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PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS FOR THE PEST MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY
Catchmaster Blog

Marketing Rodent Services in the Digital World

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Its that time of year where you are likely getting a lot of calls for rodent jobs. Or perhaps you are not but eager to bring in as many rodent control jobs as you can get. The following list of tips and tactics will help you to maximize your rodent control leads in this new digital marketing world. By implementing a few changes to your marketing you can make the phone ring and even help to grow your business in general this winter and in the year ahead.

Plan Ahead. Putting together an annual calendar of pest services and outlining your tactics to market each service ahead of time will get you on the road to success. While it takes some time to plan up front it will certainly be worth the effort when you save time and money during your busiest times of the year.

Stay in Touch. Stay in touch with customers through an eNewsletter and regular promotional eBlasts that highlight your services. Perhaps Mrs. Jones struggles with mice in her house every year. Time your touches properly and that email reminder that you offer preventative exclusion services could turn into a sale.

Get in on the Conversation. Social Media is an excellent source for leads these days. Female heads of households are one of the biggest users of websites like Facebook and often the decision maker when it comes to household purchases. Stay in touch with current and potential customers by sharing intriguing infographics like our 10 Common Entry Points for Rodents to Enter Your Home this Fall, tips and tricks for pest-free living and local news articles on pests in their area.

Incentivize Your Sales Reps. If you offer ancillary services you can offer commission to your sales reps for upselling customers on exclusion work, post-treatment rodent clean-up or upgrading to an annual contract instead of just buying that one-time rodent control service. Rewarding reps for each email address that they capture while on a job is another great way to build your list and your potential sales. A little friendly competition amongst your technicians in the form of a contest can lead to an uptick in sales.

Leave Them Reminders of Your Business. Private Labeling your glue boards and traps that you leave in their home is a great way to keep your company’s name top of mind. If you perform a one-time service and Mrs. Jones later finds evidence of another pest problem your name on your monitors could be that single reminder to call you versus your competition.

Put Client’s Minds at Ease. Have you ever been asked questions about the glue boards and traps you leave behind? It’s a common homeowner concern. Are they treated with pesticides? What if my pet becomes stuck to it? What purpose do they serve? Consider following up with an email to clients whose home you treat or printing and leaving your clients with our Monitoring for Pests sell sheet after you perform a rodent job in a home or lay down fresh glue boards and traps in your quarterly service client’s homes.

Monitor and Measure. Are you throwing advertising dollars at different forms of media unsure of what you are really getting out of it? Stop right there! Keep track of each and every marketing tactic that you utilize. Set up separate tracking phone numbers for each and track the number of leads that come in. Use a spreadsheet that you update monthly and it will serve as a guide for you to spend wisely the following year.

Food Safety & Fly Control in Food Establishments

The World Health Organization (WHO) deemed Food Safety such an important topic that it declared it the theme of this year’s World Health Day on April 7, 2015. This day is used to alert governments, manufacturers, retailers and the public about the importance of food safety.

SmallCommKitchen - canstockphoto16637700One of the most important jobs of a pest professional is in protecting food establishments from pests that transmit disease such as flies. Flies breed in decomposing animal and other waste and even feed on filth like that found in garbage, sewers and even feces. Food establishment owners may not recognize flies as a threat to food safety. Many may be surprised to learn that A recent study conducted by an Orkin entomologist determined that houseflies are twice as filthy as cockroaches.

A large selection of fly control products are available for use by pest professionals to protect humans from the diseases transmitted through contaminated food. However, it is essential that the client cooperate in fly control by maintaining a safe environment and protecting their food and food prep areas from pests. A pest professional should encourage that all food establishments:

Exclude pests from their food handling areas. Properly seal up openings to the outside, ensure screens are intact, install self-closing doors, utilize fly fans or air around doors and windows to ensure that flies and other insects cannot enter are just a few ways that food establishments can protect food from flies.

