The coronavirus pandemic and resulting stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders changed the way pest management professionals (PMPs) across the country perform pest control. Although they were able to continue to offer services, thanks to state and federal government declarations that their work is essential, most technicians refrained from entering homes and businesses for health and safety reasons.
PMPs didn’t let a pandemic stop them from offering ant control services at a time when calls for their services began picking up. Joseph Edwards, president of North Fulton Pest Solutions in Alpharetta, Ga., says interior pest control services were conducted only as needed to help keep technicians and customers safe. Even this summer, customers are being asked whether anyone in the home has symptoms or is quarantined. North Fulton technicians also wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
“As we head into the peak of ant season, we are contending with additional safety and treatment protocols brought on by COVID-19,” Edwards says. “So, when our customers are in need of interior ant services, we are prepared to provide those services with the appropriate precautions.”
Over the past few years, Edwards’ company got a head start on ant control by implementing exterior foundation treatments so he can stay ahead of ongoing ant pressure.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the company incorporated an “Enhanced Exterior Treatment Program” that consists of raking ground cover, such as mulch and pine straw, away from a home’s foundation walls because doing so ensures the company gets better results with its foundation treatments. In addition, technicians apply caulk to the openings around utility and plumbing penetrations in the home’s foundation. They also prune shrubs that are in contact with ground-level windows to keep ants from bridging the company’s foundation treatments.
“By cutting off these entry points, we are dramatically reducing interior ant infestations,” he says.
David Moore, manager of technical services for Dodson Pest Control in Lynchburg, Va., says his company also took precautions during the coronavirus pandemic. Additional PPE, cleaning and disinfecting the office, and eliminating in-person meetings with technicians were just a few ways he kept employees and customers safe.
“We had some customers who were very cautious about having people in their homes, which we understood and honored,” he says. “For existing and new clients, we were able to complete service calls without major disruptions. If someone requested a service for ants, we did not have an issue resolving the problem.”
Read more: Attaining ant control