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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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

Kolbe celebrates 45 years in pest management


Bill Kolbe

William Kolbe, BCE and owner of Wakolbe Consulting LLC, just celebrated his 45th year in the urban entomology and structural pest control industry. Kolbe established Wakolbe Consulting in 2018.

After graduating with a degree in entomology from the University of Delaware in 1974, Kolbe started in the structural pest control industry as a service supervisor.

His service to the pest management industry includes positions as:

He is a frequent speaker for industry associations and has authored and edited several articles for trade journals and books. Among the texts he authored is a chapter on flies in the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, 9th Edition.

During his career in pest management, Kolbe also served in the U.S Army Reserves. He retired from the Reserves in 2002 as a lieutenant colonel after 28 years of service. He and his wife of 46 years, Patricia, reside in Denville, N.J.

Contact him at

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5 questions with Pat Kelley

Pat Kelley

Pat Kelley

This month, we chat with Pat Kelley, BCE, president of Insects Limited. He explains how his Westfield, Ind.-based company helps museums across the globe identify, treat for and prevent pests using integrated pest management (IPM) strategies.

1. In March, your company teamed with the MuseumPests Working Group to offer “IPM in Museums, Historic Houses and Archives,” a two-day workshop for museum professionals and pest management professionals (PMPs). It took place before the MuseumPests Working Group’s annual meeting. How did this partnership come about?

MuseumPests is a U.S.-based organization with global ties that creates and updates the website, which offers free resources for museums on pest prevention, monitoring, identification and solutions.

My direct involvement with this group over the past 15 years — including chairing its “Identification” subgroup — eventually led to me being the host.

2. At the workshop, there were 15 museum professionals and one PMP. Were most of the attendees used to working with a pest management firm for their facility’s pest control needs, or was there education to be had on that side of it, too?

Most institutions have some type of pest management contract with an outside professional company. With that being said, the staff of the museum ultimately is responsible for the protection of our cultural heritage objects. They want to play a direct role in any and every pest treatment or prevention plan. Museum pest management is so specialized in the different types of pests that can attack museum objects, how security is handled, and what types of treatment are accepted or not accepted, that we set aside time to educate both sides on how to approach this task.

3. You and Museum Conservator Rachael Arenstein covered a lot of ground in two days. In your interactions with attendees, did you find anything surprising or unusual?

Destruction of museum objects caused by clothes moths (Tineidae) and carpet beetles are by far the most common stories we hear. Clothes moths in particular have risen to great prominence in the U.S. in the past decade. David Pinniger, an IPM specialist in the UK, shared his story of how clothes moths destroyed the last remaining skin and feathers of the now-extinct dodo. The remains of the bird were hidden in a display case in the museum beneath an artistic rendering of how the bird may have looked when it was alive. When the museum staff opened the case after several years to do some cleaning, there was nothing left of the specimen except the bones.

Another story that has stuck with me for many years was shared by Elénore Kissel, a conservator in Paris. She was working in Tibet with Tibetan monks. Their task was to try to save some ancient tapestries from destruction by carpet beetles. The monks’ religious view of reincarnation left them uncomfortable with physically killing the beetle larvae and adults on the tapestry, so they spent several weeks removing each insect by hand with tweezers and releasing them far away from the monastery each night.

4. Are there plans to offer this workshop again?

Rachael and I put on several workshops each year, including some that are aimed at PMPs. I recommend PMPs sign up for our Fumigants & Pheromones newsletter, or check online at to keep an eye out for upcoming workshops.

5. Is protecting museums from pest infestations rewarding work?

Definitely. In a world of so much conflict and sorrow, museums and other institutions that display our cultural heritage bring great joy to large numbers of the public. From an educational standpoint, there are things in the history of mankind — good and bad — that should not be forgotten. If we continue to allow pests to take those things away from us, like they’ve already done with the dodo, we ourselves are a lesser species for it.

Read more: Insects Limited hosts IPM workshop for museum pests

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Play the part of a pro this summer when it comes to stinging insects



The summer months are synonymous with stinging insects. Often, the impetus to call a professional to help with stinging insects on a property is after someone gets stung. The sting might come as a surprise while weeding the garden and disturbing a subterranean yellowjacket nest, or during a failed do-it-yourself attempt to control bald-faced hornets. By the time clients call you, they clearly understand what is at stake and the risks associated with the service.

One mistake pest management professionals often make when controlling stinging insects is to forgo protective clothing. Some experienced technicians will explain they rarely get stung because they understand stinging insect behavior. But despite a perceived value of their bravery, when clients watching from a kitchen window see a technician sneak up from behind a nest, then sprint away after treatment, the impact is less than professional — not to mention dangerous.

On the other hand, when a client witnesses a technician performing a careful evaluation of the nesting site, observing the flight patterns of the pest, evaluating the surrounding environment for trip hazards, asking the client to step indoors, and donning a bee suit and veil, he or she sees a true professional that respects the role of protector of public health.

Save the war stories — like the failed attempt to capture an angry, active hornet’s nest inside a plastic garbage bag — for your pest control peers at the next association meeting. When it comes to your actions in front of a client, take a conservative approach, and play the part of a pro. Set expectations about whether your company will return to remove the nest after it has been controlled, and follow up with the client to ensure complete satisfaction with your service.

