The Journey to the Standalone Solution

Something went wrong. Please try again later...
Sentricon System assets

Journey to the epicenter of the termite pressure and see how the Sentricon® system helped Cook’s Pest Control unlock business benefits and kick termites out of town.

If termite pressure were a dart board — the southeastern U.S. would be the bull’s-eye.

Cook’s Pest Control in the Southeast is sitting right within that bull’s-eye.

“We deal with multiple termite species. We have the eastern subterranean and the Formosan termite as well,” says Stephen Gates, vice president of technical services at Cook’s Pest Control.

Because the termite pressure in their service area is so high, they can’t afford to offer lackluster termite control. And they certainly don’t.

“Cook’s, like any other company, used the typical liquid termiticide treatment for a long time and it worked well for us for many years. But then, we were approached by our Corteva representatives around 1995 about using the Sentricon system,” Gates says.

The Cook’s team took five of their customers who were having consistent termite issues and installed Sentricon stations around their homes. One home had such intense termite pressure that you could see them still foraging on damaged wood coming out of the home.

“We installed Sentricon and it solved the termite issues. That was a big ‘aha’ moment for us,” Gates says. “The neat thing — those customers who were a part of our original testing — they still are Sentricon customers.”

Once Cook’s had the aha moment, the business benefits started rolling in.

Increased Consistency

Liquid termite treatments left a lot open to interpretation. To get the product application to the standards expected at Cook’s, extensive training and oversight was required to ensure the products were applied according to the label. Things like proper mixing, flow rates and total volume sometimes felt like it was up to interpretation due to the many variables involved site to site.

It is impossible for a product label to include every intricacy one might encounter in the field. One technician could say “This is the type of foundation this is. This is where we need to treat. This is how many gallons we need to treat with.”

Then, another technician could come along and look at it and may say, “I agree on the foundation, but this is where I would treat and this is how many gallons I would use.”

“Liquid treatments remind us of the quote ‘Life’s like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get’,” Gates says. “There was a standard of course, but Sentricon simplified everything.”

Simpler Training

Sentricon takes much fewer tools than a traditional liquid treatment. No more big trucks, no more gallons of liquid chemical — just an easy calculation for number of stations based on linear footage of the home, a drill with an auger bit and maybe a staple gun for Recruit® AG (above-ground) termite bait stations.

“Construction knowledge was a must in knowing what to do with a liquid treatment because it dictated how the liquid was applied,” Gates says. “While knowing different construction types is still important, because the Sentricon system uses the termites’ biology against them, the type of foundation under the home doesn’t change our approach because the termites natural foraging behavior makes us confident, they will find the stations and achieve colony elimination.”

Plus, the Sentricon system was easier and quicker to install than liquid treatments. It made it easier to manage labor needs because they could better forecast and plan.

“You’re able to get guys on a regular schedule. It’s not so much ‘Hey, we’ve got liquid jobs we need to get done, but I'm not sure if it’s going to take a day, or two or three days.’ Now, since Sentricon takes a certain amount of time to install per 100 linear feet, you can plan, you can schedule.”

With labor shortages a real concern in the pest management industry, Sentricon brings peace of mind with simplified labor forecasting.

“I can calculate how much time I need, how many people I need to do it, how many stations I need scanned, and how many renewals I need to get done,” Gates says.

The Predictability of Recurring Revenue

Renewals added another layer of predictability. By spreading renewals and annual inspections throughout the year, securing the recurring revenue provided the business the balance it needed.

“Cook’s has always balanced its quarters with renewals, and so for years it’s been able to be productive in each quarter,” Gates says.

Gates said they wouldn’t have found success as easily without their partnership with Corteva and Brandon Crain, their Corteva Agriscience Territory Manager. Crain feels the same way.

“Cook’s went the extra mile. They proved that Sentricon worked and that they had processes in place to make this product as successful as it was,” Crain says. “Their customers saw that Cook’s truly believed in what they were selling. Their customers look to them for advice and Cook’s is able to give them a confident answer of what's best for their property.”