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Virginia Beach and Roanoke ... The PMP Reporter is published quarterly by VPMA to provide articles of interest to members ... Commonwealth Exterminators, Inc.
THE PMP REPORTER A Publication of the Virginia Pest Management Association

Fall 2014

George Rambo Leaves a Legacy of Consistent, Accurate WDI Inspections Inside This Issue President’s Message: Shake it Off and Step Up ................ 3 VDACS Column: Pollinators It’s A Label Thing ............. 6 Insurance Claims: Dust in the... Where? ............................ 10

Dec. 2 and 3 marked the end of an era for VPMA’s education program. After 15 years and 1,377 VPMA Certified WDI inspectors, George Rambo steps down from his position as Curriculum Coordinator and Lead Trainer of this VPMA flagship education program after the Virginia Beach and Roanoke presentations of the WDI Inspector workshop.

At a recognition dinner on Dec. 1 in Virginia Beach, VPMA Executive Director, Andrea Coron illustrated the effect that George and this program have had in Virginia. “Prior to the creation of this program, I had to maintain a spreadsheet to manage the dozen grievances that were open on my desk at any one time. Fifteen years later, I see one or two grievplease see Legacy, p. 8

Dr. Miller Awarded VPMA Lifetime Industry Stewardship Award .............................. 14 Admin Corner: Why “The Customer Is Always Right” is Wrong.............................. 16 VT Student Wins Award...... ......................................... 18 Passions & Pursuits: The Bug Lady Finds Peace in Pottery ......................................... 20 George Rambo (right) receives recognition award from Kevin Kordek, original WDI Chair, and Beth Duncan, VPMA President

VPMA Officers and Directors Beth Duncan, President Exterminating Unlimited, Inc. P.O. Box 1565 Mechanicsville, VA 23116

804/550-5657 Fax: 804/550-0586

Gena Lupini, Immediate Past President Loyal Termite & Pest Control Co., Inc. 2610 East Parham Rd. 804/737-7777 Richmond, VA 23228 Fax: 804/328-1591 Nick Lupini, Vice President Loyal Termite & Pest Control Co., Inc. 2610 East Parham Rd. 804/737-7777 Richmond, VA 23228 Fax: 804/328-1591 Don Lenegar, Secretary Lenegar’s Pest & Moisture Services 1385 Laskin Road, Ste. B 757/965-2384 Virginia Beach, VA 23451 757/965-2383 Brian Delaney, Treasurer ProTech Pest Control of Virginia 7426 Alban Station Blvd., #B216 Springfield, VA 22406

703/440-8000 703/440-8253

Tom Mares, National Representative Mares Exterminating Co. 891 Yorktown Rd. 757/868-4898 Poquoson, VA 23662 Fax:757/868-4899 Jason Leonard, Allied Director Forshaw Distribution, Inc. 2251-A Dabney Rd. Richmond, VA 23230

804/355-1900 Fax: 804/355-3982

804/276-6703 Fax: 804/276-3699

Charlie Church, Director Getem Termite & Pest Control P.O. Box 6066 Norfolk, VA 23508

757/489-8610 Fax:757/489-8612

Kristi Crutchfield, Director & SVPMA Liaison Superior Exterminating Co. Inc. 2336 Peters Creek Rd., NW 540/562-2201 Roanoke, VA 24017 Fax: 540/562-2205 Rhonda Elmore, Director Commonwealth Exterminators, Inc. P.O. Box 12 434/848-9800 Lawrenceville, VA 23868 Fax: 434/848-8388

757/945-1935 Fax:

Keith McCormick, Director A-Active Termite & Pest Control Co. 2500 Encounter Court 757/425-0855 Virginia Beach, VA 23453 Fax:757/340-0478 Ray Mitchell, NOVA PMA Liaison Barrier Termite & Pest Technologies P.O. Box 1124 703/444-0496 Sterling, VA 20167 Fax: 703/444-3919 Anthony Sfreddo, Director Triple “S” Termite & Pest Control 9160 Prince William St. 703/368-8000 Manassas, VA 20110 Fax: 703/368-8626 Neal Straker, Director ProTech Pest Control of Virginia 7426 Alban Station Blvd., #B216 Springfield, VA 22406


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Virginia Pest Management Association’s

Vision & Mission

Chip Spence, CVPMA Liaison Spence’s Pest Control 10107 Dakins Dr. Richmond, VA 23236

