Looking for a way in with new residential customers? Belle Meade Exterminating, Co., an independent pest control firm based in Nashville, Tennessee, gets leads on hundreds of residential clients each year by offering termite pre-treatments for new housing, and then following up with those clients after the one-year guarantee expires. And according to Andrew Douglas, director of operations for the 55-year old firm, his new client pipeline has gotten even more efficient thanks to Totality™ Wood Treatment from FMC. Besides being easier to mix and store, Totality allows Belle Meade to perform termite pre-treatments year-round, which is important in central Tennessee, where the housing market is on the rise.
Though wood treatments are approximately 15 percent of Belle Meade’s total termite sales, they offer a direct link to new families moving into the area. Each pre-treatment is guaranteed to keep the structure termite-free for a year, so after the one year mark Belle Meade technicians ask the customer to continue the termite protection program and add a general insect control program. Since most homeowners are new to the area and haven’t yet contracted with another firm, many sign up with Belle Meade.
Belle Meade has performed termite treatments for new housing since 1974. And though they offer both wood treatments and liquid soil treatments, Douglas prefers treating the wood. “If we can mix one or two gallons of finished product and treat the wood of a structure rather than use hundreds of gallons applied to the soil in, under and around it, we have protected both the structure and the environment,” he said. “It is effective, quicker, easier and more profitable.”
Wood treatments also offer practical benefits, he said. There is no second trip to treat the backfill and there is also a longer treatment window. “With wood treatments, we have about two weeks to apply the insecticide [after framing but before plumbing and electrical] but with soil treatments you’ve got to get in after the foundation but prior to the slab, which can be a couple of days at best or a few hours in the worst case,” he said. “Inevitably the contractor forgets to let you know, so you’re sending out a technician at the last minute. Wood pre-treatments are much easier to schedule.”
When Douglas was asked to test Totality, at first he was skeptical, as he is about all new products. But after working with it for more than six months, he was “impressed.”
“It is so much easier to mix, especially in cold weather,” he said. “While borates become more viscous in cold weather, Totality pours out easily.”
Douglas also likes that the technician needs only a small amount of active ingredient. “With Totality, one quart will mix up to ten gallons of product, which makes it much easier to transport,” he said.
In addition, Douglas likes that the product is easier on his equipment. “There is practically no clean up,” he said. “With borates, you have to clean it out thoroughly and quickly. With Totality, you just rinse and you’re done.”
All of these attributes mean more efficiency and time-saving. “Using Totality over borates may only save us minutes per job, but over a year, it adds up,” he said. “And in this business, as in every business, time is money.”
About Belle Meade Exterminating, Co.
Belle Meade Exterminating Co. provides exterminator and pest management services to the Nashville, TN community since 1959. For more information on Belle Meade Pest Control, visit www.bellemeadeexterminating.com or call 615-298-5555.