Having a Cleaning Protocol for food handling areas and equipment. Having a policy in place and training employees to maintain an environment safe from flies is essential. The protocols should ensure that: any equipment utilized in food operation should be properly cleaned of food scraps, areas behind equipment and appliances must be properly swept and washed down, grease must be removed and the area thoroughly cleaned to decrease the chances of attracting flies and other pests to the area.

Proper Waste Management is essential. Removing waste from a building on a daily basis is critical as flies can breed in decomposing food products and food scraps and other garbage attracts rodents to the area. Utilizing tight sealing lids to garbage receptacles and removing garbage regularly, no less than daily, from a building is essential to reducing the risk of pests.

Protect not only food but also eating utensils. Fly-proof containers, tightly sealing doors on cabinets and drawers, fly nets and plastic wrap should all be utilized to ensure that flies do not land on surfaces that can harm humans.

Food safety is an important public health initiative. Educate your accounts on how they can protect their food products from flies and other pests.

Take Your Brand Image to the Next Level with Private Labeling

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It’s always a good exercise to take a step back and look at your business. Whether you are trying to become a million dollar per year operation or break into the Top 100 pest control firms in the country, it is important to know whether or not your business is properly positioned in the marketplace to achieve your set goals.  Brand Image or how your current and potential customers view your company or brand is vital to your success and goal achievement. A few things that affect your brand image in the marketplace include:

  • Marketing Materials. They may invoke a casual, laid back feeling or an elite style that says you cater to higher end clients. Regardless of what you say be sure your materials all follow a cohesive, polished look and feel.
  • Internet Presence. Perhaps you have a spokesperson that you feature online to answer customer concerns or have the leading pest library on the web, be sure your website caters to your customer base and is a resource for them to turn to when they have a pest problem.
  • Customer Service Experience. When a client calls, how your technicians present themselves or offering online chat are all ways you can communicate to your client base that service is a high priority at your company.

But there is yet another way to communicate brand image and one that can help create a perception that your firm is innovative, offers high quality products and services and commands market share…. Private Labeling.

Private labeling is the practice of a product being manufactured by one company for offer under another company’s brand. It has become a popular practice here in the U.S. for many years and is a growing trend here in the U.S. as well as in other countries. When buyers perceive value and quality by a brand they tend to trust that brand more. When your glue boards, mouse and rat traps and insect monitors carry your brand name it leaves your footprint behind in every account that you service. These free business cards go everywhere your technicians go and say these firms trust me, shouldn’t you? Private label products are no longer something that only national brands can acquire. Now any size firm has the power to create their own line of branded glue boards or customized traps. PMPs can add text, upload their logo and communicate your key messaging all with a few clicks on your computer.

As you set out to achieve your goals this year consider how private label glue boards and traps can help you get there. Improve your sales opportunities, leave your mark behind in every account that you service and impress your clients with your private labeled products. Let your professionalism, innovation and value show through in the monitors and traps that you leave behind in your client’s locations and watch your bottom line soar.

14 Problems Only A Pest Professional Would Understand

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! In fact someone has probably always had to do it. Some pests existed long before man first set foot on the planet. They thrive in our environment, feeding off our waste and finding shelter in our homes.

As a pest professional, you’re already well aware of what it takes to get the job done; you’ve got the knowledge, the training and the equipment to keep the vermin at bay. So you know that some clients can be as difficult to manage as the pests.

The public can be a strange bunch. Sometimes it’s a wonder anyone chooses to work in a public-facing role, yet here you are, smile on your face and tools in hand, ready to rid them of any unwanted guests and return peace and harmony back into the home.

And so, here’s to you pest professionals, problems only you would understand…

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1. The client says, “We only have one mouse.”

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You can tell just by looking at the piles of dishes in the sink, the food left on the counter and the mass of mice droppings at the back of the kitchen cupboard: There is more than one mouse!

2. You go out for a meal and find yourself surveying the restaurant for signs of pest activity prior to ordering. 

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The average person will never know what goes on behind the scenes in a restaurant. And thank goodness for that, the restaurant business would never be the same.  Eat at home forever? Or push to the thoughts to the back of your mind and soldier on?

3. The voice at the other end of the phone expects free advice on a pest related issue, but won’t commit to booking an appointment or using your services. 