Jack Horsley, TPCA Liaison Terminix Seva, Inc. 754 Village Green Pwy. Newport News, VA 23602

Index of Advertisers

703/440-8000 Fax: 703/440-8253

The leadership of the Virginia Pest Management Association works to fulfill the vision of the organization and to promote the values of our mission statement to our members and industry stewards. VISION STATEMENT - The vision of the Virginia Pest Management Association is to be recognized by the public and the pest industry as the premier resource for supporting the pest management profession. MISSION STATEMENT - The mission of the Virginia Pest Management Association is to promote ethical and environmentally responsible pest management practices among our members through education, coalition and professionalism to safely protect the general public. The PMP Reporter The PMP Reporter is published quarterly by VPMA to provide articles of interest to members and is not considered a publication of standards and regulations. Your opinions, comments, and advertisements are welcome. Opinions expressed by individual writers are not necessarily endorsed by VPMA. Advertising is accepted at the discretion of The PMP Reporter and does not indicate endorsement by VPMA. Send submissions, correspondence and address changes to: Andrea Coron, Executive Director Virginia Pest Management Association P.O. Box 7161 Tollfree: 877/875-8722 Fredericksburg, VA 22404 Fax: 540/374-9221 Phone: 540/374-9200 email: [email protected]

The PMP Reporter

President’s Message by Beth Duncan “Shake it Off and Step Up” Today’s message is – Don’t be an ass! This is an old story, but bear with me. Hopefully there will be a new take for you from an old story. There was a farmer whose donkey fell down into an abandoned well. He called his neighbors in to help, but after surveying the situation, they saw no way to lift the animal out of the well. The farmer didn’t want his donkey to suffer, so he decided to fill in the well, thinking that he would bury the old donkey rather than leaving it to die of thirst and starvation. So with the help of his neighbors, they began gathering dirt to fill in the well. More to come… As I prepared to write my first President’s letter for the Fall PMP Reporter, I started by reviewing some past President’s letters found on VPMA’s website ( The few minutes spent on memory lane helped me focus on the task at hand, and was a great reminder of the hard work and dedication of presidents past.

So, I start by offering my sincere gratitude for the confidence and support expressed by the VPMA membership for allowing me to serve as president of the Association. VPMA has been blessed to have industry leaders – not just on a state level, but also nationally – as past presidents. It is humbling to have my name in the same list. For those of you who don’t know me, here’s a quick look at who I am and where I have come from. First of all, it’s not “me,” it’s “we”. Even though my name was on the ballot, my husband, Craig, and I were joined as one in 1982 when we married and started Exterminating Unlimited. I make mistakes of my own, but any successes are because of a strong union with a wonderful man. We started Exterminating Unlimited, Inc. (EUI) without the experience of having worked for another pest control company. Craig’s uncle had a company in Norfolk, VA and he helped get us started, but we learned and built EUI from scratch. There were no cus-

tomers, no business model, no experience and no money. But Craig joined the Central Virginia Pest Control Association and met some wonderful leaders who helped with the basics – invoices, forms, howto knowledge, and we took life and business one day, one customer, at a time. The rest, as they say, is history. EUI is still a single branch company, currently providing employment for 15 people. Joining what is now CVPMA and VPMA were crucial to our growth. No matter how much you learn or what you think you know, the best investment that you can make in yourself and your employees is continuing education. The associations offer technical and practical knowledge that can be used every day in everything from communicating with customers to managing employees. Having served on the board for the past 8 years, I can say with confidence that the time spent has been among the most beneficial investment in our business. As previous please see Pres. Msg., p. 4

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President’s Message presidents have stated, there is a generosity among VPMA members that is unprecedented. Even our suppliers and exhibitors comment about Virginia PMP’s. They go to other states and experience the dysfunction of associations where people don’t get along. They love coming to VPMA events because we DO get along with each other. Does this mean that we all agree with everything anyone does? Of course not. Because we are dealing with competi-


tors, we sometimes have differences with each other. But successful people, who run successful companies rise above narrow-mindedness and recognize the strengths and positive qualities of our competitors. It’s called R-E-S-P-E-C-T – find out

what it means to me! When we come together as members of VPMA, we have the choice to stand in opposition to what we don’t like, or we can rise above to see that even the most successful companies have had struggles. Best of all, most will share their experiences to help you avoid making the same mistakes. We learn from each other and hopefully improve not just our own businesses, but also our industry, and even more important, our lives. So what happened with the donkey in the well and what does that

The PMP Reporter

have to do with me? As the farmer and his neighbors started shoveling dirt on the donkey, the animal had a decision to make. He could stand there with his feet in the dirt and be buried alive. But instead, he shook off each shovel and kept stepping up, higher and higher. When the well was full of dirt, he was able to step out. So what will you do? Will you be an ass with your feet stuck in the dirt, or will you view the shovels of dirt life throws at you as an opportunity to rise above? As you step up and raise your elevation, look around at the people who seem to be throwing dirt at you and make your decision: does the dirt hurt you, or can you shake it off and use it to improve your position? The decision is yours.

