Recently, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. homeowners regarding their experiences with rodents. The survey, conducted by Harris Poll, found that 37 percent of homeowners have seen a rodent in their home during the past year — up 29 percent since 2013 — and 75 percent indicated they would try to trap the rodents on their own.
How many times have you prepared to place mouse snap traps in an account, only to be told by your customer, “I’ve already tried that, those don’t work”? Chances are, when it comes to rodents, your client may have already attempted to gain control, usually without success.
Rentokil Steritech‘s Judy Black recently reminded me that “it’s not the weapon, but the warrior who wields it.” This is one reason why pest management professionals (PMPs) view tools like snap traps as valuable assets, while clients might see them as old-fashioned novelties. The training, education and experience that PMPs have allow them to achieve positive results from tools that may not be effective for the untrained consumer.
Public health education
Of great concern is the laissez-faire attitude consumers show toward the public health threat of rodents. The PPMA survey found that only 17 percent of consumers were concerned about rodents bringing diseases into their homes. One of the obligations of a professional is to educate clients about the dangers of rodents and their potential impacts on human health.
Rodents can spread a-borne illness, carry pathogens that cause diseases like leptospirosis or lymphocytic choriomeningitis, and can trigger asthma and allergies in susceptible people. Communicating information to consumers about the threat of rodents to public health will help spread the message that rodent control is not a “do-it-yourself project” and is best left to the professionals. By hiring a pro to remove rodents from a structure quickly and effectively, clients can be sure that the threat of rodent-borne illness has been eliminated.