February 17, 2012
This year's Clark Pest Control Commercial Conference opened with Judy Dold, Chairman of Rose Pest Solutions outside of Chicago. Ms. Dold also is a past president of the National Pest Management Association. She opened by stating that 83 percent of household decisions are made by women, and women make decisions in many other arenas of life. "Every woman you meet looks at three things," she stated, "your eyes, your hands and your feet." Basic stuff, but she went on to discuss the importance of communicating and by building and establishing relationships.
Next, pay attention to details, like showing up on time. "Women are masters of multitasking," she said. Taking note of what your customer needs and attending to them will keep them satisfied in a poor economy where Also, appearance is important. "Deodorant is cheap!" she insisted, after putting on an old kitchen apron and a backward baseball cap. She illustrated her point by tossing deodorant, toothbrushes, mouthwash and other items into the audience from the stage. "Your appearance is critical to the success of the relationship you've established," she said, adding that your vehicle needs to be clean, too. Respect is important, too. Don't talk down to a woman. "Don't judge a book by its cover," she said. "You don't know with whom you are doing. Trust is the bottom line, and integrity determines your identity.
And your integrity is so important to a woman when you're establishing trust. Results are paramount." She went on to explain that a woman won't tell you she's unhappy with your service. She'll just go elsewhere. "A lot of the time," she explains, "you won't know you've lost an account until you see another company is doing the job."
Drains, Jeff Tucker, an entomologist, was the morning's second speaker at the Clark Commercial Pest Control Conference, spoke on small flies. "Some people call them gnats," he explained.
He launched into his presentation on phorid flies, small fruit flies, moth flies and fungus gnats. "The phorid fly is the most insidious of this group," he said. They scuttle around, there thousands of species, the live in mausoleums where they munch on dead people. They also attack fire ants, lay eggs on them and the larvae eat the ants until the ants' heads fall off.They also control ticks. They live in feces. They have small heads, humped thoraces and longitudinal veins in their wings and no cross veins. They also have flattened femurs on their hind legs. Their life cycle can take 15 to 30 days, but may live longer in cooler temperatures.
They love insect light traps, and they don't bite. Their larvae is creamy and have crimped seams like a turnover. The adults move in jerky fashion. Tucker threw a lot of information out there very rapidly. He showed slides from a hospital job, showing how he did detective work in a hospital to find a phorid fly infestation, which began in a drainage line from the kitchen, which channeled over a sterile area; a leak from a construction defect allowed them a place to breed. "Sometimes you'll end up solving a construction problem," he told the pest technicians.
Tucker's visual presentation was gnarly in the way anyone who revels in the aesthetics of ugly bug funk could appreciate -- huge masses of pupae, rotting food crawling with insects, et cetera. "This is a mausoleum," he said, pointing at some crypts on the screen. "Sometimes you have to be a detective. How does the larvae live? What does it need? You have to solve that problem." Tucker's stories were hugely entertaining. Next up were fruit flies, or Drosophilidae: small gray bodies, red eyes, with wings that have cross veins. He talked about the difference between Drosophila repleta versus the more common D. melanogaster. They love rotting vegetables and fruit. "Ground zero for Drosophila melanogaster is bananas," he said, before listing a lot of these flies' favorite places -- rotting plants, rotten cacti, salad bars. They live eight to 10 days, sometimes longer. D. repleta, on the other hand, likes feces, and is found in nursing homes, and is the number-one pest in poultry facilities. It also likes sewage and rotting fruit. Shore flies like algae, and are found aims overwatered plants.
Moth flies, or sand flies, (Psychodidae) are covered with hairs and don't like to fly. they can cause Leishmaniasis, a festering skin infection. Larvae are found in drains, sewers, plumbing lines and poor drainage systems. They like slime, and in the water itself. "I'd be willing to say that every office drain in America has moth fly larvae," he said. Last was fungus gnats -- Fungivoridae, et al. They look like mosquitoes but don't bite. Indoors, they are house plant pests. Their season runs from Halloween through New Years Day, typically on poinsettias. They are a big problem in office plants. He concluded by saying that in every detective story, there is an answer: larvae. Find the adults to identify the pest, then find the larvae, and then talk to the customer.