As the cold season slows business, now is the time for pest control providers to shift their focus to the future. While the worst of mosquito season is a distant memory, it’s still important for customers to stay vigilant in their pest control efforts.
For pest control providers, the winter months are often known as the pest control off-season, but don’t think of this period as time off. Rather, as the seasons change, direct your efforts toward new forms of enrichment and prevention.
Help your clients stay one step ahead of pests with these pest control provider off-season tips.
Ramp Up Indoor Inspections
It’s true — when heat becomes scarce, so do many pests. However, having a successful pest control winter means taking the time to set your clients up for next summer’s success.
Use the chillier months to have technicians focus on indoor inspections. Thoroughly examining the interior of your client’s property will allow your staff to pinpoint trouble spots and weaknesses and prevent bigger problems from arising.
Indoor inspections may reveal:
- Spider infestations: Though small in size, spiders can be a big problem during the winter. Focus indoor maintenance on web removal and infestation treatments to keep your client’s space arachnid-free.
- Rodent activities: When people move their activities indoors, so do many rodents. Indoor inspections can help find issues in trouble areas — like basements, attics, and crawl spaces — before they become a problem in the rest of the house.
Keep Up With Attic Treatments
Another key element of winter pest management is providing comprehensive attic treatments. During the colder months, a host of pests settle in warm attics and lie in wait for the heat of summer. As temperatures drop, you are likely to find:
- Carpenter ants: These ants build their nests in wood — usually in dead and damp spaces. Keep an eye open for the tell-tale sawdust they leave behind as you canvas attics.
- Cluster flies: Cluster flies are also known as “attic flies,” and for good reason. These pesky flies crawl in through tiny openings in wooden structures. They search for a place to hide out during the colder months before reemerging in spring.
- Boxelder bugs: The boxelder bug is an overwintering pest — they often infiltrate sheds and attics during the fall and may venture into indoor living spaces during the winter.
- Rodents: Attics make for a prime place for rodents of all kinds to live during the winter.
To save your clients from expensive and invasive treatments later down the road, be proactive in offering your clients attic treatments and preventative dusting to keep these and other pests out.
Take Time to Maintain Equipment
One of the most essential pest control winter tips is to take ample time to service your company’s equipment. Chances are, as a pest control provider, your equipment sees a lot of use over the peak summer months with little time for upkeep.
The slower winter season is the perfect time to inspect your equipment. Commit to replacing any pieces that may be outdated or beyond repair. Perform any necessary repairs on your remaining arsenal and keep up with regular maintenance year-round for a fleet of effective equipment.
Prioritize Staff Development
Perhaps the most important use of your time during the winter months is prioritizing professional development for your pest control staff. The cooler months are perfect for:
- Safety training initiatives: Your staff’s safety should always be a top priority and what better time is there to strengthen safety protocol than in the off-season when workdays are lighter?
- Technical training refresher courses: As pest control providers, your team members are responsible for an immense amount of technical knowledge. Take advantage of the slower pace of winter to bolster your staff’s level of expertise with company-wide meetings and refresher training courses.
- Industry and association conferences: Cold weather season aligns with the pest control conference and meeting season. Such conferences offer opportunities to learn from colleagues, meet with vendors, and keep up with the newest innovations in your field.
- Update licensure: Take advantage of the winter season by auditing your staff’s license status. Make sure all technicians are up-to-date and proficient in all necessary licenses.
- Explore certifications: Ask your employees to identify relevant learning objectives and incentivize earning new certificates in fields of study such as pest behavior and pest biology. A well-educated and well-rounded staff will keep your clients protected during the busy season.
- HR housekeeping: Encourage your staff to make use of their sick and vacation days during the slow season. Use incentives to sweeten the deal — having a full staff in the summer will help the busy months go all the more smoothly.
- Allow time for enrichment: Give your technicians time during the workday to study new resources and continue their education.
- Keep in touch with customers: During light periods, touch base with existing customers about maintenance, interior inspections, and follow-up appointments.
- Review business processes and operations: Evaluating and updating inefficient business practices and strategies during the slower months can ensure you’re prepared to maximize your efforts when business picks up.
Take advantage of the slower pace of the winter months to emphasize the importance of prevention to your clients. A few ongoing measures can help save your clients from extensive treatment in the summer. Promote services such as:
- Determining and sealing pest entry points: Encourage your clients to utilize proactive maintenance measures rather than doing damage control in the summertime.
- Creating a pesticide barrier. The winter season is the perfect time to promote pesticide barriers to your clients. Winter presents less light and heat — factors that break down barriers — than the summer. A strong barrier will deter any pests before they find their way into your client’s home.
Advocate for preventative pest programs for your clients through education on proactive home treatments. They are important investments that can save homeowners time, money, and frustration down the line.
Remember, There Is No Off-Season
The bottom line is that while the winter months may be slower for active pest cases, there is no true pest control off-season. The professional development, preventative action, and maintenance that you invest in during the winter will set you up for success during the pest-filled warmer months.