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Yes, they think you have no idea they’re going to try and solve the problem, on their own, using your knowledge. Well played, Mr. Homeowner, well played.

4. Homeowner doubts your findings, “We can’t have fleas! Our house is too clean!”

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No one wants to admit their home is infested, or worse yet, that it may be their fault.  We’re not surprised when a homeowner feels insulted when we break the news of an infestation. Don’t kill the messenger!

5. You indirectly become a marriage counselor. 

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You are first to admit, you’re no Dr. Phil! So when the conversation moves to whose fault it is that they have a pest problem, you know just what to do … GET OUTTA DODGE!

 6. You know a DIY’er when you see one!

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He greets you at the door with bites, bandages or advice of what not to do to control his infestation. You slightly grin and certainly don’t ask. Hey, you’re a DIY weekend warrior yourself at times.

7. You’re met with disappointed faces at the mention of a repeat visit.  

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Hey, you’re no Superhero, no matter what they say. But completely eliminate bed bugs in just one visit? That’s just not realistic.

8. You’re asked if you can humanely release the mice outside. 

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You applaud their sensitivity for the little critters. But rodents pose a slew of health and even fire hazards and WILL make their way back into the home if released.

9. You’re instructed to come in an ‘unmarkedvan. 

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What is this? Are we planning a bank heist? No, they just don’t want the neighbors to know they have a pest problem. It’s an everyday struggle to change the way people look at pest management. It truly is a sign of a clean, well-kept home!

10. The Homeowner wants you out there NOW! There’s a mouse in the house! 

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It’s Saturday night at 11:20pm and the phone rings. How do you explain to the homeowner that a mouse sighting is not a Saturday night emergency visit??

11. Homeowner wants to negotiate. 

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It seems that no one wants to pay for anything these days. But many homeowners don’t realize the overhead, insurance, salaries and more that you have to account for in your business. In fact, you’re beginning to think your services are actually a bargain!

12. Your friends are always looking for advice. 

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There’s one person at every social outing and family function taking you aside and asking you ‘how do I handle the (fill in the blank) infestation in my house’.  We feel your pain.

13. You have a laundry list of nicknames like Bug Man, The exTerminator, Bug Killer and more. 

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Little does everyone know that your job goes well beyond bugs. You also specialize in accounting, marketing, sales, social media, finance, logistics, fleet management, people management, software management, inventory management, entomology, chemistry AND more!

14. We really are nothing like our reality TV show counterparts. 

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‘Billy the Exterminator’ is fun to watch but it’s not exactly how your average pest professional spends their day. There’s a reason why these guys are on TV.

 

While there are many day to day problems encountered by a pest management professional we truly admire those who work in the industry. So, here’s to all of the professionals out there that manage pest infestations daily to protect the health and property of their customers. We salute you!

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YOUR-LOGO-HERE-Glue-BoardMake Your Pest Services Stand Out from the Crowd!

The internet has really changed the way businesses promote themselves these days. But one traditional form of marketing that remains popular until this very day is: the promotional item. Call it whatever you may the tchotchke, the freebie, the giveaway, it’s something that folks still want. At trade shows, after a sales call or free estimate, most everyone loves that free gift meant to remind the potential customer of the seller’s business.

How are you using promotional products to differentiate yourself and your business? Will the pen, calendar or perhaps letter opener do enough to remind your prospect to call you? Or, will it hit the trash can the minute you disappear from the account? Perhaps in the past you have focused on the usefulness of the item you are giving away. But have you ever tried to giveaway an item that your prospect will use when making decisions about your service?

Imagine handing over to your prospect some glue boards or even a snap trap with your company name and contact information on it. Surely, something of this nature will not be tossed into the trash. Instead, most folks are more apt to store an item of this nature until a problem arises. The very utilitarian nature of a glue board or trap almost assures that the item will be put to good use! What better scenario could you ask for than to have a prospect discover a possible mouse or pest invasion, pull out a glue board or trap to attempt to confirm their suspicions and be reminded of your company?

