Atomic Pest Control’s Iconic Mouse ‘Has Left the Building’
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On the morning of Dec. 11, the end of an era was marked when cranes removed Atomic Pest Control’s 10-foot-tall, 1,200-pound iconic mouse from the top of the company’s Elvis Presley Blvd. building in Memphis.
The eye-catching mouse had become more than an Atomic Pest Control marketing tool — it had become part of the city’s skyline and character during the last 30-plus years.
“The mouse leaving the building was bittersweet,” said Atomic Pest Control Owner Carese Rice. “It was an amazing sight to see him taken off the building. The building does not look the same with that big blank spot.”
The mouse’s new home is Ringgold, Ga., home of Enviroguard Pest Solutions, a pest control business owned and operated by Rice’s cousin, Lee Tubbs. “I felt like the mouse needed to stay in the family, so I am giving it to Lee,” Rice said.
What necessitated the mouse’s relocation was that after 55 years in business Atomic Pest Control sold to local pest control business Allied Termite & Pest Control Co., on Dec. 6. Atomic Pest Control was founded in 1958 by Rice’s father, Stanley (Lester) Tubbs, and she took over the business following his passing in 2002.
The mouse was purchased by Tubbs in 1969, and it really came to life when he lent it to a local movie theater to promote the 1971 movie “Willard,” a horror story about a social misfit with a strange affinity for rats. According to a 2008 PCT article, the mouse had a speaker inside that theater promoters used to hype their films. Tubbs used that speaker to promote his company’s services all across Memphis, pulling it on a trailer at various civic events. But with fame came problems: Fraternities kept stealing the mouse, and Tubbs would have to go to the trouble of hunting him down. So, in 1978, he moved the mouse to the roof, and it had been there ever since.
Its fans will be pleased to know that the mouse will not be put to rest. Rather, it will serve a similar purpose for Enviroguard Pest Solutions. Lee Tubbs also has deep roots in the pest control industry. “The mouse and I grew up together,” he said. “It was put on the Atomic Pest Control roof in 1978 and I started working full-time for Atomic Pest Control in 1979. It’s been a family heirloom and I’m proud to be its new caregiver.”
Tubbs moved to Atlanta in 1994 and founded Enviroguard in 1997. He said he’s building a new platform for the mouse that is expected to be completed in January. “It’s going to be facing the street that our business is located on and also Interstate 75, so that drivers driving south from Chattanooga (Tenn.) will see it,” he said. — Brad Harbison
Guide to Commercial Pest Management Added to PCT Technical Library
RICHFIELD, Ohio — The PCT Guide to Commercial Pest Management, featuring editorial contributions from some of the industry’s leading technical directors, is a new technical resource that will be available in February.
Written by current and past members of the Copesan Technical Committee, the guide is a comprehensive handbook to servicing a wide array of commercial accounts from food processing plants and health care facilities to zoos and apartments.
Following introductory chapters devoted to what it takes to be a successful commercial technician; regulatory considerations in commercial pest management; inspections, audits, recordkeeping and documentation; and a pest identification guide, each chapter focuses on a specific type of account, providing a quick reference for technicians beginning work at a new commercial account or eager to learn more about how to service commercial accounts. With this handy guide, readers will learn how to better protect food, property and public health from structural pests. For more information, visit the PCT Online Bookstore at www.pctonline.com/store.
June 2-4: 11th International Fumigants & Pheromones Conference, Krakow, Poland. Contact: Visit www.insectslimited.com.
Marathon Data Systems Names Jagannathan COO
Wall, N.J. — Marathon Data Systems recently welcomed Shankar Jagannathan as chief operating officer. Jagannathan comes to Marathon from EMC, where he led global product management for a significant portfolio of cloud and infrastructure management products as vice president of products and strategy for the advanced software division. As Marathon’s COO, Jagannathan will lead the firm’s business operations and spearhead all strategic initiatives related to corporate strategy, business and corporate, acquisitions and long-term financial planning.
“I’m extremely excited to have Shankar join our team,” said Chris Sullens, Marathon Data Systems’ president and CEO. “Shankar will play a critical role for us as we take Marathon to the next level of growth with our aggressive investment in products, people and process. He brings a diverse set of operational and leadership skills, together with extensive expertise and a track record of success in scaling software businesses, managing acquisitions and introducing new products to market.”
