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Educating Your Customers: The “Aha” Mosquito Moment

By | Mosquitoes | No Comments

Educating your customers starts with inspection

Captain Stan preaches that a proper inspection, on every visit, is the key to controlling most mosquito problems and provide you with the opportunity for educating your customers.  Be aware that most customers do not associate their mosquito problem with standing water on their property; they only know they are being bitten.

The “3 Ws” of an inspection

If you find mosquito breeding sites on a customer’s property, if possible show the larvae and pupae to the customer, explain what they are, where they are breeding and why.  Educating your customers has three areas.  I like to call them the three Ws:

  1. What you found
  2. Why they are there
  3. What the customer can do to help the situation

The customer may then have an ‘aha’ moment = “oh, is THAT what those are?  I see them all over the property and never knew what they were”.  At that point, make your pitch on what the customer can do to help YOU provide a better mosquito service and you may have a friend for life!

Educating your customers – Professional tip

One other hint – show the mosquitoes to any kids that may live in the house.  Educate them and the next thing you know, you may have some young ‘mosquito detectives’ to help!

Learn more about Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

Discover how mosquito control tools from the Catchmaster® brand can help you grow your mosquito control business here: https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/mosquito-management-tools/

Learn more about mosquitoes from the National Pest Management Association here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

 

 

Catchmaster Pestimonial – Ideal Pest Control

By | Pestimonials | No Comments

Catchmaster Pestimonial – Ideal Pest Control

Dallas-based pest control company drives recurring revenue and expands eco-friendly service offerings with the Ovi-CatchTM AGO Mosquito Trap.

The “Aha” Moment

As a 35-year veteran of the pest control industry, Greg Miller, technical director of Ideal Pest Control, has seen it all. “I’ve been doing this a long time so nothing really surprises me anymore,” he says.

Yet every now and again, Miller does encounter something truly unique, whether it be an invasive species he’s never seen before or a game-changing product that allows him to enhance his Dallas-based company’s service offerings.

Miller experienced just such an “Aha!” moment recently while servicing a local zoo for mosquitoes, which were plaguing the park’s animals and patrons alike. Unlike other commercial accounts, however, Ideal Pest Control didn’t have a lot of control options at its disposal due to the sensitive nature of facility.

“The main concern in the account was the possible spread of West Nile Virus, which is carried by the Culex mosquito, and the client wanted something with less impact chemically because in zoos you can’t perform traditional pesticide treatments in many areas like you can in a lot of accounts,” he says.

Catchmaster Expertise

Fortunately, Miller has had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Robert Stocker, national accounts manager for AP&G, manufacturer of the popular Catchmaster® line of pest control products. When Miller informed Stocker of the mosquito problems Ideal Pest Control was experiencing in the highly-complex commercial account, the veteran account manager thought he could help.

After all, AP&G recently began to expand its product offerings outside of its rodent control portfolio, recruiting Dr. Stan Cope, former president of the American Mosquito Control Association, to lead its R&D efforts and field-testing of mosquito products.

“Mosquitoes were becoming a serious problem throughout the zoo and we were concerned about the potential threat of West Nile Virus in the avian area, so we were looking for a product that would control Culex mosquitoes,” Miller says. “And ideally we were hoping for a non-chemical solution.”

Stocker suggested that Ideal consider installing a number of Catchmaster® Ovi-CatchTM AGO Mosquito Traps around the avian habitats at the zoo, as well as in other high-traffic areas of the park like the rhinoceros exhibit.

The trap features a specially formulated adhesive designed to catch female mosquitoes during the breeding cycle, dramatically reducing populations and lowering the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

Easy-to-use and highly effective, the Ovi-Catch AGO Mosquito Trap is ideal for Integrated Pest Management programs in sensitive accounts like zoos, daycare centers, and health care facilities because it is non-toxic and environmentally safe. In fact, the pesticide-free solution has proven so successful in testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency uses Catchmaster® AGO Trap Replacement Glue Boards in numerous mosquito monitoring and population reduction programs throughout the United States.

