Pest Control Work – A Taste of Glitz and Glamour from the Verminator
Fans of the hit reality television show, Verminators, got a treat at PestWorld 2008, in October as its leading man, Mike Masterson, spent a half day at Bell’s booth, signing posters and TRAPPER T-Rex Rat Snap Traps.
As one of the star PMPs on the TV series, which airs Monday evenings on the Discovery Channel, Masterson said meeting his fellow PMPs was the highlight of his trip to the 75th National Pest Management Association national convention in Washington, DC this fall.
“Getting to meet PMPs from all over the world and hearing them all talk about how the Verminators show has helped them was amazing,” said Masterson, who’s been working in the industry nearly 25 years. This was his second visit to PestWorld. His first was in 2002 when he introduced his Termiscope, a subterranean early warning system for termites, to the industry.
Public Gets a Real-Life Look at Pest Control
Verminators captured the heart of reality show viewers right from its onset last season by showing the real everyday challenges PMPs meet on the job. “Our goal was to open the public’s eyes to the important role pest management professionals play in keeping people, homes and businesses safe from pests each and every day,” said Masterson afterwards, while shooting an episode in Arizona for the show’s second season.
As co-owner of ISOTECH Pest Management in Covina, Calif., Masterson, with his business partner, Kevin Alden, wanted to create a show “that would transform the negative stigma that has been cast over our industry for so long and show the public how important a role we all play in protecting our world from pests, diseases and viruses,” Masterson noted. And from his conversations with PMPs at the convention, they hit their mark.
Comments, according to Masterson, ran along the lines of, “Verminators has helped educate my customers on just how hard the work we perform really is.” And his favorite, “You can’t believe the number of applicants I have applying for a job. They want to be Verminators.”
So, how did Verminators succeed in elevating the desirability of a profession that frequently necessitates crawling into some dark, scary places in pursuit of rats, mice and other pests? “There had to be a balance between the technical aspects of the show and the entertainment segment yet solidify in the viewer’s eye why they need to call a pest professional,”Masterson pointed out. “This balance was a challenge but one Original Productions understood and achieved.”
Original Productions, the show’s production company, broke ground earlier with programs, such as Ice Road Truckers. While Verminators is giving viewers a whole new appreciation for the pest control profession, the show’s influence is being felt in the industry in other ways.
Bell’s T-Rex Becoming a Show Legend
“PMPs mentioned that they use the Verminators show to train their technicians on customer service and service techniques,” Masterson said of the hundreds of PMPs he met at PestWorld. “Customers request by name the innovative products used on the Verminators.”
One such product is Bell’s TRAPPER T-Rex Rat Trap, which Masterson says is becoming a legend with Verminators’ viewers. “Every customer that calls us out to perform a rat job asks by name for the T-Rex. The T-Rex is a rodent trap that is so easy to set and reset that our technicians won’t use any other type of snap trap,” Masterson added. “I really like the T-Rex because it looks cutting edge and we at ISOTECH are all about innovation.”
Pest Control Work – A Taste of Glitz and Glamour from the Verminator in Los Angeles
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