businesses they kind of just disappear into the sunset. For some reason many do it in private during times of need etc. Care to explain why you've decided to sell? 

Steve: My wife's building a pretty impressive career in the USAF. This year, she was transferred halfway across the country. Although our business is doing well, it's not doing well enough to survive without my blood, sweat and tears. Considering my health concerns/issues, choosing between the two is a "no-brainer".

James: God bless her and thank her for her service from all of us at Northeastern Exterminating. Brave souls like her make it possible for us to wake up with a smile on our faces! Will you continue to post podcast episodes (Fingers crossed)? 

Steve: The podcast will continue, we enjoy doing it.
James: Yeah!!! Jumping up and down for joy. You sent me an arthropodcast shirt which I wear as much as I can, I love representing! Its truly a great podcast and always listen during major treatments. Listening to your conversations kills time and is super informative. What is your goal for the podcast? 

Steve: It's a long shot, but we'd love to make podcasting our careers. We can dream, right? 

James: Hey like I said its super informative and very interesting so I am sure it will grow on a daily basis. I do my part to spread the word! Is there some relief in the fact that if you decide to pursue pest control in your new hometown that you'll be an employee rather then owner? Owner comes with so many sleepless nights and worries that it may contribute to so much stress. 

Steve: I guess there are pros and cons to each position. I'm concerned the past five years have spoiled me - treatment methods, product selection, work schedule.... I've had the final say on every decision. Have I become one of those closed-minded crabby old men that have all the answers? I hope not, but we'll find out! 

James: Steve, you're gonna be over qualified for your next job. You're gonna make someone a great tech and a wonderful trouble shooter. I call 6 figure salary for you! Are your credentials still valid in your new hometown or do you need to take a totally new test for Pest Control Applicator?

Steve: I'll have to re-test (boo sound effects in the background).

James: Well that sucks, but hey maybe you'll learn something new. I am sure different pests in different areas! Always something new to learn. In 20 years from now how do you think you'll look back on your humble beginnings at titus pest? 

Steve: I'd like to think it was an extremely valuable learning experience that propelled us to something very special.

James:Sorry if i got a little personal with you steve, but by far you're my favorite PCO in the country next to a few close buddies and family so i think you owe it to us! Its hard to find such a smart, driven, educated PCO with the drive to be so active in the community. Glad to hear you'll still be active on Social media but it will be sad to see the Titus Can and Jingle fade into the sunset..for now. Maybe you'll return like rocky for another fight :). 

Giving A Check Up To The Bug Doctor, Jerry Schappert

by Northeastern Exterminating on 09/01/15

In todays blog post we contacted the one and only Jerry Schappert who owns The Bug Doctor and has a great informative pest control blog called Anyone who's anybody in the pest control industry knows of Jerry one way or another. Since he loves to educate the public so much about pests we thought it would be great to turn it around and ask him some questions. 

James: Hey Jerry, its a pleasure to be speaking with you. Please tell us all about The Bug Doctor, Jerry Schappert! 

Jerry: Well some people call me a dinosaur, affectionately I might add as I've been in the pest control industry 30 years now. I guess I've seen a lot of change and so many different aspects of the job. But I am most proud to say that I am a proud father of two great young men, a super daughter in law and my first darling little grand daughter Ella. She is kind of the pride of my life right now and if you were to see her, you'd be smitten too. I am also blessed beyond belief to have been married also for thirty years to the most wonderful woman in the world. My family has given me the strength to make it through all of the tough times and have made all the celebrations of the good all that much better. My sons know me as nothing else really, I've been a 'bug man' their whole lives. My youngest is one of my best techs right now and my oldest worked for us for a few years but he's since taken off (literally) with his aviation career. My wife has been with me through thick and thin and she remembers the cold dark days when we were barely making ends meet but she would never let me let go of my dream-she has supported me the whole way and we have made a pretty good go of things over the years together. She is my rock, oh and also my office manager. 