How it Works

Technicians simply fill the 5-gallon container with 2.5 gallons of water and add a small amount of organic matter (i.e., hay) to the water. A glue board is then installed to the interior of the capture chamber, sticky side facing inward. The glue board features an innovative adhesive that has been specially formulated for mosquito applications. It is UV- and moisture-resistant, providing enhanced control under a variety of environmental conditions.

After the lid is snapped on, the trap is placed in the treatment zone. For best results, place the trap in cool, shaded areas with little or no wind.

“Once placed, female mosquitoes are attracted to the trap by its appearance and the odors emanating from the device from the decaying organic matter,” observes Dr. Cope. “When mosquitoes enter the trap through the capture chamber lid, they get stuck on the glue board and eventually die, preventing hatching of up to 150 eggs per female.”

 

Miller said Ideal Pest Control installed several traps in the avian area of the zoo to test the efficacy of the device before investing in a park-wide program. When the traps began immediately capturing large numbers of mosquitoes, Miller knew he was on the right track.

“What we discovered was the nastier the water, the better,” he said. “We’re learning as we go and our technicians are excited about the benefits offered by the traps and the additional business they’re generating.”

Bottom-line Benefits

And it’s not just a one-time sale, according to Miller. “Once the traps are installed, PMPs can charge a monthly service fee to change out the glue boards and provide an ongoing assessment of the property,” he says. “It fits nicely into our industry’s recurring revenue model, adding to the value of our business.”

Even better, once Miller determined the Ovi-Catch AGO Mosquito Trap was a viable control option for the zoo, Ideal Pest Control installed 48 of them throughout the park, resulting in an immediate reduction in mosquito populations. “Zoo management was very happy with the results of our control efforts,” he says. “We now have installed 150 of the traps throughout the zoo and they’ve been working great.”

In fact, Miller was so impressed by the performance of the traps that he decided to extend the product offering to Ideal’s residential customers throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which has been victimized by West Nile Virus outbreaks in the past.

Finding the Right Niche

“We’ve found a good niche for the Ovi-Catch traps in our residential accounts because homeowners are concerned about mosquito-borne illnesses and are becoming more and more sensitive to chemical use around their children and pets,” he says.

“It offers an effective ‘green’ option for mosquito control,” a message that resonates with families with young children, he says. “The traps have really added to our revenue base and they require little maintenance once placed. It’s an easy sell to homeowners.”

In fact, Miller says, every one of Ideal’s technicians now has an Ovi-Catch trap in their service vehicle to show customers in the event they express concerns about mosquitoes in and around their home.

“The techs are already at their customers’ homes, so it’s easy to pull one of the traps out of their vehicle and show the customer how it works,” Miller says. “We only started placing them around customers’ homes in July of last year and we’ve already placed hundreds of them throughout our service area. It’s been a nice revenue-generator for us and our technicians love selling the service.”

Putting it All Together

Learn more about the Ovi-Catch™ mosquito trap here:  https://catchmasterpro.com/product/ovi-catch-ago-mosquito-trap/

Learn more about Ideal Pest Control here: http://www.idealpartners.com/commercial/pest-control

Mosquito Control Services 101

By | Mosquitoes, Uncategorized | No Comments

Mosquito control services are one vertical that many pest control companies have been on fence about offering. That is, until just a few years ago when the recent scare and media flurry over Zika, West Nile Virus, Chikungunya virus and more seems to have changed all of that. Homeowner interest in controlling mosquitoes and other vectors around lawn and gardens is at an all-time high. And a slew of national mosquito control chains have responded!

This has led many local, family-owned pest management firms to decide whether to pursue the vertical or not. Beyond that, small business owners wonder how can they possibly compete with these national chains, who seem to have unlimited marketing dollars and a nationwide presence.

It is possible to successfully compete with the big boys in the world of mosquito services. Here are five ways to own your local market when it comes to mosquito control.

