February 20, 2012


by jteaton

Roof rats are now staking a claim in areas where they haven’t been before–thus we’re forced to change our approach to rodent jobs. Knowledge of this specific rat has become vital to solving this problem in a diligent manner.
You must know the reproductive rates, food preferences and how rodents communicate. Whether it’s their urine, pelage, or fecal matter, knowledge of these basics will improve any pest control technician’s ability to eliminate an infestation in a timely fashion.
Roof rats are one of my favorite pests because of their elusiveness. They force me to think outside the box and ask myself the questions: “should I pre-bait this account?”, “seal the building first?”, “what would be the best food item for baiting my traps?”. Asking these questions is when training and knowledge become vital in making the right choices for the job. The more proficient you become at answering these questions, the greater the reward.

Rodent Notes:
• Rodents pass on food preference through the mother’s milk
• In three weeks a young rodent starts venturing outside the nest
• Mice have a bite pattern of about 2 mm; rats have a pattern of 4 mm
• Rodents differ in behavior from location to location; nothing is ever set in stone
• Block walls provide excellent harborage areas, never forget to inspect them

When the problem is solved, be sure to identify and communicate to your customer the sources that contributed to the infestation, and set an appropriate warranty to avoid losing money on possible call-backs.

James Rodriguez
Territory Manager
J.T. Eaton Co., Inc.
(818) 640-4587

January 9, 2012

Winter Weather and IPM

by jteaton

Winter Weather and IPM

Winter weather is the perfect time to promote your IPM program! At this time of the year, people understand the concept better; the draft under the door, the leaky window or cold burst of air coming from the garage door. All are areas that could allow insects or rodents to enter their home or building.

Here are some examples of why someone should seal their garage door:

• Saves them energy costs

• Keeps their garage warmer

• Help keep dust and leaves out

• Prevent insects and rodents from entering

• Protects their stored items from mice or rats

• Minimizes the use of pesticides indoors

• Provides long-lasting protection (value)

Selecting a durable material is crucial in separating yourself from the” weekend warrior”; so explore your options before selling an IPM job so you pick the best products for the job. Sometimes it could be adding a strip of molding to the side of a door, or metal flashings around garage door channels but whatever you do it needs to look right.

The goal of sealing, when you’re done with a job, is to make it look as if you were never there. “A natural fix” is a term I like to use. Take “before” and “after” pictures of your job to show other customers or to put on flyers to help sell future jobs.

By sealing a building, you’ve made your customer instantly happy, kept the house/building warmer and helped your IPM program by building the insects out.

Happy Selling! James Rodriguez Territory Manager J.T. Eaton Co., Inc. (818) 640-4587

December 5, 2011

Bait Station Anchoring

by jteaton

Bait Station Anchoring

Recently I was at a restaurant and found a bait station exposed out in the open and I was a bit disappointed. I put it back in its place next to the building and called the company; not to berate them but to remind them that cable anchors would have a been a good choice for this location (since the company I work for makes them).  My words seemed to fall on deaf ears– I’ll never know if they corrected the problem.

The “what ifs” came to mind after hanging up the phone: what if a dog got to the bait?  What if a child picked up the box and bait came out?  What if an Inspector ate here?  What if some teenager started kicking the box around?  The bottom line is: what if a secondary poisoning call was reported– was it worth not securing a bait station?

Insurance claims aren’t cheap and we’re always faced with the risk of litigation.  Doesn’t it make sense to have every bait box secured and to have a standard protocol for anchoring on all bait stations?

Here’s a test for you to consider when it comes to liability: ask a child you know around seven years old to pick up a new bait box with a few rocks in it, I don’t care if it has a rock attached to the station, and move it about 10 feet.  If the child is successful you should think about a better system of anchoring in order to prevent that “unwanted call” of an accidental poisoning.

James Rodriguez

Territory Manager

J.T. Eaton Co., Inc.

(818) 640-4587

November 1, 2011

A Simple Change for Pest Control Professionals

by jteaton

“Change is inevitable” as the quote goes, but in the Pest Control industry adapting to the changes that are caused by new laws and label changes seems to be a slower process for some.