Beyond giving away a unique promotional item that your prospect will remember your company by, handing out a snap trap or glue board is a conversation piece. Explain to your prospect how to properly bait or set a snap trap, how your service is different than your competitors or perhaps how you have been successful managing rodents or pests in accounts similar to those. With glue boards you could easily talk about how important monitoring is. The conversation can lead to proactive pest control versus reactive.

As we head into the rodent season consider how this timely and certainly unique giveaway can make your company stand out from the crowd. Learn more about private label snap traps and glue boards by contacting your local Catchmaster Sales Representatives.

Getting Creative with Commercial Fly Control

CommercialKitchenwCatchM logoFly control can be a tricky business. But we don’t have to tell you that. As protectors of public health and business reputations there is a lot at stake and a lot of moving parts to manage in a good fly control program. So how do you manage flying insects in an environment perfectly conducive to breeding these pests? And, do so in a discreet manner? We know you have a lot of tools in your pest management tool box to do just that but we believe that until now there has been a gap in fly control.

How are you currently managing fly breeding hotspots, outbreaks and those hard to treat areas in your commercial accounts?

We have a new tool we are excited to share. One that we believe has been missing in the commercial environment. The SilenTrap™ Flying Insect Trap is a freestanding, plug-in flying insect trap. It’s perfect for knocking down those outbreaks and hot spots in your commercial accounts. It has a discreet and lightweight design allowing it to be easily moved from one location to another.

The SilenTrap™ allows you to control flies in those unique areas that a full-size ILT just won’t fit or isn’t needed for the long-term. There is no bug zapping and therefore no unsanitary clean-up around the unit. Instead, the unit attracts flying pests with its light and then captures them on the glueboard. It was thoughtfully designed to contain any flies that may inadvertently fall of the glueboard. The treatment options are limitless but here are a few ways that the SilenTrap™ can allow you to be creative in controlling flying insects in your commercial accounts:

• For areas where an ILT just won’t fit consider placing the SilenTrap™ near ice machines or floor drains. It fits easily on counters and most surfaces and can be moved around as needed.
• Consider using in areas that may not be well-cleaned or can be difficult to clean such as gaps in or around coolers, drink dispensers, machinery and kitchen equipment.
• The SilenTrap™’s discreet design allows for use on bars, on countertops and other public places where hanging an ILT isn’t possible.
• If you are unsure of the species of fly causing the infestation consider how the SilenTrap™ can assist you in preserving the fly for easy identification.
• Place the units at a height between 6 and 8 feet off of the ground, where flies are most often found.
• Recommend that the client turn out lights after business hours and leave the SilenTrap™ plugged in around outbreaks or fly-prone areas.

As you can see there are many unique and creative uses for this freestanding fly trap. We hope you will consider making it a part of your fly management program. To learn more about the SilenTrap™ visit us online today.

Creating an Effective, Profitable Stink Bug Program with Immediate Results

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Well the predictions were wrong and the invasive pest from Asia, the stink bug, did not freeze to death during this past winter’s polar vortex. We bet you have mixed feelings about that! We understand just how frustrating stink bug work can be for a pest professional. You communicate time and again how important a timely outdoor spray is to control indoor stink bug populations and yet nobody seems to hear you. Homeowners don’t seem to pick up the phone until stink bugs are falling off of their ceilings and onto their dinner tables in the spring. Then they call you to treat the problem and you have to sell them a program that they probably won’t see the benefits of until next spring when they see less stink bugs inside of their home. It’s just not an easy sell and many pest professionals have felt that their hands were tied with treatment options to put to use inside of homes for stink bugs.

Now you can stop selling a treatment program that your home or business owners won’t see the benefits of until the following season. You can complement your current program with a couple of indoor products that will help you achieve immediate results. The Catchmaster® GLOstik™ combo can be used in the attics or top floors of your client’s structure, place them on the south and west sides, which is where stink bugs are known to enter. One of the most exciting features of the GLOstik™ is you can use it in areas where there is no outlet! The light attracts stink bugs to the trap and the glue ensures that they stay there for good.