Competing with the Big Boys in the World of Mosquito Control Services

  1. Keep an eye on your competitors. Start by taking a step back and observing what is happening in your marketplace. What marketing tactics are the “big boys” employing? What do their service offerings look like? How are customers reacting? As a small business owner, you can make quicker decisions, change up your offerings and move your marketing dollars around quickly.  As a result, you make be able to really own one marketing channel, like social media, instead of spreading your marketing dollars too thin. While billboards and TV ad campaigns may not be in your marketing budget, you can ensure you’re remaining competitive with the national chains by offering similar services to customers in your territory.
  2. Upsell Your Current Customer Base. You already have a great base of customers who trust your company to protect their home.  Chances are they view you as their pest expert. Ensure that you are making your customer base aware of your other services and up-sell them on mosquito control. Make it easy for customers to simply add-on this extra service to their current contract.  Let them know of this opportunity via email, door drops and having your sales person or technicians make the offering at the time of service. Incentive your sales people or technicians for every home that adds mosquito control onto their contract.
  3. Community Involvement. Go ahead and sponsor that little league baseball team, coach your daughter’s soccer league and get involved in your community. Offer a free mosquito service prior to a community event in turn for publicity. People love to support those they know and those who give back to their community.
  4. Deliver a Great Customer Experience. Customer service is perhaps the best way to stand out from the national chains. Train your employees to go above and beyond when servicing an account. Take the time to consult with homeowners on ways in which they can minimize mosquito activity on their property.  Offer handouts on overlooked mosquito breeding areas. Work closely with customers and respond quickly to complaints to earn that reputation of offering excellent service.
  5. Own the referral. Once you have a happy customer, ask for the referral and train your employees to do the same. Put customer referral programs in place that offer a free or discounted mosquito treatment to anyone your customer refers. Plan a block party and offer a discount to any block in your town that has three or more homes that buy into your mosquito services. Having more homes to service in a small geographical area will help to make your company more efficient and organically get the word out about your services.

Putting it All Together

While offering mosquito control services to compete with the “big boys” can seem daunting remember that you have tools at your disposal.  And the common thread in your tools should be how you differentiate your brand.  No doubt you have had success in differentiating yourself in other areas – mosquito control doesn’t need to be any different.

Mosquito control services are in high demand. Stay top-of-mind with customers in your territory and own your local market for mosquito services. Get started today!

Learn more about how mosquito control tools from the Catchmaster® brand can help you grow your mosquito control business here: https://catchmasterpro.com/collection/mosquito-management-tools/

Learn more about mosquitoes from the National Pest Management Association here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

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

Outdoor Pet Protection Tips

By | Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Protecting your pet from pests may not always be top of mind. Sure, keeping pests away from your pet will give him a better quality of life; but it can also protect his or her life. Some pests like ticks, scorpions and poisonous spiders, to name just a few, can pose a serious threat to your pet. Here are 5 outdoor pet protection tips.

5 Outdoor Pet Protection Tips

  1. Maintain Your Outdoor Space. Big or small your lawn and garden areas should be cut regularly and kept clear of debris. Seasonal lawn cleanups are essential to remove leaf litter, twigs and other plant material that may attract pests to the area.
  2. Treat Your Lawn. Despite your best efforts, ticks, mosquitoes and even fleas can infiltrate your outdoor space. Talk to your landscaper about a safe lawn treatment to keep these pests at bay.
  3. Treat Your Pet. Speak with a trusted veterinarian on the best flea and tick treatment for your pet. Be sure to set calendar reminders to ensure you never miss a dose.
  4. Regularly Inspect Your Pet. Be sure to closely examine your pet after hikes, walks and time spent outdoors. Despite your best efforts and prescription treatments, your pet can still come into contact with fleas, ticks and other pests.
  5. Monitor Your Home. Don’t let your guard down on pests just because most time is spent inside of the home. Fleas, ticks, scorpions, spiders and other pests can easily infest a home and latch onto your pet while indoors. Glue boards offer an extra layer of protection to alert you early on to an indoor pest infestation. Use them near your pet’s sleeping area but always safely out of reach of your pet.

Trust the Experts

If you discover a pest problem in your home or on your pet work closely with your veterinarian and pest management professional for a safe solution.

