Pest Control Risk Verses Benefits


Risk Vs Benefit of Pest Control Jobs

Looking at Risks When You Want Benefits

Pest control technicians are normal people with normal needs. I’ll rank them here.

  • Money
  • Satisfaction of Work Done
  • Recognition
  • Go Back to Money

The job of a pest control manager is to temper that with the risks associated with the benefits that the pest control technician wants to derive. The manager must help the pest control technician see beyond the immediate gain to the potential long term pain for himself or herself, the pest control company and the pest control customer.

Pest Control Case Study – Risk Verses Benefit

At Hearts Pest Management yesterday I had the opportunity to guide a pest technician through the risks of a particular bee job, as well as some technique issues.

This particular bee removal call was not just for any old town. It was for bee removal in Rancho Santa Fe, which happens to be one of the wealthiest towns in America.

Fire Sprinklers and Bee Work

We have a policy that no technician enters an attic if fire sprinklers are present without a waiver. We do this only for the inspection. If work is going to be done, the sprinklers are then shut off. Our PCOC preferred insurance carrier, Jenkins Insurance Group reported that claims for fire sprinkler breaks are now running well over $300,000.

On this occasion, the pest control technician peaked his head up into the attic before the waiver was signed – that’s one open hatch too many. I spent the next half hour explaining why we needed to back down from the job until we evaluated all the risks, had proper sign offs and if contracted, that we had the fire sprinklers turned off and depressurized.

As the pest control technician presented it, the risk was limited in that the bee hive was near the opening to the attic and we were talking about a “casita,” not the main house. A Rancho Santa Fe home can easily run $10 Million or more. We were only talking about the garage apartment. Well, in Rancho Santa Fe, that garage apartment could easily run $250,000 – if not more. A fire sprinkler break could damage an apartment so severely that the repairs could easily equal the cost of the unit. But then I also added another question. What kind of items are in that apartment? As it happened, there were many valuable paintings. Then I added, “You know… if the fire sprinklers were to burst the water will fall below the second story apartment to the garage below. In Rancho Santa Fe a lot of folks have Jaguars and Mercedes.” The pest tech answered, “As a matter of fact, he does have a Jaguar!”

So when all was said and done, the pest control technician realized that the $600 bee removal job he wanted to perform expediciously in “a casita” could have resulted in a $1 million dollar claim.”

As we roll into our busy season, let’s not lose sight of the big picture as we look to increase our revenues. Lets evaluate the risks as we look to provide a livelihood for ourselves. Self interest dictates that we fully evaluate every opportunity for severe risks that put everything in jeopardy.

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2 Responses to Pest Control Risk Verses Benefits

  1. OK never thought about this one, I’m not sure I have ever run into fire sprinklers but I’ll have a waiver in place now. Great idea, no charge right.

  2. Gerry says:

    No charge.

    FYI, when I get such a waiver, I take it out to my car and lock it up. Why? Because if something breaks and if the waiver is in the house, I would not be at all surprised if the customer trashed the agreement. Wouldn’t you? It would be the logical thing to do.

    But with the right procedures in place it is possible to proceed and you can always insist that the customer have a professional company certified to work with fire sprinklers come out to shut them off and air test and repressurize them.

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