By looking and acting the part, you just might parlay a one-time stinging insect service into a long-term role as your client’s trusted pest control adviser.

Editor’s Note: For more on the National Pest Management Association’s take on pollinators and pest control, please read our June 2019 cover story “Protecting people and pollinators.”

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Ask the Expert: Outdoor rat-proofing tips



Q: I am servicing a house in Seattle, Wash., that has a chronic problem with Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). The city compost bins contain food waste, and are a constant source of food. Are traps better than bait in this situation?

A: The short answer is no.

The long, complicated answer is that rats are a product of their environment. Traps and baits are designed to act on the rats. If you don’t change the environment, the rats will always rebound. However, the rat population cannot build any higher than the environment will allow. You cannot change an entire city, but you may be able to get cooperation from your client’s home and his or her neighbors.

If the city requires compost bins, there are several obvious approaches — and perhaps a few less-obvious ones that will require imagination.

The most obvious solution would be rat-proof bins. This means maintaining bins and replacing them when they become damaged. It may mean getting different bins, but some cities require specific units, and this could become expensive for your client.

You may suggest not putting the compost out until the day of collection, or storing the official bins in a larger, rat-proof container. There could be some other ways to cut the rats off from an endless supply of food. That alone will affect the rat population in the area. And yes, it requires the neighbors to cooperate, but the health department may be helpful in getting their attention.

In addition to reducing the amount of available food, take a hard look at the landscaping. Norway rats are tightly tied to burrows in the earth. Is there heavy ground cover? Low-slung bushes that provide cover for burrows? Rats can always find a place to burrow, but when easy ground with lots of cover is available, the population will take off.

After limiting the available food and harborage, give a careful eye to exclusion for your client’s home, and re-inspect regularly.
Now we can talk about traps and baits. Whatever you use, be sure to keep them secure and inaccessible to children and non-targets. Traps are most effective when the rats aren’t suspicious of them.

Your greatest tool will be patience. Put traps in the environment, but don’t set them until you get reliable feeding on pre-baited traps. If you set the traps before the rats are used to them, you will kill a few rats — and educate the rest of them. Like traps, you can change the styles of stations. Don’t rely on a single bait or style of trap.

Working a program for one home in a high-rat zone is a tall order, but you should be able to get favorable results by paying attention to the fundamentals.

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Sacramento CA

Gregory Pest Solutions helps form W.I.S.H. Society



Make-A-Wish and Gregory Pest Solutions partnered to form the W.I.S.H. Society in South Carolina. Through the organization, outstanding women will be recognized as Women Inspiring Strength and Hope.

The inaugural season of W.I.S.H. Society honors 11 local women recognized for their professional and philanthropic achievements. Each honoree accepted the challenge to raise a minimum of $7,500, which is the average cost of a fully funded wish in South Carolina to a child who has been diagnosed with a critical illness.

For the next several months, each honoree will raise funds and awareness to help further Make-A-Wish’s goal of granting a wish to every eligible child.

“A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their illness,” says Misty Farmer, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Carolina. “For many of them, it marks a turning point in their fight against their illnesses. For the doctors, nurses and other health professionals, the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better, emotionally and even physically. A wish improves children’s state of mind, replacing fear with happiness and helping them feel like normal kids again.”

Beginning in 2009, Gregory Pest Solutions has been a steadfast supporter of wish granting. Led by co-owner Phil Gregory, who is on the board of directors at Make-A-Wish and serves as chair of the development committee, the company helped grant many wishes in the local community.

Exemplifying Gregory Pest Solutions’ dedication to giving back, co-owner Sara Gregory and Sherry Marlar, director of human resources, have both joined the inaugural season as honorees.

“Our fundraising for Make-A-Wish has become ingrained in our company’s culture. It is important to give back and support an organization that does so much good in our community and for the families involved,” Phil and Sara Gregory said in a press release.

“Gregory Pest Solutions is excited and honored to present the W.I.S.H. Society to the Upstate community. From Gregory’s beginning in 1972, we have always been proud to be a part of this community and passionate about giving back,” says Courtney Powell, marketing coordinator of Gregory Pest Solutions. “We understand how impactful the power of a wish can be and we are very proud of our company’s participation in giving back to the communities we serve. We can’t wait to see how the ladies transform lives through wishes.”

To celebrate the Society’s success and benevolence, there will be a public luncheon on December 2 at the Poinsett Club. The program will culminate in the naming of the W.I.S.H. Society’s Woman of the Year and will pay special recognition to each woman for working tirelessly to give back to her community.

To learn more about the honorees, to support an honoree of for more information about Make-A-Wish, visit

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Sacramento CA

Actor Richard Karn appears in new NPMA video

Earlier this month, the National Pest Management Association’s consumer-facing website,, debuted the video “5 Pest Proofing Tips from Richard Karn.” Karn’s career highlights include not only playing Tim Allen’s “Tool Time” sidekick Al Borland from 1991 to 1999, but also hosting syndicated game show “Family Feud” from 2002 to 2006.


