The secret to perimeter pest management


August 29, 2017

The secret to perimeter pest management is tri-circumambulation (from Latin tres three + circum around + ambulaˉtus to walk). It means “to walk around three times.” It’s not a new idea; in fact, many world religions incorporate circumambulation into their sacred rituals. But instead of imparting sacred meaning and wisdom, tri-circumambulation of the client’s structure allows you to collect information and perform specific tasks on each trip.

First trip: Devote your first trip around the building to inspection only. Look for obvious signs of pests, harborage areas, mosquito breeding locations and other conditions conducive to pest infestation. Make a note of what you learn on this trip, and be prepared to report it to the client at the completion of the service.

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Second trip: Walk in the opposite direction. This might seem like a minor detail, but alternating direction allows you to see the structure from a different angle — revealing pests and building details that might not have been evident the first time around. The second trip is also the time to apply appropriate pest management products (according to label directions) to entry points and harborage areas found during the first trip.

Third trip: Knock down spider webs and wasp nests, and empty water containers that might harbor mosquito larvae. Removing spider webs and wasp nests will be a visible reminder for your clients that the service eliminated their concerns.

Once you are finished walking the walk, it’s time to talk the talk. The irony of the final secret is that you should never keep a secret from your customers. Explain to them, either verbally or in writing, what you saw, what you did, and what you will do on the next service. This final “secret” step will reinforce the value of the service provided, and build your clients’ confidence in your work.


About the Author

Dr. Jim Fredericks

You can reach Dr. Fredericks, VP of technical and regulatory affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), at

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