You lookin’ for trouble?


January 18, 2023

Doug Foster

Doug Foster

Are you lookin’ for trouble? Usually that phrase has a negative connotation with negative consequences. However, in pest management your answer should be a resounding “Yes!” It means you are busy solving problems.

Whether you are a commercial, residential or termite technician, office staff or owner, you are a problem solver and should be proactive in “looking for trouble.” It’s easy to be an autopilot when checking 60-plus repeating mouse traps and 30 exterior bait stations. Did you take the time to notice cobwebs in the racking next to your trap? How about the Indianmeal moths in those cobwebs? How about the 0.5-inch gap under the rollup?

Termite technicians: Did you notice the dryer hose has come loose, the rodent droppings in the insulation, or that the vent screen has deteriorated and/or been pushed out by the cable guy?

Residential techs: Did you see the open gap where the gas line enters the home or the firewood stacked next to the house?

Separate yourself and your company from the mediocre! Add value to your client by pointing out problem areas around their home or business. Add value to your technicians and support staff by looking for things that aren’t working.

Equipment: Mosquito mister leaking down tech’s back; bald tires.

Processes: Three separate techs in the same neighborhood; same customer skipping each month’s service; no follow-ups on sales calls.

My friend Alan Feuer, staff entomologist and technical director at Albuquerque, N.M.-based Preventive Pest Control has a mantra: “Don’t waste the winter.” Now is the perfect time to work on these issues.

“You lookin’ for trouble?” If you’re not already, you should be.


About the Author

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Doug Foster is president of Burt’s Termite & Pest Control, Columbus, Ind. Reach him at

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