Off the Cuff: Seeking All the Ant-sers


May 18, 2015

Ants can be a pain, not only literally — I’m looking at you, Solenopsis invicta — but figuratively, to a typical pest management professional’s (PMP’s) bottom line.

How many ant callbacks have you fielded this season? Before you hang your head in shame, take comfort knowing you’re not alone: According to our 2014 Ant Management Survey, 40 percent of responding PMPs had at least a 5 percent callback rate on initial ant jobs. Four percent had higher than a 20 percent rate.

Still, ant work can be profitable: In its recent survey, the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) determined ants are the top concern of consumers — more than termites, spiders, rodents and yes, even bed bugs.

Today’s ant management tools are state-of-the-art, but education also is vital to success. Techs need to know how to distinguish among the thousands of ant species, how to follow ant trails back to nests, how to communicate with customers to achieve needed cooperation (such as sanitation and exclusion), and how to better manage clients’ expectations.

It’s in that spirit of education that we once again bring ants into focus this issue. Our ant management special supplement features three PMPs who provide insights into the technical and business sides of this important segment. 

You can reach Managing Editor Heather Gooch at Heather Gooch or 330-321-9754.


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