Be proactive to prevent callbacks


January 4, 2023

Photo: Willowpix/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Plastic holiday storage containers are much less pest-friendly than their cardboard counterparts. Photo: Willowpix/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is the advice Benjamin Franklin famously gave Philadelphians in a letter aimed at protecting their fire-threatened city. His message was simple: Taking small, preventive steps now to reduce the risk of fire would be far easier and more effective than trying to extinguish burning buildings later.

In many ways, the same guidance can be applied to pest management. Making small adjustments to your regular service that focus on preventive solutions to common pest problems can translate to major improvements in operational efficiency — and client satisfaction — down the road.

One simple way to incorporate something proactive into your daily service routine is to begin closing each service ticket with a client recommendation that addresses a seasonal conducive condition.

Dr. Michael Bentley, BCE

Dr. Michael Bentley, BCE

For example, January is when many of us start boxing up our holiday decorations for the year, so leave your clients with the recommendation to swap out those old cardboard boxes for durable plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Once cardboard boxes are packed away for the year, they often sit undisturbed for months at a time. This can create the perfect harborage, breeding site, and even a nutritious food source for a long list of pests looking for a new home.

When the boxes are finally unpacked the following season, they are likely to contain more than just holiday decorations. This proactive client recommendation not only reduces the likelihood of accidental pest introductions and seasonal callbacks, but the plastic containers also can help reduce clutter — making future inspections easier for years to come.

About the Author

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Dr. Bentley is director of training and education for the National Pest Management Association. You can reach him at

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