I was standing in the doorway of a long time Home Defenders customer, taking flak: “Mike, your workers should have seen those mouse droppings on our bed!” Mr. Jones bellowed. “My wife took one look and threatened to head home to Long Beach and never come back.” I apologized to Mr. Jones, drawing on decades of experience in public relations to keep him happy. Half the art of pest management is old-fashioned customer service.
Months ago, my crew had sealed their vacation cabin against rodent entry, then they followed up monthly to check for fresh activity. Had my techs missed that mouse poop? Answer: They might have, because even an experienced tech can miss a few droppings that a wife can spot like Superman with his microscopic vision. (Wives have other superpowers that vex us pest professionals, but that’s another story for another day.)
My workers might not have missed those droppings because every night platoons of mice probe our cabins for entry openings. Even if they can’t find one, they’ll put their fuzzy noses to the grindstone and chew holes with teeth as tough as drill bits. And the band plays on.
I didn’t explain all that to my customer. Rodent control isn’t a murder investigation where theories and timelines are critical. Rodent control is the art of dealing with the reality in front of your eyes. And the reality was that determined mice—somehow, some way— had beaten our rodent proofing work. But I would be keeping an eye on this job, and two sets of eyes are much better than one.
I called my crew chief and told him to get the critters out ASAP. From then on, keeping my customer happy was the reality in front of my eyes. (Update: We Home Defenders soundly defeated the mice on our second attempt. Memorial services for the dearly departed were held in a private ceremony.) Have a rodent free week, everybody!