• Chelle Hartzer

Waving a Magic Wand (AKA: We need if fixed yesterday!)

I typically start writing my first draft of this blog on Monday, then finish it up and post it on Tuesday. That means I had some kind of idea, started researching, opened up way too many tabs on my browser with scientific and other articles, and spent a decent amount of time writing some words that formed a coherent story. Every once in a while, at the very last minute, something changes my mind. Here’s what changed my mind, just before my deadline, today:


Many things struck me in regards to this. I’ve seen similar articles in the past and I always roll my eyes. This problem did not start yesterday, or last week, or even last month. This has been going on for YEARS. In fact, the homeowners were notified of it prior to buying the house! What was the expectation, that they would just disappear if they ignored them long enough? They were in the house with these “tenants” and had honey dripping down the windows. It wasn’t until seven months later (in the peak of summer when the bees were at their highest population I might add) that they decided to call someone. Of course, they wanted the problem taken care of right away.


A problem that has been ongoing for 35 years is not something that can be easily fixed. No magic wand can disappear this problem in a day. So often this happens with pest control. A customer has had an ongoing problem that they have either just ignored or tried to treat themselves…unsuccessfully. For some reason, the customer has finally decided something must be done, and do it now. The reality is that it will take weeks, months, maybe even years to adequately manage the issue.

I’ve been involved in a market research study of pest management professionals and one of the recurring themes I am hearing is managing customer expectations. In this example with the bees, a professional did come out and remove the bees. It took them a week. However, there is still honeycomb, brood, and likely dead bees in the walls. This will attract scavengers, particularly other insects like Dermestid beetles and flies that can now infest that area since there is a food source. The customer needs to be told about cleaning up the material and sealing up the space so no new bees decide to take up residence. Otherwise, they may be having the exact same problem in the next few years. Ensuring the customer is aware of what is going to happen and setting their expectations is key. It's not just about having happy customers, but actually resolving the problem.


There are two morals to this story. First, at the earliest sign of a pest issue, start dealing with it, don't wait. Second, if you are a pest management professional, communicate clearly with the customer what to expect. If you are the customer, communicate with your pest control company on what you expect so they can help you.


Want to know how I can help you meet your pest control expectations? Contact me to find out more!


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