A Day in the Life of “Your Pest Guy”

Todd_Summers-smallerA day in the life and work of a pest control technician is a risky, demanding, dangerous, dirty job that is subject to all kinds of environments. You never know what you’re going to find.

The nature of the job may lead you crawling under a home searching for termites or attics to find rats, spiders, raccoons or whatever else may lurk in dark, dirty, dusty reclusive places; to basements filled with moisture and mold. Not to mention the challenge of homes infested with fleas, cockroaches or our most recent pest, bed bugs.


Most days are long and demanding as you find yourself squeezing into tight crawl spaces under a building, climbing a ladder to get to a roof or crouching through loose floorboards in attics hoping not to fall through.

It’s busy from the moment you take your first sip of coffee till the moment you lock the door behind you. With a list of chores as long as your arm, the day starts out with a thorough check of your vehicle to make sure it is fully stocked with whatever you will need to complete your particular work assignments for the day. Whether it is rats, cats or elephants, you need a full arsenal and variety of chemicals and tools for each designated job.

Although most jobs are scheduled contracts for regular pest control maintenance within routes, an occasional unanticipated urgent situation or threat (wild animals, swarms of yellow jackets, bees, red ants, rodents), from a new customer can send you in another direction quickly. It’s often difficult to explain to a loyal customer that their appointment has just been adjusted from their scheduled time because of an emergency “bug” situation.


Dressed in protective equipment, you become proficient as being a “mixologist” with chemicals. You need to be familiar with compounds, concentrations, safe handling techniques, preparation of the work site and know all the proper procedures for possible spills and cleanup. You’re subject to inhaling particles when mixing dry formulas and when using liquids, absorbing pesticides through your skin. Maintaining and rotating stock to avoid using degraded product is just another part of the job along with cleaning and maintaining equipment at the end of the day.

You always have to be conscience of environmental conditions when applying outside and need to anticipate drying time for insides so that families, children or pets do not walk in the door during or right after a treatment. Therefore, as you can see, being a pest technician is not a no-brainer as many people think.

Providing a Good Quality of Life

Pest techs deal with emotional clients where they have to calm their fears and become their temporary “shrink”. You have to know the extent of the infestation you are about to treat as well as the life cycle of the insect so that you can explain the need for follow-up treatments to kill all life stages if necessary. Then, you may have those kinds of clients that have a serious situation yet don’t see it as that like this video. This person insisted they did not have any bugs. IMG_0081.MOV

The list of responsibilities, actions and conditions in which you work are beyond a baseboard jockey mentality. People will never understand the value and the important role pest techs play in the scope of it all.

Our most recent challenge is bed bugs. One would think that a simple spraying would rid bed bugs like other pests but unfortunately, they present a bigger challenge that entails an abundance of education and well thought out techniques in order to combat the problem and eliminate every single bed bug. Solving each unique problem has a significant impact on the residents’ quality of life and it takes a well-trained, experienced pest control individual to solve a bed bug problem to give them peace of mind.

Old world values…New age technology

Barrier Pest Control is a family owned and operated company, with over 30 years of experience.

905-252-PEST (7378)

Email: barrierpestco@gmail.com


Everybody Loves a Winner!

Mike - Alexa - DeltaReach out and give Mike thumbs up! The ACE PROFESSIONAL 2015 AWARD went to an IBBRA Founding Member, Michael Goldman of Purity Pest in Canada.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Mike for several years. This man always steps up to the plate! He’s experienced, knowledgeable, kind, and always pays it forward to help in any way he can. Congratulations Mike – you earned it and deserve it!

2015 ESACC Award Winners Announced

Annapolis, MD; September 15, 2015 – The Entomological Society of America Certification Corporation (ESACC) is proud to name the winners of the 2015 Certification Awards. These include two professional awards, and one student award. The winners will be recognized at Entomology 2015, ESA’s 63rd Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN from November 15-18, 2015. Additionally, the winner of the ACE Professional Award will also be recognized at PestWorld, the pest management industry’s primary education and trade show in Nashville, TN, October 20-23, 2015.

ACE PROFESSIONAL AWARD—This award recognizes the superior contributions of an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in the field of structural pest management. Michael Goldman, ACE, President of Purity Pest Control, has been in the pest management industry for over 35 years and was the first non-US resident to earn the ACE designation after ESA amended the program rules to require a US pesticide applicators license to apply for the ACE. He is a past president (2 terms) of the Structural Pest Management Association of Ontario and served as Conference Chairman for over 12 years. He is a founding member and past president of the IPM Council of Canada where he helped establish guidelines and protocols for the turf industry that were eventually accepted and put into law by the Ministry of the Environment of Ontario and a founding member of the International Bed Bug Resource Authority (IBBRA) Michael was also a founding member of the Pesticide Industry Council of Ontario and sat on the City of Toronto Bed Bug Steering Committee.

Mr. Goldman frequently speaks to a variety of groups on bed bugs and termites and has written articles for such publications as Restaurateur Magazine and Pest Control Technology.

