Bed bugs are among the pest management industry’s most challenging adversaries. Their small size, nocturnal nature, and ability to survive long periods without a blood meal represent major challenges for PMPs, requiring a highly specialized set of service skills.
To acquire those skills — and instill a “can-do” mindset in pest management professionals tasked with defeating this ubiquitous pest — what better place to start than at a boot camp…a Bed Bug Boot Camp.
Launched in the summer of 2009, BedBug Central’s popular Bed Bug Boot Camps — held three times each year at the company’s headquarters in Lawrenceville, N.J. — feature a combination of classroom and “real-world” field training designed to equip PMPs with the skills necessary to take on any bed bug infestation and come away the victor.
“Boot camp is an intensive four-day course that covers bed bug biology and behavior, successful treatment protocols, and the unique legal challenges and business opportunities associated with bed bugs,” observed Rob DiJoseph, vice president of operations, BedBug Central.
“In addition, attendees get to see how our parent company, Cooper Pest Solutions, carries out BedBug Central teachings by going out into the field and observing an actual treatment. Our goal is to shorten the PMPs’ learning curve by providing them with practical, real-world educational experience,” he added. “We’re here to serve the customer, but we also need to make money providing bed bug services, so our training encompasses both the biology and behavior of the insect and provides a template for building a profitable set of bed bug treatment protocols.”
The agenda for the four-day educational program includes:
Day 1: Attendees learn about bed bug biology and behavior, in addition to the current state and ongoing evolution of the bed bug market. Further, they receive a comprehensive overview of the science behind and business case for BedBug Central’s innovative “No Prep” treatment protocol.
Day 2: BedBug Central takes advantage of its parent company, Cooper Pest Solutions, by sending attendees in the field with Cooper’s bed bug teams. Working side-by-side with a Cooper service professional, attendees have an opportunity to observe an actual bed bug treatment in the field, asking questions and gaining insights throughout the day. “There is no better educational experience than actually observing how an effective bed bug treatment is performed,” DiJoseph said. “Our bed bug techs enjoy sharing their knowledge, acquired through many years of hands-on experience, with our students.”
Day 3: This is where companies have an opportunity to take their bed bug program to the next level. BedBug Central’s business development team provides a full day of training devoted to identifying new bed bug markets and growing company revenues. In addition, the unique legal challenges inherent in the bed bug market are discussed. Part of the program is led by Danny White, a Cooper Pest account manager and BedBug Central instructor, who provides practical insights about how to sell and service both residential and commercial bed bug accounts. “He’s someone who really understands the business and can speak from the street level about what works and what doesn’t work when selling pest control services,” DiJoseph said.
Frigid Alaska Not Immune to Bed Bug Scourge
If you think bed bugs can’t adapt to cold weather, think again. In fact, one of the country’s most frigid states is in the midst of a serious bed bug epidemic.
“We’ve seen huge increases all around the state (in bed bug populations) over the last several years,” said Ken Perry, general manager, Pied Piper Pest Control, Anchorage, Alaska. “It’s actually hit all through the travel industry and in multi-family dwellings as well as in single-family dwellings. We’re just a hot spot here in Alaska because we’re in the center of the movement. People come and go all the time.”
Alaska’s burgeoning bed bug problem prompted Jeff White, director of innovation, BedBug Central, to travel to our country’s 49th state to appear at a “Bed Bugs Are Biting Alaska” seminar last summer.
In conjunction with the event, White and Perry were invited to appear on Alaska’s KTVA television station, sharing their knowledge of bed bugs and promoting the importance of partnering with a pest management professional to resolve bed bug problems.
To see White and Perry’s full interview, visit http://www.ktva.com/anchorage-bed-bug-seminar-offers-solutions-to-pest-epidemic-316/.
Day 4: This is the most important day of all, providing a complete review of the first three days of the boot camp and reinforcing all the concepts that attendees have learned. The day formally ends at noon, but for those companies interested in becoming bedbugFREE, the day is extended to complete the application process and meet all bedbugFREE criteria.