5 Pest Proofing Tips from Richard Karn

We’ve teamed up with actor Richard Karn to share 5 simple tips on how you can pest-proof your home, just in time for home improvement season. 🏡 🛠 🐜

Posted by PestWorld on Monday, June 10, 2019

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

PCO Bookkeepers: Accounting Advice



PCO Bookkeepers is an accounting and business advisory firm obsessed with providing pest management companies the information they need to prosper in a competitive business environment. Serving pest management companies nationwide with annual sales of more than $500,000, it creates financial and operational systems that allow its clients to grow rapidly. Use the firm’s expertise in accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation and audit representation as a powerful tool to build your business and comply with the tax laws.

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Mold Remediation Baltimore Cost

best mold remediation baltimore cost

Mold Remediation Baltimore Cost

Mold Remediation can be a cost you were not expecting for your Baltimore Maryland home. The process to remove mold can be a very lengthy process. Fixr has some updated information regarding  how much it cost to remediate the mold in your home or business. Here is a link to the article and information below:

How much does it cost to have a mold remediation done?

Mold is a type of invasive fungi that may grow on surfaces inside your home. It varies in color and type, and is usually found in areas that have been subjected to moisture at some point in time, such as bathrooms or in areas around leaking pipes.

While some types of mold are harmless, others can cause serious health issues in some individuals. According to the EPA, mold allergies are extremely common and can be a leading cause of asthma symptoms. Mold can also cause irritations of the eyes, nose, and throat, and may also cause lung issues even in people who are not allergic. For this reason, mold found growing in the home should be treated as a serious issue and cleaned up in a timely way.

Mold remediation is the process of seeking out and eliminating the mold within your home, while containing it and preventing it from spreading to other surfaces. Because mold spores can become airborne and spread to other damp areas, it’s important to have professional air testing and remediation done whenever you encounter mold in the home.

Typical mold remediation of areas such as crawlspaces in the home can cost between $500 and $4,000 depending on the extent of the mold and the type. Most homeowners can expect to pay around $2,000 for remediation of areas such as crawlspaces, attics, or basements where mold is most commonly found.


Mold spores are everywhere. A type of fungus that presents in a thread-like structure, mold is common and can be found in nearly every part of the world. The problem arises when mold begins to grow inside the home. This is usually because the mold spores have found their way to a damp area where conditions are right for them to begin to grow.

Common causes of mold growth indoors include:

  • Roof leaks
  • Pipe leaks
  • High humidity levels in basements or bathrooms
  • Floods

Once the mold spores have taken root in the home, they can easily spread to other areas. So, if mold is present in your basement, and your bathroom becomes excessively humid over a long period of time, mold spores may find their way up from the basement to the bathroom where they will take root in the damp areas of the room.


While mold can technically take root and begin growing anywhere, there are a few common areas that it can usually be found:

  • Basements
  • Crawlspaces
  • Attics
  • The underside of the roof deck
  • Bathrooms
  • Inside walls, particularly near leaking or sweating pipes
  • Ducts
  • Vents

However, if you have excessive amounts of moisture or humidity in the home, you may find mold growing anywhere, including on the inside of closet doors, in carpeting, and on fabrics.

How to identify a mold infestation

Most mold infestations start out small, and may go unnoticed if they are inside a crawl space, duct, or other unobtrusive area. Therefore, your first sign of a mold infestation may be a musty odor. Other signs include staining on the walls or ceilings and visible mold growth on walls and other surfaces. If you have an increase in allergy symptoms occurring indoors, this may also be a sign of a mold infestation.

If you detect mold, or suspect a mold infestation, a mold remediation or abatement team can help confirm its presence, test for the type of mold, and offer solutions on dealing with the issue.

Mold facts

  • Mold spores are found nearly everywhere, both indoors and out. If water or very high levels of humidity are present in your home, mold growth can begin in as little as 48 hours. Mold spores thrive in moisture, high humidity, and other wet environments. They grow rapidly into colonies once exposed to water. Any indoor humidity levels above 45 percent could lead to conditions that allow mold colonies to establish.
  • The mold spores themselves are microscopic, and float on the air. They may enter your home through windows, doors, HVAC systems, or they may enter on your clothing or in the fur of a pet. In small numbers and in a dry atmosphere, these spores are relatively harmless.
  • Mold colonies produce allergens and irritants, which are the cause of potential health concerns.
  • Because mold thrives in moisture, any sources of water, humidity, or moisture must be addressed and thoroughly dried before mold remediation can begin. Otherwise, while the visible mold may be removed, the microscopic spores could simply recolonize the area within a few days.
  • Mold very often produces a strong odor that can be described as musty. This odor is often the first sign of a possible mold colony, and is often the first reported problem that most people discover.

Health effects

According to the CDC, exposure to mold can lead to a number of different health issues, or none at all. It depends on the sensitivity of the person exposed, whether that person has any allergies to mold, the type of mold, and the level of exposure.

The most common symptoms of mold exposure include:

  • Nose, throat, eye, and lung irritation.
  • Coughing or wheezing.
  • Eye irritation.
  • Nasal stuffiness.
  • Skin irritations.

In people who have asthma, exposure to mold may trigger asthma attacks, while in people with compromised immune systems, mold exposure may lead to more serious problems, such as lung infections.

