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Lawn Care + Pest Control(?)

Discussion in 'Lawn Care Business Management' started by zechstoker, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    I was just curious...
    How many of you (as maintenance gardeners) perform some sort of pest control for your lawn customers (IE: gopher/mole control, putting out snail bait, treating for aphids in gardens, etc.)? I was just wondering because I don't really see any other lawn guys performing these tasks. At least within my region. The only thing I've seen similar is weed spraying done by other exterminator companies such as Clark, but I can't think of any others doing (at least some) tasks from both fields of work.
  2. fireman gus

    fireman gus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    We will spray shrubs but little else.
  3. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,569

    where i live pest control and lawn care are two different businesses. most are on 10-year bonds where the pest control company comes out and sprays once a month.
  4. Turf-Magic

    Turf-Magic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    I treat for moles/voles on an "as needed" basis. I keep a box of Talpirid in my service vehicles. When we see a mole run, we simply drop some pieces of the worm in select areas throughout the runs. I'm trying the "Kaput Bait System" this year for better vole control.

    I also offer a Perimeter Pest Control Program. It's a VERY easy service to perform and the product (crosscheck LESCO) is cheap. We simply spray a path around the perimeter of the home, 3 feet up the foundation and 6 ft out in the landscape...also spray around entry ways that you can reach (doors, windows, etc.) It creates a barrier to keep insects from entering the home. We offer 4 services per year. Granted it's not as in depth as what Orkin or someone similar would do but it does work well as a preventative measure. Some states require a license to do this service.

    I'm all about upselling services if a customer truly needs it. Any extra revenue is ok in my opinion!!
  5. zechstoker

    zechstoker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 975

    Yeah, for sure. We actually started as a pest control company a number of years ago, and it wasn't up until January of 2011 that we started offering lawn maintenance. Since the company's primary focus is pest control, it only made sense that our landscaping team be able to perform both operations (to an extent at very least).

    I have a QAC (Qualified Applicator Certificate) for category B (Landscape Maintenance), so by law, I'm allowed to treat for various landscape pests; insects, rodents, diseases, and weed control.
  6. I'm only licensed for invertribrate pest controll. If the pest has a spine, I tell the customer to get Talprid for moles.
  7. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,738

    Are you then able to treat your spineless customers? You know, get rid of 'em??
  8. zspeed130

    zspeed130 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 274


    I have talked to my local John Deere (formerly Lesco) and am excited about trying the Crosscheck. Have you ever had an issue with damage or discoloration on platic window sills, siding,etc? What precautions do you take if there are animals or children in the home. My rep said stay away until dry (a couple hours tops) but that the actual toxicity to people or animals was VERY low.

  9. Turf-Magic

    Turf-Magic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63


    I have never had any adverse effects from this product and we have applies it on many different sidings etc. As you stated, I choose this product because of its low toxicity to humans. This stuff is labeled for use inside the home (which I don't do) so I just tell customers to keep pets and children away from application sites until the product dries. Sounds like you are ready to start spraying!!! It works well and the price is great!! Good luck!
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  10. ChaseHaze

    ChaseHaze LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    In North Carolina, as well as in CA, each service requires a separate license. You can apply for those pests you listed as long as 1) they are not invading the structure 2) They are not attached to or underneath the structure & 3) None of your treatments would carry onto or underneath the structure. When this happens you are performing "structural pest control" vs what your lawn care license allows you to do, which is turf and ornamental pest control. This is causing a huge debate between the two license holders because structural licensing is much more heavily regulated and the insurance requirements are much higher and the structural guys don't want turf applicators invading on their turf (haha bad pun). I have both licenses as I am primarily a pest control operator. You also mentioned mole control. I don't know about your state but in my state mole control is governed by yet ANOTHER LICENSE called the wildlife license. We hold it as well. So, to put this shortly you can do aphid control as long as it is not around the structure (with the turf and ornamental license), but you cannot do slug or snail control anywhere near the house, nor can you do mole control (I don't know the rules on moles in CA) without those separate licenses.

    Now if you don't have to follow any of those rules or can already comply, from a business sense: Pest control can be a very good business to be in but you should be careful to understand it is not the same as lawn care. The risks are higher and the consequences can be greater. The fines certainly are if you get caught doing something you shouldn't be. Just because a product is labeled for use on a certain pest doesn't mean that's what you should be using etc. The EPA is a serious group of government officials. I would never advise someone to do pest control as an add on just like I would never recommend to someone to do lawn maintenance as an add on. You need to do it all out not part way. There is too much to learn and its way to easy to lose your $ on wasted product or lose a customer that you would have never displeased if you hadn't jumped into doing their pest control.


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