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InsightsPest Control ServicesSpring Is Coming—Evaluate Your Pest Control Program Today

Spring Is Coming—Evaluate Your Pest Control Program Today

Keith RobinsonMarch 11, 2022Read time: 5 min

Spring Pest Control

Spring is right around the corner, and while we're all looking forward to warmer temperatures and longer days, there is no better time than now—before the active pest season arrives—to evaluate your current pest control program and ensure your facility is well protected.

And should you uncover any necessary program changes, you’re in a position of greater leverage now than if you were to negotiate those changes with your supplier mid-Spring or Summer when demand for these services is highest.

To accelerate your evaluation ahead of the impending active pest season, a great place to start is with the trending data provided by your current pest control supplier. This information offers visibility into the prior year's performance and can help you identify potential weaknesses in your current pest control program while implementing pest control management.

Consider the following five areas in your trending-data review:

1. Device Counts

Reviewing devices' historical data will help identify traps with recurring reported activity. Once those devices are identified, you can use that information to lead you to potential entry points that, if resolved, will ultimately lead to permanent control.

On the flip side, your review may uncover many devices with no captures or feeding activity reported all year. In that case, you'll have an opportunity to decide if it's worth the time and effort to continue checking those devices, or if that time and effort could be reallocated to focus on areas in your facility deemed critical pest-pressure points.

2. Frequency Levels

The trending data is likely to tell you if each service item is being appropriately serviced based on site-specific needs.

The data collected and reported by your supplier often includes information related to the amount of feeding activity in a given device; limited feeding activity may allow you to reduce frequency levels, either allowing more time for inspections or reducing program costs.

Many pest control clients believe that if they are under a specific audit requirement, they are obligated to stay with current frequency levels regardless of what the trending data shows—but, that's not the case. Many auditors like seeing annual reviews and adjustments made to the program based on actual data. It shows that the program evolves with the facility as environmental conditions change.

3. Seasonal Adjustments

Several service items can be modified based on the seasonality of the specific pest. For example, insect fly lights serviced weekly during active pest season can likely be adjusted to monthly service in winter when the threat of flying insects is low.

As with “frequency levels” above, you may choose to use seasonal modifications to reduce your pest control program's overall cost or add valuable inspection time to areas requiring more attention.

4. One-Time Services

Spring is the perfect time to evaluate any services that took place in the prior year that would be considered outside the normal scope of work. Examples of these services could be foggings, fumigations, and even exterior power sprays.

The objective of reviewing these services is to determine whether the treatment strategy was appropriate based on the pest pressure at the time of the service. The trending data should show activity levels building prior to treatment, and a significant drop immediately following, validating the need for and effectiveness of that treatment.

You may be surprised to find that most of these treatments are done based on what was done in prior years and not on an actual real need. If the data doesn’t show a need or real effect, the service should be reconsidered.

5. Time Studies

Most pest control service tickets provide timestamp information that can be used to verify the amount of time the technician spends servicing your facility.

This information is helpful in determining if the technician is spending an adequate amount of time servicing the devices on-site and performing necessary inspections to prevent possible infestations.

In addition, this information can be used to determine the average hourly rate, which acts as a guard to verify that your supplier is in line with industry standards.

The ultimate goal of this exercise is to ensure your current pest control program meets your facility's unique needs while identifying vulnerabilities that could lead to future pest infections should they go unaddressed.

As a bonus, you'll likely find several areas that lead to cost reductions.

And performing this exercise now—ahead of active pest season—allows a position of leverage when negotiating any necessary changes uncovered.

Keith Robinson

Keith Robinson

Vice President of Pest Control Services

Keith joined Fine Tune in 2019 after spending nearly 30 years in the pest control industry. Previously, Keith worked 17 years at Terminix and built and sold his own PC company. Most recently, Keith served as VP of operations, training, quality assurance and food safety at ABC Home & Commercial Services. In that role, Keith led all commercial pest management operations in north Texas, east Texas and Oklahoma. A Board Certified Entomologist, he developed and rolled out food safety programs for national chain accounts across the United States. Today, Keith oversees Fine Tune’s pest control services offering nationwide.

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