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

August: Canadian National Pest Management Safety Awareness Month

Since when????

Since I just declared it!!! Hey, it’s my blog!

But seriously, this is a good time….mid-season…to take stock of your safety and application equipment, truck inventory, and record keeping.


You have probably been using your respirator for the past few months, but remember from your training the cartridges are only good for about 8 hours of use. Now is the perfect time to swap them out, before the outdoor applications increase for ants, cluster flies and bees or wasps.

In fact…the first 10 customers (you know the legalese….must be a Gardex customer, licensed for Pest Control…blah blah blah) who mention this rant to a Gardex customer service rep gets a new pair of cartridges for their Advantage half or full face mask!

Using goggles? Gotten your free pair yet? In an effort to show our concern for your safety, call for your free pair when you place your next order.

And toss any used gloves and replace. They’re pretty cheap really.

In your truck;

Are your MSDS’s and labels for the products you carry in a binder in your truck accurate? Anything new in there? Up to date? Of course with the amount of new products we get….(tongue in cheek)

Have you triple rinsed all your empty containers and used the rinsate? Now’s a great time, while you are still spraying.

Also check your vehicle spill kit and replenish, along with your personal first aid kit.

Are your truck labels in good order? We have the Chemical Warning signs, so if you need one call.

Or your sprayer;

After several months of use, those seals and rings may need replaced. Especially the check valve at the bottom of the pump cylinder, and the pump cylinder gasket at the top of the cylinder. Both of these keep pressure up, plus prevent a back flow into the cylinder and out the top.

Ever change your nozzles. They’re brass and wear out.

Any leaks from the wand or hose? Time to fix them up.

How about checking out that ladder?  Make certain it’s sound and used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

So yes, August is Safety Awareness Month for Pest Manage Professionals, but we all know safety is every day in our line of work!

But take 30 minutes on August 1st and make sure everything is in order. Clean your truck, replenish supplies, and take care of that respirator.

Have a continued safe and productive summer!

Half way through a weird year…what a long strange trip it’s been!

Apologize to you Grateful Dead fans out there!  But it has been an unusual year for weather, which in turn has a direct impact on the professional pest control market.

From coast to coast there has been more snow, rain, flooding, and inclement weather than in the past 10 years.   BC, Calgary, Toronto, Winnipeg and the Maritimes have all had their share of it.

No Spring was evident it seemed, and the inclement weather just continues to drag on.

Across the country the initial carpenter ant flush in March and April was non-existent.  And so far this summer swarms or colony explosions have been limited.  Started off for a week then a cold snap for 10 days took care of that.

Indoor ant populations, such as little black ants and pharaoh exist, but in talking to folks the populations don’t seem as heavy.  Even our faithful black ant colony in the Gardex kitchen was sparse.

The first application for spiders was hit and miss, with second applications hopefully starting now with the warmer temps and humidity.  Will we get a third?

Wasps and hornets?  They drowned with the last downpour.

Surprisingly, there have been a few more reports of termites in the GTA and on the West Coast.  With all the wet soil they can move freely about.

Seems we went right from Winter to Summer this year. Turned off the heater one day and the A/C the next.  But the rain has kept us with lower than usual treatments.

The big surprise is most customers are holding their own though, counting on contracts to keep income flowing while picking up one-times as they come in.

The key word is “steady” I suppose.

Luckily we all aren’t down further.

Let’s hope for more favorable weather in July, August and September.

We always hope for a long Indian Summer…but that never happens.  We’re in Canada remember?