A self-described graduate of the “school of hard knocks,” Peter Schmidt first became involved in pest management in Florida in 1992. He started his career with Northwest Exterminating in 1995, and became an Authorized Operator for the Sentricon® System in 1997. We caught up with Peter at a large Sentricon installation at an apartment complex in North Atlanta, where he shared some solid advice for both homeowners and other Authorized Operators—the latter of which might want to invest in some running shoes.
How did you first become aware of the effectiveness of Sentricon?
A large condominium complex in Atlanta had been treated with liquid termiticide since 1993, and continued to experience numerous swarms and damage on their units. In 1999 we installed Sentricon throughout the complex, and we haven’t had a damage claim or swarms since then.
What’s the biggest challenge in getting customers to install the Sentricon® System?
There’s a generation of folks who aren’t as familiar with technology, because they’re accustomed to having liquid termiticide as the only option. That’s when I tell them there’s a better solution: the Sentricon System.
What do you like the most about the Sentricon System?
It’s effective. I saw it firsthand in 1999 with that condominium complex in Atlanta I mentioned earlier. I also like how easy it is to install.
What’s the number-one thing homeowners can do to assist their pest control company with termite prevention?
Communicate their questions so the pest management professional can provide the best possible service. One time we did an install and as we were going around the house, the homeowner went around behind us and covered the bait stations with pine straw, which made it harder for us to service.
What’s the worst termite damage you’ve ever seen?
In Marietta, Georgia I saw over $100,000 of damage on a stucco house. The termites started at the front door, which had to be replaced. The damage then spread to the left and the right of the house and then into the garage. Stucco can be particularly vulnerable to termites, because they can get behind the stucco and do their damage without being detected.
What’s the funniest or strangest Sentricon installation you’ve ever experienced?
One of the funniest was the time there were two other employees working with me on an installation; one was small and quick, the other one a little bigger and slower. When the homeowner’s dog came into the yard, he went after both of them and the shorter, quicker guy got over the fence and the bigger guy got picked off by the dog. He didn’t get bitten, but it was pretty funny. I guess the moral of the story is, work on your sprints if you’re in pest management!
Any other success stories from customers using Sentricon?
We had installed above-ground and in-ground stations for a customer in Columbus, Georgia that featured Always Active™ technology, which at the time was brand-new. It wiped out the Formosan termites that were infesting the house. Another great example was an installation that wiped out the termites living in the roof of the house. It was a double-roof with a rubber top, and it had trapped water. The termites were using that water as a source of moisture, so that’s how they could thrive up in the roof. The above-ground bait stations are included with Sentricon as well.
Northwest Exterminating is a family-run business that began with 15 people and now has several locations across the Atlanta area with over 300 employees. We are proud to have them as Authorized Operators for the Sentricon® System!