In this article, we ask a professional pest manager to share their trade secrets with us. For this issue, we spoke with Steve Olver, owner of BugROFFPest Busters in Horsham, VIC.
Steve Olver has over 13 years’ experience working in the pest management industry. As the winner of the Australian Pest Manager of the Year 2020 Award, Class 1 (3-10 Employees), he is well placed to share the following tips.
Q. What type of pest job gives you the most satisfaction?
A. Without a doubt eradicating termites from homes. I love explaining how baiting works, what we look for, determining the termite species, the length of time it takes to work – then for the client to witness all this. This gives me great satisfaction.
Q. What’s your go-to spray product for general pest treatments?
A. We rotate chemicals for general pests treatments. We use Cislin, Maxxthor, Fendona, Coopex – it depends on the pest, conditions and environment as to what product is used. We pride ourselves on assessing individual circumstances to get the best results for the client.
Q. What type of spray gear do you use for general pest treatments?
A. We love using backpack sprayers for versatility and ease.
Q. What is your preferred product for controlling active termites? Why?
A. Termidor, hands down. With baiting we use Nemesis or Exterminex for above ground. For in-ground baiting we use Trelona or Sentricon. We recently observed Nasutitermes colony elimination using Trelona on a trial, which was a fantastic outcome.
Q. Which software program do you use to manage technicians’ schedules and jobs?
A. We use Microsoft Exchange, Outlook and Track My Ride (vehicle tracking).
Q. What software/system do you use for writing reports?
A. Formitize. We have spent a lot of time customising templates to best fit our business and client needs for auditing/reporting.
Q. What is your top tip for running a successful pest business?
A. Under promise and over deliver. Educate the client, explain what they should expect, especially with general pest treatments.
Q. What single piece of advice would you give to someone who’s new to the industry?
A. Listen, learn, and ask questions of others with long- standing industry experience and credibility.
Q. What has been your most unusual pest job to date?
A. Not unusual, but walking into yards with angry dogs is never a great experience.
Q. And just for fun… How tidy would you say your work vehicle is right now?
A. Very tidy! The techs not so much, ha ha. Seriously though, we do try to keep things tidy inside and out, as the vehicles represent the business, which is very important.