Derek Foster was named the 2021 PCT Commercial Technician of the Year due to his dedication to service, safety, and industry leadership. Derek has been a Northwest teammate for almost 10 years and has served with our Commercial Pest Control division since the beginning. The entire Northwest team is excited to celebrate his win, as he’s continued to push our team to new heights, to honor our customers, and to create extraordinary experiences everywhere he goes. Learn more about PCT’s Commercial winner this year in this Teammate Q&A!
NW: How did it feel to find out you were named the 2021 PCT Commercial Technician of the Year?
Derek: When I found out that I had been named PCT Commercial Technician of the Year, it completely blew me away. I was kind of speechless at first, like, ‘Are You Serious? You’re not kidding me?’ What an honor! When I started asking questions, I thought back with how honored and thankful I am to all the people that have helped me along my journey here at Northwest for the past 9 years. I’m extremely proud to work here at Northwest Exterminating and receive this recognition for hard work. I can’t even describe how thankful I am to receive this!
NW: What made you choose Northwest initially?
Derek: I chose Northwest Exterminating 9 years ago (September 2012) because I was looking for a change from my prior 14-year career. I managed a fence manufacturing/distribution location and wanted something different where I could get out of the office, travel around a bit, be hands on, and interact with people. After interviewing and meeting multiple people at Northwest, I knew this was it and has been exactly what I wished for. Since then, everyone I have met and had the opportunity to work with within the company have been awesome.
NW: What is your favorite Northwest Service Standard?
Derek: #7 Golden Opportunities “We view a complaint or a callback not as a hassle, but as a golden opportunity to create a Customer for Life. These opportunities are our time to shine and show the customer the Northwest Difference.”
This is my favorite Northwest Service Standard because in our industry, the customer doesn’t always get a visual result for what we’ve done during their monthly or quarterly service aside from web brushing. When we receive a callback or we are approached by potential customers, it is our chance to shine! From our response time getting to those customers to our genuine concern to help them in any way that we can to make things better, the call back or customer approach also gives us some personal face to face bond time to educate and explain what we will do to take corrective action for any issues rather than just say ‘You should be good now.’ This is recognized by our customers and builds trust and value for them to know that we are there for them.
NW: What’s some advice you’d give to someone wanting to join our industry?
Derek: If I were to give someone wanting to join our industry advise, I would say be open to educate yourself in all areas and to accept knowledge and experience from others. Own your role, manage your time well, be accountable and take responsibility for all that you do, and learn from mistakes or practices that didn’t work for you in the past. Try new things and be open to growth. Find passion for what you do, have fun, and enjoy it!
NW: Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
Derek: Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I enjoy boating on Lake Lanier, fishing, dining, and swimming. Being from the islands, I love the beach and pretty much anything to do with water like water skiing, wakeboarding, or jet skiing. Scuba diving is probably one of the things I miss most and need to plan a dive trip the next time I’m in Florida, which is where I enjoy vacationing the most. I’d like to teach my wife and kids how to dive so they can see the underwater world. On my own time, I have a passion for wood working, concrete projects, and home improvements.
NW: Where will you be in the next 5 years?
Derek: In the next five years, you’ll find me in a management position for the 3rd Commercial Service Center here at Northwest, this with be known as Commercial North. (Editor’s Note: Derek was recently promoted to Service Supervisor of our two Atlanta Commercial locations. This vision casting is slowly but surely coming true for him and Northwest because of the team’s hard work and this type of dedication!)
Derek’s consistency in the type of teammate he shows up as for his team, customer, and community is what the Northwest Way is all about. To see this consistency, and his dedication, career enjoyment, and expertise honored by this award is something all of his Northwest Family is proud of and excited for. Derek is beyond deserving, and we’re grateful to call him part of our Northwest Family!
With the holiday season arriving, your business is sure to get plenty of packages to fulfill your customers’ needs. Shipments and deliveries will be expected in and out throughout the day, unfortunately putting your business at risk of a pest infestation. We break down how you can get prepared for commercial pest control before the packages start rolling in!
Know the Signs
Understanding the signs that your delivered packages are infested is the first step to prevention. Pests will often leave infestation signs outside and inside the package. Gnawing marks in the corner of cardboard boxes or containers is a well-known indicator of a rodent infestation. Other red flags include seeing egg cases, discarded wings, insect body parts, droppings, larvae, or the actual pest inside the package. If there is a pest inside a delivery, it is best to take the package outside and isolate it.
Prepare Your Staff
Ensuring that your team understands the signs of pests within packages and deliveries is another step in pest prevention. Educate them on the types of pests they could potentially see, how to inspect each delivery, and the procedures to take if they find an actual pest.
Always Tidy Up
For many businesses, shipments and packages will be delivered either at the front of the business or have a dedicated loading dock. With any unloading area, make sure that the space is always clean and uncluttered. Have the location frequently cleaned and prohibit any food or drinks to help avoid supplying the pests with a food source.
Dealing with an unexpected pest infestation is the last thing you want to do during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Ensure that your business has a pest plan in place to help prevent any pest problem that can ruin your reputation.
