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Top Rodent Control Target Markets

By | Pest Business, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations, Uncategorized | No Comments

Knowing the top rodent control target markets can give you a leg up on your competition. There is a great need for rodent management in both residential and commercial settings. As a pest management professional, consider the following target audiences for your non-toxic rodent management offerings.

Rodent Control Target Markets - Mouse

Top 5 Rodent Control Target Markets

  1. Residential, single family homes – single family homes with children or pets are an ideal target for rodent control services.  Although rodents infest homes in the city and suburbs, homes near wooded areas may be under more pressure from rodent infestations.
  2. Property Management – housing managers of apartment complexes, condo associations and homeowner associations are responsible for ensuring a pest-free environment for their tenants. Rodent management is ideal as to ensure the safety of children and pets who may inhabit some units.
  3. Education Facilities – such as child-care facilities and elementary schools, colleges and universities are required to follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) guidelines and use IPM rodent management techniques.
  4. Restaurants, Food Service & Food Processing Plants – rodent control is critical to restaurant operations. The food industry has very strict guidelines and no tolerance for rodents in their establishments. A rodent sighting in a restaurant can be extremely damaging to their reputation. Beyond that, rodents are dangerous pests known to carry food-borne pathogens and disease. Rodent management is critical to any restaurant and food establishment
  5. Warehouses – rodents can be very difficult to control in a large environment such as a warehouse but doing so is critically important in order to maintain a safe work environment for employees and ensure that products stored within the warehouse do not become contaminated from rodent pests.

Rodent Control Target Markets - Rat

Rodent control is important to many businesses but particularly to the one’s above. Keep these top rodent control target markets in mind as you develop your marketing materials!

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

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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 Season Arbovirus Update

By | Mosquitoes, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

In this 2020 mosquito season arbovirus update learn about the need to remain vigilant.

As Fall arrives in much of the United States and cooler temperatures prevail, there may be a tendency to minimize the threat posed by mosquitoes when in fact the opposite is true.  Several arthropod-borne viruses (known as ‘arboviruses’) transmitted by mosquitoes are still active. And the threat will continue until the first hard frost hits your area.

Mosquito Season Arbovirus Update - Map

2020 Arbovirus Update

At the time of this writing, there have been 49 cases of West Nile disease in humans in Miami, Florida.  Similarly, 26 cases of dengue fever in the upper Florida Keys.  Additionally, there have been 5 human cases of Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE), 4 in Massachusetts and 1 in Wisconsin. Two human cases of Jamestown Canyon virus have been reported in New Hampshire. Finally, there has been a death from St. Louis encephalitis in California.

The current COVID-19 mayhem has impacted our national ability to monitor for mosquito-transmitted viruses.  Many surveillance programs, particularly at the state health department level, have been compromised as personnel, resources and funding have been redirected (and justifiably so) toward the pandemic response.  Additionally, practices such as social distancing and self-quarantining have reduced bodies in the workplace, where folks would be testing mosquito pools for viruses, as well as on the road, where folks would normally be out collecting the mosquitoes for testing or just doing mosquito control.  Overall, this has somewhat reduced the normal amount of information and knowledge we would have regarding the risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases.

Therefore, CAPT Stan implores you to not let your guard down as the seasons start to change.  Please follow CDC’s guidelines at the link below to help protect you and your family.  Thank you.

https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services and blogs frequently on mosquitoes. In addition to his social media content you can find his blog archives here: https://catchmasterpro.com/?s=captain+stan

Mosquito Season Arbovirus Update – Additional Resources

Get our free mosquito management program guide when you sign up for our e-mail list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/mosquito-management-program/

Get more content like this daily when you follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catchmasterPRO/

Discover our full line of Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/mosquito-management-tools/

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

Post-COVID Pest Management Tips

By | Pest Business, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Navigate changing conditions with these Post-COVID pest management tips. Small businesses feel the impact of the pandemic, even six months in.  Pest control is an essential service but is still impacted via the customer base. Pest professionals report home and business owners suspended or reduced their contracts due to their own financial impacts. In other instances, concerned or immune-compromised clients refused indoor services.

Post-COVID Pest Management Tips - IPM

What are successful businesses concentrating focusing on in these times? Here are 3 tips that can help.

