New book offers user-friendly info

|  October 10, 2013

Dr. Gary Bennett, a member of the Pest Management Professional Hall of Fame’s Class of 2006, has helped countless professionals further their industry knowledge over the course of the last four decades. As a professor for urban pest management at Purdue University, he’s also been a knowledgeable resource for homeowners and business owners looking for pest identification and solutions.

So in the early 2000s, when the late Bennie Parr started toying with an idea for a consumer-friendly pest control guide, he decided Bennett was the ideal candidate to put the plan into action.

“He had been in the publishing business at one point in time, and he had also owned a small pest control firm in Florida,” Bennett recalls. “He called me up and said ‘I think there’s a need for a book or publication of some kind that could be left behind by PMPs to help consumers better understand the problem, and how to work with a firm to resolve it.’”

Coincidentally, Bennett had been thinking of such a publication, too — for about 30 years. “I, of course, had never gotten around to doing anything with it,” says Bennett. “Bennie lit that fire.”

Although Parr didn’t live to see the publication of Bugs Be Gone: Pest Control in Homes & Other Buildings this fall, he was heavily involved in its evolution, editing and reviewing several of its chapters. The 234-page paperback book is dedicated to his memory.

With headlines such as “Introduction to Pest Prevention & Control,” “Cockroaches,” “Ants,” etc., each of the 11 chapters has a two-page summary at the start. They are intended as a broad overview of each pest group. “If they want more information, they can then dig into the chapter,” Bennett explains.

Industry veteran Gene White, training manager for Rentokil, did all the photography that appears in the book. Each chapter recommends that the reader consults with a professional — “simply because there are so many different kind of pests, and you do have to know them, it can be complicated in handling from management standpoint,” Bennett points out. “But it also offers information to help them help their technician solve the problem by knowing what to look for, remove conducive conditions and so on.”

Bennett notes that it would make a great holiday present for existing accounts, or a component of a new-account welcome package. Scott Robbins, technical director for Action Pest Control, Evansville, Ind., who received an advance copy this summer, also believes it’s a great asset for new technicians.

“It’s written in such simple language — you don’t have to be an entomologist, despite the fact it was written by one,” he says. For vertebrates or more difficult pest situations, there’s still a need for reference materials like Truman’s Guide to Professional Pest Management Operations (of which Bennett is a co-author), Robbins says, but those can also be intimidating to a new technician. Keeping a copy of Bugs Be Gone on the front seat of the truck, he notes, can also be great resource when a customer has a lot of questions about a pest.

In addition, Robbins says, it’s an easy read for the industrious technician who wants to move up the managerial ladder.

“Back when I was running a route, I used to sit in my truck over lunch and read the NPMA Field Guide,” he concludes. “In a similar way, Bugs Be Gone can offer advance study into residential pest control.”

To learn more, or to purchase a copy of Bugs Be Gone, please visit localhost/mypmp.net/shop.

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