Friday, June 21, 2019

Black Diamond adds Florida franchise

Franchise owners Nick Vonella and Ashley Naumann stand in front of their new company vehicle at Black Diamond Pest Control in Pinellas County, Fla. PHOTO: BLACK DIAMOND PEST CONTROL

Franchise owners Nick Vonella and Ashley Naumann stand in front of their new company vehicle at Black Diamond Pest Control in Pinellas County, Fla. PHOTO: BLACK DIAMOND PEST CONTROL

Jeffersonville, Ind.-based Black Diamond Pest Control has added a franchise for the Pinellas County, Fla., market. Located in Clearwater, the franchise owners are Nick Vonella and Ashley Naumann.

Black Diamond Pest Control was formed in 1940 and remained a small operation until 1987 when Keith Duncan, Sr., purchased the company and built the foundation for steady growth. Keith Duncan, Jr., assumed operational leadership at that point and guided Black Diamond to triple revenue over the following decade by expanding the corporate vision, implementing fresh ideas, and embracing innovation.

Currently, Black Diamond Corporate in Jeffersonville, Ind., maintains a fleet of more that 125 service vehicles and 175 employees, with reported annual revenue of more than $15.5 million. The first franchise location, Indianapolis, Ind., launched in April, 2015. A second corporate office in Lexington, Ky., launched in January, 2016. Additional franchise partners include Cincinnati, Ohio; Nashville, Tenn.; Bowling Green, Ky., River Cities (Ashland, Ky., and Huntingdon, W.Va. markets), and Myrtle Beach, S.C. A third corporate office is in Northern Kentucky.

Services include general pest, termite control, wildlife control, turf maintenance, restoration services, real estate services and landscaping.

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Sacramento CA

6 ways to improve online ratings



Brad Jenson

Brad Jenson

Customer feedback is important for every pest control company because it allows pest management professionals (PMPs) to make adjustments that will help ensure customer satisfaction. Fortunately, technology makes it easier than ever for customers to rate their experiences.

Brad Jenson, executive vice president of business development for Podium Corp., outlined at an industry software user conference earlier this year six ways to bolster the number of online reviews your company receives, and thus your overall online rating. The Lehi, Utah-based software platform provider focuses on online messaging, reviews, and webchat for small businesses.

1. Optimize for mobile devices.

Thanks to a combination of social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and online review sites, consumers know more, want more, share more, do more and are more mobile, Jenson said.

“Every day, that is increasing,” he added about the last point. “Instead of bringing a laptop, people are starting to just bring their smartphone to meetings, for example.”

2. Conduct a web search of your business.

Use your phone to look up your firm’s Google MyBusiness listing to see what comes up.

“This [listing] gives your ratings, your location, your information,” he said. If you haven’t claimed it, or if it includes obsolete information, remedy that immediately.

3. Enable text messaging.

If your phone system can accept and receive text messages, make that known on your profile, he advised, noting that on average, a service representative can respond to three text messages in the time it takes to complete one phone call.

“It’s actually better to have potential leads message you, because now you have their information in your pocket,” Jenson said. “Nobody can not check texts. It reaches that person because they’re conditioned to check their phone.”

This is especially important after the visit, when you solicit an online review. Jenson cited studies that found less than 20 percent of emails are read in a personal email account. By comparison, he said, texts have an open rate of 99 percent — 90 percent of which happen within three minutes of receipt.

4. Ask for feedback.

For those worried about breaking spam regulations, soliciting feedback from an existing customer does not fall under those parameters and is acceptable in the eyes of the law, Jenson said.

“Set an expectation for the review,” he said. “Train your technicians to let customers know when and how to expect to receive an invite — ideally, as a text before the tech leaves the premises — and why it’s important: ‘If you could leave us an honest account of our service today, it really helps us be the best in the business.’”

But asking for the review is only part of the equation. Customers may be willing only until they find out they have to sign in or jump through hoops to leave feedback, Jenson said. That’s why you need to make it a frictionless process: “The easier it is to leave feedback, the more feedback you’ll receive,” he said.