“I’m thrilled to join Marathon Data Systems at such an exciting time for the company,” Jagannathan said. “Marathon has had great success to date and is making huge investments in next-generation products and scaling to be a much larger business. I’m looking forward to partnering with Chris and his team to ensure those investments allow us to extend our leadership position in field service management, transportation and logistics.”
Prior to EMC, Jagannathan was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company and a core member of its hi-tech practice, leading engagements with technology companies, venture capital and private equity funds, primarily in the telecom and semiconductor sectors. He holds a Ph.D. in embedded systems and optimal control, and an MBA in finance and international business.
Speakers Announced for NPMA Legislative Day 2014
Fairfax, Va. — The National Pest Management Association announced the slate of keynote speakers who will address attendees at Legislative Day 2014, March 9-11, in Washington, D.C. FMC Corporation is the primary sponsor of Legislative Day, which was first held in 1988.
Designed to provide NPMA members an annual opportunity to forge relationships with their elected U.S. Senators and Representatives, Legislative Day also helps NPMA establish partnerships with a new generation of federal lawmakers, which will ultimately benefit the entire professional pest management industry.
This year’s event will feature a keynote “debate” between Pat Buchanan, a leading voice of populist conservatism and Donna Brazile, a veteran Democratic political strategist and syndicated columnist. Other featured speakers include John Heilemann, political analyst and the co-author of Game Change and Double Down: Game Change 2012, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences; and Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for Politico and creator of Playbook and Morning Money, sponsored by Control Solutions, Inc.
Additionally, Legislative Day 2014 will include a workshop on diversity and an EPA regulatory update. NPMA staff has also invited Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) as a luncheon speaker on Tuesday, March 11, the same slot filled by 2012 Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan in 2013.
Further, the PCT Media Group will recognize the 2013 Technicians of the Year at a special ceremony on the Monday of the conference (March 10). The annual awards are sponsored by BASF Pest Control Solutions.
“For 27 years, PMPs have increased awareness, knowledge and support of the $6 billion pest management industry among members of Congress,” stated NPMA Executive Vice President Bob Rosenberg. “In recent years we have seen significant legislative successes that can be directly attributed to our members’ participation at Legislative Day. I strongly encourage PMPs to join us on Capitol Hill in March and continue to make a difference in the pest management industry.”
For more information, visit www.npmapestworld.org.
J.T. Eaton Awards $2,000 Scholarship
TWINSBURG, Ohio — In support of industry education, J.T. Eaton has awarded Purdue University entomology student Emily Justus with a $2,000 scholarship.
“My late grandfather, Stanley Baker, was a huge proponent of education for this industry,” said Dale Baker, vice president and the third generation of this family-owned company. “It’s a tradition that we are pleased to continue to implement. Purdue has been a driving force in urban pest management education, so it’s just a natural fit for us to work with their scholarship program.”
J.T. Eaton’s Stanley Z. Baker Foundation, named after the industry Hall of Famer, works with a wide variety of industry projects, including education and charitable work. For more information, visit www.jteaton.com/szb.php.
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Ben Satterfield, sales manager at Allgood Pest Solutions in Lawrenceville, Ga., has been reappointed to the Georgia Consumer Advisory Board, a statewide consumer-related board.
Pasadena, Texas-based Control Solutions, Inc. (CSI) promoted Curtis Clark to executive vice president. The firm says the move enables CSI President Mark Boyd to work more closely with parent company Makhteshim-Agan Industries to capitalize on non-crop business opportunities worldwide. Formerly CSI’s vice president of sales and marketing, Clark will continue to oversee those functions while adding day-to-day executive management responsibilities for all of the company’s core business units, including professional pest control chemicals, commercial turf and ornamental chemicals (Quali-Pro), lawn and garden and animal health chemicals (Martin’s), and formulator sales.
Richard Burke has joined McCloud Services as chief financial officer.
Al Brown retired after 22 years with Cascade Pest Control in Redmond, Wash. Brown started as a route technician in 1991, became a finalist for the PCT Technician of the Year in 1994, then worked his way up to service manager, then senior field trainer.
Also at Cascade Pest Control, Brad Grant recently retired following 14 years of service to the company.
