Children’s Day Reflections for the Pest Control Profession Saturday August 20, 2011
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Children’s Day Reflections for the Pest Control Profession

On a recent trip to The Baltic Republics of Europe, my wife and I accidently stumbled upon a beautifully festive day, Children’s Day. We were at the University of Tartu, where my wife, Karen, was speaking at a molecular biology convention. Each day in Tartu was a happy day, filled with students and tourists enjoying the endless sunlight in late May and early June. The people were warm and friendly, enjoying light conversation and leisure time with family and friends… and great local cider.

Children's Day in Tartu. A holiday to protect children and enjoy the long days of May.

Children’s Day in Tartu

On June 1st we woke up to staged children’s events in the town square. School children were parading in festive outfits in the central square. I’ll never forget the image of children and teenagers playing and dancing in the fountain in front of the town hall.

I am not sure what the origins are of Children’s Day. There are similar festivals in other countries around the world in the spring. I had never seen anything like this in the United States. My thought was that if we had a day devoted to children, there would be serious discussions about what we have done to children in the modern world, aging them prematurely. Perhaps somewhere in Estonia, those conversations were happening, but from what I could see it was simply an attempt to provide a fun-filled, memorable day for the kids.

As I watched this festival and the pure joy of the day, I thought about something that has been a repeating theme for me since entering the profession of pest control. It is a field where we are asked and required to kill things… to exterminate. I have been fighting to change the image of the pest controller as a hired killer. There are some good people in the industry who believe as I do in not only the professionalization of pest control but also the conversion of pest control into something different and much better.

I would like to see the pest control industry emphatically embrace a professional future that embraces life. Yes, there will be a need for extermination services, but there is so much that can be done in working with people, young and old, to cement the image of the pest control professional as a communicator who cares strongly about the lives of the people they service and the environment for which they must be good stewards. We in the pest control industry need to provide a healthy future for those kids. Our motto should be no different than that of doctors – “First do no harm.”

At Hearts Pest Management we officially started this process many years ago when we demanded that our pest control technicians strive for higher education and higher certifications, while encouraging healthy lifestyles – including non-smoking. It continued when we inaugurated the “Green Thumb” pest control program and proceeded when we became the 1st company in southern California to be EcoWise Certified.

Now, as we venture into a world of new uncertainties, it is imperative that we not forget our environmental commitments to our children in the name of economic necessities. We can find economic answers and also provide our children with a healthy future.

Hearts Pest Management has embraced the philosophy of conservation medicine, one that defines the critical intersection of the world of humans, the lesser species and the environment.

Diagram of Conservation Medicine from Tufts University

Diagram of Conservation Medicine from Tufts University

At the intersection of the human, lesser live organisms and the environment is a critical profession – pest control. Our profession is much more and should be something very different from an extermination service. Our goal is to guard the entry gates to these three essential elements to life as we know it. Where health is risked by disease vectors and environmental ills that migrate between the environment, the lesser animal kingdoms and the human race stands the pest control profession, either making matters worse or providing far-sighting solutions.

Join us as we attempt to win the future of pest control and a better future for those we touch in our work and lives.

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