Swarm season checklists save time and money


February 24, 2023

Photo: Diabluses/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

A working flashlight and backup batteries should be on everyone’s checklist. Photo: Diabluses/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

While there’s still snow on the ground in some parts of the country, many pest management firms are already beginning to gear up for termite swarm season.

This is the time of year when normally cryptic termites reveal themselves as winged reproductives, or swarmers, that fly off to mate and start new colonies. Swarmers usually emerge in the spring, but the exact timing will vary across regions by species, temperature and rainfall.

Swarm season can represent a significant percentage of annual revenue for many pest control businesses, as existing and prospective clients seek immediate solutions to their newly discovered termite troubles. But a surge in service revenue doesn’t always guarantee a profitable quarter. Surplus revenue can be eaten up quickly, pun intended, by costly return visits thanks to unprepared clients or inadequately stocked service vehicles.

Dr. Michael Bentley, BCE

Dr. Michael Bentley, BCE

One way to keep profit margins high and expenses low this time of year is to prepare checklists for both you and your client. While checklists may seem overly basic, they can prevent you from overlooking critical steps during preparation. They can be a huge timesaver when you’re deep in the throes of a busy week and trying to multitask between responsibilities.

Your external checklist should include such recommendations as saving any pest samples for proper identification, steps to prepare areas for inspection, and confirming availability for a same-day service treatment. Your internal checklist should focus on ensuring you and your vehicle are sufficiently prepared for both inspection and treatment. As you progress through the season, your internal checklist becomes more important as equipment begins to wear, flashlight batteries become depleted, and service supplies start to run out.

A checklist is free and updatable, making it an invaluable tool that can save you significant time and money throughout the year.

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 mbentley@pestworld.org.

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