Fun with Dick and Chelle (AKA: See Dick run away)
I had a door-to-door salesperson come by the other day. (People still do this?!?!) Normally, I don’t answer the doorbell but I was expecting my neighbor to come over so I made the mistake of opening the door thinking it was them. Ugh.
I was already annoyed because with Covid still raging, this guy with no mask on has the audacity to ring my doorbell to try to sell me something that I didn’t ask for. But I have already opened the door so I manage to suppress my first instinct to say “what do you want?” and went with, “can I help you?”. I’m a Yankee transplanted into the South so I’m working on my southern hospitality.
This guy, let’s call him Dick for simplicity's sake. Dick starts in on: do you know Company X, we do pest control. Then he asks me who does my pest control. I respond that I do since I am a licensed operator in the state of Georgia. At this point, he should have just said great, thanks, and walked away since I am obviously a professional if I’m licensed. He does not walk away.
He keeps talking:
“Well let me tell you what we can do for you, we will spray your whole lawn and we will spray all the way up to your eaves to get rid of all your pest, can you do that?”
I skipped right over the “spray the whole lawn” and went straight for the “eaves”. Admittedly, my second floor is pretty high and on the back side of my house it is essentially three floors up. I asked him why would I ever want to do that? Dick’s response: spiders and wasps.
I didn’t even look up and asked if he saw any wasps. Dick looked up and said no, but there’s spider webs so there must be spiders. Yep, and the spiders eat the “bad bugs” (mosquitoes, cockroaches, etc.) so why would I want to get rid of them? Dick’s response:
“well, in my opinion, the only good bug is a dead bug.”
At this point, I say thanks very much and good luck and close the door. I really would have talked with Dick as long as he was willing to stay there so he couldn’t get to my next few neighbors but it was hot and I didn’t want to stand out there.
The moral of this story is not that Dick is an idiot. The moral is that people make uninformed choices when it comes to pest control because they don’t have the right information or know what questions to ask. People often hire pest control services based on price and the slickest salesman (Dick was not winning any awards on that basis). Think about this next time you are hiring or thinking of changing your pest control providers.
Do they know what’s going on? Dick hadn’t even looked at my house, he just started in on his spiel on what his company was going to do. My house didn’t need spraying my lawn or my eaves. Right now it needs some granular bait for cockroaches (because it’s been really wet here and the woods roaches are out of control), and it’s almost autumn so this would help with the fall invaders. If he would have actually walked around and looked at stuff, he should have also given me the recommendation that some of my shrubs were overgrown and needed to be trimmed back from one side of my house. Had I signed up for his service, I would have been pretty unhappy since it wouldn’t have taken care of the pest problems that were happening.
Do they know what the treatments are? I would have really like to ask Dick what they were going to spray and demand a copy of the label and SDS. First, few liquid products are labeled for that wide of a use pattern which means they were either violating the label or not applying like Dick claimed they would. Second, if it was a product with that wide of an application, it likely wasn’t very effective or would last very long. If you have a pest control company claiming that they will “spray” for your pests, the question should be why? There are very effective baits, granular products, and treatments that can be applied in targeted, small areas.
Do they know IPM? Pest control isn’t about “spraying”. Let me rephrase that: responsible and effective pest control isn’t about just “spraying”. A good plan will include recommendations on sanitation, exclusion, monitoring, and physical controls. Your pest control provider should be able to look at the whole site and factor in all the conducive conditions contributing to pest issues. Despite Dick’s claim of “we will spray and it will take care of all your pests”, there is no magic wand. The “magic wand” is actually a multitool and if all the tools are used, it can get to the root of the issue and solve the problem.
Besides losing fifteen minutes of my life talking with (at?) Dick, I actually don’t feel any animosity towards him. I feel bad for my neighbors who will be sucked into his attempt at a slick pitch and think it’s a good idea. Only to find out later that they still have pest problems and they are wasting money.
Are you wasting money on your pest program? Are you getting the results you want or do you have a “Dick” that is “spraying” with less than beneficial results? Contact us here if you want some independent review.
I'm off to buy a Ring door bell so this doesn't happen again.
Lagniappe - trying this next time...