5. Enable website messaging.

This kind of instant feedback extends down to the home page of your website, where it’s easy to install a widget that says “Hi there! Have a question? Text us here.”

“You’ve got them texting you, it’s easier to convert that interest to customers,” Jenson said.

Another benefit to using text-based communication with customers is sending reminders that prompt them to take action.

During his presentation, Jenson called out a Podium user who shared why text-based communication works for her company. She told attendees why it has been good for business.

“It’s helped our collections rate, because a quick reminder text sent just once often results in them getting in immediate contact with us to say ‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t know we had an outstanding bill,’” she said.

A variety of online review management tools are on the market, and Jenson encouraged attendees to explore what works for them.

6. Learn from a negative review.

Getting one bad review on occasion is something you can address and learn from, Jenson reminded attendees. It isn’t the end of the world. He told them to consider the longtime management tenet: “That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.”

After all, he said, Sir Richard Branson, the multi-billionaire founder of the Virgin Group, agrees with the sentiment: “You can never have enough feedback, and you can never stop learning.”

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Sacramento CA

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Rockwell Labs: InVade Power Dose



As Rockwell’s newest addition to its line of bio-sanitation products and equipment, the InVade Power Dose is a programmable, battery-operated dispenser injection system that delivers a metered dose of concentrated microbial solution to drain lines. The continuous dosing of the drain line (approximately every 14 minutes, 24/7) maximizes the effectiveness of the microbes. Microbes are activated as soon as they come in contact with any food particles or other organic debris. The Power Dose injection system’s design helps reduce drain line blockages and grease buildup inside drain pipes, as well as helping eliminate foul drain odors. Each easy-to-replace Power Dose cartridge features a full 30-day dosing supply of premium microbial solution that actually digests organic matter, including grease, carbohydrates, proteins, cellulose, and urea. Power Dose uses no harsh chemicals, emits no harsh fumes, and will not harm septic systems or municipal water treatment operations. It is suitable for green service programs.

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Sacramento CA

PMP Hall of Famer Corrigan is revered rodentologist

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Rodent control methods are rapidly evolving. From non-toxic baits for biomonitoring to the use of dry ice, Dr. Robert “Bobby” Corrigan remains at the forefront of these developments through his work as a consultant and educator.

When we inducted Dr. Corrigan into the Pest Management Professional (PMP) Hall of Fame in 2008, he was 57 years old and had already accomplished so much. Yet, he insisted he had “plenty left to give the industry” and wasn’t “planning on slowing down his 60-hour weeks any time soon.”

He wasn’t kidding.

Since his induction, Dr. Corrigan continued to consult on major urban pest projects, like taming rodent populations in Philadelphia, Pa., for Pope Francis’ arrival in 2015.

He also helped found the Scientific Coalition of Pest Exclusion (SCOPE 2020), a group of pest management professionals, agency members and academics focusing on pest exclusion in urban areas. The coalition promotes exclusion as an essential — though underdeveloped — method of controlling pest populations in urban integrated pest management (IPM) programs. SCOPE 2020 aims to advance pest exclusion practices through research and education, connecting PMPs, property owners and professional builders so they can better work together to prevent infestations.

Despite the hefty workload Dr. Corrigan shoulders between his consulting business, RMC Consulting, and his role with SCOPE 2020, he still manages to make rodent control fun. In 2018, he appeared in a promotional film for Catseye Pest Control called “Rat City,” which follows Dr. Corrigan’s inspection of a rat-infested restaurant in Boston, Mass.

It’s telling that the footage used in “Rat City” was originally intended for training videos. When PMP interviewed Dr. Corrigan for his PMP Hall of Fame induction, he noted the important roles his teachers played in his development as a rodentologist. Dr. Corrigan would not be the rodent expert he is today without the guidance of fellow PMP Hall of Famers Dr. Austin Frishman (Class of 2002) — who introduced Dr. Corrigan to the pest control industry at State University of New York at Farmingdale — and Dr. Gary Bennett (Class of 2006), who advised Dr. Corrigan at Purdue University. Dr. Bennett, it should be noted, is retiring June 30 after a 51-year career at the West Lafayette, Ind.-based university.

