For episode 19, Patrick and Steve talk about the best ways to respond to good, bad, ugly, and illegitimate business reviews. You won’t want to miss this one.
For episode #99, Bryan and Steve discuss the three biggest reasons German cockroaches would avoid gel bait. They also share stories about elevator pit infestations and Steve’s recent cricket infestation.
In addition, Bryan introduces his ACE Challenge. He’ll be interviewing PCOs about the victories and challenges they face while preparing for the ACE exam.
German Cockroach Bait aversion: Is when the target pest avoids the bait, or more commonly, consumes a non-lethal dose.
Why roaches would avoid a bait. In no particular order:
- Learned behavior
- If a roach ingests a non-lethal dose of bait and they sense something is going wrong, they could regurgitate it, consume lots of water or eat a different food source to dilute the toxicant or push it through the body faster. After they weather the storm, they’ll make a mental note to avoid that stuff.
- A common roach-bait ingredient is corn syrup. Corn syrup is sweet, it has a lot of glucose and fructose, which are simple sugars. Roaches generally love sweets because they have lots of carbohydrates. However:
- Some roaches are what they call glucose-averse. We don’t know for sure if glucose actually tastes bitter to a glucose-averse roach, but we do know that glucose triggers their bitter receptors. When this type of roach stumbles across sugars, it runs in the opposite direction.
- Roaches could be avoiding the type of proteins, inert ingredients.
- Nutrition – At different stages, roaches need different ratios of nutrients.
- German cockroaches are survivors. If need be, their bodies can overcome nutritional shortcomings. Just one of many examples is that if there’s a lack of protein available, roaches can conserve uric acid. If, however, their nutritional needs can be met through some additional foraging, they’ll seek out the food source that will give them the nutrient(s) in need. Which caught me off guard, because I’m from the school that good bait placement is all you need. I thought roaches would feed off of the first food source they stumbled across, but that’s not always the case.
- So to combat that, manufacturers try to find ways to either compliment the roaches current diet by offering materials not readily available, or be able to “out-compete” the other foods available. Here’s where it gets tough. Not only do manufacturers have to come up with a food matrix the roaches will choose over other available foods, they have to be able to put it in a tube, ensure it will withstand moderately hot and cold temperatures, stay pliable for a decent amount of time (it would get too hard, too fast), make sure the different ingredients don’t separate , etc.
For the latest edition of Webster Wednesday, Steve explains how to use the websites of your competition to grow your pest control business.
Step 1. Use a website analysis tool
The really good website analysis tools charge a monthly fee, but you can find a few of the premium ones that offer a free trail period.
has generated. Analysis tools can also tell you what search queries were used by viewers to discover the page.
Once you get signed up and registered with one of these tools, it’s just a matter of entering your and the competitions’ website addresses. Most tools allow room for five or more competitors.
Step 2. Analyze the Data
For sake of the podcast, let’s focus on posts that generate high page views by readers looking for information that is touched on, but not the centerpiece of the page. For example, let’s say you find a competitor webpage titled “The Differences Between Black and Brown Widows”. Let’s also say that within the article, the venom potency is briefly mentioned. During your research, you discover over half the readers of the post, found the page while searching for “Are Black or Brown Widows More Venomous”.
Knowing that a large number of people that visit your competitors page are looking for answers to black and brown widow venom questions, you can build a page specifically for that topic.
Step 3. Build a Better Alternative
Make a page titled “Black or Brown Widows – Which is More Venomous?”. Write a post that cites studies made by people with PHDs, link to a whitepaper or two that support your claims, use original photos that have never been posted to the internet. Basically, make a page that answers the question thoroughly. If you do a good job, Google will reward you.
How does a post about spider venom generate business?
Although you MAY pick up a customer or two that stumble upon your blog post, the real prize will be in the area of business rankings. When Google sees your website as a trusted and credible source, the search engine will be more likely to bump your website above your competitors.
Hope that helps!
On this episode, Bryan and Steve discuss a new extortion tactic used against small businesses, Bryan reviews ActiveGuard Mattress Covers. The guys also chime in on weed in the workplace.
The pest control industry recently lost a legitimate “Hall of Famer”.
For episode 97, Michelle Senner reflects on her father’s pest control legacy.
Truly Nolen was far ahead of his time. He adopted “Green Pest Control” in the 1970’s, helped change public perception of our industry, and displayed several acts of marketing genius.
Huge thanks to Michelle for sharing a part of her father’s story!
We skipped a week or two, but we’re finally back. This week, Patrick and Steve talk about creative ways grow your business through the use of email.