We know your business, customers, and team are at the top of your mind; so when you spot a pest problem, you will likely ask two questions: How can you get rid of them, and where did they come from? Every business owner must be aware of what is attracting and drawing pests inside. Here we break down certain factors that could make your business vulnerable to pest invasions and some commercial pest control tips you can utilize.
Garbage & Trash
Pests need a food source to survive and trash is the perfect way for them to get it! Common pests like rodents and roaches will often seek these areas. It’s extremely important to empty the trash multiple times a day, along with keeping your business’s dumpster cleaned and maintained throughout the week. Place your trash receptacles and dumpster far away from your business building. Always make sure that the container lids are tightly sealed and always kept closed.
A clean business is not only appealing to customers but will also help to avoid a pest infestation. Throughout each week, regularly sweep and vacuum up food crumbs and debris from the dining areas, kitchens, break rooms, and entryways. Make sure to pay attention to areas behind furniture and appliances, as well.
Deliveries & Shipments
Packages, boxes, and containers will often host hitchhiking pests! Pests like roaches or spiders will latch onto these deliveries and easily make their way inside your business. If you can, dedicate a space inside, away from your customers, to inspect these deliveries. Some great ways to tell if there is a pest infestation, besides seeing the actual pest, is noticing any rips, tears, or holes, or seeing droppings. If you notice any of these signs of pests, take the packages outside immediately and make sure to discard the boxes away from your business.
Whether it is an outside dining space, lounge, or entry area, keeping pests away is essential in these high-traffic areas that see customers. To avoid any pest problem in your outdoor space, here are some easy maintenance tips to help keep pests away from your outdoor business space.
Keep Garbage Away
Pests like roaches, rats, and mice are all looking for a food source, often leading them to the trashcans. By placing trash cans outside, it can easily create a pest problem and even odors. Instead, place them inside your business, making sure it’s emptied and cleaned often. If trashcans are needed outside, consider investing in trashcans with covers. Trashcan covers will both help with reducing odors and keeping pests from infesting.
Check for Water
Throughout your outdoor space, keep an eye out for any standing water that could attract pests. Mosquitoes are constantly looking for standing water to breed. Frequently clean out your gutters and downspouts, as the leaves and debris can create clogs and standing water. Outdoor water features, such as fountains and ponds, should be cleaned and maintained often.
Clean it Up
Outdoor spaces where food is served should always stay as clean as possible. Spills and leftover food crumbs on the ground can attract pests right into the outdoor space and they could even find their way inside. Remove all plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery as soon as your customers leave or finish eating. Wipe tabletops down right after and sweep up any leftover food that has fallen.
Have a Pest Plan
Utilizing the above tips can help control and prevent pests from infesting, though having a customized commercial pest control plan could help even more. A trained service professional will be able to access, inspect, and provide you with the best plan of action to keep pests away from both your outdoor and indoor spaces to ensure your reputation is upheld.
With any type of business, dealing with pests is bound to happen. Whether it’s just a few ants or an infestation of rats, every business owner wants to assure their customers that their business is healthy and well-maintained. Commercial pest control could be the perfect solution for your business and here we break down why.
Custom Plan for Each Business
A commercial pest provider can help establish a customized plan fit for any type of business. The size, location, and type of business are all taken into consideration when creating the perfect pest prevention plan. Each plan is designed to eliminate pests, all while protecting the health of your customers and team.
With regular inspections, pests can quickly be identified by your trained service professional. These professionals are trained to identify different signs various pests leave behind and can quickly provide an action plan to treat them.
Dealing with current pests is always important but dealing with a future infestation is equally important to maintain the health of your overall business. Service professionals will not only deal with the pests currently infesting, but they will also locate any entry points pests can use to sneak into your business. They will properly seal and monitor those areas throughout.
Reputation is Protected
Having a pest control plan can give you the assurance you need that your reputation is upheld. With a customized plan for your business, it is less likely that your customers will encounter pest sightings, saving your business from bad reviews and fewer customers.
Commercial pest control is the perfect solution for business owners looking to keep the health of their customers, team, and business property top priority!
Get a free consultation and discover the perfect pest prevention plan for your business today!
Wildlife creatures can bring a host of issues to your business. Some of these can disrupt your business, create unsanitary conditions, and drive customers away. The first step in dealing with these nuisance pests is knowing the type of animal you are dealing with and how to prevent them. We break down which ones to watch out for around your business and give some easy wildlife prevention tips.
Birds can pose a major health threat to your business as they can spread diseases and contaminate your business space. Their droppings can cause quite a mess and harbor diseases and parasites. These acidic droppings can corrode and ruin your business roof, walkways, windows, ledges, signage, and even your customers’ vehicles. These pests can also easily access and damage the roofline and chimney, which can lead to problems with your electrical wiring.
Rats & Mice
Rats and mice are looking for a place to eat and sleep. They can easily invade your business by entering through the smallest crack or hole that is unsealed. Just like birds, rodents can spread disease throughout your business, making it unsafe for both your customers and team members. These creatures are also known to gnaw on merchandise, packaging, equipment, and electrical wiring.