Examples of recent changes: the limitations and required documentation to use Fumitoxin (and its 100 ft. rule) and the Risk Mitigation Decision which limits your baiting programs to within 50 feet of a structure.  Both are drastic changes that have greatly affected our industry.

Creating change in your company should be a step-by-step process and be easy to duplicate.   Manufacturers’ labels change all the time; having a current label and MSDS sheet and creating a fast and simple process to keep your label books current is one of the first steps to a successful program.  Other ways to learn more about upcoming changes and keeping in compliance are;

  •  Attending Pest Control Industry-related meetings and join AZPPO; this is how Manufacturers get out their information quickly.
  •  Subscribe to Industry-related email, newsletters, blogs and pest control magazines.
  •  When purchasing products, or when seeing your distributors, ask them about any changes that may be coming.
  •  Mark your calendar to dedicate several days (or more) for training. Rain-days, in-house training or last day of the month training work well.
  •  Schedule visits with your distributors or manufacturers’ representatives to ask “what’s new” and are there “any changes” is as simple as an email or phone call these days.

Knowing what alternatives are available when a product becomes too restrictive to use (or when one is banned from use altogether) will keep your company flowing with uninterrupted business.   The step-by-step process always starts off the same: knowing what you’re up against, keeping informed, implementing change, and making sure you meet or exceed all legal requirements.

James Rodriguez
Territory Manager, J.T. Eaton
Direct (818) 640-4587

October 24, 2011

Rodent Control Tidbits

by jteaton
Posted on October 10, 2011 by azppo

Rodent Control Tidbits

In sports and in the workplace we need to know something about the competition to gain the edge. The same is true for rodent control. The more we know, the better we are at solving problems for our customers–whether it’s a large commercial facility or a residential structure.

With rodents comprising 40% of all mammal species, (and estimates of around 2000 different rodent species) we need all the tools possible to keep them in check.

Here are a few facts to keep your tool box:

* Rodents that have a good supply of food won’t spend a lot of time gathering additional food, and will spend more time doing other things like mating.

* The common female house mouse can breed when she is five weeks old and monthly thereafter. The litter size is between four and six.

* A female Norwegian rat could have 56 young (and over 400 grandchildren!) within 20 weeks of being born.

Granted with the second and third examples, not all of the young make it to be an adult because of competition for food, predators, weather, and lack of natural abilities–but these stats are frightening nonetheless.

Rodents tend to limit their breeding to stay fit, and are easily able to adapt to changing conditions for survival. As I’ve always heard from Pest Management Professionals “the second rat gets the cheese”…the perfect adage for this cautious creature.

James Rodriguez, Territory Manager, J.T. Eaton Co., Inc. (818) 640-4587 direct

September 7, 2011

Bird Control Tips

by jteaton

J.T. Eaton & Co.: Bird Control Tips

1 Aug, 2011

By: James Rodriguez, J.T. Eaton & Co., Inc.

*Published in PMP Buzz Online eNewsletter*

 Bird repellents have been a longtime staple in the pest control industry. They’ve contributed to many success stories — and just as many failures due to misapplications.

The goals of bird work are to keep the birds out of a particular location and prevent their unwanted droppings. This is of great importance not only for aesthetic reasons, but also health reasons associated with breathing the spores that come from the droppings.

Preplanning and calculating the materials needed to complete the job at the right price and with the right man-hours are key factors to any good job. So how do gel-type bird repellents come into these calculations?

You might think gels are appropriate when a customer doesn’t have enough funds to do a job that should require netting, spikes, shock tracks, or bird slopes. Don’t fall into this trap!

Misapplied or haphazard applications may cost you more in litigation (or a new paint job for a property), so sometimes it’s best to walk away until an agreement can be reached.

A likelier use for bird gels would be in hard-to-reach places, narrow ledges, gutter edges, curved surfaces, chimney, and nooks of the building or store signs. Another use is as a temporary solution over entryways and carports ledges, balcony rails or on monuments.

Because most bird work is done at heights over 6 ft., consider all the safety factors involved. When bidding a job, will you need scaffolding, rolling scaffolds or a cherry pickers/bucket lifts — or simply need to rent a longer ladder? Not having the right equipment when the time comes to do the job will cost you time, money, and possibly the whole job!

