Should you add fire ant control to your landscaping services?
Does one of your customers struggle with fire ants? If you’re in the south or west, these tiny pests can be a big problem.
Fire ants are primarily found in the southeastern part of the country, but are also known to appear in states like Texas, New Mexico, and California. These pests prefer warm climates and no matter where they are, they will move to sunny locations. They prefer dry fields and avoid shady or wet areas.
Unfortunately, fire ants can be a huge pesky pest as they are quite aggressive and can produce a painful sting. A fire ant sting might not be a big deal – but fire ants tend to attack in droves. Fire ants have a sting that contains alkaloid venom that can produce red bumps and white pustules in humans. But they can also bite pets.
If your customer has fire anthills in their garden, this can be an effective add-on service.
Interesting facts about fire ants
Fire ants build mounds for their colonies – often in open fields, but they also like to use a backyard. These mounds are known to grow up to 18 inches tall and can contain hundreds of thousands of ants. Colonies can actually grow large enough to span more than one property, as these pests certainly don’t pay attention to property lines.
The stressful thing about fire ants is that stepping on a hill can happen accidentally. If your client has kids or pets playing in the yard, they may not even notice what they are doing. And sometimes hills aren’t big or noticeable – so even adults can accidentally step on them.
This can result in multiple stings – and if your client becomes allergic it can be a big deal. Often times, people don’t realize they are allergic to fire ants until they experience the first sting. The poison in a fire ant sting can cause allergy sufferers to have difficulty breathing or swelling their throat.
Add Fire Ant Control
For those already into lawn maintenance or pest control, adding fire ant control is an easy step. You already have the equipment needed to distribute the product and this service can easily be added to a customer visit while you are treating the lawn there.
Of course, it is important to train technicians to use these products safely and correctly. The last thing you want is for them to get stitches during an application. This is why this service is desirable for a professional. Although there are products sold in the market, many of your customers just won’t want to play around with fire anthills.
Fire ants are also notoriously difficult to control, and can be difficult for a customer to deal with on their own. Since the colonies often stretch far underground (and long distances), killing them all can be difficult. Colonies often have multiple queens so they can recover if one is killed.
That is also the reason why this cannot be a “one-time” type of service. You can continue to offer fire ant control every season as this is the type of pest that keeps coming back. Most lawn and landscaping companies offer two or three visits during the fire ant peak season (spring through fall) to make sure these pests are kept at bay. The price should be based on the size of the lawn.
Protect your customers
Those who offer fire ant control say it’s a relatively easy upsell – especially for parents and pet owners looking to keep their property safer. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you can’t use your garden because of pests.
It boils down to a service like this having peace of mind, which is what most customers are looking for. For just a little bit more money, they can feel like their property is safe from this pesky threat.