Deanna Kjorlien, ACE, president of Green Dog Pest Service, Gig Harbor, Wash., notes that pest management firms can benefit by adding K9 bed bug inspection to their service offerings.
“We touch fewer surfaces (than traditional inspections), and are incredibly fast and less invasive,” she points out. “People are working from home, students are in ‘school’ at home, and the elderly and physically vulnerable populations don’t want service personnel in their spaces for a long time. But everyone who is worried about bed bugs still wants to know whether they have them. As I’ve told customers, the only thing worse than stay-at-home orders is stay-at-home orders with bed bugs. Our service is appealing for those reasons.”
Kjorlien admits that the COVID-19 pandemic affected her marketing plans “quite a bit.” With the pandemic still in play, using a contracted service like hers makes sense for many.
“Our K9 bed bug inspection line of work really demands zero mistakes, and that’s always our goal,” Kjorlien says. “Our PMP clients range from international corporations to solo operators. Some of our clients used to own their own K9 teams; they recognized the value in the service, but they don’t have the time to deal with the dog training or employee turnover. There are good margins on our services, so our clients make money, free up staff for sales or production work and, because we never perform pest control treatments, we aren’t competition. Other clients just consider us part of their liability protection plan since we are an independent inspection source.”
At press time, Green Dog is exploring expansion into other pest detection services, as well.
“Invest in hiring the right people, those who will fit your company culture right from the start. Then spend the money on proper training,” she suggests. “Employee acquisition and turnover are far costlier than offering loyalty-building perks like a 401(k) plan or health insurance. Training is more cost-effective than fixing mistakes, and your reputation is priceless.”