Welcome New Member Please take a moment to reach out to these new PMP members and welcome them to VPMA! Aaron’s Pest Control, Charles Aaron, Sr., Richmond, VA Allied Termite and Pest Control, Chip Nininger, Boones Mill, VA

VPMA Board Meeting All VPMA Board Meetings are open to the membership. If you would like to attend, just notify us in advance so we can save you a seat by calling 877/875-8722! Next Meeting: December 16, 2014, 10:00 am via Conference Call

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Fall 2014


VDACS: Protecting Pollinators It’s a Label Thing… By Liza Fleeson, Program Manager, Office of Pesticide Services Virginia, as well as much of the rest of the United States, is experiencing dramatic losses in honey bees. Scientists believe that those losses are likely caused by a combination of multiple stressors, including poor bee nutrition, loss of forage lands, parasites, pathogens and exposure to pesticides. The Office of Pesticide Services reminds professional applicators of non-agricultural pesticides of your role in protecting the health of honey bees and other pollinators by reading the label on all pesticide products and following the instructions for their use. As you know, the instructions and related precautions that appear on the pesticide label are intended to protect the user, other people, animals and the surrounding environment by minimizing the potential risk of exposure to the pesticide. The label is legal agreement between the registrant, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the end-user and the State Lead Agency for pesticide regulation. The label mitigates the risk of the use of the pesticide to an acceptable level. Risk mitigation measures may be implemented throughout the label, for example: use rate; use site; PPE; weather conditions; buffer zones; storage; disposal; etc. 6

The likelihood of an incident is minimized when users follow the directions on the label and proper usage ensures continued use and availability of the pesticide. EPA implemented a series of label amendments for the following neonicotinoids for outdoor foliar applications: Clothianidin; Dinotefuran; Imidacloprid; and Thiamethoxam. While there are many agricultural uses for products containing these active ingredients, there are also nonagricultural uses

for some of these products. The label amendments apply to three specific scenarios: 1. Contracted Pollination Services 2. For Food Crops And Commercially Grown Ornamentals Not Under Contract For Pollination Services But That Are Attractive To Pollinator 3. Non-Agricultural Applications

Obviously, if you use any of these products, the pesticide label is the law and you must adhere to all label requirements. To assist in the interpretation of these new label requirements for non-agricultural applications, the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO http:// developed the “ASPCRO Guidance Document for Bee Language for Neonicotinoids Products in Outdoor Structural and Turf and Ornamental Settings”. Guidance presented in this document provides general interpretation of label amendments for outdoor foliar applications. Remember, however, that the proper application is determined on a situation or on a case-by-case basis. When in doubt, contact the Office of Pesticide Services! So, what are the risks of not reading and following the label? In addition to the potential for human injury, disease or death, environmental contamination and pollution, economic loss and property damage, there is also the potential for the imposition of restrictions on the use of specific pesticides. For example, in 2013, an estimated 50,000 bumblebees were killed in Wilsonville, Oregon after a commercial pesticide applicaThe PMP Reporter

tor treated blooming linden trees with an insecticide in an effort to control aphids. That incident prompted Oregon officials to prohibit the use of certain insecticides. By using pesticides according to the label, pest control professionals can reduce the potential for a similar incident occurring in Virginia. Failure to follow the directions could also constitute violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, which is the federal pesticide law, as well as the Virginia Pesticide Control Act. Both the federal and Virginia pesticide laws provide for civil or criminal penalties for violations. The applicator is ultimately responsible for the proper application of pesticides. To stay abreast of EPA’s current pollinator protection activities, including future label amendments or other registration related actions, visit For questions regarding pesticide regulation in Virginia, contact the Office of Pesticide Services at 804-786-3798.