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

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

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

 

5 Pest Tips for Log Cabins

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Many people stay at log cabins to get closer to nature.  Unfortunately for some, this also means that nature gets closer as pests of all kinds are attracted to cabins.  Managing pests in and around your log cabin can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to.  These 5 pest tips for log cabins will help you protect your turf.

5 Pest Management Tips for a Log Cabin

  1. If you are fortunate enough to build your cabin from scratch be sure to use pre-treated wood. Popular tree types for cabins include many trees that produce sapwood that is an attractant for pests.  Treating wood will help make it as resistant as possible to pests.
  2. Keep the exterior of your log cabin as clean as possible, paying particular attention to the areas between the logs.
  3. Keep all outdoor trash far away from your cabin. Leaving trash close to your cabin will only increase the likelihood they venture inside.
  4. Seal all possible entries, including roofs, joints and individual logs. Pests seek the same things human desire, including shelter and food.  Don’t leave the door open for them!
  5. Monitor inside your  cabin for pests with glue-based monitors. Monitors will allow you to notice the presence of pests before they become an infestation and set up shop in your cabin.

Getting Cabin Control

Being closer to nature in your log cabin doesn’t mean nature has to be a house guest.  Remember, pests are a lot like humans in that they need shelter and food.  The more you can reduce their access to these staples the better.  If pests remain a nuisance in your log cabin after you have acted be sure to contact your pest management professional.

Learn more about log cabins from the Log and Timber Homes Council of the NAHB here: https://loghomes.org/

Learn more about the Catchmaster® brand’s 72TC glue-based monitors here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/72tc-series-mouse-insect-glue-board/

Meet Bobby Kossowicz

By | blog | No Comments

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand.  Bobby is a marketing professional in the specialty chemicals industry and owner of Environmental Marketing Solutions (EMS), a niche marketing agency servicing specialty product manufacturers, distributors, pest management and service companies. An industry veteran with over two decades of experience marketing pest and turf management products, Bobby brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts to her clients.

Before starting her own marketing firm, Bobby worked as Marketing Communications Manager for a large specialty chemical manufacturer and 10 years as Director of Marketing for a specialty chemical distributor. During these years she also served on a communications team for a national trade association representing manufacturers, formulators, distributors and other industry leaders involved with pesticides that engaged with issues on a federal, state and local levels.

Learn more about Bobby Kossowicz and EMS here: http://getenviromarketing.com/our-team/

How Far Mosquitoes Fly: Implications for Control

By | Mosquitoes | No Comments

How Far Mosquitoes Fly

One of the factors that makes mosquitoes difficult to control is that they fly.  Therefore, even if a yard has been properly serviced, flying, biting mosquitoes may appear, much to a customer’s chagrin!  Let’s look at two scenarios to see how flight range and other factors may impact a mosquito control service.

Mosquito Scenario A

Location:  backyard in urban Louisiana.

Mosquito:  Asian tiger mosquito (ATM), Aedes albopictus.

Flight range:  Limited – 150 yards or less from breeding site.

Breeding sites:  Artificial and natural containers holding relatively clean water.

Control

The key here is source reduction = finding and removing or treating all breeding sites.  The female ATM lays eggs in as many places as she can find so you have to really inspect thoroughly.  Because of the limited flight range, adults are much less likely to re-infest the property.  Use non-pesticidal traps and residual sprays or mosquito bait on vegetation.

Mosquito Scenario B

Location:  coastal areas along saltmarshes in Texas.

Mosquito:  Black saltmarsh mosquito, Aedes taeniorhynchus.

Flight range:  40 miles or so from breeding site!

Breeding sites:  Salt marshes.

Control

Wow!  Mosquitoes that fly 40 miles!  Obviously, larval control will not be part of your service!  These mosquitoes are vicious biters, attacking during the day.  Use residual sprays or baits on vegetation along with ultra-low-volume spray, and good luck!

Learn more about Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/

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

5 Tips for a Naturally Pest-Free Garden

By | Tips & Inspirations | No Comments

Controlling pests in a garden is no easy task but there are 5 tips for a naturally pest-free garden that will help. Pests are naturally drawn to landscaping as plants offer pests food, moisture and shelter.  All of these elements are necessary for their survival. Naturally controlling the bad pests in a garden can help ensure plantings will flourish.  In addition, a home with a well-maintained landscape adds enjoyment and increases a home’s value.  But the benefits don’t end there.