James: Thats great to hear Jerry. The pest control industry is such a tight-nit community and its always great to hear when family is involved. I myself am currently working 2nd generation in a family business so its always nice to hear when family is involved. It shows how pest control runs through our veins! How did you actually get started in this industry? 

Jerry: In 1990 we moved from the cold winters of Baltimore to Florida on a promise of good things from a rather large company. Long story short, things weren't all what they said and after two years of discontent and running out of money from the meager paycheck, we decided to make a change. In 1993 we started The Bug Doctor. I've written about this quite a bit in my blog but one theme I didn't really notice but one of my readers pointed out. "We ate a lot of peanut butter sandwich's" in those days. Looking back, I guess that's true. Even though it was a lot slower for me than some of the other companies around, I'm proud of what we've built and I'm not sure I'd change a whole lot of what we went through. Well, maybe a steak sub here and there.

James: Great story. Sometimes things happen for a reason and it seems like everything eventually ended up in your favor! This business is always slow paced at first. Its the type of thing where you get what you put in. Blood, sweat and tears type of career. You started to mention your blog, Please tell everyone what got you started on the now successful

Jerry: I started my blog in 2007. My oldest son was getting to be quite knowledgable about the internet and had started a few blogs. He was sure this was the way to make a million dollars. He and my family kept saying that I tell so many stories and knew quite a bit about bugs that I should write a blog too. So, after a little resistance I thought I'd at least give it a try. The name 'pestcemetery' came as a suggestion from my youngest son. Not sure how he came up with it but when I heard it, it just had a ring to it that I liked. Once we had that I was set up in about twenty minutes and ready to go. I had no idea about html or links or how to even center a picture so the first few months it was pretty much a mess. My first article was on termites and I kind of went along with information type articles for the first few months but it wasn't until I wrote a story about one of my experiences that I really caught the bug for writing. From there I think I went on a five or six year writing tear, sometimes two articles a night. Back then I was maybe getting fifteen clicks a day (6 or 7 were me rereading my own stuff) and I got a little discouraged at times. However, I kept going and today I'm happy to say about 80,000 a month visit my site and I especially enjoy when I hear from other techs or owners who write to say that in some small way I've helped them or that they enjoy my work.

James: What a great story. Looks like you owe your son a little thanks. Its always a good outlet for information to post on a blog, always great to educate people on matters they may not know much about. An educated customer are the best kinds. You probably get asked a lot of the same questions over and over. Whats a question you wish people would ask you more?

Jerry: The one question I never get tired of is for help from another small operator, especially someone just starting out. I'm not some big business tycoon with all the answers but I'll always do my best for folks like this. I just love to hear success stories from one man or mom and pop firms who get through some struggle on top. I have several 'pen pals' even today where our relationship started this way. It's exciting to remind them of how they first contacted me and the problems they had and that now they're problems include hiring a new tech, getting a truck or office. I just send them a smiley face and say "really?" "Do you remember when...?"  Always love that and that is truly a very rewarding aspect of my blog and one I never ever planned on.

James: Glad to know you never forgot your humble beginnings and never forget where you came from! Its always great to help where its needed. The best type of advice from new start ups are to always get lunch to write emails to the seasoned vets. Nothing like experience! Out of all the pest control you do, in your opinion what do you find the most difficult pest to exterminate? 

Jerry: The most difficult pest for us is still the German roach. I made a business decision to stay away from bed bugs so perhaps that might be more difficult without some of the pricey equipment. The German roach poses a problem more for the reason of cooperation more than anything. When we get a client who goes with the plan we can make short work of it, but sadly that's not always the case.

James: Yes you're right. The German cockroach really can be difficult. I would say 15% of our customers are not properly prepared for cockroach treatments and we have to return after explaining what needs to be done. People think we have a magic wand. Whats your favorite thing about being a PCO?

