Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Seattle Carpenter Ant Seminar

ALL STAFF(except owners) Attended a seminar Thursday 4-17-08. The seminarwas held at Univar in Kent. This was a panel discussion with Corey Chantry of All Seasons Pest Control as the moderator. The panel consisted of Scott Deland of Willards Pest Control, Art Bader of Whitworth Pest Solutions and Bob Anderson of Sprague Pest Solutions. The panel discussed the importanceof expectations, inspection and patience. They talked about the biology and behavior of the ants and the difficulty in locating nest sites. Someof the newer products on the market were discussed as well as baits, repellants and non-repellants that are currently in use. Where to look, conducive conditions, exterior vegetation were all mentioned. Unusual scenarios and treatment intervals were talked about at length. The participation from the audience was great!
Report from Al Brown, Service Manager of Cascade Pest Control (425)641-6264 (206)525-0882

Pacific Northwest Pest Control Conference

Kurt and Diana Treftz of Cascade Pest Control attended the Pacific Northwest Pest Managment Associations annual conference, April 2008.

This years speakers included Joanne Tank of Buffalo Exterminating, Jeff Smith of Univar USA, Herb Field of Lloyd Pest Control, Michael Rottler, president of Rottler Pest and Lawn Solutions of St Louis, MO and Linden Griffin, president of Griffin Pest Solutions, Inc.

This years main focus of interest was "green" pest control. What it means, how it works, what materials can be used for it, what elements can we as pest control companies in the northwest incorporate.

In one session Diana Treftz commented that she believes that it matters not so much how we as an industry define it, but more importantly, how does each and every one of our clients define it. Each and every persons definition is different. She said that her company trains their employees to explore what the clients understanding is and that to answer their concerns they must first understand their definitions of the terms.

Jeff Smith of Univar USA stressed that if our clients ask for "green products only" discuss it with them to find out exactly what their meaning is, and what products and practices are acceptable to them. Their concept likely differs slightly from other clients and from what we in the industry understand it to be.

Different states have created different "green list" definitions of pesticides:

Huge fallacy: many people including legislators believe that "natural pesticides" are better than organics. However, as we know there are many people who are allergic to natural substances used in pesticides and not allergic to those same substances synthetic cousins. Also, the "natural" insecticide pyrethrum, if sprayed to control aphids on landscape plants also kills all other insects contacted... is this green? While Merit 75, a "synthetic" insecticide, applied to the soil around trees and shrubs is taken into the foliage to kill ONLY those insects feeding on the plant. It has no effect on other organisms on that plant.

So much to educate the public about. So much confusion and misunderstanding often driven by fear..and not knowldege. Organic, natural pesticide is not always better than synthetic. Some common "Natural" pesticides affect insects (and other animals ) in ways identical to synthestic pesticides. AND...Nearly all of them are "neurotoxins". From the Unicersity of Georgia-The Bugwood Network....
The source of a chemical (synthetic vs natural) is irrelevant when considering its toxicity.
Organisms cannot differentiate between "natural" and "synthetic" chemicals
Mode of action, not source, is the concern of toxicologists and " informed" users of pesticides.
Theophrastus Phillippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim, a Swiss physician and alchemist, father of modern toxicology once said: "The right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy" (the dose makes the poison)

Other items of interest.

in my opinion, best business tip was given by Joanna Tank of Buffalo Extermination.
She has years of banking experience and showed a 5 year comparison of Profit and Loss statement. Her belief is that 2 year comparison is definitely not enough. Having done two year comparisons at Cascade Pest Control for many years I can see the great advantage of going back another 3 years. This way we can tell if a change in percentage of cost is a one time event or a pattern that has developed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pest Control Seminar held near Seattle, WA