This week, we have a treat! Frank and Sandy Honess (founders of Ladybug Pest Management) are best known for their highly trained and certified bed bug scent detection beagles, Daisey, Dolley and Dixie.
Join them and the Arthropodcast team as they discuss K9 certifications, training, inspection techniques, and much, much more.
For the latest episode of Arthropodcast, we had the privilege of speaking with Joseph Latino, President of Allergy Technologies. In this episode, Joseph talked about active ingredients, repellency, formulations, bed bug preventative strategies and a unique product called ActiveGuard(TM) Mattress Liners.
Here’s the clip of John DiDomenico as Donald “ActiveGuard” Trump.
Trust me, You DON’T want to miss this episode!!!
Join Bryan and Steve On Their Quests to Become Associate Certified Entomologists!
- Start Date: May 21st or TODAY!
- Deadline: November 1st
- Goal: A total of 40 hours study time
- Bryan’s Progress: 6 Hours
- Steve’s Progress: 5 Hours
To become an A.C.E. in the United States, you must:
- Hold a current pesticide applicator’s license issued by a state, federal, military, or tribal authority.
- Have a minimum of 5 years experience in the structural pest control industry.
- Submit two letters of reference from professional colleagues (ACEs, BCEs, employers, past employers, major clients, government officials, etc).
- Sign the ACE Code of Ethics
- Submit your application 30 days in advance of taking the test (and pay membership fee $355-$395).
- Pass the examination with a score of 75% or higher.
The certification board recommends a minimum of 40 hours study time and discourages “Cramming”. The following suggestions have proven helpful to past applicants:
- Start with the Content Outline
- Spend 15 minutes per day
- Form a study group
- Consider a review course
- Read, Read, Read
- Start studying early
Don’t worry about the scientific names, the common name will be listed on the test as well as the scientific.
Difficulty- Many claim the ACE exam will be the most difficult structural pest exam you will ever take. There are 150 questions that will be randomly pulled from a pool of several hundred. For every six questions, two will be considered easy, three will be of medium difficulty, and one question will be of high difficulty.
- Inspection and Identification is 45% of the exam
- Selection/Implementation of Control Methods is 28% of the exam
- Monitoring is 12% of the exam
- Evaluation is 18% of the exam
What Pests Could Appear on the Exam?
One hundred and thirty-one pests are categorized into eight different groups: Biting and Stinging, Flies, Ants, Cockroaches, Stored Product and Fabric Pests, Wood Destroying Insects, Occasional Invaders, and Common Commensal Pests. Each category is equally likely to be found on the exam, but the pests beneath the headers indicate the likelihood of presentation. For example, Bed bugs are much more likely to appear on the exam than Chigger mites.
BITING AND STINGING (33 Total)
Bed bugs and bat bugs (Cimex spp.)
Yellowjacket wasps (Vespula, Paravespula and Dolichovespula maculata (The bald faced hornet)
Paper wasps (Polistes spp.)
Mosquitoes (family Culicidae)
Honey bee, (Apis mellifera)
Black widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.)
Brown recluse spiders (Loxosceles spp.)
Hornet (Vespa crabro)
Cat flea (order Siphonaptera)
Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)
American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis)
Scorpions (class Arachnida: order Scorpiones)
Wolf spiders (family Lycosidae)
Bumble bees (Bombus spp.)
Black legged tick (Ixodes spp.)
Solitary bees (Members of the families Apidae, Andrenidae, Megachilidae, Halictidae and Colletidae)
Flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae)
Mites (rodent and bird)
Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans)
Black & yellow mud dauber (Sceliphron spp.)
Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum)
Sac spiders (family Miturgidae; previously Clubionidae) including Cheiracanthium
Hobo spider and other funnel weaver spiders (family Agelenidae)
Soft ticks (Argasidae)
Cicada killer, (Sphecius speciosus)
Ground spiders (family Gnaphosidae)
Jumping spiders (family Salticidae)
Organpipe mud dauber (Trypoxylon spp.)
Head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis)
Dust mites (Dermatophagoides spp.)
Body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus)
Crab louse (Pthirus pubis)
Chigger mites(family Trombiculidae)
FLIES (ORDER DIPTERA) (13 Total)
Small fruit (vinegar, pomace) flies (Drosophila spp.)
House fly (Musca domestica) and lesser house fly (Fannia canicularis)
Moth (drain, filter, sewer) flies (family Psychodidae)
Phorid (humpbacked, scuttle, mausoleum) flies (family Phoridae)
Fungus gnats (families Mycetophilidae (formerly Fungivoridae) and Sciaridae)
Blow flies (family Calliphoridae)
Cluster flies (Pollenia rudis)
Flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae)
Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans)
Horse and deer flies (family Tabanidae)
Small dung flies (family Sphaeroceridae)
Crane flies (family Tipulidae)
Soldier flies (family Stratiomyidae)
ANTS (FAMILY FORMICIDAE) (14 Total)
Carpenter Ants (Camponotus spp.)
