Monthly Archives

December 2019

5 New Year’s Pest-O-Lutions

By | Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

5 Pest Control Business Resolutions for the New Year

A new year offers business owners the perfect opportunity for a fresh start, especially if you make some pest control business resolutions. Being a pest professional likely means the start of that New Year coincides with your off-season, allowing you even more of a chance to take stock of your business and develop a plan.   So, go ahead and make some business resolutions, or as we like to call them, “Pest-O-Lutions”, this year.

Having goals written down on paper, shared with your employees and posted in a place all can see can set your entire team on course for success in the business year ahead. Consider the following 5 Pest-O-Lutions for your business…

  1. Make the most of the winter pest service & indoor inspection

Winter is a time when many of your customers may question the need for your services. Remind them of your value as you step inside of their home to monitor. While you may dread the extra work of scheduling an indoor inspection make the most of this opportunity to enter your account and interact with the customer.  Glue boards can be your best friend to help monitor and prevent rodents, spiders and overwintering pests from becoming a problem in the customer’s main living space.

Pest Control Business Resolutions - Inspection

  1.  Utilize products made for the space

When it comes to pest products, one size certainly doesn’t fit all.  The Catchmaster® brand takes a science-based approach to create product lines specific for rodent, insects and mosquitoes. We like to call it Intelligent Pest Management.  We have even gone so far as to create products made especially for colder climates like the Cold Temperature Rodent Tray, the ONLY low-temp glue trap on the market, and our Catch Zone™ Pest Boundary Roll made specifically for those larger areas that you might encounter in places like warehouses, storage facilities and super markets.

  1. Increase your marketing efforts

Social media is a great and inexpensive way to connect with your target audience. Posts with engaging graphics are proven to perform well. Generating graphics may be a daunting first step but we have your back. Our team has put together a library of fun and eye-catching designs specifically for sharing on social media.  You can find them at https://catchmasterpro.com/social-media-assets/. So go ahead and share away with your audience for free impressions of your business.

  1. Maximize your brand potential

There have never been more options for creating marketing collateral.  And some options for pest management professionals are both economical and strategic. For example, customizing your own brand of glue boards offers you endless marketing opportunities. Hand them out at home tradeshows or street fairs in towns you’re targeting, when homeowners get a ‘catch’ they’ll have your number handy to call for back-up. Having custom branded glue boards in your large commercial accounts gives a great impression of a company that has their act together.  Learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/digital-custom-glue-board/

  1. Commit to your pest control business resolutions and grow!

Have you resolved to make this the year you will take your business to the next level? Adding a new service offering is a great way to expand your business. Mosquito services are a hot topic this year. Don’t ignore the opportunity that exists with the diamonds in your backyard – your already existing customer base. If you don’t already offer mosquito services, imagine the growth potential for your business if you can convert just a percentage of your existing base into mosquito customers as well. Learn more about our mosquito management tools.

Pest Control Business Resolutions - Fun Facts

We hope our Business Pest-O-Lutions have inspired you to write down some goals for yourself and your business this New Year. Wishing you and your team much success in the new year and beyond.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Pest Control Business Resolutions – Additional Resources

Get more great content like this in your inbox – sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about our insect glue boards and monitors here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Get 16 great marketing tips from our friends at Hubspot here: https://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/inbound-marketing-tips

 

Alternate Baits for Rodents

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | 6 Comments

Alternate Bait Options for Rodents

The baits you use to trap rodents can have a significant impact on your catch rate and a thorough knowledge of alternate rodent baits will help.  Fortunately, there are plenty of baits you have at your disposal.  In fact, you may find some surprising ones on the list below.  But, first, some general rodent bait tips.

8 Tips for Using Rodent Baits

  1. Rodents are fickle creatures. Alternate not only the baits you use but also where you place the traps if you are not having success.
  2. When it comes to traps, the more the merrier.  Indeed, placing several traps spread out will increase your likelihood of a catch.
  3. When it comes to bait amount, less is probably more. You should use just enough to fill the bait containers on snap and wooden traps.  This is usually about ½ gram – the size of a kidney bean.  Adding too much bait may actually hurt the performance of the trap.
  4. If you are using a glue trap chances are it is already pre-scented. If you do use baits with glue boards be sure to avoid oily substances like peanut butter that might impact glue performance.
  5. Let the rodents smell the bait, not you. Rodents can smell your scent well after you have touched a trap.  As a result, use gloves when setting a trap.
  6. Leave some bait on the trap before you set it.  Rodents are cautious, baiting before you set the trap will allow them to get used to the trap in their environment.  Once they are accustomed to taking the bait they are far more likely to return once the trap is set.
  7. Stop the rodents before you even have to trap. First, do a thorough inspection of your property and then be sure to seal up any holes like cracks in foundations or gaps in door stops.  An adult mouse only needs a hole the size of a dime to get inside your house.
  8. If baits aren’t working consider creating a “Hansel and Gretel” trail leading up to your trap (props to Joey Starr for the tip!)

