HOUSTON — A hearse is a vehicle for taking bodies to their final resting place, right? Not if you are Tony Esposito, owner of The Bug Reaper, Houston, Texas.
Esposito has revamped and refashioned two (soon to be three) of these vehicles which serve dual purposes: (1) as a service vehicle large enough to carry equipment; and (2) as a catchy marketing tool that is a perfect fit for the company name/logo: The Bug Reaper.
“It turns heads everywhere I go,” Esposito said. “Anyone who sees it says ‘its genius’ or ‘I'm a genius for doing it.’”
Esposito says he dreamed about having a hearse service vehicle since the day he started The Bug Reaper (in 1994) but it wasn’t until three months ago that he bought his first hearse. He uses E-bay to locate and buy the vehicles.
But are they functional? “They work great as service vehicles,” Esposito says. “Mine have 50 gallon rigs and 300 feet of hose. It has plenty of room. The rollers and everything inside the hearse are intact.”
Esposito said he mounted the rigs on plywood so they roll freely and it’s very easy to use. “I am having coffins made as tool boxes to hold B & G's and chemical,” he said.
A former employee of New York City-based Abalon Exterminating, Esposito started The Bug Reaper in 1994. He currently has three employees and offers termite, pest control, and wildlife removal and exclusion. He services apartment complexes, restaurants, residential homes and nursing homes. “Bed bugs have been huge,” he said. “I offer a one-year guarantee on treatments which no one else does. The bat and bird exclusion work we do we give a 5-year guarantee. I stand behind all of my work and that's what is growing my company.”