LIVINGSTON, N.J. - Herman Ratner, a founding member of the New Jersey Pest Management Association, passed away on Sept. 2, the organization said. He was 95.
Ratner served as president of the NJPMA in 1958. He was the owner and operator of Ratner Pest Control, a company started by his father in 1926, serving South Jersey, which he sold to Western Pest Control in 1982.
Ratner was born in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1916. He started working for his father's business in the 1930s when bed bugs and rats were the biggest problems, NJPMA said. Ratner recalled how the technicians used cyanide gas to rid bed bugs for one dollar per room -- twice, Ratner had to drag his father out the front foor after having succumbed to the cyanide. At age 28, Ratner joined the Army during World War II, and returned after to work for the family business.
When Ratner sold the company to Western Pest, Ratner Pest Control was the largest company in South Jersey, NJPMA said. He retired to Margate, N.J., and was supported several local and internation charities.
"Remembered as a generous man, Herman's graveside service was attended by former employees as well as the wife and daughters of Tulio Gabos, deceased, who served as NJPMA President in 1968," the NJPMA said. "Herman was a gentlemen with true care and concern for his employees and customers. He was a credit to our industry, and will be missed."