A pest control seminar hosted by Univar in cooperation with the WSPCA Education Committee on 2/21/08 for Greater Seattle area pest control operators.
The first half covered pesticide/chemical spills. The speaker was Fred Whitford from Purdue University's Pesticide Programs. It was an entertainig presentation onwhat some would consider a boring subject. He pulled technicians from the audience to use as victims and drivers. He simulated a vehicle accident with a chemical spill and had them say what steps to follow. Al Brown of Cascade Pest Control noted that all Cascade vehicles have labels and MSDS's which Mr Whitford said was most important.
The second half was on Integrated Pest Management and Green pest control. How we have evolved from exterminators to consultants. Our role is in being good stewards of the environment. It was clear that, as we do our consciously of the environment we should be a well respected industry and be compensated accordingly.

Report submitted by Alan Brown

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bed Bugs Back Again

An article in USA Today covered the resurgence of bed bugs in the United States, as well as in Europe. As one person put it, they had pretty much become a myth of times past.

"Sixty years after near-eradication, the little bloodsuckers are infesting homes and hotels from New York to San Diego. Why the outbreak? Increased world travel and changing pest-control practices."

An expert says that "they wont leave unless you unleash an all-out effort." " Cindy Mannes of the National Pest Management Association says the pest control comany Orkin has had bedbug reports this year in every state except seven: Alaska, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Wyoming. "

Alan Brown of Cascade Pest Control, serving the greater Seattle area noted that for the first time in the company's history calls for bed bugs are coming in. Begbugs in the greater Seattle area are truly a problem. Bed Bug control measures, according to Brown, are intense otherwise they don't go away. Clients have to cooperate in cleaning and preparing for the professional pest control measures.

In various reports throughout the country entomologists and other experts agree that bed bugs are no match for homeowners trying a "do it youself" approach. Other concerns are the diseases that bed bugs can carry.

(quotes from USA Today)

Maintenance Service Stressed in Rodent Control

At the December 13 pest control meeting held at Univar various pest control experts concluded that a maintenance service and rodent exclusion work (closing up access points... a.k.a. "rat-proofing"). Eric of Whitworth Pest Control presented a short slide show presenting rodent biology and behavior. A concern was raised that some companies--not licensed pest control companies--do the clean up and/or decontamination work from rodents, but do not do the rodent control, leaving the clients with the ongoing rodent infestation.

(Notes from Alan Brown, Cascade Pest Control )

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cascade Pest Control earns coveted Angie's List Super Service Award

Cascade Pest Control earns coveted
Angie’s List Super Service Award
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer satisfaction

Cascade Pest Control has been awarded the prestigious and difficult-to-attain 2007 Angie’s List Super Service Award.

This exclusive recognition is awarded at the beginning of each year to companies who have achieved and maintained a superior service rating on Angie's List throughout the past year. Fewer than 5 percent of the companies on Angie's List meet the eligibility requirements to be considered for the award.

“Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to customer service, said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “To help our members easily find these exceptional service companies, we’ve added Super Service Award logos to each of the winning company names on Our members tell us they love that additional bit of information.”

Cascade Pest Control is proud to receive this award, having served the Seattle/King County/Snohomish County public for nearly 3 decades. “We can’t imagine a more fitting recognition,” says Kurt Treftz, an owner, “…being that Cascade greatly values long term relationships with it’s clients.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have maintained an "A" rating overall; have received a minimum number of reports; are NOT in the Angie's List "Penalty Box,” and do NOT have an unsatisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau.
To further help consumers easily identify Super Service Award winners, Angie’s List encourages winners to post (free-of-charge) their hard-won Super Service Award logo on company business cards, invoices, vehicles, awnings, windows, signs and employee shirts/uniforms.
Angie’s List is where consumers turn to get the real scoop on local contractors and companies in more than 280 different categories. Currently, more than 600,000 consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them find the right contractor or company for the job they need done. Members have unlimited access to the list via Internet or phone; receive the Angie’s List magazine, which includes articles on home improvement and maintenance, consumer trends and scam alerts; and they can utilize the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. Get more information and consumer tips at