Misty Goodroad’s family history has been deeply ingrained in Arizona and Nevada’s pest management industry for the past 50 years. Her grandfather founded Action Pest Control in Arizona in 1969 and her grandmother was the first female technician licensed in the state. Then, in the 1980s, her father, Wendell Goodroad, started Delcon Pest Control in the Las Vegas area. Later, she went on to start her own company, Innovative Pest Control. She ended up merging her company with her father’s and the modern Delcon Termite & Pest Control was born. She is currently Delcon’s owner and president.
Goodroad has been involved in several organizations/undertakings designed to benefit the pest control industry in the state of Nevada. She is the current president of the Nevada Pest Management Association and previously served for four years as an officer. She also has experience working alongside the government. For instance, the Nevada Pest Management Association hired a lobbyist to represent the pest control industry’s interests to the Nevada state legislature. She also collaborated with the state’s agriculture department to coordinate CEUs and testing for licensing.
An important milestone in Delcon’s development was the addition of Grady Jones as vice president of operations. He got his start in the pest control industry when he was playing music on the Las Vegas strip. Working in pest control allowed him to keep his schedule, and it seemed like a good industry. His childhood experiences also piqued his interest in pest control. “Growing up in Florida, I was always kind of into bugs and snakes and things like that. So, I was either going to be an entomologist or a herpetologist [someone who specializes in the study of reptiles and amphibians] or something [animal-related],” Jones said.
Jones had not formally met Goodroad until a few years ago, but he was familiar with her because they had crossed paths over the years. Jones began working with Delcon because he wanted a change from working at the large national firms he had been with for a number of years.
Delcon is a full-service pest management company, which does a little bit of everything. Its customer base is slightly more residential than commercial but not by much, Jones said. Services are focused on controlling birds, termites, bed bugs, roaches and rodents, among many other pests. Delcon also handles pests that people do not expect in the desert, such as flies and mosquitoes. “You lose customers if you don’t provide that work and if you’re only providing general pest control services,” Jones said.
The most common service provided by Delcon is general pest; however, because of the heat, scorpions, birds and rodents are prevalent in the area. This is because pests like rodents will seek the shelter of homes in order to survive the intense weather conditions. “The heat is pretty extreme and it kind of drives them to do things they don’t normally do,” Jones said.
The heat is an advantage and a disadvantage for Delcon. During the hot summer months, they can rely on bug activity for their business, but the extreme temperatures can make it difficult, and even dangerous, for technicians. Jones said it is essential to start working early in the morning to finish the job and, oftentimes, split the work up into multiple days.
Delcon technicians also encounter occasional invaders in the spring and late summer. Non-indigenous species like clover mites arrive in Las Vegas on plants and into people’s homes. Jones said, “It tends to freak everybody out because it drives them out and they see them more than they might normally. In other climates they would just be out there on the trees, the plants and they never notice.”
He believes Delcon’s technical expertise and experience are what sets the company apart from its competitors. Both Jones and Wendell Goodroad have been working in pest control for more than 35 years. During this time, the pair have continued to stress the importance of evaluation and inspection. Delcon doesn’t cram its technicians’ schedules full, so they can fully examine each situation in depth. “We bring a lot of experience, and anything that’s out of the ordinary, we’re going to put eyes on it. It’s not just going to be left to a technician to figure it out.”
Delcon benefits from being a small business, in Jones’ opinion. For instance, being a small business that is owned and operated by a woman means there are government contracts available to them. He also believes a small company creates a better work environment for technicians. At a larger company, he said, it can be difficult for the average technician to contact its technical department, but because of Delcon’s size, it is much easier for technicians to reach out. Oftentimes, someone from the technical department will be on the job site with them. He added, “What that does is not only provide happy customers, but your technicians don’t get overwhelmed and frustrated because they’re out there trying to solve problems and they don’t have the materials or the expertise to do it.”
Also, Delcon’s focus is on fixing operational issues at the source, which ensures people get the great service they are paying for, and their problems are solved, he said.
As Delcon looks to the future, Jones said the company remains focused on employees and customers, and he is excited about opportunities expected to come from expanding the company’s bird and termite divisions.
The author is PCT’s editorial intern.