Monday, September 21, 2020

Pest Management Professional and Labor Day


Horticulture Hotline 09/21/2020

By Bill Lamson-Scribner


Two weeks ago, was Labor Day. Last week, I wrote about a very few situations that landscapers face doing their job. If you missed last week’s article, you can go to and look under the Horticulture Hotline tab, and it will be there for you. This week, some of the Pest Management Professionals (PMP) situations are told.  


Let’s just go straight to the crawl space of your house. Is it a belly crawl? Is it an on your knees crawl? Is it wet? Does duct work hang low though out the crawl space? Is the duct work sweating, causing the insulation to hang down? Is your crawl space dark? Are you just a little claustrophobic?


Why is the PMP in you crawl space? Maybe an annual termite check to keep your termite bond up to date. The PMP might have been under your house every year for 5 years – pretty routine; however, this year he is crawling along on his belly and looks up to see something else that crawls around on its belly – a rattlesnake! The PMP can’t jump up and run, and he still has a job to do. What would you do?


During these same inspections in the dark with a flashlight and / or miners light, the PMP could see rats, spiders, raccoons, possums and mice. The PMP might have to crawl though the feces and dried urine of any of these critters. Yuck!


The crawl space is a treasure chest of stories. I remember the time a lady was having flea issues in her house and she didn’t have any pets. In the crawl space was a family of the beloved possum complete with fleas. Possum’s hiss and show their teeth when getting evicted from a nice cool crawl space, and the PMP is looking at them eye to eye. A snake that has been feeding on mice and rats hanging out on a beam above you can be a little unsettling. These snakes might not be poisonous, but they are BIG!


How about the HOT attic? Squirrels, rats and bats seem to be the most common uninvited guest. Crawling around a 120 plus degree attic does not sound fun. The story I have probably heard the most is the PMP getting rained on with roaches while treating a trailer house.


The PMP that treats apartment complexes that are ‘key accounts,” where you knock on the door and if no one answers you let yourself in to inspect and treat the area, has generated many stories and life and death situations – mostly human situations. Seeing drugs and drug paraphernalia is common. Naked people or people in various stages of undress can be uncomfortable. Waking someone up that was working or partying late, might result in a gun being pulled on you. Bags of nasty trash with diapers and rats eating out of them is always a good way to start the day.


There are a lot more situations than there are column inches. I hope the PMP’s had a great Labor Day!


Army worms, sod webworms, preemergent for winter weeds, and winterizing your lawn and shrubs are key right now!