Odorous house ant (Tapinoma sessile)
Red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta)
Pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum)
Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis)
Argentine ant (Linepithema humile)
Little Black Ant (Monomorium minimum)
Acrobat Ants (Crematogaster spp.)
Crazy ant (Paratrechina longicornis)
Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanocephalum)
White Footed Ant (Technomyrmex albipes)
Big Headed Ants (Pheidole spp.)
Field Ants (Formica spp.)
Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex spp.)
COCKROACHES (ORDER DICTYOPTERA; ALT. BLATTARIA) (9 Total)
German cockroach (Blattella germanica)
Asian cockroach (Blattella asahinai)
American cockroach (Periplaneta americana)
Brownbanded cockroach (Supella longipalpa)
Smokybrown cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa)
Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis)
Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiae)
Woods cockroach (Parcoblatta spp.)
Surinam cockroach (Pycnoscelus surinamensis)
STORED PRODUCT AND FABRIC PESTS (22 Total)
Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella)
Cigarette and drugstore beetle (Lasioderma serricorne and Stegobium paniceum)
Carpet/domestic beetles (Anthrenus and Attagenus spp.)
Clothes moths (family Tineidae)
Flour beetles (Tribolium spp.)
Sawtoothed and merchant grain beetles (Oryzaephilus spp.)
Warehouse & Cabinet Beetles (Trogoderma spp.)
Psocids (Order Psocoptera)
Rice Weevil (Sitophilus oryzae) and Corn Weevil (Sitophilus zeamais)
Hide and larder beetles (Dermestes species)
Angoumois Grain Moth (Sitotroga cerealella)
Mediterranean Flour Moth (Ephestia kuehniella)
Foreign Grain Beetle (Ahasverus advena)
Plaster Beetles (family Lathridiidae)
Spider beetles (family Ptinidae)
Mealworm Beetles (Tenebrio spp.)
Dust mites (Dermatophagoides farina)
Bean Weevil (Acanthocelides obtectus)
Flat Grain Beetle (Cryptolestes pusillus)
Cowpea Weevil (Callosobruchus maculatus)
Red Legged Ham Beetle (Necrobia rufipes)
Cadelle (Tenebroides mauritanicus)
WOOD DESTROYING INSECTS (12 Total)
Subterranean termites, (Reticulitermes and Coptotermes spp.)
Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.)
Formosan termite, (Coptotermes formosanus)
Carpenter bee (family Xylocopidae)
Drywood termites (Kalotermes approximatus, Incisitermes and Cryptotermes spp.)
Lyctine powderpost beetles (formerly lyctids in the family Lyctidae) (family Bostrichidae, subfamily Lyctinae)
Old house borer, (Hylotrupes bajulus)
Anobiine beetles (formerly anobiids in the family Anobiidae) (family Ptinidae, subfamily Anobiinae)
Bostrichid (false powderpost) beetles
Long horned beetles (Cerambycidae)
Dampwood termites (Zootermopsis and Neotermes spp.)
Metallic wood boring beetles (family Buprestidae)
OCCASIONAL INVADERS and GENERAL HOUSEHOLD PESTS (20 Total)
Silverfish (order Thysanura)
Springtails (order Collembola)
Earwigs (order Dermaptera)
Brown marmorated stink bug (Halymorpha halys)
Millipedes (class Diplopoda)
Centipedes (class Chilopoda)
Boxelder bug, (Boisea trivittata)
Sowbugs and pillbugs (order Isopoda)
House cricket, (Acheta domesticus)
Cellar spiders (family Pholcidae)
Multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
Ground Beetles (family Carabidae)
Field cricket, (Gryllus spp.)
Clover mite (Bryobia praetiosa)
Firebrat (order Thysanura)
Comb footed (cobweb) spiders (family Theridiidae)
Camel (cave) cricket (Ceuthophilus spp.)
Thrips (order Thysanoptera)
Elm Leaf Beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola)
Aquatic Insects Adults (Trichoptera, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera)
Pigeon (rock dove)
Commensal bats (Chiroptera)
For this edition of Webster Wednesday, Patrick and Steve cover their favorite apps.
Patrick lists Bayer Pest, Gmail, Google Calendar, Facebook Pages, Facebook Ads, Slack, GroupMe, Trello, Waze, Pipedrive and, or course, PestWorks.
Steve lists the National Pest Managment Association’s (NPMA) Field Guide App and Dispatch.Me.