Karie Keown-Kirchner has been appointed national accounts director for Orkin. She will report to the vice president of sales operations and has direct responsibility for client services, customer care and quality assurance. Keown-Kirchner got her start in pest management in 2002, when she joined her father, Jerry Keown, and his business partner at Presto-X. She served as the general manager and director of sales training, as well as director of strategic accounts. Keown-Kirchner joined Orkin earlier this year as an executive management trainee.
Knockout (Uniondale, N.Y.) CEO Arthur Katz was honored at the Small Businessperson of the Year awards hosted by the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce in October. Nominees are business owners and entrepreneurs selected for their community and chamber of commerce involvement, and for making a significant contribution to the local economy.
New Syngenta Website Provides Termite Tutoring for Homeowners
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Syngenta Professional Pest Management (PPM) has launched a new website, www.Altriset.com, to help pest management professionals educate their customers about termites and Altriset termiticide.
“Syngenta knows PMPs need more than just effective products to grow their business,” said Bob Goglia, head of marketing for Syngenta PPM in North America. “Termites are a major problem for homeowners throughout the U.S., so Syngenta launched this dynamic website to help PMPs better address this issue and engage their customers. The website gives PMPs a new tool to share with homeowners, so consumers can better understand and identify termite problems and recognize the benefits of working with professionals who offer Altriset termiticide.”
Key highlights of the website include: signs to detect a termite infestation, tips for reducing the risk of termite damage, information about how Altriset works, videos that show the proven results of Altriset and a PMP locator that allows homeowners to quickly find local professionals who offer Altriset.
For more information about Altriset and Syngenta PPM, contact the Syngenta Customer Center (866/796-4368) or visit www.SyngentaPMP.com.
Service Pro.net Hosts Users Conference
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Service Pro, a family-owned software solutions provider to the pest control industry, held its annual users conference, ServSuite University 2013, the week of Dec. 2 in Nashville, Tenn. The firm says the customer-focused event was a “great success” and was attended by more than 200 of Service Pro.net’s customers, staff and business partners.
ServSuite University lasted three days, providing advanced training on ServSuite software, including various modules, features and services. ServSuite customers also had the opportunity to hear from industry experts on how to improve their business operations during customer roundtables, case studies and networking opportunities, which allowed them to further learn about industry-specific applications for pest control and lawn care business advancement.
Some highlights of ServSuite University included advanced office functions, mobility, print to mail, visual routing, ServSuite Call Ahead, reporting tools and E-Connect customer web portal. Learn more about the company and its product offerings at www.servicepro.com.
Many customers took the opportunity to share great feedback at ServSuite University 2013 in real time via social media, including:
- "Having a great time. I’ve learned something from every class I’ve attended. Enjoyed the leads, sales and proposal tracking."
- "Great company! They really focus on being a step ahead of the pest control industry and their training/support is top notch."
ServSuite University 2013 was dedicated to the memory of employee Animah Pritchard.
FMC Awards Seven Trips to Legislative Day 2014
PHILADELPHIA — Seven PMPs are D.C.-bound after winning a free trip to NPMA’s Legislative Day 2014, courtesy of FMC Corporation. Entries were collected online and during NPMA PestWorld 2013 in Phoenix, with the winners drawn randomly at PestWorld by NPMA Executive Vice President Bob Rosenberg.
The winners, who will receive airfare, registration and a two-night hotel stay, are Rodney Allman, Envirosafe, Belmont, N.C.; Keith Birkemeyer, ProBest Pest Management, Gilbert, Ariz.; Dan Bradbury, Viking Pest Control, Bound Brook, N.J.; Roger Graham, Arrow Exterminators, Broken Arrow, Okla.; Doug Lardner, Doug the Bug Termite & Pest Control, Clearwater, Fla.; Tim Leatherman, Perfect Pest Control, Union, Ky.; and Lawrence Plecha, Biotec of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M.
“There is no better way to support our industry than to attend Legislative Day,” said Bethwyn Todd, global director, FMC Professional Solutions. “We congratulate the winners and look forward to joining them in D.C., as we work together to address the issues impacting pest management professionals.”
NPMA’s Legislative Day provides an annual opportunity for pest management professionals and other industry stake-holders to speak to federal lawmakers on the issues affecting the industry.
According to NPMA, many lawmakers presiding over committees that directly affect pest management are new to Congress, so this event will provide an opportunity to forge new relationships and influence future legislation. In 2013, more than 400 pest management profes-sionals attended.
