[00:00:02] Stephen Vantassel here. Wildlife Control consultant talking about the wildlife. Wanted to talk a bit about wildlife training, Hey, I just came back from the National Wildlife Control Operators Association National Meeting the wildlife Expo being held in Myrtle Beach. I was there from February 4 through the 9th and wow what a what an expo it was.
[00:00:28] And so let’s talk a little about training so I’m biased.
[00:00:32] So case study of you out there are wondering what my biases put my cards on the table here I am a board member director of the National Wildlife Control Operators Association I’m the western director. So basically that means everything west of like Missouri of the United States is sort of my territory if you want to call it that I represent the wildlife control operators in that part of the country for our association. So the National Wildlife Control Operators Association is a trade association that’s nonprofit that advocates for the interests of wildlife control operators by providing training by advocating for proper legislation among among governors state governments and the federal government as well. And we work with the National Pest Management Association which we sort of cooperate with. They are a joint sponsor of our wildlife Expo and we are trying to raise the professionalism and publicity of the work the important work that wildlife control operators do across the country.
[00:01:50] Those of you who are dealing primarily with the bugs have a little bit better than us because you guys are more regulated now you may hate regulations it may scream at the government or whatever.
[00:02:04] But the reality is is that the government protects what the government regulates. And when you have regulation then at least there’s some industry standards and so you have some protection against sort of the willy nilly things that happen in the you know the people that are always racing to the bottom financially and I understand it’s not perfect and there are a lot of problems in the pest control industry as well and I and I appreciate that. But in terms of wildlife control many many parts of the country it’s basically the Wild West to sort of use an old statement there. The reality is is that there is a lot of things that are just being done poorly. And unfortunately if you go on Facebook you see a lot of sometimes shoddy workmanship and I’m not talking about things that aren’t necessarily pretty. I mean reality is the truth was I was never a great repair man and if you look at some of my work back in the day it was certainly not pretty. The difference is is that I wasn’t necessarily charging hundreds and hundreds of dollars for some the aluminum flashing I was putting up to try to close a squirrel hole. And so there’s people that are just sort of not doing the right thing in any ways the National Wildlife Control Operators Association is endeavoring to provide training opportunities and advocacy for those in the wildlife control field. And so we had a great a great convention this time. So let me talk a little bit about that convention because some of you may be interested in getting some of the training was Al I missed it.
[00:03:39] I couldn’t make it. Relax there’s can be plenty of other opportunities for you. But let me kind of go over a little bit of what happened during this expo. So what the while the National Wildlife Control Operators Association does when they have their Expo. They they sort of bookend it with additional training so New Coke has created a series of certified trainings where you can attend and there is an exam. And when you pass that exam you are eligible you get the certification of that course.
[00:04:12] Let’s talk about some of those courses. Excuse me. So we have the wildlife control operator training course. This is a foundational course. No don’t take that as under thinking that is just simply basic but it provides all of the fundamentals. Now what’s interesting is we’ve had a lot of people who’ve been in the business for 10 plus years who have told us wow I can’t believe how much I learned in this class.
[00:04:37] So it’s sort of like if you’re someone who’s interested in football you may say well you know I’m a I’m a college football player and I know a lot about football.
[00:04:46] Well you know that sometimes the great coaches what they do is they take their their players when they come in and they said we’re going to go back to the fundamentals and that’s what the wildlife control operator training course does is it sort of provides people the fundamentals so it gives us some training on some core elements about safety about the law about disease about customer service and then it delves into like how to handle animals. News of capture techniques and equipment. And talks about definitions and euthanasia. Carcass disposal. And then it moves into specifics on five different species groups. Bats trees squirrels raccoons skunks and unprotected birds. And so it’s a two day course and so you’re getting about 14 and a half contact hours of training because you have some breaks in there. So it’s two days and then you have a capstone test. So that’s one of the courses. We also offer an advanced operator training course. And this is designed for people that are running to take it up another level. So it delves deeper into some business issues. And so that course is going to be changed so that we have it geared for technicians more because we’ve had some owner operators who are concerned about sending their technicians to the advanced class because it teaches business skills and that sort of thing and they’re worried about losing their employees which is rightly so.
[00:06:24] So we’re looking to modify that course. But in any event it does delve deeper into issues of safety how to handle certain types of jobs that may come up on the things like how to understand doing a little bit more on an exclusion techniques in raising profit and doing marketing and things of that nature. So that that course is also available. And so then we have our two day Expo which is a series of sort of modeled. I can’t say it’s modeled after the past world but it’s similar the pest world in the sense you have several general classes for every one at once and then we have breakout sessions and typically they try to break it into two different groups. One’s one line of classes is dealing with how to technical information and control and wildlife and then the other track is dealing with business related issues like how to run a Web site and how to improve your MCO score. And that sort of thing.