Alternate Rodent Baits - Fun Facts

The Not-So-Complete List of Alternate Rodent Baits

Full disclosure – this list is in no way meant to be complete.  Furthermore, different baits work for different people in different locations.  Do you have a bait that isn’t on this list?  Without a doubt, we would love to hear in the contents below.

Protein-based Baits

  1. Peanut butter (consider possible repercussions of this allergen first)
  2. Soy butter (could be an effective alternative to peanut butter, thank you to Chris Morin from Fusion Pest Management for the tip!)
  3. Beef jerky (like Slim Jim, can be cut into smaller parts, remember, you don’t need a lot.  Thanks to Myron Ritter and John Cunningham from Stark Exterminators for the tip!)
  4. Bacon
  5. Seeds
  6. Thin slices of hot dogs or sausage
  7. Nuts (Nuts should only be use sparingly & perhaps should be steered clear of altogether, particularly in areas like food processing plants – thanks to Dale Hodgson for the tip!)
  8. Snails or slugs
  9. Pet food
  10. Rodent droppings
  11. Bacon bits (added by Sean Wineberg)
  12. Provoke professional gel by Bell Labs (added by Matthew Blair – for an extra boost consider Provoke +  chocolate fudge pudding, tip from Manuel Varela)
  13. Beef grease, like the drippings from a steak, good for hard and unusual situations (thanks again to Chris Morin from Fusion Pest Management!)
  14. Granola (submitted by Junior Delacruz)
  15. Cheese (although it may be, according to Jay Lee from Pirate Pest Control “only used to catch cartoon mice” if you are out of alternatives the smellier and softer the better)
  16. Sunflower Seeds (props to Michael James Burks from B6 Pest Supply)
  17. Hot Sauce (thank you to Edward Cosgrove from Hearts Pest Management)

Sweet Baits

  1. Marshmallows
  2. Gum Drops
  3. Chocolate
  4. Dried fruit
  5. Berries
  6. Nutella (shout out to Lawrence Plecha from Biotec Pest for the tip!)
  7. Honey or molasses
  8. Cereal
  9. Maple syrup
  10. Molasses
  11. Jelly (added by Mark Whorton)
  12. Liquorice jelly sweets with a sprinkling of oats around the trap and a spritz of aniseed oil spray to take away any human scent (awesome tip and instructions added by Hugh Radford from Guardian Pest Control – thanks, Hugh!)
  13. Tootsie rolls (added by Scott Palatnik)
  14. PayDay candy bars (submitted by Michael James Burks from B6 Pest Supply)
  15. Reese’s peanut butter cup
  16. Starburst (last 2 courtesy of Gary Johnson from Buzzkill Pest Control)

One area to consider if you aren’t have any luck with food-based baits – nesting material!  Just as rodents will seek out food for energy they will also seek out materials for home, particularly females.

Nest Material Alternate Rodent Baits

  1. Cotton balls (to “sweeten” the deal add some vanilla extract – thank you to George Mccutchen, Timothy from Assured Environments & Gary Johnson from Buzzkill Pest Control for the tip!)
  2. Shredded paper towels
  3. Fabric scraps
  4. Dental floss
  5. Yarn
  6. Twine
  7. Cardboard
  8. Packaging materials
  9. Straw
  10. Pillow batting
  11. A shiny dime (submitted by Jerry Vallejos)

Don’t Forget to Alternate

Hopefully the first bait you choose gets the job done but, remember, if your chosen bait isn’t working try something else.  There’s a reason there are so many options!

Did we miss your go-to bait?  Let us know in the comments!

Additional Resources – Alternate Rodent Baits

First, get more great content like this in your inbox – sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Next, learn more about our rodent management tools here: https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/rodent-management-tools/

Finally, learn more about your pest management professional options from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

Mosquito Management 2019 Review

By | Mosquitoes | No Comments

Oh! What a Year it has been in Mosquito Management!  What did we Learn?

2019 was a very unusual year for mosquito management and mosquito-transmitted in the United States.  The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported the information below as of the first week of December.

2019 Disease prevalence

For the past two years, there have been no locally transmitted cases of Zika virus reported in the US.  The yearly average since 1999 has been about 2,500 cases.  Conversely, we had a frightening year with Eastern equine encephalitis.  Normally, the US averages about 7 cases per year but in 2019, there were 37 cases and 15 deaths.  Cases occurred in 9 states, with Massachusetts leading the way with 12.

Also, there were 14 locally acquired cases of dengue; 12 of these in Florida, 1 in North Carolina, and 1 questionable case in the District of Columbia.  The local cases in Florida are not surprising, as a whopping 32% (321) of the travel-related cases occurred there!