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Fall 2014

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continued from cover

Legacy ances a year,” she explains. George Rambo has been the True North in setting the standards for inspection in Virginia through the WDI Inspector Certification Program. For fifteen years, he has delivered the consistent message of the importance of accurate inspection guided by a company’s written policy which protects the PMP, the homebuyer and the reputation of the Industry. George has empowered each inspection student with the value of being true to inspection standards, not the Realtor’s money or promise of future business. What has this program meant to the public in Virginia?

The rapid decline in consumer grievances once the VPMA WDI Inspector Certification Program was up and running, is an indicator that consumers were getting a quality service from the WDI inspection industry. Not only from individuals who earned their certification, and pest management firms who invested in the education of their employees; but also from companies who did not get the training, but who did respond to increased customer demand for accurate inspection. What has increased consumer satisfaction meant to the Industry in Virginia and beyond? Fewer unhappy customers means an overall elevation of the public’s image of pest

management in Virginia. In addition, this self-administered, voluntary certification has created with our regulators a credibility that serves the Industry well throughout Virginia. The program has been studied by many other states in the nation, and emulated in several states. VPMA’s online WDI Inspector Recertification Program is available nationally, providing a standard for companies to measure their own performance against. What has this program meant to VPMA? The development, implementation and administration of the VPMA WDI Inspector Certification Program was the springboard for VPMA truly fulfilling it’s

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The PMP Reporter

mission to safely protect the health and property of the Commonwealth's general public by promoting ethical and environmentally responsible business and pest management practices among our members through education, coalition and professionalism. The WDI Inspector manual and training have become the standards of the industry for inspection – the technical, ethical and professional compass for this important area of customer interaction with the industry. The success of the program with VPMA’s members, and it’s notoriety with consumers and regulators in Virginia, led to the development of the full cadre of education programs that VPMA

Fall 2014

offers today. From the Master Technician Series Workshops restarted in 2001, to the IPM in Schools training offered in 2002, and the Professional Pre-Treat Workshops in 2005 – 2007, VPMA has earned the reputation of providing valuable and timely training to the industry in Virginia. This success also was the stepping stone to the development of the VPMA State Technical Meeting (STM) – preparing for its tenth presentation in 2015. This meeting has become recognized nationally as a premier meeting for the Industry. So, 15 years after it’s inception and with 1,377 trained and certified inspectors under it’s belt, what is next for this program? Gorge Rambo has served the

Association and this program faithfully and progressively for many years. He built a strong and lasting foundation for this program with the support of the WDI and the Education Committees. The committees will continue to guide this program which will be presented, starting in the Spring of 2015, by Paul Bello. VPMA would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to George Rambo for his steady and guiding influence on the development and growth of the VPMA WDI Inspector Certification Program over the last 15 years. We wish him the best as he begins the implementation of his own grand plan for retirement in the future.


DUST IN THE……WHERE? By Andy McGinty, LIPCA Insurance EVP/COO and Stuart Mitchell, DO, MPH, BCE, PestWest USA Over approximately the last 2 years we have observed that while in the pursuit of structural pests such as bed bugs, fleas, and other influential insects, inappropriate or counter-label use of dust formulations has resulted in a significant increase of both claims and lawsuits. Throughout the U.S., whether performed by pest management professionals or wildlife damage control professionals (licensed and certified to apply a dust formulation), some applications have resulted in third parties and/ or consumers filing complaints with the courts and/or regulatory agencies. Claims are not limited to certain areas of the country. We have handled, or helped PMPs handle, exposures in all four corners of the country. We are hopeful the following information will help with the technical side of applying dust products. More importantly, we offer simple ways to help mitigate claims and/or suits that are becoming more frequent every year. Let’s start with the types of claims/suits we are receiving. We can then delve into some pragmatic information about 10

dust applications that you may want to implement within your company and with your employees. There is one common “statement” that we constantly hear with “dusting” or dust application claims. It is made by about every dusting expert and regulatory official as well as anyone involved with the claimant or plaintiff. “If the consumer can see the dust, you used too much!”