Mold removal vs remediation

Mold exists naturally in the air inside and outside of your home. Therefore, it is not possible to completely “remove” all of the mold from within a building, as microscopic spores will still exist even after the problem has been addressed.

Mold remediation removes and cleans mold colonies and excessive mold growth from surfaces inside your home, getting mold levels back to what is considered “normal” for your area and air humidity levels. Because it is not possible to guarantee “removal” of all the mold in a building, most companies offer what is known as remediation services, cleaning and removing the mold problem from your home.

Cost factors

When the time comes to deal with a mold problem in your home, you’ll find that there is often a wide range of costs, often from $500 to $4,000. This can be accounted for by several different factors, including:

  • The size of the mold issue. The more mold that you discover in your home, the higher the cost will be to clean and remove it. Small, contained areas such as crawl spaces cost around $500, while an entire attic will cost closer to $4,000.
  • Where the mold is located. Heating, ventilation, and AC systems require special cleaning, which can potentially increase costs. You can expect costs upwards of $4,000-$6,000 if your HVAC system is involved.
  • Whether the moldy items can be cleaned or whether they need to be removed and replaced. Fabrics may be cleaned, for example, but anything the mold and moisture may have permanently discolored or damaged, such as drywall 1, insulation, or carpeting may need to be removed. Costs start at $2,000 for cleaning fabrics, but can reach $10,000 for removing and replacing drywall 1 and carpeting.
  • The cause of the mold. Floods due to a septic tank fail will require more invasive testing and cleaning for hazardous substances, which will further increase costs. Sewage flooding can lead to costs between $10,000 and $20,000 with the necessary testing and cleaning.
  • The damage caused with the mold. A leaking pipe may lead to mold, but may also lead to wood rot or damage to other areas that need to be repaired and replaced. Any damage that needs to be dealt with alongside the mold can increase costs to $5,000 and beyond.

Types of mold

There are more than 100 different types of mold that could potentially be found in the air in and around your home. However, not all of these typically colonize or become problems.The follow types of mold are the ones most commonly seen in homes:

  • Alternaria: this type of mold is most commonly seen outdoors, but can be seen in basements after flooding. It’s most commonly associated with asthma attacks in allergic people.
  • Aspergillus: this is one of the most common molds found indoors. It can lead to lung infections and a condition called hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals who are sensitive to molds.
  • Aureobasidium: this is the mold most people are allergic to. It can be pink or black in color and may be found on painted surfaces and around window ledges. This mold may leave stains behind, particularly if it is the black variety, and may require painting over the ledge with an encapsulating agent such as Killz.
  • Botrytis: it is most commonly found in bathrooms and other high humidity areas. It can cause allergic reactions and asthma in sensitive people.
  • Chaetomium: it is the mold that gives off the musty odor most people associate with flood or water damage. It’s often found on drywall 1 and other areas after a flood.
  • Cladosporium: this mold can be found on nearly all surfaces, including carpeting, drywall 1, and paint. It can cause many different respiratory issues in people.
  • Fusarium: this is another fast-spreading mold that can be found on all surfaces, even at low temperatures. Many people may have allergies to this mold, and those with compromised immune systems may develop infections because of it.
  • Penicillium: this is known as blue mold or blue/green mold. It grows quickly after exposure to moisture and can be found on nearly all surfaces. While unsightly, this mold is easy to clean and does not often leave stains.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum: this mold is often referred to as black mold or toxic mold because of the mycotoxins that it can give off. This mold can be harmful to your health in the form of chronic sinus infections, asthma, and fatigue. It grows in areas that remain constantly wet, like air conditioning systems. In addition to be harmful, black mold can also stain surfaces it grows on, which can make it more difficult to successfully remove. Often surfaces with black mold may require additional bleaching or replacement to deal with the stains. In some cases, an encapsulating agent may be necessary to cover the stain and any remaining spores.
  • Serpula lacrymans: this yellow mold may lead to dry rot, as it feeds on the wood it inhabits. Often deep yellow in color, the mold does not often lead to staining, however, making it easy to eradicate.
  • Trichoderma: this mold causes health issues similar to black mold, and can be found on any surface that remains at least slightly damp.
  • Ulocladium: this mold requires excessive amounts of water to grow, so is usually only found in homes that have undergone flooding. Many people are allergic to this type of mold.

Mold testing

Mold testing is not always necessary. In fact, many specialists agree that if you see mold, it’s enough to treat it, and that testing is not always necessary. However, if your insurance requires it, or if you have specific health concerns that may be mold related, you can have your home tested for mold.

Always make sure you use an independent, third party testing agency, and that if you use a mold remediation company, that they use a third party testing agency themselves. Testing agencies should not give any information on how to deal with the issue, or charge you for remediation; they should only test the mold and tell you what it is.

There are a few ways you can test for mold. The most common is a rapid scratch test, which involves collecting a small sample of the mold and applying it to various chemicals to determine the reaction.

More involved testing may involve sending samples to a testing facility, or taking samples of the air to test if there is no visible mold, but mold is suspected. Testing for mold may cost as little as $20 for a home kit or as much as $500 for professional testing. Keep in mind, though, that it is often unwarranted, as most remediation services will proceed the same way regardless of what type of mold is found in your home.