3 Post-COVID Pest Management Tips

  1. Businesses are being forced to digitize. To reduce or eliminate personal interaction, businesses must utilize technology like never before. From digital marketing to text and email communications with clients, businesses are feeling the impact. Those who already embraced technology are well ahead of the game while others are racing to catch up. Now more than ever technology can help your business to thrive in this new pandemic business climate. Lean on your software and marketing partners to take your business to the next level with technology.
  2. Capitalizing on commercial rodent work. Offices, hotels and restaurants sat vacant for months during quarantine.  As a result, rodent populations increased. The food source depletion prompted increased foraging ranges. Pest professionals are finding a high demand to control rodents, cockroaches, flies and more in this post-quarantine world. Ensure your business is ready to take on this demand and seek out commercial opportunities by communicating the on-going importance of pest control. This approach can work even when buildings stand vacant.
  3. Have safety policies in place and communicate them to your customer base. Safety takes on new meaning for pest control companies during a pandemic. Now is the time to put protocols in place when it comes to indoor pest services. Face masks, social distancing protocols and surveying your customer prior to service at the home or office are all things to be communicated. It ensures your customer is comfortable with your technicians in their home or place of business.

While these are trying times for businesses, they are also a time of opportunity. Stay positive and aggressive in your marketing efforts. Use this time to increase your business’ digital capabilities.

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

Additional Resources

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/

Catchmaster Pestimonial – ABES Pest Control

By | Pestimonials | No Comments

Catchmaster Pestimonial – ABES Pest Control

In this Catchmaster Pestimonial learn how company-branded insect monitors from Catchmaster are one of ABES Pest Control’s most effective marketing tools.

24/7 Business Cards

While Jeff King, president of ABES Pest Control, is an entomologist at heart, he’s also an accomplished businessman. That’s why this successful PMP with more than a quarter-century of industry experience appreciates it when an industry product supplier like Catchmaster not only offers a wide array of quality products, but also provides sales and marketing support.

King grew up on a small family farm in rural Indiana, pulling weeds and bailing hay for 50 cents an hour, before graduating high school and heading off to Ball State University to study business. Eager to expand his horizons, King left college after two years and joined the U.S. Air Force, studying meteorology before transferring to an entomology program, where he embarked on what would become his life’s work.

“I was stationed at Beale Air Force Base in the Sacramento Valley for four years where I learned about Pacific Coast termites, snakes and a number of other pests,” he said. “It was a great training ground for me.”

Catchmaster Pestimonial - ABES Pest Control - Stockroom

The Start of a Career in Pest Control

Following his military career, King returned to the “Hoosier State” in 1985 to join Pest Doctor Systems, rising through the ranks of the company to become part owner. Then, in 1999, he and wife Gena decided to venture out on their own, moving to Northern Kentucky to launch ABES Pest Control (Absolute Best Exterminating Service).

“We started from scratch and worked out of our house for several years,” Jeff says of those early days. “Now we have an office, several techs and a CSR, but we’re still maintaining that small, family business image that is dedicated to personal service and customer retention.”

Not surprisingly, a major reason for the company’s success is Jeff and Gena’s business acumen, which has allowed them to support a number of families and put two children through college. In fact, before deciding to relocate to Florence, Ky., home of ABES Pest Control, they did a demographic study of Boone County, which had grown in population by 50 percent between 1990 and 1999. “We knew it was growing rapidly and residents were going to need pest control,” Jeff says, “so it was the perfect place to start a pest control business at that time.”

Growth Supported by Suppliers

Another reason the company has grown so quickly is the support of product suppliers like Catchmaster. King describes the company’s insect monitors as “great advertising tools” that have “generated lots of compliments since I started using them two years ago.” Jeff says he uses the monitors liberally to assess insect pressure in both residential and commercial accounts. “You try to keep them discreet, but customers see the name of our company printed on the devices and it reminds them of our company on a daily basis,” he says.

Jeff also has found a creative, high-profile way to use the custom monitors, which he purchases by the pallet from longtime sales rep Dave Johnson, to promote his business. “I take them to networking meetings and I hand them out to my business colleagues,” he says. “There’s a small upcharge for purchasing the branded insect monitors in volume, but it’s well worth the investment. It’s like a glueboard business card!”

Catchmaster Pestimonial - ABES Pest Control - Product

While the year of COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone involved in the pest control industry, King says his business has weathered the storm thanks to a solid termite season, a steady increase in residential service calls, and a rebounding commercial market, the latter of which has been driven by the enhanced visibility of company-branded insect monitors. “We’ve been blessed,” he says.

Thank you to our friends at PCT Magazine (http://www.pctonline.com) for the article.

