After over 35 total years in the service industry, which includes 16 years in the pest industry, David Billingsly, former Anticimex regional president for the west and former president of Washington, D.C.-based American Pest, has launched his own coaching and consulting business.
In 2006, Billingsly started his career in sales and service at American Pest. During the next 11 years he moved up through the ranks, eventually being named president in 2017 shortly after American Pest was acquired by Anticimex. During the next four years Billingsly and his team quadrupled that business via organic growth and multiple mergers and acquisitions.
In 2021 he moved to the west coast to help Anticimex expand and develop a western presence.
“I have had an awesome opportunity to not only learn the pest business from industry icons like Jay and Matt Nixon (former owners of American Pest) but also gain invaluable experience on a global scale when American Pest was acquired by Anticimex in 2016,” Billingsly said.
Billingsly also learned the pest business from some of the best in the industry by being involved in Copesan and the Associated Pest group for over 10 years. “Having the opportunity to network and collaborate with some of the top pest companies in the country has been invaluable to both my personal and professional my growth. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to crawl around in crawl spaces and treat for rodents and termites to being part of over 20 mergers and acquisitions deals. I am approaching this with a vast amount of experience and expertise that can help many pests and services companies. From the owner of a $1 million dollar business that wants to grow and expand to a $30 million dollar business that is preparing for an exit and every where in between,” Billingsly says.
Recently on an industry podcast Billingsly remarked that he thought the pest industry has a tremendous opportunity for mid-level management training. “By launching this business, it gives me an opportunity and a platform to do something about that! I love to build teams and help other achieve their dreams and their goals. I get excited about that, and I feel privileged to get up every morning to help impact others in a positive way,” Billingsly says.
David Billingsly can be reached at 703/856-3513 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DECATUR, Ala. - Cook’s Pest Control announced that Brittany Stroup has joined their human resources department as the company’s second recruiting specialist. Stroup will support Cook’s 37 district offices with their hiring needs and work alongside managers to attract, hire, and retain the best employees.
Stroup brings more than five years of experience working in human resources and talent acquisition, and is near completion of her bachelor’s from UT Martin, majoring in psychology. In addition to her experience, her enthusiasm for recruiting will make her a valuable resource for Cook’s, the company says.
RUSKIN, Fla. — All U Need Pest Control announces expansion with a new location in Ruskin, Fla. The new office officially opened for business on Sept. 12.
The new office will provide pest control service to homeowners from Bradenton up to Wesley Chapel. All U Need Pest Control says it has a very high standard of customer service that they are determined to bring to homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay area.
All U Need Pest Control has seen substantial growth, and in the past four years offices have opened in Venice, Bonita Springs, Port Charlotte, and Jacksonville. The company says it plans to continue its expansion and open up additional offices throughout the state of Florida.
Kyle Selbach, All U Need Pest Control’s director of operations, said, “We are so thrilled to announce that the All U Need Pest Control service area is growing again. I’m so excited to grow our customer base north along the southwest region of the state, up into the Tampa Bay area. This new jump will be a challenge, but something I have all trust in the team to conquer. We have relocated key employees that will bring the same high class customer service that was shown in SWFL, to the Tampa region. We plan to see high growth within this new market and we have goals to open multiple offices within the region.”
For more information about the new Tampa location, call 888/239-2847.
Out West, Argentine and rover ants are challenging, but the “most efficient would probably be the Argentine,” said Jim Harmon, owner of California Pest Management in La Verne. He noted that, while colonies aren’t big, “active foraging is constant,” and the ants can easily locate small crumbs.
According to the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, numerous queens (normally 10 percent of a colony) and the splintering off into new colonies can spur colony growth and expansion for Argentine ants. Multiple sites produce a challenge, and, noted Harmon, increased pressure to control the species has led to their “changing behaviors and becoming much more efficient.”
Harmon said rover ants also are tricky, with some PMPs confusing the two species and attempting to leverage similar control methods only to find that techniques used to control Argentine ants are ineffective for rover ants. “Technicians are used to one ant,” Harmon said, but repeat visits help them work through issues and gain confidence in identifying and controlling of both species.
In Florida and much of the Southeast, Daniel D. Dye II, Associate Certified Entomologist emeritus and retired training coordinator at Florida Pest Control in Gainesville, noted that conditions, including household environment, impact foraging. A rover ant is a “great forager once it finds itself inside,” he said, but the ghost ant, tawny Caribbean crazy ant, difficult ant and red imported fire ant also prove meddlesome for Floridians, with those building indoor nests being the hardest to control. Dye also finds Pharaoh ants to be constant foragers, though, thanks to effective control measures, they are not as common now. But he said a tempting food source “will always attract the ants inside.”
Other species distress the Midwest. “As far as distance, nothing really in my region of the country really beats the carpenter ant,” said Scott Robbins, A.C.E. and technical services manager of Action Pest Control in Evansville, Ind. Mallis notes that worker populations in a two-year- old colony can range in size from small minors to large majors. “Those large, major workers can … cover a lot more ground away from their nest than a lot of the smaller ant species we have,” said Robbins, noting that they can forage up to 300 feet from the nest.
Complicating control, customers may have a satellite nest, while “the queen and the central colony may be off … in someone else’s backyard,” Robbins said. “Now you’re trying to get the ant to transfer some type of toxicant back to wipe out that brood nest location.”
Odorous house ants are also a problem. While Mallis notes that carpenters are primarily nocturnal, Robbins said that odorous house ants feed 24 hours a day when food is available and “can actually forage in some pretty cool temperatures,” making control “really challenging,” said Robbins. He also said that the Pharaoh ant can be hard to control, especially since they quickly “seem to change their mind on what bait they’ll feed on,” making multiple bait choices a feasible option.
Mallis observes that the ecological benefits of pest ant activity typically outweigh their harm, but states that exotic species — including the red imported fire ant and Argentine ant — can pose serious threats when the species becomes established. Customers also will forget the ants’ benefits when ants infest their home.