Of course there are some that disagree, but when you have a number of credible experts testifying to this statement being true, it does make it difficult for your defense. Here is a prime example: We have a condo that was treated for fleas. We received a call well into the claim that too much dust was used and the state was called in. The state inspector wrote up a report that too much dust was used and the

resident moved out for close to six months! The unit had to be cleaned three times and we were not informed until about the 3rd time the condo was to be treated (another issue about reporting claims early). Needless to say, this certain consumer was very, very particular about any residue of any kind. Since this claim is still ongoing, we will leave other issues out of the article for defense purposes. The bottom line is this claimant stated that the dust caused her property damage and bodily injury. Here is the kicker. There were two other condos that were also treated with dust resulting in the same complaints. This time we were able to get on it from the start, and guess what, even though you could see dust in isolated areas, swab and air samples came back with normal results. Therefore they basically have no claim. It is our understanding that the other condo that had to be treated three times (per residents demands) was in the same shape. Right now, we have one claim where we have demands well over $100K for one condo and $0 for the other 2 units. So how can that be? Three please see Dust, p. 12

The PMP Reporter

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Fall 2014





continued from p. 10

Dust condos with the same alleged conditions, but such different results? Again who was involved and when? On the claims side, it is so easy. If you have an insurance person or expert in litigation that knows these exposures, CALL THEM! That is everything! We have had other dusting situations that turned out to be nothing. Some even under the insured’s deductible. But this is all after the fact. Now let’s focus on ways to mitigate or totally avoid these claims in the first place. Dust formulations, when applied correctly or per label directions, are exceptionally effective in the reduction and elimination of pest pressures. However, nowhere on a dust insecticide label have I ever read, “apply per resident’s demands” or “applications should be per the property owners’ and/or residents’ requirements” or “treat if you feel like it.” So why do it? While following the directives of the product label, you must be aware of the hidden structural components that may carry a dust formulation from region A to region B. If you apply the product here, where will it go? A dust formulation particle can be 0.4-10 µm (micrometer or micron is one millionth of a meter) in size. If one throws a little Brownian motion or physics into the mix, dusts can be either very 12

effective tools or very expensive claims. Brownian motion or pedesis (Greek meaning "leaping") is the random motion of particles suspended in a fluid (liquid or gas) resulting from collisions with the quick atoms or molecules in the liquid or gas. If particles subject to Brownian motion are present in a given medium and there is no preferred direction for random oscillations, then over a period of time, the particles will tend to be spread evenly throughout the medium. For example, if A and B are two adjacent regions and, at the time, A contains twice as many particles as B, then at that instant the probability of a particle leaving A to enter B is twice as great as the probability that a particle will leave B to enter A. The physical process in which a substance tends to spread steadily from regions of high concentration to regions of lower concentration is diffusion. Now that you are thoroughly confused or enlightened on dust particle movement, the best method to avoid claims is to read, understand, and follow the label. Within their directions, product labels incorporate and balance all dust formulation characteristics. Pragmatically, and within the IPM template, product labels blend all required information to provide the “How to…” within an environmental assessment. A duster pulls air into a chamber and through agitation mixes a metered dose of dust per compression application. Avoid inhalation, ingestion, and eye/

skin irritation through label directed use of PPE. Dust applications must result in a fine surface film within unexposed and/or inaccessible sites. In pursuit of structural pests, dust applications must approach the IPM goal of environmentally benign as well as the prevention of claims and losses. Folks, training is everything! Whether in the office or in the field, facilitated training of applicators by licensees, associations or vendors through instructional, hands-on dust applications must be completed and constantly updated. Just as essential as ongoing training is documenting (in writing) the training event topic (noting lecture and/or hands-on training), instructor, date, time and duration, location, attendees, and any pre/post-quiz or pre/posttest results (file with documentation). ATTENDEES MUST SIGN THE TRAINING SHEET FOR VERIFICATION! No documentation, and it NEVER happened! Plaintiffs’ attorneys are subpoenaing training records and questioning the documents if attendees are not somehow documented or signed-in for verification. We can defend if not verified, but it does give the plaintiffs’ side an issue of fact they can use to confuse a jury. We are hopeful the above information will be of benefit to your business and your knowledge of dust formulation application exposures. We feel these will be more common types of claims in the foreseeable future. The PMP Reporter