Jerry: My absolute favorite thing about being a PCO is the variety. Everyday is different and I get to see so many different things. I can't think of another job where you can be crawling under a nasty house and dealing with extreme filth and an hour later you're standing in a ten thousand square foot mansion. I've been in clean rooms in full sterile gown where you had to stand in a decontamination chamber to a prison tower with miles of razor wire. Seeing how things are made, how people live from every angle is truly the most exciting part of my work.  A close second is my elderly clientele. These people are just the best. So much wisdom and stories of life. I always slow down and try to listen to these folks because it has enriched my life so much just to get a glimpse into what they have seen and done. 

James: Theres never a dull day in this business! I don't think people understand the things that service technicians go through on a daily basis when going in peoples homes. So Jerry, if pest control didn't work out for you what could you see your self doing?

Jerry: When I was a kid my mom tells me I always spoke of being either a Pastor or a Dr. I guess I got the doctor part in a way but if not for pest control I'd be a preacher. Changing lives with the word of God is something you never get tired of and I enjoy teaching immensely. 

James: Amen Jerry. Sounds like a great alternative path! The Pastor Bug Doc! What do you think the biggest problem about homeowners is when it comes to pest control?

Jerry: The number one problem Diyer's bring to themselves is the pseudo knowledge they get from the internet. Ironic, since I write so much on 'how to.' But 'un-learning' is the most difficult thing and it's too often an uphill battle trying to undo what they see as truth just because some website or comment thread says such and such or so and so. However, if we win them over (and we usually do), these folks become customers for life.

James: Perfect answer Jerry, I think we all feel the same about that. I think the miseducation is the problem. They read bad information and really put them selves in danger and make the pest problems 10x worse. A good example are customers who use Hotshot Brand foggers to treat for bed bugs. Self treatment by the customer always, always, makes our job harder. I know i struggle with this but how do you find time to be a business owner and a family man all at once? Any tips?

Jerry:  That's a million dollar question. The number one thing I can say is eat dinner together every single night. There's something about breaking bread together and having a chance to just talk that goes a long long way. I've worked more twelve and fourteen hour days than I can even remember but so many times my wife would somehow keep everything warm and be ready to serve the minute I came in the door. Of course the boys were pretty hungry by then. I also rarely missed a football game or a play. (I missed a few) On those days my number one focus was getting home or to the field etc. I very often got there ten or fifteen minutes late but the look on my kids face when they looked out in the crowd and saw me, priceless. Besides that-each day, write down your five most important goals for that day and find a way, everyday, to get each one of those goals done. More to it than that but if you take these steps I promise you, you'll find more time than you thought you ever had.

James: Very true Jerry. I always struggle to find that balance but I remind my self that family is #1 and always try to make time for family chat. Missing a graduation is much more hurtful then missing a bed bug treatment. I love working but family has to come first. Now i just have to practice what i preach. Any good war stories? 

Jerry: I have so many stories and as you can probably already tell- I talk a lot. I've written many of them in my blog under the topic area tales of the route. I have so many I also put them together in my first book titled what else? 'Tales of the route.' I'm happy to say I've sold a few copies of that one on my site as well as a short novel I just wrote this year. It's a blend of true stories that have happened to me as well as an idea I've had for quite some time. This book is called 'The Find' and it's about a termite guy who is deathly afraid of spiders. He gets in some real trouble when he comes upon The Find of a lifetime. It's a fast paced thriller with a bit of comic relief. It's a work I'm pretty proud of and so far it's been received pretty well. 

James: You've supplied us with so much great information. Its great to know so much more about the man behind the computer. Hopefully if you visit NYC anytime soon, you'll drop by. Any last words Jerry?

Jerry: I can't imagine doing anything else other than pest control and I think I'm in one of the greatest industries in the world. It's been said that mankind owes its survival and opportunity to thrive to three things. Medicine, indoor plumbing and pest control. I'm proud to be a PCO, proud to do my part to fight for a pest free environment for my fellow man. I'm also very proud and humbled to stand with all the great men and women who also share this passion.  