Remediation process

Mold remediation is a multi-step process that begins after the area has been thoroughly dried. Large fans and dehumidifiers may be necessary to help dry the area before remediation can begin. In addition, if the source of the moisture or leak has not been fixed, this should occur first.

Once the area is dry, inspection begins, along with any testing. Not all mold remediation companies will test the mold; this is only done on request if there is believed to be another, underlying issue.

The area that is being treated is sealed, as mold spores can easily travel once they are disturbed. Air filtration systems are usually used in conjunction with the sealing of the area to remove as many airborne spores as possible and to prevent spread. Sealing the area involves the use of both physical barriers, such as plastic sheeting, as well as negative air pressure, which prevents the circulation of air between the contaminated space and the areas around it. All heating, cooling, and fans in the area will be turned off to prevent the mold from spreading as well.

The air is then cleaned using a combination of “air scrubbers” as well as HEPA vacuums to remove any mold particles or spores from the air.

Cleaning of all affected surfaces begins next. Antifungal and antimicrobial cleansers are used on any hard surfaces to remove the mold from the surface. If anything can be removed, such as furniture, clothing, or toys, these are generally brought offsite for cleaning to make sure all mold spores are eradicated, usually involving deep cleaning with an antifungal or antimicrobial cleanser.

Odors are removed from the area using fogging equipment to get rid of any musty smells that the mold may leave behind.

Tear-out of any surfaces that cannot be cleaned follows. This includes drywall 1, carpeting, wallpaper, and other surfaces that may be affected. New surfaces are installed following the removal of the old. This may be as simple as putting up a single sheet of drywall 1, or it may involve the complete tear-out and renovation of an entire room depending on the level of damage and mold growth.


Mold remediation services start at around $500 for a small, contained area such as a crawl space. This involves sealing and cleaning the entire area. Costs of only mold remediation typically run between $500 and $4,000, with most people paying about $2,000.

The higher costs, of up to $20,000, involve the tear-out and repair of large areas including carpeting, drywall 1, and cabinetry. The process can take anywhere from a few hours to several weeks depending on the amount of mold, what caused it, and the level of damage involved.

DIY vs professional remediation

While it is possible to clean many surfaces of mold yourself, there are some advantages to using professional remediation. According to the EPA, if the mold in your home is affecting an area less than 100 feet square, you should be able to clean it up yourself. Anything larger, or anything caused by a flood or leaking pipe, however, should be dealt with by a professional.

Because mold spores are microscopic, simply cleaning the areas that you can see is often not enough to deal with the issue. True remediation also involves sealing the room, filtering the air, and removing odors, as well as cleaning and killing the mold itself. DIY methods may clean the visible mold, but may miss addressing underlying issues, such as leaks, and may fail to contain the mold spores adequately, leading to future colonies in new areas of the home.

If the mold infestation is small enough to deal with yourself, you can usually clean the area with detergent and water, or a non-toxic fungicide. Keep in mind that some molds, like black mold, may stain surfaces, and may requiring bleaching or replacement to remove the stain.

If the mold infestation requires professional help, you can expect that not only will the visible mold be treated, but the air will be filtered to help remove spores as well. In addition, things like negative pressure will contain the mold as it’s cleaned. Cleaning a large mold infestation yourself may lead to spores traveling to new areas of your home, which in turn means a new problem to deal with. This is why larger mold problems should always be handled professionally, not just to ensure their eradication, but to prevent the spread as well.

Mold prevention

The EPA also has the following recommendations for homeowners wanting to avoid dealing with mold in their homes:

  • Fix any leaks or underlying issues right away to help prevent mold growth or its return.
  • Dry all damp or wet areas thoroughly.
  • Clean hard surfaces with a mixture of detergent and water.
  • Remove and replace porous surfaces such as ceiling tiles and drywall 1, as you may not be able to completely remove the mold.
  • Do not paint or caulk 2 the moldy areas, as this may cause the paint to peel.
  • Protect yourself from the mold with face masks and gloves and wash the clothes you are wearing in hot soapy water immediately after tackling the mold.
  • If you feel that the issue is larger than you can handle, contact a professional to help.

Enhancement and improvement costs


In most cases, simply cleaning the mold is enough to address the problem. However, if there has been ongoing water damage or a flood, you may need to repair and replace many of the porous areas of the home. These costs will typically range from $10,000 to $20,000 in addition to the mold remediation costs of $500 to $4,000.

