Ted Snyder, BCE
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Treating for Biting Pests Without an Identification

Identifying biting pests can be difficult. Clients have a hard time producing good samples to identify. Sometimes they can’t produce any samples at all. Or, if they do, some of the pests can be difficult to identify without advanced training in entomology.

Also, biting pests take a mental toll on some clients, exhausting them because they have to deal with bites day in and day out, without any easy solutions.

Sometimes, when faced with this, pest management professionals are tempted to just “spray around” on the baseboards, just to do something.

If you went to see a physician, and he, instead of diagnosing what was wrong with you, just prescribed a common medication, maybe Percocet or Cipro or even Prozac, would that be right? Perhaps you have a kidney stone, and rather than figuring that out and coming up with a solution, you get a common pain reliever or an anti-depressant because he guesses it would help you out. What would say about a physician who did this? Most people would say that he committed malpractice.

Is it any different when someone is being bit and, instead of getting a positive identification and determine a specific treatment to solve the problem, a pest management professional just “sprays around”? And what if there is no biting pest, but rather a medical problem that appears to the client to be bites? Then, just “spraying around” would do no good – it would consist of taking money and doing work for a non-existent problem.

As hard as it can be to get an identification of biting pests, it is an absolutely essential task before performing a treatment for them. Not doing so is no different than a physician writing a prescription without figuring out what is wrong with someone.

In my next issue, we’ll look at some actions you can take when you are in a difficult situation like this.

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