Importance of Before and After Photos

by Northeastern Exterminating on 08/25/15

Whether you're a roofer, plumber or an exterminator it is very important for you to take before and after photos to provide to your customer after the service is performed. As a professional, before and after photos could benefit you in many ways and essentially be your best friend. When performing pest control services these before and after photos are great for both parties as far as liability issues. Post treatment Before and after photos may also help the customer understand what was done, what areas need to be repaired and what locations were treated. A picture says a thousand words and in the longterm it gives your technicians less explaining to do and gives everyone (Even the supervisor) a visual of the job done. To be polite be sure to ask the customers permission prior to taking any photos on the property.

Included in all of Northeastern Exterminating's invoices we will always include a detailed report along with timestamped before and after photos. We also note any property damage that strikes our attention prior to the work incase the customer tries to bring up a liability issue. Prior to the work we ask the customers if there is any valuable property or items they want us to be careful with during treatment. Recently we were blamed for breaking a customers guitar, but our photos saved us due to the guitar appearing in perfect condition in the background of one of the photos. 

  • Termite treatments are one of the main treatments where before and after photos will be helpful. As a professional you are able to note to the customer the areas of concern that may need to be repaired. You can record the areas that show damage for proof of why the treatment is needed which helps those people who may have feel like they just have been ripped off. Photos of drill holes and patch holes can also be helpful. You may also want to note if you notice any future pest control work that may need to be done at an added fee.
  • Taking before and after photos during bed bug treatment could be the most tedious type but they are also very important. Since expensive items, old items, musical instruments, and jewelry are often left in peoples homes during treatments photos can save your technical if the customer claims a piece of the furniture is stained or cracked. Keep in mind when taking the bed bug photos you can note when new bugs or evidence are found, all areas that were treated, and the condition of all sensitive items after the treatment has been done. 
  • When providing a customer with a rodent service you may note areas where the customer may want to pay for extra services such as rodent clean up or exclusionary services. 
  • When accounts have children, elderly, or pets in the home you may want to take photos of the manner that all materials and products were applied to show that common sense and professionalism was used during placement. For example if there is a dog in the home you may want to take photos of the label for the material used as well as any pet proof bait stations you may used.

As the last photo on the invoice if you want to make it more personal you can take a selfie with a thumbs up so the customer remembers their technician for years to come! When a homeowner knows exactly what is being done in their castle, they will always feel more happy with the service. It may cause a few more questions from the homeowner, but an educated customer is a happy customer and a happy customer is a return customer! 

How To Deal With A Hoarder Who Gets Bed Bugs

by Northeastern Exterminating on 08/03/15

As any well seasoned PCO will attest to, as Pest control pros we run into a very eclectic bunch of personalities when servicing homes for pest control. Different languages, different customs, as well as people who may have psychological handicaps are just some of the clientele we may have. The duty of the professional PCO is to do the job and do it the legal way, despite the personality of the customer. Here at Northeastern Exterminating we never judge the customers but certain clientele who may be dealing with "Compulsive Hoarding" are one of the most difficult clients to rid of pests most importantly, bed bugs. In todays blog we will speak about how we are currently dealing with one of these situations. Check out some photos we took during the inspection here. (For privacy reasons we did not include the room where the mother was sleeping)

Earlier this month we received a call from a daughter (Mary) whom found out her 91 year old mother has bed bugs. Long story short is that the Mother has been living at this property since she was 18 and inherited the house. The mother is now infirm and in poor health and in a hospital type bed and has been so for a number of years. Since this is a common issue with us we told Mary not to worry we would send James by to do an inspection of the property. The daughter also added that her mother and brother who live at the property are compulsive hoarders. Sadly, we too deal with this more often then people realize. We reassured Mary that James would be by to assess the situation and give an estimate. 

