I once oversaw the management of a small downtown office building in Phoenix which was leased in part to a major regional bank. The bank kept complaining of scorpions in the building. Desert scorpions are small critters with a nasty sting, much like a bee sting. And, the bank's secretaries would sit on the floor to go through bottom file drawers and sometimes would get stung on the behind. So the building manager called the pest control company and they sprayed the building. Still got complaints. Sprayed again. Still complaints. Clearly another strategy was needed. The pest control contractor pointed out that scorpions are unusual in downtown Phoenix and there were no complaints from other tenants on other floors of the building. He and the building manager concluded that the bank itself was bringing the scorpions into the building from their record center warehouse out in the desert. They alerted the bank to this source of the problem, but the bank refused to take any counter measures and continued to complain that it was a building problem. After several more sprayings, we started to get concerned about the risks of putting more insecticide into the building. Our pest control contractor was adamant that sprayings would do no good if scorpions kept being reintroduced into the building with each delivery to the bank from its records warehouse. So I asked the pest control contractor and the building manager to look into the possiblity of environmentally safer biological controls such as natural enemies of the scorpion. A few days later I received a copy of a memorandum from the building manager to the bank facilities department. He had also posted a copy of this memo on the bank employees' bulletin board: "Building management recognizes recent employee complaints of scorpions in the bank's records management areas. We have attempted to use pesticides but fear that increasing the level of pesticide could pose a health risk for some employees. "Because scorpions are native to our desert country and appear to be entering the building in the storage boxes delivered from the bank's desert warehouse, we have researched safer natural biological controls such as those which keep scorpions in check in their desert environment. We have found that scorpions have only one natural enemy. "Should there be any further complaints from the bank or its employees on this matter, building management will be pleased to introduce rattlesnakes into the records management areas." We had no more complaints.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)