Catchmaster Pestimonial – Additional Resources

Get more content like this daily when you follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catchmasterPRO/

Sign up for our mailing list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/join-email/

Learn more about private label products from our sell sheet located here:  https://catchmasterpro.com/sell-sheets/

Check out additional Catchmaster Pestimonials here: https://catchmasterpro.com/?s=pestimonial

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

Top 5 Marketing Tactics for Your Rodent Service

By | Pest Business, Rodents, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

These top 5 marketing tactics for your rodent service can be vital to your success. Whether you are just starting out or perfecting your service, these 5 simple tips can help your business grow right now.

Top 5 Marketing Tactics for Your Rodent Service

Top 5 Marketing Tactics for Your Rodent Service - Knowledge

  1. Understand your market– Take a close look at the competitors in your area that are offering rodent services. Become familiar with your competitor’s service offerings and develop your own value proposition. Clearly explain why your service is more valuable to your clients.
  2. Advertise – What media does your target audience consume? In other words which websites do they visit or which magazines do they read for information? Where do they go to search for service providers? These are the places you will want to place advertisements for your services.
  3. Add Value – look for ways to offer value to your target audience.  Consider emailing them a rodent management eBook or a sample of private label glue boards branded with your logo. Include tips for placement to protect their home or business from rodents. Consider offering a free inspection service and follow-up with a rodent management plan to attack their problem.
  4. Focus on the customer experience – train your employees to go above and beyond with an account. Take time to talk with customers about ways they can reduce rodent activity on their property. Follow-up ensuring your service tactics are working. Finally, ask for a testimonial that you can use online and in your marketing pieces to help new customers feel confident in your services.
  5. Own the referral – once you have a happy customer don’t be afraid to ask for their referral and train your employees to do the same.  Offer the customer something of value, like a free treatment or percentage off their next service in exchange for their referral.  Remember, if you don’t ask the answer is always no!

Top 5 Marketing Tactics for Your Rodent Service - Referral

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

Additional Resources

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/

Tips for Retaining Mosquito Customers

By | Mosquitoes, Pest Business, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Keep your business strong through the end of the season with these 6 tips for retaining mosquito customers. As summer winds down and cooler temperatures arrive, your customers may not see as many mosquitoes and decide ‘hey, let’s save a few bucks and cancel that last mosquito service or two’.  This is a bad idea for a number of reasons and you and your team need to be able to explain why or you may lose revenue.

6 Tips for Retaining Mosquito Customers - Life Cycle

As the daylight grows shorter, mosquitoes prepare to enter something called ‘diapause’.  It is a very complicated and chemically sophisticated biological process.  Think of it as a resting stage, triggered by the environment, when bodily functions are shut down or greatly reduced.  They don’t quite go to sleep but almost!  Here are some talking points and tips to discuss with your customers.

6 Tips for Retaining Mosquito Customers

  1. Diapause is a mechanism that helps mosquito populations maintain a presence in an area and spread the next season.
  2. Even if a female mosquito has entered diapause, if the weather suddenly warms up in the fall, she may become active and seek a blood meal.
  3. Human pathogens, particularly viruses such as West Nile and Eastern equine encephalomyelitis, will overwinter in diapausing mosquitoes.
  4. Killing diapausing female mosquitoes will help reduce population numbers at the start of the next season.
  5. Overwintering harborages used by mosquitoes may be different than those used during the mosquito season. Examples are under sheds; in cellars, outbuildings, and crawlspaces; window wells; vents; and animal burrows.
  6. Finally, emphasize to your customers that your end-of-season service will specifically target these potential overwintering sites.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services and blogs frequently on mosquitoes. In addition to his social media content you can find his blog archives here: https://catchmasterpro.com/?s=captain+stan

Additional Resources

Get our free mosquito management program guide when you sign up for our e-mail list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/mosquito-management-program/

Get more content like this daily when you follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catchmasterPRO/

Discover our full line of Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/mosquito-management-tools/

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

Joe Conlon: The Man Behind the Myth Behind the Legend

By | Mosquitoes | No Comments

INTRODUCTION

It is highly likely that many of you know Joseph M Conlon only from his role as Technical Advisor for the American Mosquito Control Association, a job he held for 20 years and retired from June 30th of this year. Others have known and loved Joe for his many outstanding presentations at our meetings, for his sense of humor, for his dedication to our profession and much more. But how did Joe get to where he is today? What and who influenced him? What chances did he take and what decisions did he make that resulted in such a successful career? And what were some of the more interesting, entertaining or instructional events along the way? Let’s take a look and see what we can learn from his experiences.