Whether it’s a big or small job, the hazard of doing bird work is very real when it comes to cleaning up droppings, and handling and removing bird nests. The issues of biting insects like mites and fleas, respiratory illness, falls, clothing and enclosed environment contamination caused by dust should always be on your mind. You should be trained to identify the hazards and prevent them from occurring. The cost of injury or respiratory illness to you or employees, or to a bystander or customer, far outweighs the benefits of cutting corners.

Here are some tips for proper use of gels:

  • Apply gels (caulking tube type) in half-in.-wide strips to a clean surface, or try adding some removable tape to the surface before applying gel for easy cleanup once the birds are deterred.
  • Make sure the application locations are not in plain view, where dust will be visible.
  • Porous surfaces like stone and stucco should be sealed first because they can absorb gels. Use clear shellac spray, white glue or silicone solutions to seal surfaces.
  • For larger surfaces, apply about 1 in. from the edge so the gel doesn’t run over in hot weather.
  • On wide surfaces, create two lines of gel 1 in. from the edge, and the next row about 2 in. from the edge. Repeat as needed.
  • Calculate how many cartridges you’ll need: Each cartridge covers about 10 lineal ft.
  • Mineral spirits can be used to clean equipment immediately after an application has been completed. Use caution cleaning painted surfaces (or avoid applying gel to them entirely). Note: Mineral sprits may discolor or remove paint.
July 25, 2011

Send your techs back to School!

by jteaton

The amount of training that’s available is incredible! Give a homework assignment to your techs for fun, prizes or just to improve their knowledge. It’s a great investment and gives them a better understanding of the importance of their job in society.

Refreshing them with some of the basics of equipment, entomology, exclusion techniques, pesticide application, bird control and rodent control is a money-making proposition for all levels in your company–including office personnel.

To give you an example of some types of training, visit our web site at www.jteaton.com. Discover our product training videos, or visit our webinar section that has information on food processing, gopher control or bedbug training.  Pestweb.com also has tons of programs you can check out at your convenience. Local seminars offered by your area distributors and pest association meetings are also fantastic resources.

Try pulling up University websites and give specific links to your techs to review about termites, scorpions or packrats and their
characteristics.  Knowledge of each can help speed up the estimating process on any given job.

The homework part: Give techs homework by asking them read over a particular page on a website and follow it up with a 10 question test (that you put together) the next morning. This will help them understand more about their industry. You should also give them a test after spending the time (and expense) of having them at a seminar to see just how much they learned.

Challenging someone to do better is good for everyone—your business, the tech, and the customer!

James Rodriguez
Territory Manager
J.T. Eaton Co., Inc.
(818) 640-4587

June 14, 2011

Keeping Your Customers Safe

by jteaton

Keeping your customers safe

As pest control professionals, we climb into crawl spaces, roam around in basements full of spiders–and at times–attics and garages filled with rodent droppings. I’m thankful that we’re required to be trained for these situations and that we have access to the proper protective gear; however what about our customers? Are they being made aware of some of the dangers associated with tearing into a pack rat, roof rat, norway rat or mouse nest?

If you’re called out on a rodent job, making your customer aware of the hazards of having rodents is one thing, but letting them know some of the dangers associated with breathing dust from a rodents is another. I don’t want you to scare the heck out of them, but opening up some kind of dialogue to prevent and illness or respiratory problems should be everyone’s goal.

A few examples to keep in your tool box of knowledge are:

• Mice can leave 3000 micro droplets of urine per day
• A rat has about 7000 psi pressure of bite power
• Rats’ teeth have a hardness rating of 5.5 (where iron is 4.0)
• One dropping about the size of period can have 5 million Hantavirus pathogens
• Rodents lose their entire pelage (fur) twice a year during molts
• Urine, mucus, saliva, blood and hair can contain pathogens

Offering the correct information will not only help you get the job, but also create life- long customers.

James Rodriguez
Territory Manager
J.T. Eaton Co., Inc.
(818) 640-4587 Direct.

May 20, 2011

EPA 50 Foot Rule

by jteaton

With Risk Mitigation protocol descending upon us, changing our baiting application to less than 50 feet away from the structure will be the “new” baiting procedure.
Having an action plan in place to begin the conversion, and being aware of the various trapping stations, can save you money and may fit into your current program to maintain and service your accounts.

