Here's a look at some of the top stories, multimedia files and more posted on PCT Online for the week of July 11, 2022. Highlights this week include the challenges of launching a business in 2022 and an industry professional cycling in memory of his former colleague.
ATLANTA — Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators recently opened four new offices in Daphne, Ala., Tempe, Ariz., Dawsonville, Ga., and the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. These offices will help Arrow better serve these communities and the surrounding areas and will also help accommodate recent growth and provide career advancement opportunities for Arrow team members. The Tempe, Ariz. and Dawsonville, Ga. offices will service residential homes with a focus on pest and termite control, while the Dallas/Fort Worth Home Service Center, will provide specialized home services including wildlife exclusion, handyman, and insulation services. The Daphne, Ala. location, which will be referred to as the Gulf Coast Commercial office, will offer a wide range of commercial pest control services to accommodate the rapid growth of large and small businesses in the Gulf Coast region of Ala. and Fla.
“Being a family-owned and operated company for 58 years, we strongly value family and community,” said Emily Thomas Kendrick, chief executive officer. “Our passion is one of the key components of not only providing exceptional service to our customers, but also being involved in the communities where we serve.”
Tim Pollard, president and chief operating officer, said, “Because of our recent growth over the past year, we saw a need in these markets for residential and commercial services; whether it be an existing location we already service or a new area, we are excited to expand our services to customers in these markets. These new locations join Arrow’s growing list of 162 offices throughout the United States and would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Arrow’s 3,000+ team members. What a great way to kick off the start of our new fiscal year!”
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Striking out on one’s own and starting a business is an undertaking always filled with challenges. How about launching a business in 2022, which presents additional adversities such as sky-high fuel prices, supply chain issues and an uncertain economy? Luis Arroyo, owner of All Pro Pest Control, Ft. Myers, Fla., is doing just that.
Arroyo, 34, launched his business in June, after having worked in pest control for three years and as a landscaper (including owning his own landscape business) for seven years. While he takes care of his customers’ pest control needs his wife, Lety Arroyo, manages the office and helps with advertising/marketing.
Luis actually had to take a hiatus from pest control the last two years because of COVID. During the week he stayed out home with his newborn daughter, while Lety worked, and on the weekends he did landscaping.
Having launched in June, after gas prices shot up, routing was top of mind for Arroyo. “Right now, I decided to just focus in the area where I live so I don’t have to travel far for follow up visits. I am trying to keep everything in a 10- to 20-minute drive,” Luis Arroyo said, adding that he has one apartment complex that is a 40-minute drive, but otherwise his accounts are close together.
Arroyo has seen the impact that higher gas prices and inflation (e.g., higher electric bills) is having on the community he services. “They might be hesitant to spend right now because they don’t have that disposable income,” he said.
Other challenges he’s encountered include finding an insurance provider and purchasing service vehicles. He currently owns one truck and is looking to purchase another (and hire a part-time technician). “It was difficult to find a dealer that wasn’t overpricing new trucks. I had to drive two hours away (to Tampa) to get a fair price on a truck.”
Despite these challenges Arroyo is optimistic the future. He sees opportunities to develop a strong team by focusing on training and he thinks he can find a niche in his largely Hispanic neighborhood, which he says has been underserved. He said a lot of people in the community are hesitant to call pest control providers because they don’t want to get locked into paying for a recurring pest control program. “So I wanted to do my own thing where I just charge a flat out rate. For that first service, try us and see if we can take care of the issue. And then, the service is up to the customer, either monthly or bimonthly. I just want to offer people quality they can afford — I think that’s my motto.”
Two individuals who greatly impacted the pest control industry in Minnesota have passed away: Philip Harein and Michael Fresvik. Harein, a longtime entomology professor at the University of Minnesota, died on July 22, at 94, while Fresvik, former director of the Minnesota Pest Management Association, died on July 18, at 78.
In addition to his work at the University of Minnesota, Harein was an author, expert in stored products pets, and was a staple in helping to plan the Minnesota Pest Management Association’s annual conference.
Prior to becoming director of the Minnesota Pest Management Association, Fresvik was a regulator for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, where he was respected for not only doing his job, but also being helpful to the industry. Todd Leyse, president of Adams Pest Control, Medina, Minn., said his father, Harold Leyse, and his partner, Don Hanson, visited Fresvik asking how to start a pest control in 1970, and they were greatly aided by Fresvik.
Sources: Star-Tribune and Honsa Family Funeral Home
The print version of June PCT included a New York Times reprint of a book review of “Super Fly: The Unexpected Lives of the World’s Most Successful Insects.” In this book, author Jonathan Balcombe explores flies’ social lives, idiosyncratic behavior and sensitivities to stimuli. PCT later held a book giveaway and drew four winners from the pool of entries.
The winners include Andrew Wilson, service technician at Eastside Exterminators in Woodinville, Wash.; Jade McClain, supervisor at Guaranteed Bug Control in Longview, Texas; Jerry Zapf, co-owner of Sure Thing Pest Control; and Macy Ruiz, technical services manager at Rentokil North America.
When asked what other book they would recommend to professionals in the industry, all of the winners came up with the same answer: the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control!