Naturally controlling bad pests in the garden will help to ensure a pest-free home. Overgrown shrubs, trees and plantings, leaf debris and unsightly weeds will attract pests to the exterior of your home. Eventually, those garden pests near the perimeter of your home may make their way inside in search of food, water and shelter.

Follow these tips for a naturally pest-free garden and enjoy the added benefit of protecting your home pest invaders.

5 tips for a Naturally Pest-Free Garden

  1. Use physical barriers, such as a copper tape, that will act as a repellent to deter pests like snails and slugs. As the copper develops the green patina the compounds become toxic to pests.  Many gardeners have found this will help to deter snails and slugs from crossing it.
  2. Overgrown trees and shrubs can be a perfect spot for pests to nest in. Keep plants and shrubs well-trimmed, away from the home, as overgrown branches also offer pests the perfect highway into the home as they seek out food and water.
  3. Rake-up leaf litter and plant debris that serves as the perfect hiding spot for ticks and other pests and an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  4. Remove anything that may collect water and drain decorative items weekly.  Objects like birdbaths and plant dishes may offer mosquitoes a place to breed.
  5. Stay ahead of the pests – ask your pest management professional about monitoring with Catchmaster® AG sticky cards.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Catchmaster® AG sticky cards here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/sticky-cards/

Learn more garden tips from the National Gardening Association here: https://garden.org/

Tips for Fruit Flies – Big Ed’s Trapping Tips

By | Trapping Tips | No Comments

Tips for catching fruit flies

With the summer months upon us so is the reminder that a pest loves fresh produce almost as much as us.  Fruit flies are a significant nuisance pest and have a powerful sense of smell.  The spend their whole life in search of rotting fruit and once they find a source they can quickly become an issue.  With many fruit fly traps available in the professional market here are some tips for making your traps more effective.

3 Tips for Catching More Fruit Flies

  1. Use a glue board under your fruit fly traps.  Fruit flies tend not to land directly on their intended food source but often land close by and walk around to investigate, providing an opportunity to increase your catch.
  2. Place your fruit fly trap in the middle of an exposed glue board – this will allow you to pick up as many flies as possible as they seek their food source.  This will dramatically increase your catch.
  3. Locate and remove the food source as soon as possible to get control over these nuisance flies.  Remember that food sources can come from many places including drains, appliances and garbage.  A thorough cleaning may be required to remove all food sources.

Catchmaster® insect boards and monitors are ideal glue boards to utilize, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/insect-traps-monitors/

Learn more about Big Ed here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-big-ed-and-his-trapping-tips/

Learn more about fruit flies from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/flies/fruit-flies/

 

On The Wing – Return Of The Mosquitoes

By | Mosquitoes | 2 Comments

Spring Mosquito Season

Mosquito season is in full swing in many parts of the country.  I was just in Louisiana last week and companies there are already out providing mosquito control services.  Do you ever wonder where mosquitoes ‘return from’ each season?  Some species spend the winter (or cooler months) as adults.  They hang out in buildings, animal burrows, under decks or other protected areas.  Then, when one of the first warm days of spring arrives (usually above 65 degrees or so), they emerge and look for something, or someone, to bite!

Other species overwinter in the egg stage.  These eggs hatch almost simultaneously with the spring rains and then 10 days later or so, huge clouds of hungry adult mosquitoes emerge.  This particular scenario is especially common in heavily wooded areas, swamps, forest preserves, etc.  Mosquito control personnel try to limit this emergence by applying mosquito larvicides, often by fixed wing or rotary aircraft, in the early spring before the adults are produced.

And remember that after each blood meal, a female mosquito can lay 150-300 eggs so the populations will build up quickly, regardless of how harsh the winter may have been.

Learn more about Captain Stan (aka the Mosquito Man) here: https://catchmaster.com/introducing-captain-stan-the-mosquito-man/