Joe was born and raised just south of Cleveland, Ohio, where his family lived on a 2.5 acre lot surrounded on three sides by miles of woodlands. He was the third of four boys and had no sisters. As a youngster, he loved spending time outdoors – and his parents probably loved it too! – flipping over rocks and logs to see what secrets they might reveal. This was the genesis of his interest in insects and other creatures.

‘YOU’RE IN THE ARMY NOW’ AND SO WAS SERENDIPITY

Joe Conlon - Army 1
Army Specialist 4 Joe Conlon official photo, after being named Third Corps and Fort Hood Soldier of the Year in 1975. The Meritorious Service Medal was awarded later for service during Operation New Life at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

After high school, Joe enrolled at the University of Dayton, which didn’t agree with him, so he decided to look elsewhere. He needed money and his best friend had joined the Army a year earlier, so Joe sold his car and most of his clothes and presented himself at the enlistment center. He intended to be a Psychology Specialist, but fate intervened, as the Army schools for that MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) wouldn’t open for 6 months. Still committed to signing up, Joe then perused a book describing various MOSs and the words ‘Preventive Medicine Specialist’ caught his eye, the duties of which included knowledge of snakes and insects. ‘Sign me up!’ This was 1974.

After completing Basic Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, Joe attended Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. At his permanent duty station in Fort Hood, Texas, Joe was assigned to the Division Surgeon’s Office of the Second Armored Division – the famed “Hell on Wheels.” In 1975, as an E-4 (Junior Enlisted Army Specialist), he was designated the Chief Preventive Medicine NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) of a field hospital deployed to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas to support the relocation of 50,000 Vietnamese refugees. He was in charge of all base preventive medicine activities and had 7 senior enlisted working for him – quite a responsibility for someone so junior in rank!

Joe’s performance led to being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) by Major General George Patton IV, the son of THE General Patton, who when presenting said to Joe, “You must have done something very special, son. I’ve never awarded one of these to any enlisted less than an E-8.”  Joe was the most junior person in the entire Department of Defense awarded the MSM that year and was also designated the ‘Soldier of the Year’ for the Fifth Army.

Joe Conlon - Image 2
SP4 Conlon (on right) receiving watch for being named Second Armored Division Soldier of the Year in 1975.

Joe Conlon - Image 3
Check received for being named Third Corps and Fort Hood Soldier of the Year in 1975. Upon being named 5th Army Soldier of the Year, Conlon received an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii to attend the opening of the Hale Koa armed services resort on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu in 1975.

GRADUATE SCHOOL: THE LIGHT COMES ON

After discharge from the Army, Joe attended Cleveland State University as an Environmental Health Major, taking courses that would easily transfer. While visiting Bowling Green State University, Joe stopped into the Biology Department and noticed they had a BS degree program in Parasitology and Medical Entomology. He signed up and completed the degree requirements in 1.5 years, then enrolled in the Master of Science program in the same department.

Joe’s epiphany came when he participated in a symposium on ‘How Insects Have Affected Human History.’ He was assigned to present a 10-page paper on Epidemic Typhus but instead drafted a 67-page treatise! He was hooked.

During graduate school, Joe served as Director for Wood County (Ohio) mosquito control services. Oh, and he was also the only employee! I wonder how the weekly staff meetings went.  Appropriately, this county is named for Captain Eleazer Derby Wood, US Army, who served alongside General William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812. Joe’s tools of the trade were a truck, scooter, Flit-MLO (a refined petroleum oil used as a larvicide and pupacide), pyrethrum Tossits and ULV malathion. Finding a huge number of Aedes vexans larvae in a grassland pool, nuking them, and watching them succumb endeared Joe to mosquito control for life.

AND THEN…THE NAVY: SERENDIPITY, THE SEQUEL

After finishing his master’s degree, Joe hoped to continue his education with a famous acarologist at the National University of Ireland – he really just wanted to play the Irish golf courses! – but that did not work out. And what good fortune for the United States Navy! In the meantime, his wife Diane was doing some virology research. Her major professor was a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserves and in the course of conversation, the professor asked Joe if he had thought about becoming a military entomologist. Joe knew nothing about this potential career field.

He went to see the military recruiter in Bowling Green, who happened to be from the Navy. There was no Army recruiter in the office. His academic record was impeccable, his prior Army performance was sterling, he knew how to kill six-legged things and he needed a job. “Sign right here, Son!” And the rest, as they say, is history. Among many other things, Joe’s Navy experience emphasized for him the profound effects that mosquito-borne disease has on populations and economies around the globe.

