Ecolab Acquires Trio of Pest Control Businesses

Departments - News

January 5, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab has expanded its U.S. Pest Elimination business through the purchase of three U.S. pest services businesses that provide specialized capabilities in food storage. These will broaden Ecolab’s pest elimination solutions for the food and beverage industry, Ecolab reported.

“These acquisitions will complement our already strong offerings in the food and beverage markets. They bring a premium product and service approach similar to our own, and through the addition of their expertise in food storage treatment, we can further strengthen our pest services offering to food and beverage customers — and play a bigger role in protecting the safety of food and our customers’ operations across the food chain,” said Bobby Mendez, executive vice president and president of Ecolab’s Global Services and Specialty business.

The acquired companies are Food Protection Services (FPS), which operates in the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, Midwest and the Mississippi Delta; Royal Pest Solutions, operating in the Mid-Atlantic region from New Jersey to South Carolina; and Research Fumigation Company, serving customers in the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Sales for the combined companies were $36 million in 2016.

The transaction closed Dec. 1. No further details were announced.

Industry Mourns Alain VanRyckeghem, Stored Product Entomologist

Editor’s note: Alain VanRyckeghem, longtime technical director for Insects Limited, passed away on Nov. 28 after a nine-month battle with brain cancer. He was 55 years old. David Mueller, president of Insects Limited and founder of Fumigation Service & Supply, Westfield, Ind., penned the following tribute in memory of his colleague and friend.

Many in the industry knew Alain for his professionalism as a world-class stored product entomologist and pheromone chemist. Some of you knew him as a neighbor and kind friend. As the technical director for Insects Limited for over 20 years Alain was an inventor, a gentle co-worker, and someone that could look beyond the problem and see the whole picture.


I personally met Alain in Toronto, Canada, when he brought his Sir Sandford Fleming College class to a pest control conference in 1984. His students admired Professor Alain. As their instructor they learned many skills that someday would provide them a livelihood with quality companies throughout Canada. This college course was an example of how our industry can train and educate students to step into the field of professional pest management.

A few years later I was asked to perform a methyl bromide alternative fumigation at the Quaker Oats Company in Peterborough, Ontario. Here I found Alain working with me side by side for the entire fumigation. At one point at 4:00 in the morning we were taking gas readings and I asked Alain if he would like to come to Indianapolis during his summer break and work with Insects Limited. He thought about it and told me he would like to take me up on it. He immediately became an asset to our company. His technical skills from Sir Sanford Fleming College and Trent University, where he received his bachelor of science degree in entomology, were evident immediately. After the summer Alain went back to Canada to instruct the next class of students. During that year he found out that the college was disbanding the pest control curriculum. Alain came to Indianapolis the next summer and we discussed a full-time position with Insects Limited. The next 20 years working together were bountiful. New pheromone traps, and new educational presentations to local, national, and international groups showed his skills as a professor and educator. His professional writing for our company newsletter (Bad Bugs), the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, trade magazines and scientific papers will be a part of his legacy. His way of speaking to an audience made you want to come back and listen to more. We all learned from Alain.

After several years in the U.S., Alain met a wonderful lady named Christina, a soft-spoken, caring nurse from upstate New York. Alain was blessed to find such a mate. Neither one of them spoke a negative word. Never. Their care of dogs, horses and their garden were their pastime.

Alain and Christina traveled the world with the Fumigants & Pheromones conferences and personal trips. They experienced Africa, Europe, Australia, Latin America, and all around North America. The beauty of being an entomologist is that your passion is found everywhere. Alain cared about the science of insects. Condolences can be made to Alain’s wife Christina at ( An Alain VanRyckeghem Student Scholarship in Entomology is being established. — David Mueller

Lloyd Smigel Remembered For His Desire to Help Others Succeed in Pest Management

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Lloyd Smigel, former national training director at Truly Nolen of America and a longtime industry consultant, died in November after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 74.

A native of New York City, Smigel was introduced to the pest control industry through his association with Truly Nolen, to whom he sold uniforms. He would become the company’s first national training director at a time when it had 50 offices.


Smigel left Truly Nolen to become a consultant, working with pest control companies (small, medium and large) on growth strategies, including navigating family business issues.

Terry Clark, vice president of Lodi, Calif.-based Clark Pest Control, said his company benefited from its 25-year relationship with Smigel. “Lloyd could make people more successful than they believed they could be, and those partners and people that listened grew as a result,” he said. “It will be part of the legacy that Lloyd has left behind.”

Added Pat VanHooser, Smigel’s colleague who worked with him since 1995, “Lloyd’s greatest joy and sense of accomplishment came when others succeeded and that is really unique. I’m grateful I had a chance to know and work with him.”

Many PCOs also benefited from the Smigel-created Discovery Retreats, where PCOs gathered for two-day meetings in which they shared ideas and resources.

Smigel is survived by Bonnie, his wife of 50 years, as well as son Eric and daughter Lisa. The Smigels were also foster parents to many children throughout the years.