Devices to consider for Rats:

Hard Plastic Bait Stations
• J.T. Eaton #903TP Rat Fortress™: Holds 2 mouse glue boards or 2 Jawz™ rat size snap traps (item 410B)

Trapping Stations
• J.T. Eaton #401STS Snap Trap Station: Made of metal and can hold 2 wood snap traps or 2 Jawz™ rat size snap traps

Disposable Stations
• J.T. Eaton #901 Safe-Tee™ Plastic Bait Station: Thin plastic station made to hold a J.T. Eaton #177 glue board and fits a single Jawz™ rat size snap trap.

Increasing the frequency of visits when trapping more than 50 feet away from a structure will increase your cost, so start considering pricing adjustments, and plan on notifying your customers of this change soon.

James Rodriguez
Territory Manager
J.T. Eaton Co., Inc
(818) 640-4587

May 20, 2011

EPA RMD Update

by jteaton

By now, most of us are familiar with the EPA’s Risk Mitigation Decision that was released in 2008. This post is to remind everyone that the deadline for bait changes is June 4. Before reminding everyone what that means, here is a recap of what the RMD entails for professionals and consumers. (This information is taken from the RMD publication. A link to the official document is below.)

Consumer Bait:
• Bait products must be sold with ready-to-use (one-time use or refillable) bait stations, except for products that are labeled solely for use outdoors, below-ground for control of moles and pocket gophers.
• Bait products may contain one or more of the following active ingredients: chlorophacinone, diphacinone, warfarin, bromethalin, cholecalciferol, and zinc phosphide.
• Meal, treated whole-grain, or pelleted forms of bait (whether packaged in placepacks or not) are prohibited, except for products that are labeled solely for use outdoors, below-ground for control of moles and pocket gophers.
• A retail package containing a bait station may contain up to a maximum of 1 pound of bait for either mouse or rat control (the 1 pound limit includes the initial bait placement inside the bait station, plus any bait refills).

Second Generation Bait:
• Second Generation bait for professional and agricultural use need not be sold in bait stations, but labels must require use of bait stations for indoor applications where children, domesticated animals, or non-target wildlife may be exposed.
• Product labels must require use of bait stations for all outdoor, aboveground placements.

Agricultural Use
• Any form of bait is acceptable, including meal, pelleted, and block forms.
• Product labels must state, “For use in and around agricultural buildings only. Do not apply further than 50 feet from agricultural buildings.”
• Product labels must state, “Do not use in homes or other human residences.”
• Products must contain at least 8 pounds of bait.

Professional Use
• Product labels must state “Do not apply further than 50 feet from buildings.”
• Bait stations used in residential and institutional settings must meet the standards set forth in Section V.C, below, for ability to isolate bait from children.
• Any form of bait except liquid is acceptable, including meal, pelleted, block, and paste forms.
• Products must contain at least 16 pounds of bait.

EPA believes that these size limits will effectively discourage residential users from obtaining second generation anticoagulants for their own use.

First Generation and Nonanticoagulant Bait:
• Other Bait for professional or agricultural use need not be sold in or with bait stations, but labels must require use of bait stations where children, domesticated animals, or non-target wildlife may be exposed (this is not a new requirement).
• Any form of bait is acceptable, including meal, pelleted, or block forms.
• Products must contain at least 4 pounds of bait.

**For products in packages with at least 8 but not more than 16 pounds of bait, labels must state that products may only be used in and around (within 50 feet) of agricultural buildings (e.g., barns, hen houses), and bear the statement “Do not use this product in homes or other human residences.”**

What does this mean? According to the EPA, June 4 is the last turning point for bait changes.
• Last day for voluntarily complying registrants to release into commerce a product not complying with the risk mitigation decision.
• Products requesting voluntarily cancellation have until this date to release into commerce.
• Existing stocks of non-compliant products released for shipment by the registrant on or before this date can be sold until stocks are exhausted.
• Non-conforming products released to retailers on or before June 4, 2011 may be sold until exhaustion.
• Products released to distributors or retailers post June 4, 2011 must include mitigation measures.

For more information and to view the complete RMD document, go to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0955-0764