Joe Conlon - Image 4
Lieutenant Junior Grade (o-2) Joe Conlon graduates from Naval Education and Training Command, Newport, Rhode Island, 1982.

That is a brief look at Joe’s beginnings and career track. More importantly, let’s now examine how and when he developed some of the many skills and abilities that have served him so well.

SENSE OF HUMOR AND SINGING VOICE

Joe’s sense of humor is, well, unique! His jokes and folksy expressions – none of which can be told here – are funny, no matter how many times you hear them. This great gift came from Joe’s father, Francis Patrick Conlon (known as ‘Red’), who hailed from a small village in County Fermanagh, Ireland. Joe learned early on in his career the value of lacing his training sessions and public speaking with humor, but more on that later.

Joe’s grandmother, who spoke with a thick Irish brogue, was an indentured servant in Northern Ireland and, according to Joe, ‘hilarious.’ She had a wealth of Irish sayings including this one: “You’ll get nothin’ the sooner for waitin’ awhile.” Right! I agree completely! Joe claims that this phrase actually makes sense, which is worrisome in itself.

And if you have never heard Joe sing ‘Danny Boy,’ your life experiences are incomplete. This is not surprising, as Joe’s father, an Irish tenor, sang on northern Ohio radio. At the tender age of 8, Joe performed as a soloist at his church for weddings and funerals, earning a few extra bucks. He did that until he was 14. Wow! Oh, also at age 8, he appeared on Romper Room to sing ‘On the Street Where You Live’ from My Fair Lady. So, early and often, Joe was performing in public, growing more and more comfortable in the limelight.

WRITING SKILLS

Joe’s writing skills are second to none, and his command of the English language is impeccable. This did not come easily, however. As a sophomore at St Ignatius High School in Cleveland, he was required to write a 125-page, double-spaced term paper on ‘My Philosophy of Life!’ Yep – 125 pages!  According to Joe, the Jesuits were big on writing skills. No kidding!

The first paper Joe wrote in graduate school was returned in a sea of red ink by his major professor, Dr C Lee Rockett (known as ‘The Rockettman’) which left Joe crushed. At St Ignatius, he had developed a rather florid writing style – wouldn’t this be necessary to fill 125 pages? – but The Rockettman would have none of it! Joe took this mentoring to heart and benefitted from it, requiring no edits on his master’s thesis, ‘The Ecology of the American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variablis (Say) in Northwest Ohio.’ Thank goodness he saw the light for mosquitoes! One regret of Joe’s: “Sometimes I wished I would have attained my doctorate, as it would have lent more credibility to my work as the face of the AMCA, but my heart wasn’t into research.”

He learned to get right to the key points, which served him well in his military career as well as during his tenure with AMCA. Just take a look at the many Position Papers, especially those for AMCA’s legislative efforts, that he has written over the years: powerful, succinct, highly readable and each no more than one page – which is the key to getting them read by busy Congressional staffers.

PUBLIC SPEAKING

Joe is one of the best public speakers you will ever hear. Period. Whether it is a technical presentation, a scientific oratory, a fascinating historical piece or a roast of AMCA’s Board of Directors, you can be sure Joe’s recipe will contain a base alloy of excellent content sprinkled with poignant stories, lessons learned and excellent slides, with humor folded in throughout.

But again, this skill did not come easily; it developed slowly over time through a series of experiences. While delivering a “boring” paper on his Master’s research at the Ohio Mosquito Control Association meeting, his first professional presentation, Joe, who admitted he was scared, looked up to see The Rockettman standing at the back of the room, feverishly slashing across his throat – the universal sign for ‘stop talking NOW!’ Joe kept right on talking, rambling incessantly. Many of us have had similar experiences.

Under what circumstances did Joe become the excellent speaker that he is today?

As a Medical Entomologist in the US Navy, Joe taught many classes on insects and their biology and control. These were often given to civilian pest control personnel who may have 25 years of experience or more, so you had better be able to entertain them or you will never educate them. Joe learned how to do that. Dr Andy Beck, a civilian training instructor for the Navy, taught Joe, and many other young Navy entomologists, “Don’t tell them what you know, tell them what they need to know.” That 13-word piece of advice has been Joe’s speaking creed ever since.

He attended many, many meetings and studied the speakers and presentations intently. Joe noted the positives and negatives, emulating the former and avoiding the latter in his own talks. That strategy seems to have worked out pretty well. Before Joe really became comfortable speaking at meetings, one of his fellow entomologists, who recognized his ability, would sign him up to speak without asking him first. This demonstrates, again, the old adage that sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission!