You can also offer control for stink bugs that are already in the living areas of your client’s homes! Our SilenTrap™ Flying Insect Trap is small light and decorative enough to be used within a room where stink bugs are present. The light can be simply placed on a tabletop or even hung in the room if space allows. There is no annoying zap sounds or an unhygienic mess like that found with other traps on the market. The SilenTrap™ is perfect for indoor use in a residential or business setting.

Now you CAN offer indoor stink bug control for those active infestations inside of homes and businesses with these two innovative products. What makes them even better is your clients will love that they catch not only stink bugs but other flying insects as well! Learn more about the Catchmaster® GLOstick™ and SilenTrap™, visit us online today.

 

Creating an Effective and Profitable Bed Bug Business

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Bed bugs, they’re in the news daily. Homeowners, apartment dwellers, landlords, hotel general managers, it seems just about everyone has questions and concerns about bed bugs these days. Perhaps you get a few bed bug calls but are you wondering how you can really make your bed bug business soar this year?

As you already know, detecting a bed bug infestation early is the key to quickly and successfully controlling this difficult to treat pest. The problem is, most times, you are called in only after an infestation is wide spread, making the treatment long and difficult. So how do you reach your current customers and attract new ones to take your bed bug business to new heights?

The following strategies will help to attract new customers to your pest management business and detect bed bugs early on in your existing accounts:

  1. Become a Bed Bug Expert. Awareness of bed bugs is high among homeowners, travelers, apartment dwellers, landlords and even business owners. However, true understanding of what bed bugs look like, how a home or business owner can protect oneself and the importance of early detection is not so well known. Educate every customer you have about the importance of monitoring and early detection when it comes to bed bugs. Utilize a blog, social media and email marketing to attract new clients to your business. By offering online education about bed bugs you are building a relationship with a potential client, they begin to see you as an authority. This trust moves them along in the sales process and keeps you top of mind when they decide to call in a professional. Consider using an informational piece like this Monitoring Infographic that educates folks on the importance of Monitoring for Bed Bugs.

2. Offer Bed Bug Detection Services. Consider offering detection services to those clients who  fall into the high-risk category such as: those living in multi-unit housing, frequent travelers,    anyone with a previous bed bug infestation, households with children who attend boarding        schools or sleep away at college and then return home or anyone who has concerns over a          bed bug infestation. Monitoring for bed bugs in the same way you monitor a quarterly account        for common household pests will allow you to uncover a bed bug problem early and offer quick      control.

Make this the year that you take your bed bug business to new heights. Incorporate education into your marketing strategy to attract new business and promote a bed bug detection service offering to uncover infestations early with your current clients. Awareness and concern about bed bugs is stronger than ever, ensure that your business is well-positioned to attract new customers and offer them services that they find useful.

Why Everyone Should Be Monitoring for Bed Bugs

Download this Infographic and Share with your Customers

Monitoring for Bed Bugs

The Secret EVERY PMP Should Know About Baiting for Mice and Rats

 

Catchmaster_TECH TIP_Cotton Whisp_602PE TrapGot a tough rodent infested account that you are struggling with? We know the feeling, we’re from New York, home of the roughest, toughest, and we will even say smartest rodents around! If the peanut butter, snickers, bacon or bait just isn’t cutting it inside your account, then you came to the right place. Our sales force goes out and gets dirty! From the underground of the NYC subways to suburban homes plagued by rodents from our harsh winter, they have seen it all. And, they have a secret to share about baiting for rats and mice.

For time savings and a lasting bait for your toughest accounts try this special rodent bait recipe:

  1. Females are always searching for nesting materials. Cotton balls or small pieces of thread or twine will do the job.
  2. Add a fragrant attractant such as bacon grease, anchovy paste or vanilla extract to the cotton (you are now appealing to both sexes).
  3. Pre-load your rat and mouse snap traps with the scented cotton whisps placed under the “C” on the trap trigger.
  4. Voila! You have a new, varied and unusual bait to try which could mean the difference between success and failure!

For more tips specially for the Pros on solving your toughest rodent infestations follow us Facebook or Twitter.

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