James arrived to the property and sadly was not astonished at what he saw because unfortunately he runs into a lot of compulsive hoarding in this city.  He inspected only areas he could access. It took him only 5 seconds into his inspection to find evidence of bed bugs. As he was introduced to the lovely elderly lady he witnessed live bed bugs crawling all over her while she was in the bed. Fecal stains covered the sheets --James said he thought the sheets were polka dot designed. She peered over the sheets in fear knowing that this will be a long uphill battle for everyone involved. 

As James walked around this 4 bedroom house, swatting bed bugs off his legs he saw that he could not access many rooms. All rooms were filled with years and years of compulsive hoarding. He also concluded a large german cock roach infestation in the kitchen and a very bad mouse problem. James was also convinced that the tentants upstairs may be dealing with a similar issue (Which we later found out to be true). James spoke with Mary's mother for a few minutes on the phone and explained that this job is possible and nothing is out of our scope of work. The only problem is that everyone must be in understanding that much of the stuff in the home has to be thrown out, which we all know isn't easy for compulsive hoarders.  James discussed with Mary that a prep company we usually recommend will call her to schedule an appointment. We advised the prep company that under conditions of our contract the only way we will treat is if all items are thrown out. We will always keep our prep to a minimum for normal bed bug treatments but in  an account with 50+ years of compulsive hoarding we feel as if they needed to toss it all and start a new. 

The Prep company called Mary and told her that it would take 6-8 employees and about a week to prep. Since then that date has been scheduled and we will hope to update this blog post after our treatments have been performed. We hope to add a happy ending to this story. The purpose of this was to show the extent of how compulsive hoarding can really turn someones life upside down and how with great communication, honesty and hard work. The main thing is you must be compassionate and patient which is not always easy! 

The question we pose to other PCO's is this "Would you take a job like this?/ Have you taken a job like this?" This is only one of few we have done but we like the difficult stuff :). 

Being Responsible with Juliea Huffaker

by Northeastern Exterminating on 07/27/15

In todays blog post we would like to interview one of the hardest working women in pest control, Juliea Huffaker. In an industry that was once dominated by Males, Women are becoming more ever present in pest control and deserve much more of the spotlight. Juliea works very on social media, in the office and sometimes you can even find her on the route for Responsible Pest Control. From Flier girl, to customer service rep all the way to SEO she does it all for them! Lets hear a bit more about the wonderful Juliea Huffaker and what she has to say on todays Q&A! 

  •  Hey Julia, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. Please introduce your self and tell us about Responsible Pest Control.
 Julia: Sure and thanks for the opportunity. My name is Juliea Huffaker. I am an Arizona pest control savvy mother of five.
  •     Having kids is a job of its own! Please tell us how you gt started in pest control? What other jobs have you worked?
Julia: My start in the pest control industry came EARLY when I was 13 years old. My father started Responsible Pest Control in 1990, and I was his flier girl before school. When I turned 19 Years old I graduated to a part time customer service rep. By age 21 I had gotten married (to one of the current owners of Responsible Pest Control) and passed my Field Rep test, and started servicing residential routes. By age 22 my Dad offered my husband ownership in the company, and I continued working with my mom as the secretary. Now I do all the website copywriter and on page SEO (Well I'm learning that as I go)
  • What a great story, I love when I hear businesses stay in the family. If pest control wasn't an option what is your dream job and why? 