Squirrels can look cute and cuddly, but they are also known to create structural damage and disturbances at businesses. These creatures are in search of a food source, and you can tell if they have been searching around in your property by seeing uprooted plants and flowers, dug up holes, and eaten nuts or fruits. Squirrels are also known to create holes in roofs, chew on wires, damage vents, and create a musty smell from their urine if they’ve infested inside the building.
Utilizing preventative measures is the key to ensuring wildlife don’t infest your business and disturb your customers!
- Inspect the foundation for small holes and gaps, sealing them up as you find them.
- Inspect the roof and siding to make sure there are no openings to access your attic.
- Secure all trash containers, making sure they are tightly sealed and not overflowing.
- If you have an outside area where customers eat, make sure all food is frequently cleaned up and thrown out.
- Consider Commercial Wildlife Control for your business as service professionals can set your business up with a customized prevention and treatment plan fit for your business.
Spotting stinging pests around your business can be alarming. Yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets are all active during the warmer season as they go in search of a food source and a place to establish their colony. These pests can pose a serious health risk to your customers and business. We break down the most common stinging pests and the best ways to avoid them.
Wasps will build their paper-like nests on eaves, porch ceilings, branches, and windowsills. These pests search for food during the summer months. They are highly attracted to any food found outdoors, along with anything with a fragrant smell such as candles or flowers. When threatened, these pests will sting multiple times and eventually call on reinforcements from other wasps by emitting pheromones.
Hornet nests are built in hollow trees or the walls of buildings and attics. These pests are attracted to light and will often fly into open windows at night if they see a light. Hornets like to eat fruit and honeydew, causing them to congregate in areas where these foods are found. While they are non-aggressive near their nests, they will sting if they feel threatened. When stings occur, the stinger can get lodged in the skin.
Yellowjackets are social insects and can be found wherever humans are. These pests like to eat sweets and proteins and will invade outdoor events to find these foods. Yellowjackets build their nests in high places, such as on trees and buildings, or on the ground. If they feel threatened, they will sting multiple times which can be extremely painful.
Stinging Pest Prevention for Your Business
- Always keep outside food areas clean, wiping up any leftover food debris.
- Keep garbage cans tightly sealed and emptied regularly.
- Untreated wood can attract stinging pests; make sure to stain, seal, or paint wood throughout your business exterior.
- Perform weekly inspections throughout your business property to keep an eye on these pests.
- If you have a public area where customers can eat, use signage to remind them to throw away food scraps and clean up spills.
If you have a problem with stinging pests, contact Commercial Services for an inspection and treatment plan.
Termites can cause significant and expensive structural damage to your business. What is even worse is that these pests can go undetected for a prolonged period, and it can be a long, tiring process to get rid of them. With the Sentricon System with Always Active technology, your business is protected not just against individual termites but from the entire termite colony.
The Sentricon System is installed in the soil of your business’ property. The system is eco-friendly, with bait containing an active ingredient that is safe for the groundwater and plants around it. After the installation, termites will find the system and then tell the other termites in the colony, where they all begin to feed on the active ingredient. Unlike regular liquid termite treatments, the Sentricon System works to eliminate the entire termite colony instead of the individual termites.
The Sentricon System is a perfect eco-friendly solution to eliminate termites and prevent infestation. The system works throughout the year, to give you peace of mind that your business is safe and that you can keep providing services to the ones that matter most, your customers.
Call our Commercial Services Team today at (866) 731-3856 for more information on the Sentricon System and set up a free inspection.
Heat and humidity create an ideal environment for mosquitoes. With Spring here and Summer just a few months away, mosquito season has officially arrived. Mosquitoes are small, annoying, and their bites can pose serious health risks to humans. Every business wants to assure customers that their space is safe, and what better way to do so than with a no-spray solution for mosquitoes.
The In2Care mosquito trap is a perfect way to help prevent and eliminate mosquitoes throughout your entire property. This trap is unique, unlike any other, as it lures in mosquitoes with a special green treatment inside the trap. Once mosquitoes enter the trap, the treatment transfers to the mosquito’s legs, where it’s then spread to other breeding sites, like standing water or flower saucers. The spread of the treatment eliminates adult mosquitoes but also prevents the larva mosquitoes from developing further.
This trap is perfect for businesses who are looking for an alternative green way for mosquito relief. Instead of spraying product around a property, the trap is placed in a shaded, vegetated area where mosquitoes are likely to breed. The green treatment used to eliminate mosquitoes does not target beneficial pests and remains environmentally and pet friendly.
In2Care for Business Benefits
- It’s a no spray way, discreet system
- Eliminates all mosquito life stages – from larva to adult
- Strategically placed around the business so the trap is always working
As each business prepares for the dreaded mosquito season, giving your customers a green, no spray solution to keep them protected against mosquitoes provides peace of mind.
If your business is interested in our In2Care System, call our our Commercial Team at (888) 466-7849 or schedule a free inspection now.