All Creatures Great and Small

The pest control industry

I have said many times that I have over 45 years of experience in the pest control industry. Let me tell you a few things I have learned and why I almost never recommend pest control companies. I started in 1972 in Hollywood, Florida where I was hired by a local pest control company. I had no experience at all. On the first day, my supervisor went with me when I sprayed houses. In the first house he said I start at the front door and follow the wall around the house and spray the baseboards and when I get back to the other side of the front door I was done. I asked him why we had to spray the baseboards that way. He told me we had to kill time in a customer’s house, so they thought they were getting their money’s worth. That was true then and it is true now. Basically, that is all we did in every house on a routine basis.   I went to work for a very large national company in Albuquerque as a salesman. I asked the service manager what kind of ants we had in Albuquerque. He said we have inside ants and outside ants. If they are inside, we spray inside the house and if they are outside, we spray around the outside of the house. That is it. Two kinds of ants! We had a meeting with the manager, and he said we had to get customers to sign contracts for a monthly service. I asked why. He said we have to pay bills so need to spray every month. He said we had to tell the potential customer that the pesticide breaks down in 30 days and we have to reapply it. I mentioned that the pesticide might last longer inside and a shorter time outside because of the weather. He said we HAD to tell them it lasted 30 days.   This is one of the largest pest control companies in the country.

I worked for Kill A Bug in Albuquerque for a very short time. We went to Los Alamos to spray some trees for a certain insect for a local agency. When we got there, he said to only mix a fraction of the pesticide in that tank. I asked why and he said they needed to save money, and nobody will check on them in Los Alamos. I quit that company. There are companies that want to spray pesticides around homes on a regular basis and it is ridiculous. They kill many beneficial insects and even some birds. They also spray about a three-foot wide area around your house. The industry likes that because the more pesticides they use, the more they have to buy.

This isn’t a pest control industry, it is a profit control industry. I stopped working for pest control companies in 1995 and became the IPM Technician for the University of New Mexico. I worked there 12 years and took care of any pests in classrooms, offices and dorms and never used any toxic pesticides and the students, faculty and staff loved it. That is when I started consulting. I also worked as the IPM Manager for the City of Santa Fe, and I took care of about 80 city buildings and never used a drop of pesticides. I had to quit because the Park and Recreation manager I worked for loved pesticides and didn’t like me not using them.

Basically, there are a few good pest control companies. I have known hundreds of companies over the years and there are about a half dozen I can recommend.

If you have to use a pest control company, don’t sign a contract. Just hire them for the particular pest issue you have now. You don’t need a regular application of toxic pesticides.   Don’t let a company just generically spray baseboards. They are only killing time in your home. Don’t let them power spray pesticides around the outside of your home. It is not good for the environment. Never let a pest control company use rodenticides. If they can’t trap rodents, call someone else. In reality, you can manage pests yourself. It is all about exclusion and preventing pests without using pesticides and using safe methods when you have to control some. I can help anyone that has pest questions.   If you have any pest issues you can contact me at  You are also welcome to join my Earth Friendly Bug Club.

Pesticides are weapons of mass destruction.






About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


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