Legislative Day 2014 will be held March 9-11 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.npmapestworld.org.
For updates, register for e-alerts at www.fmcpestwire.com. For information on FMC Professional Solutions, visit www.fmcprosolutions.com.
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Forsyth Exterminating, based in Cumming, Ga., was named as a 2013 Bulldog 100: Fastest Growing Bulldog Businesses by the University of Georgia Alumni Association. Forsyth, helmed by 2006 UGA graduate Julie Ramirez, ranks as this year’s 85th fastest growing Bulldog business. The firm specializes in pest, termite, wildlife and landscape services.
Arrow Exterminators announced the Arrow Head and Neck Cancer Research Fund. The new fund will support the work of radiation oncologist Jonathan Beitler and head and neck surgeon Amy Chen, each of the Winship Cancer Institute in Atlanta, who are studying methods for prevention, early detection and treatment of human papillomavirus (HPV) related head and neck cancer. Arrow President and CEO Emily Thomas Kendrick, whose husband is a throat cancer survivor, said the company wanted to find a way to help others, and that the fund is a reflection of the firm’s commitment to the community.
For the third consecutive year, Dallas-based HomeTeam Pest Defense received the “Partners of Choice” Award from David Weekley Homes. The company earned an “A” rating for service in Weekley’s National Trading Partner Survey. HomeTeam is the only pest management company to ever receive this industry award and one of eight companies to earn an “A” rating this year.
Fischer’s Pest Control, of Las Vegas, Nev., celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013. Mike Fischer said he started the business in 2003 with a commitment to customer service, punctuality and safe pest control practices.
Atlanta-based Orkin, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins, established its first franchises in Guam; Erbil, Iraq; and Trinidad and Tobago. The franchises will all offer commercial, residential and termite pest control services. The company also expanded its lawn care services in southern Florida by acquiring Lawn & Ornamental Green Services, also known as Green Plus. Green Plus is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Terminix has opened a Santa Barbara branch in Goleta, Calif. Eric Graff has been named branch manager of the new office.
Allgood Pest Solutions, Duluth, Ga., in 2013 partnered with Habitat for Humanity-North Central Georgia to supply termite control to 15 new homes over the next year. Allgood will provide free pre-treatments to the homes, and will install Sentricon stations around the perimeter of each home.
San Diego-based Payne Pest Management was awarded the MBE Supplier of the Year, Class 2 for 2013, given by the San Diego Regional Minority Supplier Development Council. This award is given to the top minority-owned business in San Diego County with annual revenues between $1 million and $10 million.
Bayer’s Maxforce on a Mission Makes Impact at South Georgia Animal Shelter
DARIEN, Ga. — Bayer’s Maxforce on a Mission initiative has continued to grow, with its most recent activity taking place in Darien, Ga. The team at Yates-Astro Termite and Pest Control treated a severe black pyramid ant infestation at McIntosh County Animal Services (MCAS), a municipal animal shelter managed by Humane Animal Resource Team (HART), a non-profit, animal-welfare organization dedicated to community animal spay/neuter assistance and a humane animal control program.
“The ant infestation we unfortunately experienced was a huge problem for our animals and for our staff,” said Hannah Tostensen, co-founder of HART. “The ants were invading our parking lot, sidewalk, kennels, and the animals’ fur and their food. We knew we had to call in a professional company to help us eradicate this problem that was affecting more than 70 dogs and cats.”
Gary Wise, general manager of Yates-Astro, and his team found out about HART’s ant situation and immediately knew they wanted to help. To assist Tostensen and her team, Bayer provided Maxforce Complete Granular Insect Bait at no charge. “This infestation was one of the worst ant problems I’ve ever seen — you could have ants crawling up your legs in just 30 seconds of standing on the property,” Wise said. “Right off the bat I knew we were going to donate our time to HART because they provide our community with such a great service.”
After one major application of Maxforce granules, the team at HART saw a huge improvement and was able to save several animals that were severely affected by the ants. “We felt like our staff was ready to quit because the ants truly impacted our morale, made it harder for us to work and deterred people from visiting the shelter,” said Jennifer Wrenn, MCAS director. “We are so grateful for Yates-Astro donating their services and for Bayer providing the product.”
The team at Yates-Astro continually participates in volunteer efforts in which they can give back to their community, the firm said.