Homeowners and businesses face problems with pests on a daily basis throughout North America. When these problems arise, customers want their issues resolved efficiently and quickly. Behind every pest problem that is eliminated, there is a trained pest control professional (or a team) responsible for solving that issue.
Mr. Corey Lewis, Truly Nolen’s Director of Technical Operations for the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada location, usually shares his knowledge with us by posting to this blog. But this time we wanted to sit down with Corey so we can gain a better perspective of the daily life of a Truly Nolen pest control professional. Corey has more than 17 years of experience in pest and wildlife control and is Truly Nolen of Hamilton’s leading expert for all things pest related in Ancaster, Dundas, Burlington, Oakville, and Hamilton. Truly Nolen of Hamilton provides services for the elimination unwanted creatures that infest buildings such as ants, beetles, termites, cockroaches, and management or removal of squirrels, snakes, and birds. Although not immediately obvious to the untrained eye, these pests can pose serious risks to your health and safety.
Corey takes pride in helping customers control and avoid pest problems, thereby protecting people and maintaining structural integrity. That is why a trained pest control expert is so important – they can readily identify individual insects, rodents, birds, and wildlife; know their biology and habits; and understand proper techniques which all provide for a safe and effective pest control.
What type of seasonal pests do you encounter?
The only thing constant in pest control is change, which Corey notes, also makes for an exciting industry to be a part of. Pest activity for each year can vary widely based on a number of environmental conditions including: temperature, rainfall, and other weather. Typically, Ontario’s waterfront areas along the lakeshore are where they see some of the most pest activity. But pests can invade your home anywhere – inland or lakeshore.
Corey explained that in Canada, there are quite a few structure-infesting pests, including more than 200 species of ants. As a Truly Nolen professional, Corey first and most importantly identifies the specific pest you are dealing with. That way, he and his team can come up with an individualized treatment plan that is specific to your individual situation. Hamilton homeowners are subject to some year-round pests including bed bugs, cockroaches, and others that are dependent on the human environment.
Wildlife control is always a concern throughout the year. Truly Nolen Hamilton proudly partners with Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control to remove all types of insects, bats, raccoons, squirrels, birds and mice. The temperature will be dropping soon and now is the time to take care of these problems before they hibernate for the winter.
When is the best time to call Truly Nolen?
As one would suspect, the summer season (April through August) is the most common time to see bugs in Hamilton. Viewing pest control through the eyes of a professional, Corey notes that “off-seasons” can also have some of the biggest improvement to homeowners’ lives. For example, fall is the time to push these pests out before they hunker down to overwinter in your home. As these pests look for protection from the weather, they can get into a home, making nests inside walls and foundations and triggering serious damage. By booking services in the fall before the insects can overwinter, it makes any treatments in the spring that much easier for Corey and his team.
What common mistakes do you see from Hamilton/Southern Ontario homeowners?
The most common mistake Corey sees homeowners making is trying to take matters into their own hands. Like other professional services such as plumbers and electricians, unless you know what you are doing, you can actually make things worse instead of better. For example, ants are an increasingly destructive pest. Certain species, such as carpenter ants, can cause significant structural damage to your home, which can take a lot of time and money to repair.
When a homeowner sees just a few ants it is easy to underestimate the severity of problem. The majority of the time the ants that you can see are just the tip of the “population iceberg”. If you go into any local home improvement store, you will see a wide variety of ant baits available on the shelves. Looking for a quick fix, many homeowners will randomly pick ant bait off the shelf. In this situation, the consumer is at a disadvantage since the labeling is incomplete and doesn’t provide all the information to make an educated decision.
Labeling is a place where you see big differences between readily available consumer products and those used by Truly Nolen trained professionals. All professionally used products have minimal qualifications as described by the manufacturer and the regulations for professionals are more comprehensive, requiring a material safety data sheet, and stronger health and safety regulations for the professionals. When you hire Truly Nolen you can take comfort in the fact that they know exactly what they are putting down.
Further, those store-bought ant trap products on the store shelves have contained more or less the same active ingredients for the past 10 years or more. The products are becoming overused and the insects can quickly develop a resistance. So when homeowners set out ant traps or spraying with aerosol chemical repellants, they are just adding chemicals into their environment without having a substantial impact on the pest. And all too often homeowners commonly and unknowingly apply pesticides in the wrong areas of the yard, like in the vegetable garden or areas where their children and pets play.