Additional considerations and costs

  • If you see mold in your home, it is not necessary to test for it. Testing is often not recommended unless for specific health concerns.
  • A few types of mold, such as Stachybotrys chartarum are highly toxic and can lead to serious health issues. Address the issue as soon as you find the mold to prevent serious health concerns.
  • Untreated mold can eat drywall 1, lumber, subflooring 3, and siding, particularly Serpula lacrymans, which may mean that these areas need to be replaced to ensure the issue is dealt with.
  • To clean the mold yourself, use a mixture of detergent and water on hard surfaces, or use a mixture of bleach and water to kill the mold. Wear a mask, and use plastic to seal off the contaminated room from the rest of the home. Make sure everything is dry, and that the underlying issue has been addressed.
  • Some insurance companies will cover mold remediation, particularly if caused by a leak or flood. Contact your insurance company for more information.
  • Not all mold remediation companies can offer a guarantee, as mold spores are constantly present in the home. However, air testing can be done to ensure that spores have returned to normal levels and that all colonies have been addressed. Speak to your professional remediation company for more information on what they may offer.
  • Always get at least 3-5 estimates before hiring anyone to do the job.
  • If mold is found in air ducts, shut off the HVAC system and fans to prevent the circulation of the mold throughout the home. You may need to call in a specialized team to dismantle and clean the ducts, which can raise costs by an additional $2,000.
  • If you hire an inspector, or your mold remediation company recommends one, keep in mind that the inspector should at minimum have a degree in science or the engineering fields, and have competed industry-approved coursework in mold investigation. This should be through either the American Board of Industrial Hygiene or the American Council for Accredited Certification. They should be able to show  you industry credentials such as Certified Industrial Hygienist or Council-Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant.
  • An inspector should work independently of any mold remediation company, and should be hired as a third party inspector. They should never push mold-related products or hype one type of mold as worse than another.
  • An inspector should provide you with a report that includes lab results of air and surface samples taken. If the issue can be addressed DIY, they should tell you this or be able to tell you whether you need a mold remediation specialist.


  • What is used for mold remediation?

Mold remediation can use a number of different techniques including dehumidifiers and fans to dry the affected area, plastic and negative pressure to seal the room, antifungal and antimicrobial cleansers, and the removal and reinstallation of different surfaces that may be affected.

  • How do you remediate black mold?

Black mold is remediated like any other mold. The area is dried using fans and dehumidifiers, then sealed with plastic and negative air pressure. Antifungal and antimicrobial cleaners are used on hard surfaces; removable soft surfaces are sent out for cleaning, and any porous surfaces such as drywall 1 are replaced.

  • What can be used to get rid of mold?

Small amounts of mold can be cleaned using detergent and water or a mixture of bleach and water. Porous surfaces should be replaced, as it can be difficult to ensure that all the mold has been removed.

  • How do you get rid of mold?

You can remove mold with detergent and water or bleach and water from most hard surfaces measuring less than 100 feet square. Larger areas require professional mold remediation, while porous surfaces should be replaced.

  • How much does mold remediation cost per square foot?

The average cost per square foot for mold remediation is between $0.65 and $0.85. However, most jobs are priced by the total service and not by the foot.

  • What is the average cost of mold remediation?

The average cost of mold remediation runs from $500 to $4,000, with most people paying around $2,000.

  • How much does it cost to clean up mold?

The average cost of mold remediation is between $500 and $4,000, with most people paying around $2,000.

  • How much does it cost to check for mold?

Many mold remediation services offer free inspections; testing is not necessary if mold can be seen. Otherwise, third party mold inspections 4 start around $300.

Mold Remediation Baltimore Cost

Mold Remediation Pros would be glad to come to your location and give you a free estimate. Contact us 443-961-2725




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Rose, Gaiser Bee Co. celebrate National Pollinator Week

Logo: Rose Pest SolutionsAs the world observes National Pollinator Week from June 17-23, Troy, Mich.-based Rose Pest Solutions, the nation’s oldest pest management company providing industry-leading pest management technology, is proud to support enterprises in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio that preserve these beneficial species.

During National Pollinator Week and throughout the year, Rose is proud to partner with local organizations and apiaries, like Gaiser Bee Co., based in Cincinnati, Ohio, to help spread the word about the importance of preserving pollinators and the impact they have on the environment. Gaiser and Rose have teamed up to design native wildflower seed packets that customers of the apiary at 3402 Kleeman Rd. can pick up and plant to attract honey bees to their home gardens. The partnership also includes Rose’s support of Gaiser’s Host-a-Hive Program and the urban bee farm’s early spring community party.

According to the Pollinator Partnership, 75 percent to 95 percent of all flowering plants need help with pollination. Pollinators are key to transferring pollen within healthy and productive agricultural ecosystems. Honey bees are among the beneficial insects that pollinate more than 180,000 different plant species. Studies show honey bees make approximately two million flower visits to produce a pound of honey. One colony can produce 100 pounds of honey, with total agricultural production reaching between $1.2 billion and $5.4 billion annually.

“Rose Pest Solutions appreciates the importance of beneficial insects in our ecosystem and we’re especially dedicated to protecting pollinators,” says Dale Hodgson, BCE, regional technical supervisor for Rose Pest Solutions. “We’re proud to partner with apiaries in the markets we serve – like Gaiser Bee Company in Ohio. Honey bees are really cool insects; they help to raise people’s awareness of the importance of pollinator health, and they also help make connections between the field and the table.”

In serving commercial and residential customers, Rose Pest Solutions works to protect beneficial pollinators. If a honey bee hive or nest is discovered on a customer’s property, Rose prefers safe relocation of the colony whenever possible. This may involve reaching out to a local beekeeper or relying on Rose’s internal experts that have relocated live honey bee colonies in the past.

In addition to Gaiser, Rose enjoys successful partnerships with Detroit Hives in Detroit, Mich., as well as The Harpur Bee Hive at Purdue University in Indiana.

Following are simple tips to pass along to your customers interested in helping pollinators thrive:

  • Plant flowers and flowering plants in gardens that will bloom at different times of the year – spring, summer and autumn.
  • Place colorful flowers in clusters to make bee foraging more efficient.
  • Create a pollinator-friendly habitat realizing that in addition to nectar and pollen, various species will need other things, such as bare soil or log piles to nest in, and (in the case of butterflies) other host plants for the caterpillars.
  • Reduce pesticide use, increase green spaces (hint: a manicured lawn is not a green space that many species can utilize), and minimize urbanization.
  • Educate neighbors, schools, and community groups about the importance of pollinators.
  • Do not establish a beehive in your yard without instruction and support of a trained beekeeper. 

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How to Apply Taurus SC as a Perimeter Treatment in California |

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Sacramento California

How to Apply Taurus SC as a Perimeter Treatment For All States Except California |

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Select Insurance: Cyber Risk Coverage

SelectInsurance_AgencyLogo300As reported by Travelers insurance Company (one of the companies Select Insurance Agency represents), data breaches and cyberattacks are becoming commonplace; they increased 23 percent in 2015 alone. Thirty-four percent of all breaches have occurred in organizations of fewer than 250 employees. When your business experiences a data breach, the associated costs average $217 per compromised record. Multiply that figure by your current customer count, and that can be the responsibility of your organization to provide notification and credit monitoring for each affected party. In addition, the attack may render systems inoperable causing business interruption, revenue loss, equipment damage and public relations expenses. Unless you secure a cyber liability policy your business is not likely to have adequate insurance coverage. Standard general liability and commercial property policies will not cover the losses you may incur. To that end, the Select Insurance Agency now offers a wide variety of Cyber Liability policies.

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How to Open & Mix Taurus SC Single Dose Pack |

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Hallowed hall: PMP announces 2019 Hall of Fame


Pest Management Professional (PMP) will induct its 23rd class of leaders and legends at an induction ceremony held Oct. 14, the day before PestWorld 2019 kicks off in San Diego, Calif.

Meet the PMP Hall of Fame Class of 2019:

  • Lonnie Alonso, Columbus Pest Control, Columbus, Ohio, and his father, Orlando, who passed away in 2002.
  • Judy Black, BCE, vice president of quality assurance and technical service, Rollins Inc., Atlanta, Ga.
  • Dr. Dini Miller, urban pest management specialist, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
  • David Mueller, BCE, founder, Insects Limited, Westfield, Ind.

We honor each inductee with a plaque displayed on the walls of Purdue University’s Smith Hall. PMP Hall of Famer Dr. Gary Bennett (Class of 2006) has overseen their installation, made possible by PMP Hall of Fame Platinum sponsor Bug Off Pest Control Center, for decades. Dr. Bennett will retire on June 30, as executive director of Purdue’s Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management. We thank him for keeping a watchful eye on each esteemed inductee’s place in the PMP Hall of Fame.

Check out all the PMP Hall of Fame inductees at

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PestPac earns bronze Stevie award

WorkWave-logo-648WorkWave PestPac has been recognized in the 17th annual American Business Awards as a bronze winner in the cloud application/service category.

With WorkWave PestPac, pest management companies can manage their business workflows in the office and paperless on mobile and grow their business through integrated digital marketing features.

When servicing commercial customers, pest control companies need to manage the robust nature of business processes and services that come along with it, while still providing the best possible experience for their customers. Frequently, this happens fully in the field with PestPac’s mobile capabilities. WorkWave PestPac’s commercial customers benefit from features such as:

  • Integrated scheduling efficiency and routing.
  • Flexibility on recurring services and invoicing.
  • Simplified management, diagrams and reports for complex structures like hotels and apartment buildings.
  • Form management (including those required by regulation).
  • End-user access to data, as well as customer engagement and technician tracking through its CustomerConnect+ online portal.

“We are honored to be recognized in this year’s American Business Awards for the strides WorkWave has made for the commercial pest control industry,” says Marne Martin, CEO of WorkWave in a press release. “When it comes to providing powerful SaaS software solutions to pest control companies, WorkWave PestPac has been the leader for over 30 years. Throughout this time, we have been able to gain deep insight into what our customers need, and have consistently worked to embed those needs into our PestPac solution, helping our customers to grow and deliver exceptional service to their commercial customers.”

More than 3,800 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories. All organizations operating in the United States are eligible to submit nominations–public and private, for-profit and nonprofit, large and small. More than 200 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award winners.

“The nominations submitted to the 2019 American Business Awards were outstanding. They illustrate the continued vibrancy of innovation and high level of achievement across the American economic landscape,” says Michael Gallagher, president and founder of the Stevie Awards.

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Watching the pest lineups change over time



The PMP team is in a reflective mood this issue, with “A Look Back” examining exactly when ants overtook termites as the top pest in modern memory for the pest control industry. Spoiler alert: We pinpoint it to 1998, for those who want to know before they read more.

I also reread our March 2005 cover story, the first deep-dive article we wrote on bed bugs when the pest’s resurgence hit. Back then, an entire generation of technicians had never seen the bug — based on a conflation of reasons I go into in this month’s cover story, which you can read here.

