Industry News

Commercial work and how to manage large accounts

Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.

Before discussing commercial account work, we should first establish what a commercial account can look like, and what constitutes a large commercial account. These accounts can range from a roadside hot dog stand to NYC Housing Authority complexes, while large accounts can include a two million square foot food plant or a university campus dormitory that houses more than 1,000 people. We will be discussing protocols for medium-sized commercial accounts, such as a hospital or office building.

Here are several questions to consider when working with a commercial account to determine what information you’ll need, how to split up your time and any special considerations:

Questions to ask the customer:

  • What are the account’s hours of operations?
  • Are there any security procedures you need to know?
  • Who is the main contact person for the account? Be sure to know at least three different people in case your contact leaves the premises.
  • Is there a history of pest activity on the account?
  • Is there a nursery or classroom located in the building? Some commercial organizations provide these services for their employees.
  • What is the flow pattern of items through the property, like garbage or mail?
  • Is there a recycling program on the premises? If so, where are those materials held?
  • Where is the sewer opening for each building?
  • Is there access to the roof and, if so, where?
  • Who has the keys to areas like pantries and mechanical rooms?
  • Are you permitted to take photos of any kind?
  • Are there any special considerations/concerns the account has?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have back-up technicians to cover the work if the main technicians are sick or on vacation?
  • How often should the quality assurance supervisor inspect and meet with the key contact of the account?
  • Are you prepared to map out and number devices like sticky traps and bait stations?
  • How will you split your service time? Are you saving time to handle any unexpected situations that arise?
  • Are the products you select labeled/registered for the area you’re attempting to treat?
  • Are there any special certifications needed to perform work in the account?
  • Are there any extra services your company can offer?


If you are currently only doing work with residential accounts and want to expand into commercial work, ask for help. The National Pest Management Association has a mentor program and can offer someone knowledgeable to assist you.

Next month, we’ll cover the importance of inspections.

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