A close, meticulous look at the places and locations where others turn up their noses, that's exactly what distinguishes Gerhard Tiefel. The sole trader declares war on ants, cockroaches, rats, wasps and other pests. On 5 October 1987 - exactly 30 years ago - the state-certified disinfector and IHK-certified pest controller founded his company. A long time that has hardened him. Because he's seen a lot in that time - and sometimes he doesn't even have to look too closely to know directly what problem he's dealing with: "I can often smell it. Bed bugs, for example, have stink glands, cockroaches have their very own muffled smell and I immediately recognize the acrid stench of rat or mouse urine," says Gerhard Tiefel.
The portfolio of services that he offers together with his four-person team ranges from the fight against wasps, hornet relocations, pigeon confiscations, apartment clearing to disinfections after corpse discoveries and crime scene cleanups. There is no favourite discipline for him: "I simply enjoy my job and every case is a new challenge. There is no standard procedure. Every case is different, simply because of the local conditions. My motto after all this time is still the same as when I started: I want to leave an apartment in such a way that I could live in it again myself."
Before becoming self-employed, Tiefel worked as a disinfector at the Offenbach Clinic. He disinfected operating theaters and hospital rooms, checked which germs were rampant in the wards and made sure infections were contained. A job description that hardly exists in this form today. With consequences: The nationwide cases of the spread of resistant germs, which pose a danger to already weakened hospital patients, speak a clear language. "Better not to get sick," Tiefel sums it up. For the first few years of his self-employment, Tiefel continued to work at the hospital, gradually building up his small company and acquiring more and more expertise. To this day, he and his staff regularly attend training sessions to learn the latest pest control techniques and offer customers the best possible solutions to their taboo problems. "Whereas in the past, restaurants had to be completely fumigated with poison when they were infested with pests, these days the kitchen staff can be back at the stove within half an hour of our intervention." Especially with commercial customers, discretion is paramount for Tiefel and his team. When the company's van pulls up to the job site, there's no logo to reveal who's about to perform a service there. Even the work clothes are not marked. "This is especially important, after all, pest control is an absolute matter of trust."
We learn from Tiefel that there used to be a lot more problems with cockroaches and roaches. Now those requests are rare - but other tiny pests have grown into a huge nuisance: Bed bugs. The paper-thin, reddish-brown parasites are usually an annoying and disgusting souvenir from vacation. The bloodsuckers only populate cheap hostels, many think - but even 4-star hotels are not immune to the danger. Once the luggage is unpacked, the bugs will happily move into your beloved home. To avoid this, Tiefel now offers an extra service. Customers can bring their luggage to his company. There, suitcases, backpacks and co. are put into a thermal tent for 24 hours - at a cost of 150 euros. By way of comparison: once the critters are in the house or apartment, it takes a full load of chemicals to get rid of the pesky bugs. And unlucky people have to dig deep into their pockets. Between 1,000 and 1,500 euros costs such an operation. "I can only advise everyone to look very closely in his four walls or his business."
And what happens if you look away? "Then the problem gets worse and worse, and eventually it explodes - if hundreds and thousands of bed bugs can't find room in a hiding place, then in the worst case, an infestation like that can spread to an entire house." Doesn't sound good - but good to know there are experienced professionals in case of emergency.
Address: Tiefel Schädlingsbekämpfung, Kirchstraße 9, 63150 Heusenstamm
Tel.: 06104 923592
You can also find more info at: http://g-tiefel.en/