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a technician who hasn’t dealt with bed bugs.

Our industry’s response to what was then essentially a bed bug crisis has been such that it’s no longer a wring-our-hands situation, but rather, one that calls for a methodical approach, patience and communication with the customer. When these three factors are working in concert, callbacks are a low risk.

As “A Look Back” concludes, it will be interesting to see what the next wave of prolific pest will entail. Is tick control going to be the focus of training workshops in the coming years? Mosquitoes? Why are German cockroaches suddenly so prevalent again? Drop me an email if you want to chime in. I look forward to tackling what the next top pests will be — with you.

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

PestRoutes: Commercial Pest Control Features



PestRoutes has expanded its software platform to include a robust set of features to empower pest control companies with commercial accounts, including the ability to define structures, and then better record activities and observations and manage compliance on specific locations. Users can now instantly report and transmit on all conditions for substructures; designate and report condition types; and transmit notes and recommendations via mobile, with or without connectivity. In addition, they can send in-depth commercial property notifications, delivered within a branded customer portal, and provide automated conditions and pest activity reporting for customers. Demos are available.

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The state of ant management, 1998



Pest Management Professional’s (PMP’s) annual State of the Industry survey tracks key metrics for pest management professionals (PMPs). Year after year, ants rank as the top profit- and revenue-generating pest, outstripping other major business generators like bed bugs, cockroaches, rodents and termites.

The pattern has become so status quo that those who are new to the industry may assume ants always have dominated the charts. But the advantage of maintaining such a long-running survey is the perspective gained from looking back at past State of the Industry reports for a snapshot of the industry’s priorities any given year.

Two decades ago, ant management was not the clear leader it is now, but ants’ climb to the top was emerging.

The 1998 State of the Industry from what was then known as Pest Control magazine reported a shift from termites as top economic pest to ants. In an article dedicated to ants’ new position, “Picnic pest poses problems for PCOs,” then-Senior Managing Editor Lisa Shaheen wrote:

In 1997, subterranean termites were deemed the No. 1 pest by respondents of Pest Control’s exclusive State of the Industry survey.

In 1998, the numbers shake out a little differently. According to our report, ants are making the most money for pest control operators (PCOs)…When asked to rank their top eight economic pests on a scale of one to nine, with nine representing the highest amount of revenue generated, ants placed 7.13 on the scale.

Top Economic Pests IMAGE: PMP ARCHIVES

In 1998, our State of the Industry report showed ants outranked termites as top pest for a change. IMAGE: PMP ARCHIVES

Cockroaches ranked second that year at 6.98, and termites came in third at 6.66 (See box “Top Economic Pests” at left).

Our 2019 State of the Industry report measures top pests by revenue differently, but the gap between ants and termites seems to have widened since 1998.

Of the PMPs surveyed for the 2019 report, 82 percent indicated ant management is their largest revenue generator, making ants the runaway leader in this category. Fifty-five percent said termites and other wood-destroying insects or organisms (WDI/WDO) brought in the most revenue for their businesses, making these pests the fifth-largest revenue generator.

What hasn’t changed is the difficulty of eliminating ant infestations. Respondents to the 1998 survey “rated ants as the pest most difficult to control, coming in at 6.18.” The next most difficult pest that year was cockroaches, at 5.17 (See “Number of Accounts by Pest Volume” box).

Revenue vs. profit

Number of Accounts by Pest Volume IMAGE: PMP ARCHIVES


The persistent challenge of ant control is apparent in the 2019 survey by comparing ant management revenue to profits. Sixty-three percent of respondents to the 2019 survey chose ant management as their top profit-generating service – almost 20 percent fewer than the number of respondents who chose ants as their main source of revenue. The reason for the gap? Ant management services remain costly, thanks to the relatively high rate of callbacks.

Termites and other WDI/WDO performed better in terms of profit than revenue in PMP’s 2019 report. These pests came in second place as top profit-generators, not far behind ants.

Another notable shift during the past 20 years is which pests account for the highest volume of service calls. In 1998, cockroaches came out on top. But while cockroaches placed first as the pest that accounted for the most customers, at 7.26 on a one-to-nine scale, ants were a close second at 7.24 (See box at right).

Most Difficult Pests to Control IMAGE: PMP ARCHIVES

The 1998 State of the Industry stats show ants were a difficult-to-control emerging top pest. IMAGE: PMP ARCHIVES

Today, cockroaches still account for a large portion of pest management service calls, with 91 percent of 2019 survey-takers indicating that they offer cockroach control. However, 91 percent also responded that they offer rodent control, and 94 percent – the highest number – say they provide ant management services.

Ants’ dominance of every major top pest category – whether by value or volume – suggests ants will continue to be at the forefront of pest control for years to come.

Yet, in our 2019 State of the Industry report, Editor Heather Gooch comments that “maintaining the status quo isn’t good enough for some PMPs.” Thirty-nine percent of respondents to the 2019 survey said they plan to add one or more new services to their arsenals, whether it be mosquito, spider or bed bug control.

Perhaps signs of the next big trend are starting to become visible today.

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