Fall 2014


Dr. Miller Presented With the VPMA Lifetime Industry Stewardship Award There are so many people shop that includes a field trip still enjoys with her. Dr. Miller that do great things for our into DC’s Rodent Wonderland! has been head of the Dodson industry – and like those that Miller was also instrumenUrban Pest Management Labohave been previously selected tal in creating the Jeffrey M. ratory since her arrival at VT. for the VPMA Lifetime InThrough her work there, she has Johnson Memorial ACE Prep dustry Stewardship award, Course, presented each year developed many masters’ and this year’s recipient was a to encourage the best PMPs in doctoral level students whose clear choice. At the 9th annual Virginia to be recogVPMA State Techninized for their knowlcal Meeting held in edge and experience September, then VPMA by earning their ACE President Gena Lupini designation. presented this award to She has collaboDr. Dini Miller. rated with VPMA on Dr. Miller has been three different grants integrally involved in awarded to VPMA by Virginia’s pest manageVDACS, including ment industry since the IPM in Schools 1999 and has had an efprogram in 2001, and fect on just about every the Pretreat Program in PMP in Virginia as an 2005 and 2007. educator, a researcher, Andrea Coron (left) and Kristin Coron (right) congratulate Miller has been Dr. Dini Miller on receiving VPMA Stewardship Award. a problem solver and an active member of a pest management the VPMA Education leader. Committee since 2006 and has research VPMA has been eager Dr. Miller came to Virplayed a vital role in the identifito support through our scholarginia Tech (VT) as an Assocication of the top-notch speakers ship program as their studies ate Professor in Urban Pest and findings directly impact the at the State Technical Meeting Management, fresh from Dr. (STM). Each year, she has also industry. Phil Koehler’s lab at the Unibeen a favorite speaker at the Dr. Miller has been an versity of Florida. As a doctoral instructor for the VPMA Master STM – providing cutting edge student Miller developed an Technician program since 2001, research and information in her enduring affection for the Gerown crowd-pleasing way. and its lead trainer and curricuman Cockroach, but has since Without a doubt VPMA’s lum coordinator since January become one of the nation’s key Board of Directors and mem2009. Under her direction, this researchers on Bed bug biology program has incorporated many bers are profoundly grateful and management. for all Dr. Miller has given to interactive elements, including Dr. Miller’s initial enthuperforming Bed bug treatments, our industry, and know that the siastic outreach to VPMA and measuring perimeter and square industry will continue to benefit the Industry was a harbinger from her passion, her work and footage on a structure to calcufor the amazingly productive her tenacity to confront challate termiticide needed, and a relationship that the industry new feature to our Rodent work- lenging issues. 14

The PMP Reporter





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Fall 2014


Admin Corner: Why “The Customer is Always Right” Is Wrong By: Stephanie Yang, Director of Operations, Barrier T&PC Each issue of the PMP Reporter in 2014 will feature an article especially for the administrative staff at your office. Please be sure to share this useful column with them, and if there is a topic you would like to have addressed, please contact VPMA at 877/875-8722. Great customer service is and always will be a top priority for any successful business. The phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London. To this day, the service industry has


always held that mantra even if they are wrong. Everyone at some time or another has worked on the service side of the business---trying to manage the client’s expectations while yielding to their demands, just to make them happy. It might be time to change that think-

ing. Smaller companies and start-ups, whose customers are everything to the business, cannot afford to leave any of their paying clients unhappy. But that does not mean being at their beck and call, or relenting to customer demands. Ironically, this can lead to worse customer service. Is saving one customer worth the expense of losing a valuable employee? When doing business with thousands of people, you’re more than likely to run into one or two who are unreasonable and demanding. Our employees are the ones who have to tolerate these issues every day. When it’s a choice between supporting your employee, who works with you every day and sells your product, or an irate customer who demands a year of free service because they “can’t see” the product that your technician just applied, who are you going to side with? If your employees think that you won’t support them when a customer is out of line, it can cause a lot of resentment towards you and your company. Employees will feel as if they are not valued and they have The PMP Reporter

no right to expect respect from your customers. It also sends a message that just because a customer is paying, that they have the right to abuse your employees. When this happens, employees stop caring about providing good service. When you want to keep your employees happy and effective, back them up. Show them that you respect their judgment and opinions, and when faced with siding with your employee or an unreasonable customer, always choose your employee. When you put your employees first, they will put your customers first. If you are lucky

enough to have employees whom you trust and respect, don’t risk losing them by siding with the customer by default. Most businesses think that the more customers, the better. However, some customers are, simply put, bad for business. We’ve all had customers who have unrealistic expectations of what we can or should do to keep them happy. If you’ve tried your best to address a complaint and they are still not happy, it’s time to move on from that customer. There is only so much time, money, and energy a company can dedicate to pleasing an unrealistically demanding customer. An unrea-

sonable client can quickly eat away at those resources. Instead, we need to focus on meeting the needs of our reasonable customers, the ones who matter most. They are the ones who have been loyal to the company and are the ambassadors to your brand. Unhappy customers can be your greatest source of learning. When you come across a customer who is seemingly impossible to please, ask yourself what steps can be taken in the future to avoid a similar situation. Is repeatedly attempting to please an unappeasable customer really the best decision for your business?

