|Emile Pappas, who started doing pest control in 1942, was recognized by the Greater Houston Pest Control Association for the many contributions he has made throughout the years.|
HOUSTON - With his family beside him, Emile Pappas was honored at the Greater Houston Pest Control Association's annual Holiday Party on Dec. 3, in Houston, Texas. Mark Foltz, president of GHPCA, presented Pappas with a certificate from the president of the Texas Pest Control Association, Kerry Maples-Batterman, recognizing all his contributions to the industry. They also celebrated his 88th birthday with singing and a large cake presented to him.
Pappas started work in pest control in 1942 in Mobile, Ala., working for Mr. Bighams at the age of 16. The experience came in handy when during WWII the Navy found out he had pest control experience and asked if he could rid a hospital ship of Pharaoh ants because they were transmitting staph infections to the wounded soldiers. Since early pest control operators had to mix up their own pesticides, he agreed as long as they provided him the ingredients for his bait. In this case, Pappas had to dissolve thallium sulfate in boiling water on the deck of the ship to create his bait. He was successful and was asked to perform this service many times during WWII. Pappas also served during the Korean War. He eventually moved to Houston where his older sister lived and this is where he began VP Exterminators. When he finally sold his company to his son this past year, of his many regular customers, 68 had been using his services since the 1950s.He has consulted, lectured and helped many leaders in this industry over the years and was a regular fixture at the National Pest Management Association meetings.
Related: Video interviews with Pappas can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/bravofincannon.
Editor’s note: Thanks to David Fincannonn, president of A-All Pest Control, Dallas, Texas, for submitting the photo and write-up.