Mosquito Management - Fun Facts

So, what can we learn from this – 3 lessons learned from mosquito Season 2019

  1. The threat from mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States is very real.
  2. The threat varies each year geographically as well as by disease and by type of mosquito.
  3. Diseases that have not occurred in an area for several years can suddenly reappear, bringing significant morbidity and mortality.

Remain vigilant, especially if you are traveling to warmer climates (either within or outside the United States) over the holiday season and beyond.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services.  Learn more about Stan here:  https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Mosquito Management – Additional Resources

Get more great content like this in your inbox – sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

For help with mosquito season 2020 & beyond, discover Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/final-feed-mosquito-bait/

Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

Holiday Rodent Inspection Tips

By | Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Don’t give rodents a home for the holidays – arm yourself with some holiday rodent inspection tips.

Holiday decorations, whether you are getting them out or putting them up, provide a great opportunity to check less-traveled spots for signs of rodents.

Why do rodents visit during the holidays?

Rodents invade our areas searching for the same things we do – food, warmth and shelter.  In addition, they prefer undisturbed areas like attics, closets and crawl spaces.  Undoubtedly, your holiday decorations are stored in a similar spot.  Utilize your time in storage to deploy these holiday rodent inspection tips.

Holiday Home Rodent Inspection

4 signs of rodents to look for during the holidays

  1. Droppings – A mice infestation is often accompanied by droppings. Mice droppings are typically one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch long with pointed ends. Larger problems, like Norway rats, have larger droppings with blunt ends.
  2. Strong odors – attics, basements and storage areas have distinct smells. Mice see poorly but use urine to mark their territories and navigate new surroundings. The urine leaves behind an undeniable scent that smells like ammonia.
  3. Gnaw marks – rodent’s teeth never stop growing and they gnaw in order to keep their teeth at a comfortable length. An often-overlooked sign of a rodent infestation is gnaw marks or shavings found on or around baseboards, doors or cardboard storage containers.
  4. Tracks or rub markets – mice do not see well and hug the walls during travel. Eventually they will memorize the route creating a “marked trail”, the result of body oil and dirt being rubbed against walls or baseboards. A strong flashlight may help you to uncover these rodent markings in the attic or basement.

After inspecting your home talk to a pest management professional about year-round monitoring with the Catchmaster® brand.  Monitoring is a sure way to get ahead of pest infestations.  In addition, monitoring is an important part of an integrated pest management program.

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/

Additional resources – holiday rodent inspection tips

Get more great content like this in your inbox – sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about our insect glue boards and monitors here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Get more winter pest tips from the experts at Redfin here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/winter-pest-control-expert-tips

Learn more about your pest management professional options from the National Pest Management Association here: https://npmapestworld.org/

 

The Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees

By | spotted lanternfly | No Comments

Should You Heed the Warnings and Opt for An Artificial Christmas Tree This Year?

There is nothing like the scent and look of a real Christmas tree.  This year, however, one pest threatens to dampen the tradition.  The spotted lanternfly is being a true grinch.  These tree-gobbling pests have led some to wonder about the threat of mixing the spotted lanternfly and Christmas trees.  Could it be possible that trees will bring this pest indoors?

The Spotted Lanternfly & Christmas Trees – A Background

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest that poses a significant threat to our agriculture.  Crops threatened  include grapes, apples and hops.  In addition, the pest can cause significant damage to a wide variety of tree species.

Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees - Map

The Spotted Lanternfly has spread throughout much of the northeastern part of the United States. Homeowners are on alert, following advice to squish the pest when they see them and reporting them to the Department of Agriculture to help track their spread. With this in mind and Christmas season quickly approaching some news reports are warning consumers to steer clear of real trees this year.

But, do spotted lanternfly typically infest Christmas tree varieties? According to Penn State Extension experts, the good news for live tree fans is that “Christmas trees are not a preferred host for spotted lanternfly”.

Many experts agree that while they do not typically infest this type of tree it is always a good idea to inspect a live tree for pests before bringing it into your home. Our blog on ‘How to spot a spotted lanternfly infestation’ can help you to understand what to look for when inspecting a tree.

Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees - Infestation

To be extra cautious you may inquire as to where the live tree originated from. According to the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association, Christmas trees grown in New Jersey are completely safe to buy according to one NJ.com report.  Doing research prior to purchasing and inquiring from sellers about where the tree was grown certainly cannot hurt.

So, go ahead and bring that live tree home this year. We hope the tips above help ensure your holiday remains pest-free and enjoyable.

Additional Resources

Looking for help with the spotted lanternfly?  Consider tree-banding with our TB series glue: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/

Are you a PMP looking to get into the spotted lanternfly business?  Here are some helpful hints on getting started: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/spotted-lanternfly-control-services-101/

Learn more from Penn State University here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-management-for-homeowners

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/