[00:07:30] So you have some courses that talk about controlling bats and maybe how to do positive trapping techniques and then another track is going to be delving into business concerns. And then on the final.
[00:07:43] And then after that another book and we have some other classes where we’ve offered a bird certification course and our courses a little bit different than some of your you know bird barrier and Bird began type courses and the fact that we have the ability to talk about all types of products. So we’re not tied into a specific brand. And so our course has of course some similarities with those other courses and we’re not putting down those other courses. I mean by all means training training training you’re always going to learn something new from from taking other trainings. But our training is designed for it for people that don’t want to be necessarily locked into a particular brand product. And so we’ve had that was our first time we did the bird class well-received. That’s just a one day class. And then we also offered our bat standards class which has been going on for probably five or six years now. And that was very well attended. So we are those are the types of trainings that we have. So I wanted to sort of break down a little bit of what happened during the Expo time. So we have our certified trainings which you can take before or after the expo. But then in terms of the Expo itself the Expos a two day event.
[00:09:02] And so here I wanted to go over some of the classes that we had the sessions that we had. So we had our general session which is where we have everyone together in the same room. We had top 10 tips for running a successful wildlife control business. But some of that and then later in the day we have what’s called concurrent sessions as that two track thing I was telling you about.
[00:09:27] And so one of the topics was Rolando cows cows a deal is from Copa San.
[00:09:33] He’s had what you didn’t know that you didn’t know about pest bird and so he gave a presentation on that but on simultaneously Sarah O’Bannon of advanced wildlife management gave a presentation on software solutions a look at business software options for today’s WC Oh so you can see how you had one track for how to control a particular animal but at other track talking about business because the reality is is that you may be the best person in the world and how to catch x y z animal.
[00:10:06] But many people have struggled with the business side and and so you choose the type of classes you think are going to help you grow your particular business to fill that niche.
[00:10:20] And so let me give you some other names we have here targeted exclusion prefab exclusion solutions by Kevin Cornwell out of Virginia Charles Holt president of a new code gave one on maximizing the benefits of your canine division.
[00:10:35] We had another presentation on how to get your business V.A. verified so as a veteran owned small business for those of you who are veterans or have a small business just talks about how to navigate the process for making sure your gov you can get that status of being a veto be a business which gives you certain opportunities that those of us who own non V.A. businesses don’t have access to.
[00:11:01] We had another presentation this one by Jack Ammerman of advanced Wildlife Control instrumental electronic recording devices for the wildlife control industry and his I was able to sit in on his presentation and it was fascinating to see how he talked about taking certain types of recording devices to walk to monitor his employees didn’t protect his business when you know from accidents like you know the proverbial I wasn’t going through a red light when in so when a technician is driving and someone t bones them and people are claiming Oh no he blew the red light. No no you blow blue the red light you talked about that he also talked about some other things about recording how to how to use devices to find animals inside of walls and that sort of thing. So we had another presentation on reptiles and snakes where we actually had a guy come in and bring the bring in a bunch of sample examples of snakes to help teach people about handling snakes.
[00:11:59] That was Russell calendar. James Sargent of snake chasers we had dealing with your brain and dealing with the public. Excuse me. Protecting your brand. Dealing with a public crisis online. So this was by Matt Matt Paul of tap pest control insulation so you can see how we have a series of presentations and trainings on a variety of different topics and of course it just goes on from there.
[00:12:25] So the point is is that keep an eye out for the new code trainings. And so our next expo is going to be next year in Las Vegas. It’s going to be I believe in February. Let me try to pull up that those dates there for February 2020.
[00:12:45] Pull it up and looking at my calendar here.
[00:12:48] So it’s going to be the week of February 2nd. So typically you have about two days before and so I think it’s going to be February 5th and 6 in Las Vegas in 2020.
[00:13:02] It’s going to be at the link hotel.
[00:13:06] So put it in your calendar and say all right well maybe don’t like to go to Vegas you don’t want to go there maybe it’s too far or whatever.
[00:13:12] Those flights are pretty direct to Vegas to be sure but one to think about other trainings said new Kawa offered 20 trainings last year and 2017.
[00:13:26] Now that included what happened at the expo and by trainings we’re talking about those seminar type events where someone is getting a certified training but we offered trainings around the country.