The family has not set up a memorial, but ask that you “think about Lloyd” the next time you contribute to your favorite charity. — Brad Harbison

Terminix Fined $10 Million For Fumigation Incident

WASHINGTON — Terminix International and its operating subsidiary in the U.S. Virgin Islands were ordered to pay a $10 million criminal penalty for using a banned fumigant at a St. John resort that left a family of four seriously ill, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

The Virgin Islands pest control company illegally applied fumigants containing methyl bromide in multiple residential locations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, including the condominium resort complex in St. John where a family of four fell seriously ill in March 2015 after the unit below them was fumigated. According to the plea recommendation, Terminix LP and Terminix USVI are to pay a total of $10 million in criminal fines, community service and restitution payments. Under the agreed recommendation, Terminix USVI will pay $4 million in fines and $1 million in restitution to the EPA for response and clean-up costs at the St. John resort. Terminix LP will pay a fine of $4 million and will perform community service related to training commercial pesticide applicators in fumigation practices and a separate health services training program.

“The sentences in this case reflect the serious nature of the defendants’ illegal actions and the unacceptable consequences of those actions,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This case should serve as a stark reminder that pesticides must be applied as intended and that those who ignore laws that protect public health will be held accountable by EPA and our law enforcement partners.”

Target Specialty Products Partners with Scotts; Acquires Louisiana Distributor

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — Target Specialty Products, a national wholesale distributor of turf and ornamental and pest control products, is partnering with Scotts to develop a complete line of new professional turf products backed by Scotts PRO technology and the latest advancements in turfgrass management, the firm says.

The marketing agreement will allow Target Specialty Products the exclusive ability to co-brand with the Scotts PRO logo and related marks and will further strengthen Target Specialty Products’ position in the marketplace and its product offerings to customers, the firm said.

“Scotts is a leader in the lawn and turf care industries, and we’re thrilled about the opportunity to partner with them,” said Todd Ferguson, president of Target Specialty Products. “Our position as a leading national distributor, combined with the strength of the Scotts PRO branding, will allow us to launch new products supported by one of the most trusted names in lawn care, with the first of our new products coming soon.”

“With exceptional customer service and distribution, Target Specialty Products is well-positioned within the professional market to leverage the power of Scotts PRO technologies, which are backed by decades of turfgrass research,” said Trevor Whitson, general manager of Scotts PRO.

Additionally, Target recently expanded its footprint to Baton Rouge, La., by acquiring the assets of Precision Chemical and Equipment, opening the distributor’s 42nd U.S. service center.

Target Specialty Products reported that it has been experiencing exceptional growth in recent years. The company’s new Baton Rouge location comes on the heels of high demand in the Louisiana area, Target says.

Shawn and Shae Robinson, former owners of Precision Chemical, will join Target Specialty Products and assist in the transition of the company.

“As we were looking for a great partner to transition our business, we began to talk to Target Specialty Products, and the more we spoke with them and got to know their management team, the more interested we became,” said Shawn Robinson. “Combining the reach and expertise of Target Specialty Products is a great complement to the local business we have created in Louisiana. This will help drive value for our clients while improving customer service.”

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ServiceMaster Announces Personnel Changes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Terminix and its parent company ServiceMaster announced two significant changes to its personnel. The company announced that Terminix Chief Operating Officer Marty Wick left the company to pursue other career opportunities.

“I want to express my thanks to Marty for his contributions to Terminix and ServiceMaster over the past eight years,” said Matthew Stevenson, president of Terminix Residential. “We wish him the best in the future.”

With Wick’s departure, in the interim, all of Terminix Residential’s field operations will report to Augusto Titarelli, who has served since 2015 as vice president of Terminix’s North and International divisions. Prior to Terminix, he served in various leadership roles at Tyco Fire and Security, including strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions, and led multiple international operations.

In addition, ServiceMaster announced it named Pratip Dastidar as senior vice president and chief transformation officer.

Reporting directly to ServiceMaster Chief Executive Officer Nik Varty, Dastidar will lead company-wide initiatives to elevate the customer experience, simplify business processes and enhance productivity throughout the company.

“Bringing Pratip onboard reflects our continued commitment to make ServiceMaster a strong process-oriented, customer-focused organization,” said Varty. “While we will continue to invest in the required resources to grow our business profitably, we will use lean initiatives and digital capabilities to drive efficiency and process excellence to become an organization that relentlessly improves the customer experience and creates more value for customers and shareholders.”

New in the PCT Store: Wildlife Management Books from Stephen Vantassel

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Now available in the PCT store are a pair of books from wildlife pest management expert Stephen M. Vantassel — Being Kind to Animal Pests, revised edition, and The Wildlife Removal Handbook, 3rd edition.

Being Kind to Animal Pests, revised edition, released earlier this year, is Vantassel’s update of Steve Meyer’s Being Kind to Animal Pests. The newly revised version provides users of cage and box traps specific principles and tips to improve the humaneness of these devices.

The Wildlife Removal Handbook, 3rd edition, is for those new to managing wildlife problems, and for pest management professionals who have recently added this service offering. This edition has been updated to account for advances in wildlife control equipment and practices. In addition, the publication has new images as well as a new chapter not found in previous editions. The book reviews techniques for the control of squirrels, raccoons, woodchucks, chipmunks and skunks. Details on how to remove skunk odor like a professional are also included.

Vantassel, the vertebrate pest specialist for the Montana Department of Agriculture, is a certified wildlife control professional and academy certified professional. For about five years, he ran his wildlife damage control company in Springfield, Mass. From 2004 to 2014, he was the program coordinator of wildlife damage program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has twice been awarded Educator of the Year by the National Wildlife Control Operators Association.

Both Being Kind to Animal Pests, revised edition, and The Wildlife Removal Handbook, 3rd edition, can be ordered at