Juliea: my dream job would be to just be a Mother to my kids! Balancing work and being the kind of mom I want to be to 5 kids (ages 4-15) is difficult.
  • Yeah they sure can be a handful. Amazing to know -- you seem like such a great mom. The kids are very lucky to have such a hard working passionate mother. What the most amazing thing you've seen while working for Responsible Pest Control? 
Juliea:  That would have to be figuring out (with my husband) how to effectively treat, kill, and eliminate scorpions! They are the toughest pest to control I've ever known!
  • I'm sure glad here in Brooklyn, New York we don't have to deal with scorpions. I think we have gotten one call for scorpions in the 20 years we have been in business. An out of town freight shipment brought them in. Very difficult pest to eradicate! What differentiates Responsible Pest Control from others firms? 
Julia: We focus on scorpions during general pest control treatments using responsible methods as opposed to just power spraying an entire yard. 
  • Yes very true. Some companies use the 'spray and pray' approach. Juliea, It is becoming more increasingly common to see females in this industry, but you are still in the minority. Why do you think that is? 
Juliea: I'm pretty sure most women prefer to stay as far away from bugs as possible! I think bugs are cool, when I can study them from afar! Plus - being a technician is very physically demanding! It requires muscle and endurance to treat homes all day long!
  • What do you think females can offer then males might not be able to? 
Juliea: I think females offer increased understanding of customers. As a mother I relate to other mothers who are concerned about their families safety from pests and pesticides! I think That the majority of adults at home during the day are still women, and a female technician can be more comfortable to have in their home. 
  • Anything else you'd like to add? 
Juliea: The pest control industry has been a blessing to me and my family for a very long time. The most important thing I've learned is that success comes from loving your customers and treating them like the extended family that the become!
  • Thank you for taking time our of your day to speak with us Juliea! Hopefully everyone learned a little bit more about the hardest working woman in the business! 

Does The Age Of Your Exterminator Matter? Maybe

by Northeastern Exterminating on 07/13/15

Depending on what task is being asked of a person, the expectation is sometimes based off the age of the person. When people think of a young person they think flexible, quick, sharp, hungry. On the other hand when someone hears elderly or an older person they may think slow,  but experienced, seasoned, comfortable, weathered and stiff. Should the age of your exterminator lead you to preconceived expectations of their performance? This argument is always open to discussion but our job today is to convince you that age is just a number.

Our resident bed bug pro, James, is 27 years old. He is an active part of our bed bug team as well as manages our bed bug team. He has helped us add many new protocol and saved us money on our bed bug treatments. James has been exposed to this industry since he was in diapers. James is fast, gets to all of his accounts early, works late, and every single one of his customers are always satisfied. He can lift very heavy objects and is very flexible. He even gets some of the younger customers flirting with him. Occasionally well get a phone call at the office asking if James is new. Some of our customers want someone who they view as more experienced. When we ensure the clients that James is the best of the best and just to let him work his magic they apprehensivley agree. Then when their problems are gone they are always satisfied. Because of these expectations James sometimes is embarrassed to tell the clients his age. On the other hand some other customer love that James is in his late 20s. The younger audience absolutely loves him as he can related better with them. 

Mike is our resident rodent pro. He has been in this industry to see many changes. Mike has seen many products become banned and has seen poor neighborhoods turn to affluent ones. Mike is 63 years old and has been in the industry for 42 of those 63 years. Mike tell us that when he shows up at an account customers are usually confident of his experience but  he feels like they can be hesitant of his abilities. He gets people to offer to carry his case, help him bend and even have had people call him gramps on occasion. He may not be able to bend as much as a young buck but his work speaks for it self. His eye sight may be a little less then perfect but his experience makes up for it. Mike is very gung-ho about pest control and always solves every problem at every account he goes to. Sometimes he feels embarrassed when people ask him age. He doesn't want to be judged by that number. 
Both techs are great performers. They both have never called out sick, both have had 0 service complaints and they both are very honest and trust worthy. Dishonesty and bad work has no age so age shouldn't been seen as anything but a number. Although they feel judged by their age, their work speaks for it self. Sometimes as a service man they can't worry about what the customers think of them. Just do the quality work and let it represent you as a tech. While James can Manage 3 bed bug related jobs a day, Mike may be able to do only 1-2 quality rodent accounts. Slow and steady wins the race and there is no rushing our employees. The key to age is using it as a benefit to the company and to yourself. If the older gentleman tires out quicker its best to set him up with as much work as he feels comfortable with. James on the other hand can do much work and he needs the experience! You can never be too old, too experienced or too smart for this job. When you are a quality employee you use age to your benefit and do not let the stigma of the age expectations get to you. Use the benefits of your age to your positive and don't let the negative get to you!