[00:13:40] So if you’re interested in those types of
trainings and you want to say hey I want is something closer to us. You can contact the National Wildlife Control operators association just go to NWCOA.com
[00:13:53] Check out the phone number you can call send an email. Email us. Go new call it geo NWA c o a at g mail dot com and you can say hey we’re interested in some training and so generally what they’re looking for is you need to be thinking about 20 to 25 people who can attend because we have to have enough people attending to cover the costs because we’re flying out our training coordinator or other or other presenters.
[00:14:21] And so there’s a lot there’s things involved in that.
[00:14:24] But let’s say you don’t want to be doing that. Well you can contact NewCo and be on an email list with them. You don’t have to be a member and you can find out what trainings are we’re going to. We announced them well in advance sign up to the new code dot.com page. We have a public version and a private version for those who are members. But if you’re public if you don’t want to be a member or just not is just run check it out you can follow on our new code new NuCoal page with Facebook. You just have to answer a few small questions and we’ll welcome you in and that’ll give you an Asian about when we’re offering various trainings because we’re going to be probably offering at least another 20 trainings this year in two thousand nineteen. So we’ve already offered money. I’ve given training and act in Oregon. We’ve had training in North Carolina. We’ve had training in Virginia just and that’s not even counting the expo that was done in South Carolina. So upcoming trainings that we’re looking at is going to be in Mint Minneapolis were offering the bad standards to which is going to be a hands on event. We have another training coming online and it’s going to be in Texas. It’s going to be on disease it’ll be an eight hour course on disease prevention which is something that’s slowly being neglected by many wildlife control operators. And so we’ll probably offer maybe a bad standards at the same time we try to dovetail some things because it tried to tries to reduce travel costs and offer more opportunities. So that’s going to be offered in Texas. And so there’s going to be more meaningful things are things are rapidly moving. Greg shoemakers our training coordinator he’s a he’s a paid position by our association. It’s his job to travel around the country and offer training.
[00:16:15] So if you have an association if you have a large company and you want something that’s directed for your particular group give NewCo a call.
[00:16:27] We are in the business you know for a non-profit organization. We are trying to get training to raise the standard of wildlife control operators in the country that does a couple of standards and a few ways one to protect the health and life of wildlife control operators.
[00:16:45] Sadly we have lost people in this industry who have fallen to their deaths off of ladders who have been severely injured in this job. And then we have people of course who have suffered illness because of exposure to various zoonotic. So I don’t want to be a negative nelly here.
[00:17:03] But the reality is as wildlife control has its own risks just like pest control of course just traveling around you can get t boned but that sort of thing. But wildlife control is often there’s a lot of ladder work involved and so it can be quite dangerous in this regard. We’re exposed to diseases from wildlife from because of the scat guano in animal contact that we have. Whereas PCOS are often exposed to a lot more pesticide threats. So each business has its own threat. So part of our desire is to protect the health and safety of wildlife control operators. The other element of course is to help wildlife control operators service that needs their clients in a responsible respectful way that we’re not having the big mistake so that we’re not having YouTube videos showing people doing things that are wrong that are highly offensive to a public that’s frankly becoming more animal rights oriented. You know as much as I disagree with the animal rights protest industry and people if you have any doubts about that Google my name and tell me if you think I’m an animal rights activist but the reality is is that just because I don’t agree with animal rights people doesn’t mean I have to poke the bear. They a lot of these people are very vocal very very outspoken. I’m happy to debate with them at any time. But the reality is is that their views matter in the sense that they vote. And so we don’t need to stir up anger among the people by doing something silly and offending people’s sensibilities.
[00:18:39] Let me give you an illustration. I’m not a vegetarian but if I’m talking with someone to a vegetarian I’m trying to have a meaningful conversation relationship with this vegetarian. I don’t make it my business to pull out a burger and shove shove a big burger with bacon in my face and make myself up noxious to them. It’s part of being respectful to people. Doesn’t mean I’m going to go around hiding that I’m a mediator but it doesn’t mean I have to shove that McDonald’s hamburger in front of their face and say it can’t. This is delicious don’t you think you should eat eat it too. So this is part of what we’re trying to do is help raise our image. And then lastly we want to help wildlife control operators make more money and we want them to make it in a responsible way. This is one of the things I appreciate about about pest geek and that is we’re not afraid of people earning money.
[00:19:34] We want people to earn money we want them to service the needs of their clients in a responsible respectful honest way. And that’s fine. We want. We don’t want I don’t my I don’t have any problem with people making money or even a lot of money. I think we’ve got to be careful of envy here. But we want people to give when they promise a service that they deliver on that service and that they can that their client is satisfied with the level of service that they received. That’s what we want them to do. And I believe that’s what Pesci wants to do.