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Fall 2014


VT Student Wins Award for Inventive Bed Bug Remediation Not every master’s student knows what it’s like to live with a bed bug infestation, but Virginia Tech (VT) master’s student, Molly Stedfast, has worked with people who do. Since starting her masters project with Dr. Dini Miller in the fall of 2010, Molly has developed a bed bug integrated pest management plan and training for both residents and staff of public housing apartments. At the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America meeting on March 17, Molly received a regional award for her work by the Southern IPM Center. VPMA is proud to have supported Molly’s research as a master’s student. Molly has addressed VPMA members about her work in public housing on several occasions at the State Technical meeting. In the Spring of 2014 Molly completed her

degree and is now the Director of the VT Bed Bug Infomation Center. The center is focused on educating people about Jim VanKirk, Director of the Southern IPM Center with Molly Stedfast how to protect themselves and their facilities from Bed bugs and other urban pests. The center will provide PMPs with updated and emerging research about pest control products, webinars and fact sheets aimed to supplement and improve a PMPs urban pest knowledge. The center will also serve as a resource which PMPs can share with their clients, in an effort to educate citizens of Virginia about pest biology, control and IPM strategies.

The right product is just the beginning™

Our Business is Your Business Call us at 800-888-4897 or go to OnlineTraining © 2014. Univar USA Inc. All rights reserved. UNIVAR, the hexagon, and other identified trademarks are the property of Univar Inc., Univar USA Inc. or affiliated companies.


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Fall 2014


PMP’s Passions & Pursuits: The Bug Lady Finds Peace in Pottery VPMA prints this feature column highlighting our members’ interesting and intriguing lives. Let’s get to know each other a little better by learning about the hobbies and passions each of us have, that make us unique! Please contact VPMA at [email protected] to submit your own personal story! She now lives in the land of legendary Virginia red clay, but she was born and raised in the heart of pottery country in western North Carolina, surrounded by artisans of living legend. She spent many hours as a kid splashing barefooted in mud puddles. Now, Brenda Hamlin, owner of The Bug Lady, LLC in Glen Allen, spends hours up to her elbows in warm, wet potter’s clay. Brenda started in pest management in 1979 and has been self-employed since July of 1982. She and her husband, Robert, have four adult daughters between them, and they are expecting the arrival of their 6th grandchild in February 2015. Although this grandmother grew up in an area where potters dug their clay out of the ground, she did not touch clay until about nine years ago. A friend who had a pottery wheel invited her to try it out. Brenda found her first attempts pretty frustrating although she loved every second of the feel of the clay. The Bug Lady had caught the potter’s bug. She had collected pottery for years, perhaps influenced by where 20

she grew up, an area rich in clay and pottery heritage. In 2005, she began taking classes at the Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen under Jane Hendley. She works mainly on the pottery

wheel, but occasionally she will form something sculptured by hand. Brenda makes mostly functional pottery, meaning the pieces are for everyday use. She uses stoneware clay. After the first firing, known as a bisque firing, the pieces are glazed. After glazing, the pieces are fired again and the glaze turns into glass and serves

to make the piece vitrified and safe for food use. Brenda owns an electric kiln; other types of firing include gas, wood and raku. Each method can produce different results. Brenda says there is quite a lot of mystery involved. You never know exactly how the pieces will turn out. According to Brenda, “You can do exactly the same thing over and over and get different results, kind of like an ant job!” Brenda belongs to two pottery guilds and has had several successful shows over the years. She continues to take classes and she attends workshops to learn from other potters. But she says she learns the most when she sits down at the wheel and lets the clay teach her what there is to learn. Four years ago the focus of what she would do with her pottery changed. Her daughter volunteers for Reece’s Rainbow, an organization that raises awareness of the need for adoptive homes for children with disabilities. Her daughter asked for her pottery “seconds” and held an open house in her home and sent 100% of the money to help a little girl named Lucy. Brenda was stunned with please see Pottery, p. 22

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NOT EVEN CLOSE! !"!#$%&'()'(*!#'+,,' $-./0&0"0(%&1'2##(3'4!50!*!&'0%' 6(0%6'7!8(%9''":!';$55'"('#!& !$#%!9'-/&"(=!#&''()'!$-:' -(=<$%8? @$=058'(3%!9'$%9'(
“Arrow was a perfect match to the way I ran my company. I always believed in promoting a family culture in the business.” — Randy Nader, Nader’s Pest Raiders

“We were looking for a company that provides exemplary customer service and was passionate about how customers and employees are treated. We found that in Arrow Exterminators and are proud to be part of the family.” — Mike Riggins, Owner, Terminator Pest Control

Call today for your confidential conversation.