“BedBug Central purposely limits attendance in order to maintain an intimate, customized training atmosphere,” says Bobby Kossowicz, a marketing consultant retained by BedBug Central. “The small size lends itself better to the logistics of field days, limiting three attendees per technician in the field. BedBug Central’s extensive experience and proven success controlling bed bugs through its sister company, Cooper Pest Solutions, has allowed the company to create this unique, truly immersive training experience.”
PCT magazine had an opportunity to attend a BedBug Central Boot Camp this past summer, sharing the experience with PMPs from Miller Pest & Termite, City, Des Moines, Iowa; Canadian Thermal Solutions, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Active Pest Control, Atlanta, Ga.; Thrasher Pest, San Diego, Calif.; and Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Jerry Martin, a military veteran now working as a bed bug supervisor for Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, said the boot camp was invaluable. “We’re in the process of adjusting our treatment protocols so the boot camp has provided a lot of food for thought,” he said. “It’s been great.”
“I’m here to get a program started,” added Kelly Bishop, pest control manager of Thrasher Pest. “We get a couple of calls a week for bed bugs and we have to turn them away. It breaks my heart.” After attending the Bed Bug Boot Camp and applying what she learned, Bishop will no longer have to turn away bed bug business, generating a new revenue stream for Thrasher Pest.
“Every business is different,” observed Jeff White, director of innovation, BedBug Central. “Our goal is to provide those who attend our boot camps with a deeper understanding of all aspects of the bed bug market, so they can pick and choose what they want to apply to their own businesses. We’re not saying ours is the only way to be successful, but we think we’ve learned enough valuable things since launching BedBug Central in 2007 to provide attendees with lots of thought-provoking ideas.”
“This is not an inexpensive course,” DiJoseph said. “It’s $2,000 for four days and week away from your business. It’s a four-day investment, but companies that have attended our boot camps in the past say it’s well worth it.” The cost of registration includes all training materials, educational sessions, as well as transportation to and from field sites. In addition, attendees receive a full hour of post-attendance consultation with a member of the BedBug Central team.
BedBug Central hosted its inaugural Bed Bug Boot Camp for 2015 in mid-February, with two additional boot camps scheduled for Aug. 4-7 and Dec. 1-4. The company also anticipates its online training program to be available later this year.
To learn more about the company’s products and services or to reserve a spot at a future Bed Bug Boot Camp, contact Rob DiJoseph, BedBug Central, 351 Lawrenceville Station Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, call 877/411-1142 or visit www.bedbugcentral.com.
BedBug Central Offers Downloadable WorkSmart Document Package for PMPs
BedBug Central’s WorkSmart Documents Package can save PMPs interested in offering bed bug services both time and money. Available in a convenient, easy-to-download online format, the document package includes all of the company’s bed bug service agreements, sub-agreements, technical reports, bed bug protocols and client communications, including BedBug Central’s PowerPoint sales presentation.
Three different package options are available:
Option #1 – Business Essentials (1 Payment of $333)
Option #2 – Business Extras (2 Payments of $333)
Option #3 – Business Enhanced (3 Payments of $333)
The WorkSmart Documents Package is endorsed by bed bug litigation specialist Jeffrey Lipman, an attorney with the Lipman Law Firm, P.C., Des Moines, Iowa. “I have personally reviewed the bed bug agreements, reports and (customer) communication forms and highly recommend them to pest professionals doing bed bug work,” he said.
“Documentation and a solid (treatment) protocol are key to defending oneself in trial should your bed bug work end up in court,” said Jeff White, director of innovation, BedBug Central. “Our WorkSmart Documents Package was years in the making and can help ensure you can document the work you have done.”
“Focus on what you do best, controlling pest problems, and leave the paperwork to BedBug Central,” added Vice President of Operations Rob DiJoseph. “Protect your core business with solid documentation for your bed bug work with the WorkSmart Documents Package.”
“PMPs can now leave the Bed Bug Boot Camp and immediately get started on growing their business, leaving even the paperwork to BedBug Central,” said Bobby Kossowicz, a marketing consultant with BedBug Central.
To learn more about BedBug Central’s WorkSmart Documents Package, or to order any of the three packages, visit www.bedbugcentral.com/worksmart.