The defining public speaking event for Joe – at the AMCA 1992 annual meeting in Corpus Christi – was when he first gave his legendary talk on his experiences while deployed to the Middle East for Operations Desert Shield/Storm. In one of the most memorable moments of his professional career, professor of microbiology “Harvey Scudder told me that my presentation on Desert Shield … was the best talk he had ever heard.” The presentation was wildly successful, so much so that speaking requests poured in after that.

Sometimes at meetings, Joe would literally squirm in his seat if a speaker was violating any of ‘Conlon’s Tenets of Public Speaking.’ And this happens quite often. So, what did he do? He put together a great talk on ‘How NOT to Give A Presentation,’ and it was a highly educational and humorous effort. And in 2006 he published the information in Wing Beats: http://www.nmca.org/conlonwingbeats.pdf.

The confidence that Joe gained from these and subsequent speaking events gave him the panache, aplomb, and ability to speak without fear, on radio and television as well as testify before the United States Congress. It also helped that he was always prepared and knew going in that he was the expert.

VENOMOUS ANIMALS EXPERT

Joe Conlon - Image 5
Joe Conlon in the desert outside of Jubail, Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield in, 1990.

It may surprise you to know that Joe is a venomous animal expert of some repute. In 1976 while in the Army, he moonlighted at a serpentarium in San Marcos, Texas where on one occasion, he rescued a mother and her two children from a highly venomous snake known as the Cape cobra (Naja nivea) of near record length for the species. The creature somehow had escaped from its enclosure and had the family trapped in a corner of the viewing room! Holy reptiles, Batman! Joe sprang into action and during the fracas, suffered a near-fatal bite that required hospitalization, during which he had to be revived three times. For his actions, he was nominated for the Carnegie Medal for Heroism – the highest honor for civilian heroism in the United States and Canada. Not surprisingly, Joe declined the honor. Understandably, this incident had a lasting impact, as it demonstrated the power of Nature and imbued in Joe an appreciation for potentially lethal creatures that remains to this day.

About fifteen years later during Joe’s Navy career, he was sent to Operation Desert Shield (Google it, youngsters!) to provide, as Joe refers to it, “venomous critter oversight.” The US forces had heard tall tales about the snakes, camel spiders and ticks found in the Middle East, and there was much apprehension. Joe’s presence eased the angst to a great degree – and gained him material for one of the great presentations of all time – as he provided classes on venomous snakes and arthropods throughout the theater. In addition, because of his language skills, he translated a key to the scorpions of Saudi Arabia from the original French.

And resourceful? Joe’s middle name (not really!). No cameras were allowed many of the places Joe went, so he improvised by using a Kodak Instamatic camera that he clandestinely secured in his armpit whilst snapping away. Hey, come on! He needed the photos for his future presentations. As far as we know, the integrity and security of the mission was not compromised. The lesson here? Broaden your skill set and you will have many more opportunities in your professional career. Adventure awaits!

NEAR MISSES

By his own admission, Joe has no business being alive. During his tenure in the Navy, he was involved in two helicopter crashes, both of which should have been fatal. By the way, remember that helicopters don’t really fly – they just beat the air into submission!

The first accident was in the African country of Gabon while he was on a site survey for a field hospital. The aircraft fell onto a hut, the fuel tank ruptured, and two residents lost their lives, but no one on the aircraft was injured. Remarkably, one of the passengers, a pilot who worked for the US embassy in Zaire, turned out years later to be a teacher of Joe and Diane’s son, Brian, in elementary school in Fleming Island, Florida. And no, I am not clever enough to make that up.

The second episode occurred in Maracay, Venezuela during a high-visibility effort by the US Navy to assist in controlling a dengue fever outbreak. High viz, you say? It was coordinated through the US Department of State and during the effort, Joe met the President of Venezuela and flew on a helicopter with his two daughters. Anyway, due to a series of circumstances, another helicopter on which he was conducting adulticiding literally slammed into a powerline, with the impact shattering the windshield and sending the wounded bird autorotating down, where it landed harshly into the parking lot of a supermarket on a Friday evening. All on board should have perished but it wasn’t the time for Joe or the others. He was taken to a local clinic to have a small piece of plexiglass from the imploded windshield removed from his eye.

Experiences such as this change your whole perspective on life. I should know: I was in the second accident with Joe!

