The Hunger Games: Rodents scavenge for food


“Ultimately, it’s the interactions with pests that must be avoided, by preventing pest introductions whenever possible and eliminating activity when prevention methods are overcome,” Dan Baldwin, BCE, says. PHOTO: PIERRE ADEN/ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS/GETTY IMAGES


Clear, concise documentation is necessary for effective communication with clients. Our greatest value to them is our ability to inspect for, and propose corrective actions to prevent, the introduction of pests. While the proper selection and applications of pesticides is a valuable component of our services, long-term pest prevention relies on keeping the pests out of the accounts in the first place. Thoughtfully prepare client reports, and include any exclusion and habitat/behavioral modification steps.

In your reports, be prepared to briefly explain why the proposed actions are necessary. The best way to get a client’s attention is to relate the corrections to the negative economic, human health and safety, or “brand-image” impact of not following the proposed course of action.

Make sure going forward, you take an active case management approach with accounts that require modification, or are in identified vulnerable areas — such as a grocery store or a restaurant that remains open in areas where other food establishments are closed. Someone in your organization needs to follow up with clients regularly to ensure corrections are made, and to record any additional observations.

Dan Baldwin

Dan Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

The bottom line is, the process for performing pest prevention services do not change in the face of adversity. I offer the same advice as I did in my June article: Breathe. Investigate, document, communicate, act and re-evaluate, just like normal. The fundamentals will carry you through.

BALDWIN is director of technical, training and regulatory services for Terminix Commercial. He may be reached at

About the Author

Baldwin is the VP of Technical Services for Hawx Pest Control. He can be reached at

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