Dr. Corrigan is now a pre-eminent educator himself. He has been the principal instructor for the New York City Department of Health’s Rodent Control Academy since the program was established. Students sign up months in advance for his three-day course in rat management. The highlight of the class is the nighttime rat patrols, where Dr. Corrigan takes students to potential rat hot spots in New York City, inspecting for signs of infestation.

The rodent academy concept takes Dr. Corrigan around the country, too. With his help, other cities such as Seattle, Wash.; Dallas, Texas; and Washington, D.C. have adopted rodent academies of their own.

In 2017, Dr. Corrigan earned the Excellence in IPM award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM) at Cornell University. His commitment to mentorship is apparent in the impact he’s had on fellow entomologists and PMPs.

“Bobby inspired me to pursue pest management as a passion, not just a livelihood,” said Dr. Matt Frye, an urban entomologist with NYS IPM, commenting on Dr. Corrigan’s achievements. “I’m not alone. If you’re in roomful of pest management pros when Bobby speaks, and you see light bulbs blinking on all over the place, you get a feel for the impact he has had — not just in New York, but around the world.”

No doubt, a generation of PMP Hall of Famers to-be can thank Dr. Corrigan for his mentorship. In the meantime, we’re excited to see what the “Rat Czar” will accomplish next.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about this year’s PMP Hall of Fame class, please visit

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Sacramento CA

How to Control Grubs in Your Lawn |

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Sacramento California

Bayer donates $45K to Cook Museum



The Environmental Science business of Bayer has contributed $45,000 toward the development of the new Cook Museum of Natural Science, which opened June 7 in Decatur, Ala.

The museum is a 62,000 square-foot, multi-purpose exhibition and visitor center featuring a variety of educational and interactive exhibits that promote science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). It was developed by a non-profit organization that the Cook family – owners of Cook’s Pest Control in Alabama – established to help bring their vision to life of expanding the smaller museum they had operated in Decatur for 36 years. The original museum was the vision of PMP Hall of Famer John R. Cook Sr. (Class of 2015).

“We congratulate the Cook family and everyone involved in bringing this exciting new museum from vision to reality,” says Ildem Bozkurt, head of Pest Management & Public Health for Environmental Science. “It not only helps promote science and education in a fun and engaging way, but it is a quintessential example of giving back to the community that you serve on a very meaningful level.”

Bayer has a long-standing tradition of supporting STEM and STEAM educational initiatives, both at the national level as well as in our communities. The company was particularly interested in the mission of the Cook Museum, as well as the focus of its exhibits on advancing understanding and exploration of the natural world, including its insectarium and live bee exhibit.

“Science education, entomology and pollinator health are all topics that are close to our hearts at Bayer,” says Mark Schneid, head of Environmental Science North America. “We have long been inspired by the Cook family and their passion for STEAM education and for insects. We applaud their efforts and wish them the very best with this wonderful museum, which we hope will draw in visitors from far and wide.”

The Cook Museum of Natural Science features immersive exhibits that highlight various habitats such as oceans, rivers and streams, forests, caves, deserts and more. It is projected to attract nearly 215,000 visitors in its first year alone.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wildlife Control Supplies: Snake Guard

WCS Snake GuardThe original and patented Snake Guard Snake Trap is safe, effective, humane and easy to use, the company says. It has a wax coating for weather resistance. Snakes can be safely caught and relocated without harming them — or you. The No-Touch Removal System eliminates the needs to handle snakes. The Snake Guard Trap is made in the USA from completely biodegradable materials and is considered to be safe for the environment. When used as directed on the label instructions, Snake Guard Traps are also considered to be safe for use around pets.

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Sacramento CA