BRINGING IT ALL HOME

Joe Conlon - Image 6
Joe Conlon at his desk in his home office in 2003.

As with many of us I suppose, some of Joe’s success was pure serendipity but most of it was built on a broad platform of keen interest, varied experiences and the ability to learn from mentoring, mistakes and misgivings. What really jumps out is that he worked hard, followed his passion, and didn’t give up: a recipe for success!

Joe Conlon - Image 7
Joe Conlon wearing a Vitamin B-12 patch, being fed upon by mosquitoes during a “Today Show” shoot at the USDA laboratories in Gainesville, Florida in 2008. Dr. Ulrich Bernier is in the background, in addition to “Today Show” reporter Janice Lieberman.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services, learn more about him here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/stan-cope-phd/

This article has been published with permission from Wing Beats Magazine https://www.floridamosquito.org/Public/FMCA_Publications/Wing_Beats.aspx

Mosquito Battles – Final Feed Mosquito Bait

By | Mosquitoes, Pest Business, Pestimonials, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

Saving the Schools

In this version of Pest Management Professional’s Mosquito Battles series, Anaheim Union High School District’s Rich Kravetz controls the growing mosquito population in Southern California with Final Feed Mosquito Bait.

Anaheim, California was hit by more than just a heat wave in the spring of 2019. A new species of mosquito was flying about the city, darkening the normally sunny skies.  This mosquito – known as the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) was targeting high population areas with tall trees and thick bushes, such as the Anaheim Union High School District.

Mosquito Battles - Kravetz

Rich Kravetz, an integrated pest management (IPM) technician for the school district, knows the importance of protecting schools from Asian tiger mosquitoes, a known carrier of West Nile virus and other illnesses. Kravetz is no newbie to the pest management profession – hit father has owned a pest control business for the last 50 years. Because of his background, Kravetz understands how much of an impact one product can have on the mosquito population.

Kravetz began using Catchmasters’ Final Feed Mosquito Bait in 2019, and has seen a huge impact across all 22 locations of the Anaheim Union High School District.

“We had a cloud of mosquitoes over Orange County and Southern California, so we were just looking for something to help alleviate or lessen the frustration with them,” says Kravetz, “We started using it in May, and we are already seeing huge results.”

Mosquito Battles - Final Feed

Kravetz has tried multiple different tactics to try to lessen the severity of the Asian tiger mosquito population around the schools, but has found that not much works to effectively rid the area of the pest – except for Final Feed.

“The product goes right on the shady bushes where the mosquitoes hang out, so the sweet draws them in and the garlic kills them,” he explains.

The non-toxic formula used in Final Feed makes it ideal to use around children, utilizing natural fruit juices to bait the mosquitoes and garlic to starve them. When paired with Catchmaster’s Ovi-Catch Mosquito Trap, Kravetz says, the combination makes for the ideal mosquito solution for schoolyards.

Mosquito Battles - Ovi-Catch

Showing results with the product is also easy, according to Kravetz. Every female mosquito killed by Final Feed or caught by Ovi-Catch mosquito trap eliminates up to 1,000 future mosquitoes. The best part of using Final Feed around the schools for Kravetz is being able to communicate with the students, staff and parents that the IPM technicians are doing something that will have results. Kravetz recalls it having the most impact on a special needs school in the district.

Kravetz sprayed the property with Final Feed, and saw positive results almost immediately. Final Feed helps to control the mosquitoes, resulting in smaller populations. This allowed the children to spend more time outside with less of a risk to get bites from the daytime-feeding species.

Mosquito Battles - Garlic

“Anything I can do for them means a lot,” Kravetz says, “They’re so appreciative. When you get a smile from the kids playing outside – that’s real.”

A little goes a long way with Final Feed, so Kravetz is able to spray more sparingly and still impact the mosquito population at the school.

“I can’t recommend this enough,” Kravetz says of Ovi-Catch, “The buckets are out of sight from the kids and families.” Meanwhile, of Final Feed he says, “The smell is nice. It’s really a great product to have.”

Mosquito Battles – Additional Resources

Get more content like this daily when you follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catchmasterPRO/

Get our Mosquito Management Guide here: https://catchmasterpro.com/mosquito-management-program/

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

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

Finally, get tips for your business by following us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ap&g-co-inc

Mosquito Control Inspections – Top Overlooked Breeding Sites

By | Mosquitoes, Pest Business, Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

When it comes to mosquito control inspections are important. The key to a successful mosquito service is a thorough inspection, done on each visit to the customer’s property.  If all mosquito breeding sites are not identified and either eliminated or treated, your customers will not be happy and you will waste time and money on callbacks.