Kevin Burns | 800.281.8978 [email protected] Fall 2014


continued from page 20

Pottery the results, as these were items she had considered “not worthy.” Lucy was adopted that year. The next year they were able to help Rita. The Seconds for Second Chances Art Sale is now an annual event, and they chose a five year old boy from China, Yule, to benefit from the sale. But Brenda was running out of seconds, so she reached out to her pottery community. She received pottery donations from 33 potters! The event continues to grow and

has a following (check them out on FaceBook, Seconds for Second Chances Art Sale). In addition to pottery, the event also

receives donations from other artists, including jewelry and papercrafts. Brenda says that the knowledge that her seconds

contribute to a worthy cause has given her the freedom to lighten up her creativity and be willing to try new things. Brenda works under the name “SeasonSong Pottery,” based on Ecclesiastes 3:1. Throughout history, there is reference to pottery in all civilizations. Brenda’s hope is that someday, far in the future, someone digging in the earth will come across a shard from a piece of her pottery and experience a moment of joy and pleasure in their finding as she does when she finds someone’s old shard.

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YOU’LL LIKE HOW FLEXIBLE IT IS. PESTS WON’T. Arilon® Insecticide is one of the most flexible non-pyrethroid products available. You can apply it indoors and out as a spot or crack-and-crevice treatment. Plus you can make perimeter applications with it, all the way up to a 10-foot band. But no matter where you apply it, Arilon will provide comprehensive protection. That’s because exposed pests can carry it back and share it with more pests. So your applications go even further, and your customers’ lives go on uninterrupted.

Learn more at

©2014 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions before buying or using Syngenta products. All products may not be registered for sale or use in all states. Please check with your state or local Extension Service before buying or using Syngenta products. Arilon®, For Life Uninterrupted™, the Alliance Frame, the Purpose Icon and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368). MW 1LGP4013 1/14

Fall 2014


2015 1st Bi-Annual Thermal Remediation Bed Bug National Conference CONFERENCE LOCATION: Embassy Suites Dallas - DFW International Airport North at Outdoor World DATES: March 8-10, 2015 GUEST SPEAKERS: • Dr. Austin M. Frishman, AMF Pest Management Consulting • Dr. Stephen Kells, University of Minnesota Department of Entomology • Dr. Roberto Pereira, University of Florida Department of Entomology • !"#$!%&#'()**+#'()**#'&%)(,%-&.#$(,/0/*/1%&2*#3).)2!&4#5)(,)! • Dr. Raj Hulasare, Temp-Air Manufacturing • Mr. Joseph Barile, Bayer Environmental Science • Mr. Chris Strom, Temp-Air Manufacturing • Mr. Thomas Campbell, Campbell Law, PC • Ms. Andrea Hancock, Mattress Safe Manufacturing • Mr. Jeff White, Cooper Pest Solutions • Mr. Paul Bello, PJB Pest Management Consulting, LLC PRICING: $259 early bird registration available through December 31st, 2014. Register online at Registration price includes the following: • DFW airport shuttle service • Sunday night cocktail reception • Hot breakfast buffet Monday and Tuesday • Admission to all speaker series • AM and PM refreshment breaks • Lunch buffet Monday and Tuesday • Round table and panel discussions *Please note, ticket price will increase if registering after above date* HOTEL: We have a hotel block reserved at the Embassy Suites Dallas - DFW International Airport North at Outdoor World. Address: 2401 Bass Pro Drive, Grapevine, TX 76051 Rate: $159/night + taxes Sunday March 8th and Monday March 9th Phone: (972) 724-2600 Reservation Website: Accommodations: 6**#17).,!//0.#2!)#.82&%/7.#9:!//0#.7%,).+#;!))#<%=%+#&/08*%0)(,2!>#-,()..# club with indoor pool and jacuzzi *Book your hotel room immediately as we have limited room availability and plan on selling out* Conference Brought To You By:





(800) 836-7432



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