Verbal and physical – Talk to the client, ask what they have seen or suspect. Inspect all areas, not just the areas that the client mentions. Look high and low. Use a bright high-grade flashlight. Look for harborage areas, sanitation problems and areas where pest can enter the building. Monitoring stations, mirrors and even knee-pads can be very helpful during this process. The inspection can be done in conjunction with the other treating steps. This does not need to be a separate step, but does need to be done prior to any application of chemical.
Identification of pests can be done in several different ways. Damage, droppings, sightings and cast skins are sure indications of the types of pests being encountered. Without knowing what type of pest or what stage of pest we are combating, it is impossible to administer a corrective treatment.
Now is the time, bases on your inspection and identification, that you determine what steps will need to be taken to control the problem. Is it a combination of mechanical and chemical, or is it a sanitation problem. Your experience and expertise will make this decision for you. Remember, that the least toxic method of control is the most desirable method to use. Chemical is not always the answer and should be your last option when looking for long term results
Using the tools you have available, along with recommendations to the client, you begin the process of service. Mechanical exclusions are one of the first lines of defense in combating pests. Looking for the source of an infestation during the inspection phase will offer insights for determining what control methods will be proper.
Probably the most important part of our service is communication. This begins when the customer calls initially and continues as long as they are a customer. One opportunity that is usually missed is to explain to the customer what you are going to do at the beginning of the service, and what you have done and what they should expect at the end of your service. Letting a customer know what to expect will save bad feelings, call-backs and possibly a cancellation.
Note: Many of the products we use for our service, have a very long residual, but do not kill on contact. We know that it may take several days to a week to kill the pests. If we do not relay this to the client, we can expect a complaint call from them within a day or so. The proactive approach is to let the customer know what to expect ahead of time.
The above five items are extremely important in order to service an account correctly. If any item is skipped or ignored, it can result in 1) an unhappy customer. 2) a re-occurrence of pests. 3) in-ability to reduce populations of pests. 4) a mis-application of materials.