You can learn more about Mike and his services including Common Scents Solutions, or hire his services by visiting www.puritypestcontrol.com, or call 905-761-9388 or-1-877-507-0642

IBBRA Has a New Detection Dog Team in Wisconsin

HEADERg220Welcome aboard, A.S.A.P. Bed Bug Detection in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

The carefree bedtime saying, “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite” has new relevance in light of the current bed bug epidemic in the United States, especially for proprietor Glenn McCullough of A.S.A.P. Bed Bug Detection, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

His one and only employee is a 4-year-old mixed-breed beagle rescue from Tennessee named Ricky. Glen provides an accurate and reasonably priced alternative for detecting the often difficult-to-find bloodsucking parasites, earning his team certification from the National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA).

After serving as a Marine, Glenn worked in investments and traveled extensively throughout his career. Always a dog lover, he obedience-trained Weimaraners, Redbone Coonhounds, Black and Tan Coonhounds, and English Pointers that he owned over the years. While helping his son train his Vizsla, Glenn decided that, he wanted a working dog.

With a background and understanding in dog ethology (science of animal behavior), this gave Glenn a cutting edge with being a great handler. After hearing about the increase of bed bugs and how difficult they were for people to find because of their hidden nature and the use of detection dogs, he began his research. He talked to a variety of breeders and owners to determine the training and requirements for running a successful detecting dog business before deciding to start his own business.

Before becoming a team, Ricky went through 800 hours of bed bug detection training. Glenn continues to train Ricky twice daily, detecting hidden vials. “Ricky has a high food and work drive,” Glenn said. “When it’s time to work and I say the magic word to Ricky, it’s like a light switch goes on, and he’s ready to work.”

We Work Like a Dog

“Evidence of bites, blood drops or itchy red marks on the skin, Glenn said, are most of the calls he receives from people who already have a strong notion they have bed bugs. We work with multi-unit complexes to insure apartments are clear of bed bugs before new tenants move in. As a “team”, we begin our search in the “scent zone,” within several feet of the location where bed bugs are suspected. If Ricky picks up the scent, he puts his nose where he found the scent and paws it.”

Canines are far more time efficient and accurate than human detection (85/90% for canines – 30/35% for humans). It usually takes Ricky about 20 minutes to locate bed bugs compared to hours for a human to search a home, often using disruptive practices such as tipping mattresses and box springs and emptying drawers.

A.S.A.P. does no extermination so they have no vested interest in whether bed bugs are found. When Ricky alerts and evidence is found, he refers his customers to experienced exterminators.

Glenn and Ricky inspect both residential and commercial properties and will inspect a car, luggage, dorm room, etc., anywhere a client suspects there may be bed bugs. The base price for home inspections is $75, but may be higher depending on the location and the size of the job.

Glenn is looking forward to expanding his client base to include senior care facilities. He would also like to provide his services to travelers at Mitchell General International Airport, providing luggage inspection. He said he would have to work out the specifics with airport operations personnel regarding the workspace. “We can’t have clients taking their luggage apart in the parking lot,” he joked.

Glenn is already working with another IBBRA Bed Bug Detection Dog Member Sandberg K9 a couple hours away in the state referring business back and forth when time is of the essence and a couple hour travels between cities is not an option.

The IBBRA looks forward to working closely with all our members to have more professionals like this embrace the Layered Defense Strategy that entails regular dog detection for all.

A.S.A.P. Bedbug Detection 414-458-0605 asapbedbugdetection.com

Learn How to Prevent from Bringing Bed Bugs To and From Areas you Travel

It only takes a single pregnant female bed bug to go unnoticed long enough to start an infestation. Especially since their are so many people that are not affected by the bites.

In the first months after Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s, our phones ring with calls from people who had visitors during the holidays bring them bed bugs.

No one wants to be the reason a loved one, friend or family member has to spend money to exterminate his or her home. Paying attention while traveling will help cut down on the massive amounts of bed bugs spreading throughout the busy holiday season. Furthermore, you certainly would not want to bring a hitchhiking bed bug back home with you.

Millions of people travel during the holidays and because of this, bed bugs present a significant problem. Most single bed bug occurrences are avoidable if you plan before you leave for your trip.

It’s actually simpler than you think!

Understanding bed bug risks while traveling can help you avoid taking them to a friend or families home during the upcoming holidays and protect against you taking one home with you.

In the IBBRA’s revised edition Bed Bugs Travelers Handbook – A Complete Guide to Bed Bug Protection While Traveling; we show you how to pack step-by-step, BEFORE you leave on a trip to guarantee not having bed bugs attach to your belongings without you knowing.

Don’t stop your travels and stay home because of bed bugs. BugZip has many protection items to help you get to your destination and back home safe and without bed bugs!

Holiday Traveling Tips you will learn:

  • The biggest mistakes people make when traveling
  • How to make sure you don’t have bed bugs in your own home before you pack
  • How to pack and which luggage and bags are best
  • How to make sure your luggage and carry-ons are protected while traveling
  • What to do when checking into a hotel
  • Where to keep luggage and personal items in a hotel room
  • How to protect all your items (purse, gifts, outer clothing) while traveling so that you don’t bring bed bugs into someone’s home.
  • What to do when arriving at someone’s home (Jackets, scarves, hats, gloves, boots, etc.)
  • Most importantly, learn how to unpack properly to guarantee no bed bugs will find their way in your home!

Suitcase, Drawer Liners, Luggage or Garment Bags, BugZip has them all. http://www.bugzip.com/

We are here to help! www.ibbra.org