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October 10, 2023

Dr. Michael Bentley, BCE

Dr. Michael Bentley, BCE

Every year, I play in a competitive fantasy football league with friends. For those not familiar, fantasy football is an online game where participants create their own dream teams by drafting real football players. Players score points for your team based on their actual performance in real games. Teams in your league play head-to-head each week, and the team with the most wins at the end of the season is crowned the victor.

I’m not great, but I can usually hold my own. This year, however, my team was horrible and I’m likely to finish in last place. I’m confident this year’s crash-and-burn performance stems from two key factors:

  1. I drafted my team based on my memory of player performance from past seasons. I never took the time to review any new information on player data or preseason forecasts for the new year.
  2. I didn’t make any adjustments to my team throughout the season. As a result, I played most weeks at a disadvantage and struggled to score points.

To be successful in fantasy football, you need to constantly review updated player information and game conditions for the upcoming week, and adjust your team accordingly. In many ways, setting yourself up for success in pest control parallels maintaining a successful fantasy football team. If you’re not making regular adjustments to your service protocols that account for new research, seasonal variation, and new pest pressures then you’re playing at a disadvantage.

Scientists are regularly discovering new details about age-old pests, such as variations in German cockroach (Blattella germanica) feeding and reproductive behavior, that influence control strategies. Plus, several new invasive species have made their way into the U.S. over the past couple of years, including the Asian longhorn tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) and the Joro spider (Trichonephila clavata).

The landscape of pest control is constantly evolving. The key to positioning yourself for a successful pest control season is to stay current on industry news and research. Because things change quickly and often, and if you’re not staying up to date, you could find yourself playing with an outdated team and finishing in last place before you know it.

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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