Mosquito Control Inspections - Top Breeding Sites

The ‘usual suspects’ for mosquito breeding include bird baths, buckets, kiddie pools, kids’ toys, discarded trash, used tires, etc.; basically, anything that will hold water from bottle caps to an abandoned swimming pool.  However, some breeding sites may be ‘cryptic’, that is, hidden or not very obvious.  Let’s take a look at some of them:

Mosquito Control Inspections – Top 9 Overlooked Spots

  1. Water-holding plants, such as bromeliads – it is not likely these can or will be removed but they can be treated with a larvicide.
  2. In-ground drains – ask if the customer has an irrigation system that utilizes in-ground drains. These often hold water and a high content of organic matter, perfect for foul water-loving mosquitoes such as the Northern and Southern house mosquitoes. 
  3. Corrugated plastic tubes – these are often attached to downspouts to pull water away from structures. The ends usually curl up and hold just enough water to cause trouble!
  4. Large piles of leaves – adult mosquitoes will rest in damp piles of leaves, and some leaves are large enough to hold water.
  5. Clogged gutters – some folks have full-blown botanical gardens growing in their gutters!
  6. Treeholes – remember to look up! A large treehole can hold lots of water, and many species of mosquitoes will breed here.
  7. Abandoned rodent bait boxes – these can hold water and are like the Ritz-Carlton to mosquitoes!
  8. Drainage saucers under potted plants – recommend that your customers set their pots on bamboo sticks or rocks to increase the drainage. Drainage saucers are breeding heaven, especially for the Asian tiger mosquito and yellow fever mosquito.
  9. Tarps – these always sag, collect water and organic debris, resulting in a ‘Mosquito Motel’!

The presence of mosquitoes on a property means a majority of species are breeding nearby. As a result, your mosquito control inspections are important. Keeping both the usual & unusual breeding sites in mind when on a property will give you a leg up with your customer!

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services, learn more about him here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/stan-cope-phd/

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Get more content like this daily when you follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catchmasterPRO/

Get our Mosquito Management Guide here: https://catchmasterpro.com/mosquito-management-program/

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

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

Finally, get tips for your business by following us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ap&g-co-inc

Ovi-Catch Mosquito Trap Ingredients

By | Mosquitoes, Tips & Inspirations, Trapping Tips | No Comments

The ingredients in our Ovi-Catch Mosquito Trap optimize performance. The trap, built for research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), utilizes mosquitoes’ breeding habits against them. In particular, the trap mimics traditional breeding sites to draw the mosquitoes into the container and trap them on a glue board. Removing 1 female mosquito can eliminate up to 1,000 future mosquitoes field results indicate that capturing up to 30% of egg-laying female mosquitoes can decrease populations by 80%. Clearly, the trap can be a great addition to any mosquito management programs.

Therefore, placing the trap correctly and using the right ingredients as an attractant will go a long way to determining success.  First, some basics on trap placement. Traps should be placed in areas on a property that are conducive to mosquitoes.

Areas on a property to place Ovi-Catch mosquito trap

  1. Cool
  2. Shaded
  3. Moist
  4. Out-of-the-Wind

Above all, the key for ingredients is pretty simple, the smellier the better. Additionally, if possible prepare your mixture of the ingredient plus water a few days in advance. This will allow the mixture to get smellier and will produce more immediate results.

7 optimal Ovi-Catch Mosquito Trap ingredients

Ovi-Catch Mosquito Trap Ingredients - Icon

  1. Alfalfa hay
  2. Rabbit food pellets
  3. Stagnant water (from ponds, lakes, irrigation ditches, streams or rivers)
  4. Oak leaves
  5. Dry dog food
  6. Brewer’s yeast
  7. Grass clippings

Additionally. be sure to monitor your traps for performance over time. If one ingredient isn’t working don’t be afraid to switch it up & happy hunting!

Finally, did we miss your go-to ingredient? Let us know in the comments below, happy to update the article and add your tip!

Additional Resources

Get our free mosquito management program guide when you sign up for our e-mail list here: https://catchmasterpro.com/mosquito-management-program/

Get more content like this daily when you follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catchmasterPRO/

Along with Ovi-Catch, discover our full line of Catchmaster® mosquito management tools:  https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/mosquito-management-tools/

Additionally, Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services and blogs frequently on mosquitoes. In addition to his social media content you can find his blog archives here: https://catchmasterpro.com/?s=captain+stan

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