Robert's Rants
Robert's Rants
A personal blog on the Canadian pesticide industry and other pet peeves and interests

Brown Dog, Rocky Mountain…this wording on labels used to tick me off! (Species specific)

But not anymore. At least on treating ticks.

What I am referring to is the labeling on several products we have, where the exact species of tick was listed, preventing use of these products on species of ticks not listed.

There wasn’t a good label, until now, that would allow for treatment of the species of ticks that transmits Lyme disease for example. As you may know, control of Blacklegged ticks is critical when it comes to Lyme disease prevention. (This species has sometimes been improperly called the Deer tick, as that is one of the animals this tick infests.)

But we’ve never had a product that specifically listed Blacklegged (or deer) ticks on the label. Or even better, just a generalized use of the word “tick”.

But with the registration of DELTAGARD from Bayer, the label has been approved with simply “ticks” listed as one of the insects controlled. So this means every and all species of ticks. This gives you the opportunity to spray for any species that may be presenting a problem.

Most labels specifically mentioned Brown Dog ticks only, so that was all that could be legally treated. So the approved label on DELTAGARD is a step in the right direction. (Plus the area of use is very good, allowing application to public parks, residential settings and other key areas where the likelihood of infestation and exposure is higher.)

This brings us to the same point on other products, and the requirement to submit tests and trials on each and every insect listed on the label.

QUANTUM was just launched with nearly all ant species except Carpenter ants. Will it control this species? Or is a separate trial required to be submitted?

DEMAND has German Cockroaches on the label….

Does that mean it will only control German and not Oriental, American, Brown-Banded or Wood roaches? Or does it mean that the individual trials weren’t submitted?

I would hope in the future data on one species could simply be extrapolated to cover other insects in that same Genus (I remember a bit of taxonomy)…or is that too easy?

Are we selling ourselves short?

I was chatting with a good customer and found out the rates charged for some services, with guarantees, has fallen to an all time low.

I have to question whether my customers are giving away experience, qualification, training etc by not charging for your true worth.

Case in point:

I got an estimate for different plumbers for some work here, and not surprisingly they all came in relatively the same as far as the charge for labor.

$90.00 an hour plus or minus $5.00.

Call any electrician and ask the same…you’ll find them about in the same neighborhood.

Is the training, licensing, insurance and other business inputs that much different for a PCO?

Vehicles, labor, equipment, advertising, time…not much difference from a PCO to Joe the Plumber.

So why do we see prices down to $9 or $10 a unit, or full house bed bug jobs at $200???

If we do the math, it just doesn’t add up, unless the performed service is less than stellar.

At $9 you would essentially have to do 10 apartments an hour to reach the $90 an hour labor rate.

That’s 6 minutes a unit.

Talk about speed pest control.

If a 3 bedroom house takes 2 hours to inspect, steam, vacuum, spray, set out monitors etc the minimum labor rate is $180 bucks. Then input costs, and pro-rated expenses would nearly double that.

And did you calculate the 10 minutes to answer the call and make the sale? 30 minutes to drive there? Maybe another re-book? There’s another hour or $90.00

Of course you need to charge what is reasonable, fair and what the market will bear.

But don’t sell yourself short.

Food for thought.