[00:20:12] So it wants to improve you overall both protecting you personally protecting the public sensibilities but helping you improve your life and improve your income.
[00:20:25] Are there other training opportunities out there. Certainly there are some of the things that you can do on your own.
[00:20:33] In terms I’ve mentioned this and numerous other podcasts that I’ve done for Pesci and that is the importance of just simply reading.
[00:20:41] Let me give you a few things that you might want to try to open up and read Paul resend as are easy e r easy E and D E S Paul resend as he has a book called The Art of seeing that is a wonderful book for people who are interested in learning how to identify wildlife sign in damage better anything by Mark L. Brock E L B R O C H anything written by that man is worth its weight in gold I encourage you to buy all buy all of his books OK so if you’re interested I’m a I’m passionate about wildlife inspection wildlife damage inspections what are my particular passions but anything by Ellsberg is worth is worth owning if you’re looking to read in that direction because of the technical nature of his work these are things you’re going to challenge you and they’re not something unless you’re going to sit through and read from one end to the other they’re going to be a reference book but I would encourage you to just simply you know read a little bit each day put it by a place where you sit regularly and just sort of read it you know heavy you should always have a book in your in your truck in case you break down the notes she had something to do. You can also look at some training done by Dr. caulk and he is he is one of the primary people dealing with mental road and so anything by Corrigan would be something worthwhile to get to take.
[00:22:18] There are also some state wildlife control associations that can be helpful. Virginia has a very strong wildlife control operator program I believe. Connecticut from time to time. They seem to have dropped a little bit in terms of the regularity of some of their training but I believe they’re still offering the training course. New York State offers some training again you know check it out find out who the speakers are trying to think about you know sometimes just visiting and even if you don’t necessarily have a great experience in some of these trains understand that you can often learn something from people even for species like squirrels that you already may know a lot about. There’s something to be said about the reinforcement a different perspective. I’ll. I took a class at the at wildlife Expo recently and I was sitting in on this bird class by Raleigh and he his approach to Bird control was something that was directly different than what I was used to. And it challenged me and I can’t say that for every for every speaker but you’re often able to get some little tip here there some a little different angle a different way of expressing it. Sometimes all you’re getting is simply a different way of phrasing something that can trigger a better sales technique for your client because you’re able to communicate more carefully and accurately. So keep an open mind. I encourage people bring a notebook with you bringing business cards and sometimes the networking that you’re able to do at a training event can be a norm undercutting the value of training here. But I don’t want to. But the reality is sometimes the networking is more valuable than the training event itself. Don’t underestimate the value of reaching out to people or in your industry build friendships.
[00:24:25] Sometimes people on the opposite side of the state where they’re out of your market. That can be a resource for you. And sometimes if you get the big job you can form a short term alliance and work together to fill fill that job and then go back to your respective work. You know sometimes you know you want to compete in business and you want to be. You want to be aggressive in the sense of trying to get you know earn that money and get and expand your business. But sometimes a while of control you need to develop some friends and we have relationships in this industry where people are competitors but they’re not he’s in sometimes they will work together on big jobs and sometimes they will say hey when I’m going on vacation I’ll forward calls to you. And when you’re on vacation vacation you can forward calls to me now. What kind of value can you put on that. Because the reality is is that many people in this business and you’re self-employed you need to take some time away to unplug. If you’re working 365 days a year you know 24/7 blah blah blah. You’re in the wrong business. That is not healthy. There’s a lot of laziness in our world but there’s also a lot of people who are working themselves to death. For what. To get more stuff because they’re broken relationships. It is far cheaper to maintain the health of your marriage than to go through the pain of a divorce because you’ve poured your life into work when you should have been paying a little bit more attention to relationships.
[00:25:59] So the reality here is I understand that training can help sharpen your sword can help sharpen your and sharpen your ax. So you’re not spending so much time chopping down that tree. And so something we’ve had situations where people have taken a training event and they have learned something that instantly paid for the cost of the event itself. And Uncle Sam helps underwrite your trip. So when you go on these training events I understand all that can be a business expense so that you can subsidize numbs people add a couple of days on to a trip to make a little mini vacation out of it so they can have a learning experience and have a chance to unwind as well before they get back into the rat race. I would encourage you to definitely think about that again. Training training training should be a definitive part of your experience as a WCCO PCL. Challenge yourself and make sure you’re getting a little sharpening that sword a little bit. And I hope some information about the National Wildlife Control operators association helps you make some decisions about training you’re going to get in 2019. I’m Steven Van Tassel for wildlife control consultant. Back to you Frank.