Bigger does not always mean better?
Before starting Bite Back, co-owner Jacob Marsh worked at one of the largest pest control companies in the nation. Overall my experience was not terrible, but it left me with some great insights into how corporate culture works versus small business. And what you think you get is not always what you end up with.
Expection: The employees of corporate companies have a lot of experience and are best equipped to handle my bed bug needs.
Reality: Practically no seasoned pest control technician wants to kill bed bugs. It is hard, time-consuming and doesn’t pay as well. They want quick quarterly regular pest control treatments, and since they’ve been around a long time, they get what they want. Which means, who does the bed bug treatments? The new guys. Oftentimes the person coming to treat your bugs will be someone with less than 6 months experience who gets paid hourly. This means two things. Firstly, they may not know so much about how to properly eliminate your infestation. Secondly, since they get paid hourly there is little incentive to eliminate the bugs on the first treatment. Whether it’s the first treatment or the fourteenth, they get paid the same way. For some in the industry, they will give it their all no matter what. For others, well, not so much.
Expectation: Corporate companies will use the most effective treatment method for my bed bug infestation because they have the means and knowledge to do so.
Reality: Corporate companies will use the most cost-efficient and time-efficient means almost exclusively. When I worked, we came in with a chemical treatment first, then, if that didn’t work, they would use steam after the 5th try or so. They didn’t use chemical first because it was the most effective, but because it took the least amount of time and the least amount of training. Time is money, and corporate companies care about the bottom line more than anything. A steam treatment first would have been more effective and saved the spraying of massive amounts of chemicals, but on paper, chemical is more profitable. Bite Back exists because this was obviously backwards. We do it right the first time, with heat, because that is how it should be done.
Expectation: Who inspected my bugs is who will treat my bugs.
Reality: You may see a different person each time if you go with a corporate company. You may talk to someone on the phone who is a sales rep from half a country away. Then the inspector will come through, but inspection/sales is their only job so you won’t see or hear from them again. Then the technician comes out a treats the infestation. They try to send the same guy out when you need a follow-up, but often times due to scheduling it is a different technician yet again. This makes it very hard for technicians to truly grasp you and your particular needs.
Expectation: Big companies cost less
Reality: Sometimes, but not often. The reality is, big companies have to pay a lot of people who aren’t doing your treatment. There’s phone sales people, on the ground sales people, district managers, regional managers, manager’s manager’s managers. There are costs of the chemicals, of the fancy truck with the decals, of the uniforms, etc. If a lower cost comes out of anyone’s pocket, it’s actually from the technician treating your home, who honestly may not make more than $50 of the much larger amount that you are paying. Also, many pest control companies don’t even like treating bed bugs. They do it because there is money there, but their bread and butter is regularly scheduled general pest control. So for them to deal with the hassle of bed bugs, they charge a premium.
Bite Back is a local, small business. Our customers are not only our livelihood, they are our neighbors. We may see them at the grocery store the next day, and we want that interaction to be filled with gratefulness and positivity. If you are deciding whether to go with a small business or a big company, just give us a call at 617-655-6548.