Homeowners can, in fact, make things worse by applying or over applying the wrong product or doing so in the wrong area. It’s not necessarily true that if a little spray is good, more is better. Misapplication is incredibly common. And by taking time to try to do it yourself, homeowners miss an early window of opportunity to immediately remedy the problem before it becomes a full blown infestation. Instead Corey recommends that homeowners seek help from professionals as soon as possible.
Although baits can quickly kill the worker ants (i.e., the ones you can see) they do nothing to address the ants that you don’t see. And unbeknownst to the homeowner, who no longer sees worker ants crawling around on the kitchen counters, the colony survives. However, in some cases, the colony senses an outside threat and buds into new areas – one colony can quickly become multiple colonies!
Sprays are no better – they are repellant in nature, pushing ants and other critters into new areas and making the infestation worse. Eventually these situations will require a professional. Once the homeowner finally calls Truly Nolen, it just makes it that much harder for Corey and his team. Just how you wouldn’t cut your own hair or fill your own cavity, there are things better left to the professionals. And pest control is one of them.
Corey acknowledges that professional can sometimes be more time-consuming as it takes time to cycle through colony, however, your patience pays off as the professional treatment provides you with a long-term, sustainable solution. Pest control is not a one size fits all solution, either. Knowing that ants are hesitant to baits, Corey and his team can develop a targeted approach for the specific species you are dealing with.
Why hire a professional?
Bugs and other creepy crawlies are things that many people may not like or want to spend their time dealing with. As Corey explains, Truly Nolen has a zero tolerance for pests inside the home. Bugs have bacteria on their feet, and they can spread molds and disease. They sometimes live in the nastiest parts of your home – under the sink and in between the cupboards. They track all over your home – across kitchen counters and other food preparation areas, which can easily lead to cross contamination. A professional is going to look in places that you wouldn’t even think to look. Or in areas that are either inaccessible or that homeowners are not capable of searching.
Truly Nolen Hamilton uses the most advanced treatment methods to identify and treat your toughest pest problems. Truly Nolen certified technicians like Corey undergo extensive training and continual recertification. Pest control is an ever-evolving industry and there is always more to be learned. The list of pests that Corey deals with on a regular basis changes pretty much every year. New species are emerging all the time.
Since chemicals can be harmful to people, pets, and the environment Truly Nolen technicians undergo a variety of training and certifications. They are a certified pesticide applicator – they must take a government course and are licensed. These certifications keep up with current legislation and need to be renewed every few years. Truly Nolen training also includes extensive safety training to equip Corey with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as respirators – something that is essential for human safety but that a regular homeowner may not have access to.
The Truly Nolen Difference
Truly Nolen provides only the highest quality pest control services to our Hamilton area customers. Corey is proud to set the bar high and grow with the pest control service industry throughout Canada. He notes that one of the benefits of being part of the Truly Nolen network is the supportive team approach that other franchises provide. As the world evolves, Corey knows he can deal with any call that comes his way. If he is not familiar with the particular pest, he can easily call another Truly Nolen franchise, and get detailed information from another qualify experienced professional. This supportive relationship speaks to Truly Nolen’s 75 year track record and ultimately makes for a stronger company to service its customers. There is no trial and error learning, which ultimately saves the homeowner time and money.
Corey and his team are thorough and safe and take pride in guaranteeing their job. Corey’s wealth of experience makes him a great resource to educate the homeowner. Typically an infestation is not created from anything the homeowner has done, but rather it’s just that the pest has found a desirable location – with available warmth, food, water, etc. Truly Nolen knows species lifecycles. Corey identifies the cause of problem and will educate the homeowner. An integrated pest management (IPM) approach advocates site changes, which are preferable to chemical use.
Corey Lewis has been in the wildlife and pest control industry for more than 17 years. He has served on the Board of Environment Hamilton and as a Natural Environment Advisor for the Region of Niagara’s Water Quality Protection Strategy. He was a recipient of the Dr. Victor Cecilioni “Environmentalist of the Year Award” in 2001 and the “National Wildlife Technician of the Year” Award in 2001/2002. He is also a member of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and the Ontario Field Ornithologists. Corey has a diploma in Fish & Wildlife Technology. If you are interested in a career in pest control with Truly Nolen, apply at our careers page.
Truly Nolen Hamilton services the following areas: