A New Adventure

As most of everyone knows I’ve been advertising on a few sports talk radio stations here in Houston.  For the most part they have worked out great and have gotten my business name in front of a lot of new customers.  Well now I figured I would go one step further in this radio business.  I have been asked to co host a local show on KSEV700.  It’s called the HomePro Mortgage Real Estate Show.  It airs every Friday from 1-2 pm.

This is something that I’ve thought about for a very long time, but never knew how to start it or if I would ever be able to pull it off.  Out of the blue a few weeks ago I received a text from a gentleman that new me from my radio commercials.  He simply stated he needed a third host for his show and asked if I would be interested.  I’ve done only two shows so far, but so far it’s been fun.  It’s only an hour, but in that time frame I’m able to give my 2 cents in different topics as well as give advice on different pest control issues.

First and foremost I really hope this reaches a more broad audience thus allowing me to receive more business, but also I hoping I can use this medium to educate my customers on pest control.   I’ve always said there are so many things that the homeowner needs to know or be aware of and most of the time it’s after the fact that they find out.  I really do not want to make my part of the show strictly a “look how great McGrath Pest Control is” segment, but instead be a person that is able to inform, educate, and warn homeowners of all pest issues.  If the listener is comfortable in my advice and trust what I will say, then the business will come.

So tune in every Friday from 1-2 on KSEV700 either on your radio or online and then let me know what you think.  Don’t tell anyone but for a while I will have now idea what I’m doing and just winging it………so please give me your feed back.


Hope this helps,

Scott McGrath

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Whats Old is New Again

At the end of last year I had an employee meeting.  We talked about the year in review, praised some for their accomplishments, and expressed my enthusiasm about the upcoming year.  Similar to what I do every year.  I’m very optimistic that way.  I believe the next year will be our best and busiest.   This year seemed a little different though.  I had my office staff in place, I had a full crew, I had my general manager in place to help me with day to day stuff, and I had my mind set ready to run a business and make some money.

Over the past 4 or so years this business has grown two fold, and of course that is something I can not complain about.  We were getting so busy so fast that I was playing technician every day all day then finding time to do my ownership stuff at night or in between stops.  This was driving me crazy and frankly I was being stretched too thin.  That all changed in 2014 with the hire of a general manager and one more field tech.  Now I was able stay more at the office, get more of a hold on finances, prepare proposals in a timely manner, and organize the business better for the future.  I was busier in the office but less stressed.  Now don’t get me wrong I still had my hand full of customers that I treated, but most of my field work consisted of new customers, new businesses, and finding other ways to drum up business.  2014 was working smoothly and I felt I had finally gotten to a place that I had wanted to be for a long time.

One month in to the new year and everything is going as planned. One Friday night I get a text stating one of my techs, whom I had big plans for this year, just dropped off his truck and is moving.  What??? and of course he had to work that next Saturday, so guess who had to work?  I don’t have a problem with that.  It is my company and I have to do what I have to do.  I found out later that this employee moved out of town to work for his dads business.   Good for him and perhaps he will get a chance to run it the way I was able to run my dads business.  I was still a little bumbed though and at the time a little pissed.  This screwed up all my plans.  Monday rolls around and we are scrambling to change all the schedules and since everyone else was full, I ran his schedule.  It was a little weird going to the office and seeing a full day of jobs on my schedule and a little crazy cause I had to quickly get back into tech mode.  Over the last year I had gotten rid of most of my chemicals, had a smaller power rig in the back of the truck, and really stream lined what I was doing.  I found myself going to houses not prepared with supplies, and not prepared to give my full customer service attention cause I still had to do all my ownership duties.  It was getting frustrating.  I felt like a new technician learning the ropes again and I felt like a new owner that was overwhelmed with not being able to handle all my management parts of the company.  I felt out of control and I hate feeling out of control.  I finally took one weekend day went to the office by myself and re organized everything .  I cleaned out my truck, restocked it with everything I would need and thought about what I did and how I worked when I was just an employee.  I then had to prioritize my management stuff. Figure out what needed to be done  immediately and what I could space out over time.

That next Monday I was ready to go.  I was going from house to house, seeing old customers I hadn’t seen in a long time and selling.  I found my self selling new services, doing the things I had told my employees to do and seeing what worked and what didn’t worked. It was fun getting back in to it.  I also realized something.  In order for me to fully run a business and manage employees, I have to never forget what they go through on a daily basis.  Traffic, weather, equipment failure, time management, everything that a pest control technician deals with every day.  I believe I had forgotten some of that.  On the flip side I also remembered what I did for 12 plus years and what it took to make money and to make the customer happy.  So now there are no excuses.  If I can do it, you can also.

I think it’s good to never forget where you came from and how you got to where you are now.  My customers like the small company feel and the family style of customer service.  Now that I’m experiencing this first hand again, I can demand the same type of work ethic that I’m currently doing.  Of course I’m still looking for additional help and I should have that position filled next week, but hopefully this year as we keep growing I will continue to stay in touch with the coral values of McGrath Pest Control.

Now lets go make some money

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Termite Prelabs Treatments

The old saying here in Houston is not if you get termites, but when you get termites.  For the most part that is true.  We treat houses all year long for subterranean termites.  For this I’m grateful, but one service that sometimes gets over looked that may decrease the chances of houses getting termites later on are preconstruction termite treatments.

one of McGrath techs pretreating a prop for termites.

one of McGrath techs pretreating a prop for termites.

The above picture shows one of my techs treating this property for subterranean termites.  The state is very clear on what chemical we can use, how much we use, and how to apply the chemical.  One of the main benefits for doing a preslab treatment is the ability to treat all plumbing areas before the slab is poured.  It doesn’t happen often, but it is possible termites can enter your home via one of these areas.

Termites need around 1/64th” to enter you home.  That’s pretty small and once your house is built the internal plumbing areas are almost impossible to treat unless we drill holes throughout your house.  Most people frown on that idea.  So when the time is right to build your new dream house contact your builder or local exterminator and inquire about a termite preconstruction treatment.  It’s a little more expensive initially, but may save you tons in the future.

Hope this helps
Scott McGrath


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New Termite Swarmers Videos

Well it’s March 21, 2014.  Happy birthday Deven!!! and it’s officially termite swarming season.   I went to a business today and actually saw the swarmers starting to emerge and fly out.  To us pest control people it’s pretty cool.  To everyone else it’s probably kinda gross.

Check them out:

Let me know what you think

Scott McGrath

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More Exclusions

I wanted to post some more pictures of some of the work that we do during the winter times.  As the temps get cooler, the varmints like to come inside.  It is our job find any entry points and seal them up.  This will insure no more pitter padder in the upstairs attic area.

Here is a fairly common area that most people forget about.

open gable vent

open gable vent

This is a gable vent that has no screens on the inside at all. This particular customer was having squirrels come in and out of attic along with birds. Over the years we have learned that it is more efficient to place the screens on the outside rather than on the inside. We’ve had many jobs where we did place the screens on the inside and birds or different types of rodents still found ways to push their way inside. By forming the screens on the outside, it eliminates this from happening.

measuring the hardware cloth

measuring the hardware cloth

cutting the hardware cloth to fit

cutting the hardware cloth to fit

Here are some pictures of George measuring and cutting the fitted hardware cloth.

finished product.  Sometimes it is hard to see. But that's what we want.

finished product. Sometimes it is hard to see. But that’s what we want.

When we are done, we are hoping you will hardly notice the work. We have received numerous positive responses on our work and have made a lot of people sleep better by knowing there is zero activity in their attics.

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Trents Football Team

This is the first year my 9 yr old, Trent, has played football.  When we got recruited to play this year, Trent had no idea even what a football was. I’ll never forget the first practice he had in pads and his first hit.  Him and this other kid collided and both went down.  Trent started crying really hard cause he had no idea what to expect.  I asked him if he was hurt or just scared.  He said scared and I wasn’t sure if he would ever even want to come back to practice.  Well he did and just 10 games into the season his team is number 1 seed going into the playoffs and my little Trent is the starting defensive end.  I’m not totally convinced he completely knows whats going on yet, but it’s been fun watching him explode off that line of scrimmage and tackle either the running back or the qb behind the line of scrimmage.  They received a first round bi meaning they only have to win two games to be the champs.  Good luck boys.  Should be a great playoff run.

ps  He has finally realized that hitting someone is fun and he doesn’t get scared anymore.me and trent at football

2013 Hurricanes

2013 Hurricanes

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Termite Pretreat

I’m starting a new project this week.  There is an apartment complex being built in Houston.  I was awarded the opportunity to do the pretreat on it.  It’s a process but here are the beginning pictures.

IMG_2806 IMG_2809 IMG_2808I’ll keep every one posted on the progress

Scott McGrath

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Not What I Had Expected

PhotoA few weeks ago we noticed a customer had a lot of rodent droppings in her attic.  We suggested we put out some rat snap traps hoping to snag a few rats.  When we went back up in the attic, this is what we saw.  I’m assuming this rat snake followed some rats in this attic, slithered over the trap and SNAP!  We got us a rat snake.  This is the first time I’ve seen this and to make it a little more interesting as I picked it up it was still alive.  I was trying to put this dead snake in a trash bag when it lifted its head as to say, “Uh….hello…….a little help here?”  I was taken back just a little.   Don’t worry folks I was able to put it in the bag, throw it in the back of my truck, and by the time I finished my day it was not living any more.  Now I’m thinking we need to figure out where the rats are getting in and seal this area up before this happens again.  If you think you may have a rodent problem please call us so this can’t happen to you.
Scott McGrath

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A New Tick Disease

I came across an article Sunday morning that may have some concerns for my customers.  Yes reading pest control articles is what I do on Sunday mornings.   It was about the existence of a new type of disease found on the deer tick.  The disease is called Borrelia Miyamotoi.  It’s a lot like lyme disease that is carried in many ticks, but one of the differences is the reoccurring of fever even after meds. are taken.  The article also states that it is possible that you may have to take meds. for the rest of your life.  Of course I’m far from an expert at this so lets watch a video from the Yalenews that explains it further.

Borrelia Miyamotoi. A new tick disease

At the end of the video, it is suggested to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts when walking in the wood.  Unless you’re in Houston in July or August. #110degrees.   It also suggest keeping your lawns mowed and free of leaves and clutter.  As a pest control owner, I also suggest getting our flea/tick outside yard treatment done at least twice a year.  A long with a dog and cat flea/tick treatment, the yard treatment should keep you and your family flea/tick free throughout the summer.

Scott McGrath, www.mcgrathpestcontrol.com

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Why Hire A Professional Exterminator?

There are 2 main reasons why I feel I am extremely  lucky to be living  in Houston.  First is the economy.  Because of the oil an gas industry, more and more people are moving down here.  When they move, they will need a place to live.  As a result of this, the housing market is exploding.  People are selling their house even before they put it on the market and for sometimes $20-$50,000 more than they are asking.  This is great for the seller. If you have ever had any thoughts of selling your house, now is the time to do it. Of course if you do, you better have something already lined up cause it may be kinda hard to find another house, unless you are building.  The more families that move here means more homes to be occupied which means more opportunity for me and my company to gain new customers.

Another reason for me to love Houston is the weather.  We usually have about 4 or 5 hours of winter every year followed by 165,000 days of humid hot summers.  Ok so maybe I’m exaggerating just a little, but you get my drift.  As a result of this the bugs are rampant.  Now I know most people don’t like to hear this, but for me and my business it’s great.  For the past 3 years we experienced record breaking sales in every aspect of my business.  Even though I’m very grateful for all the business I have received there are still many people out there not convinced in our services and what we do.  They still believe they can do it themselves and save money in the end.  I decided to jot down some interesting facts on why I believe it is better to hire a professional exterminator both in the short term as well as in the long term.

1. Cost– Although the initial investment is more expensive with a professional, it may end up being the cheaper alternative.  Usually the percentage of  active ingredient in store bought products is half the percentage of what a professional uses.  As a result more and more product may have to be purchased in order to solve the problem.  This can get very expensive in the long run.  Not to mention an increase of the pest problem if not solved quickly.

2. Convenience– Yes, if you are treating your home yourself, it may be more convenient for you to be able to buy the product and treat your house when you want it done.  But if not done properly you will spend more time and headaches going back and forth from store to home trying to solve the problem.  The professional will work with you and set up an appointment to treat your house 1 time rather than multiples times.

3. Knowledge– An experienced and knowledgeable exterminator will be able to quickly identify and treat your problem.  They will be able to answer any questions that you will have about prevention or other issues that you are experiencing.  Their experience and expertise can keep your home and family healthier than if you are just going by what a salesman has to say.

4. Risk– Chemicals of any kind can carry a risk. Applying chemicals that you are not knowledgeable about could potentially cause harm to humans, pets, or plants in the area.  By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable pest control company, most risk is removed from the homeowner.

5. Warranties– If you do it your self your on your own.  It’s up to you to figure out the problem and why it’s still there.  Again this could be very stressful as well as expensive.  A professional will usually have some sort of warranty attached to his work.  If it’s not working, just make a quick phone call and they will come back out (usually for free) to fix the situation.

Now I know many people have many different view points on many different things.  I’m also sure people will read this and say I’m biased because of the industry I’m in.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is the pest control industry is a very important one.  We have the ability keep all of our neighbors and friends safe and bug free.  My customers have learned to depend on us and trust in us.   For this, I’m very proud to be in the pest control industry.  Especially in Houston.

Hope this helps!!

Scott McGrath, www.mcgrathpestcontrol.com

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