(Pictured: Austin Elrod and his wife, Morgan Elrod, accept the award.)
DALLAS - Pest Force was recognized for the fifth straight year as a member of the Cougar 100. The Cougar 100 identifies, recognizes and celebrates the world’s fastest growing University of Houston alumni-owned and alumni-led businesses. Pest Force reached the coveted Number 1 spot in 2015.
Pest Force, owned by Austin Elrod (’11), ranked first with a growth rate of 148.43 percent, up from fifth place in 2014. New Cougar 100 addition Lookout Capital Management LP came in second with a growth rate of 148.35 percent.
Elrod said the amazing growth his company has experienced is due to “his amazing employees and commitment to their customers.” The most recent honor, based on 2018’s updated financials, recognized Pest Force as the number 15 fastest growing company in the Cougar 100, as well as one of the very few companies that has been able to maintain a top 100 mark for five straight years.
“Thank you to all of our loyal customers and amazing employees for making this a reality because we couldn’t do it without you,” Elrod said. “We look forward to continued growth and success and being public health advocates for our industry."
***edited on May 8 with additional background information****
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Montgomery County (Md.) is one step closer to implementing its prohibition on the use of cosmetic pesticides on lawns following a May 2 ruling by a Maryland appeals court. This decision could have implications for pest management professionals involved in the lawn care market.
On May 2, the Maryland Court of Special Appeal in Montgomery County, Maryland v. Complete Lawn Care, et. al., found valid the county’s 2015 ban on outdoor pesticide use on private property by residents and professionals.That ban did not apply to agricultural land and golf courses, and it would not have stopped the sale of lawn pesticides in the county. The ban was supposed to take place in 2018, but it was put on hold after a coalition of residents, businesses and the trade group Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), filed a 2016 lawsuit.
Both RISE and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) shared concerns over the May 2 ruling. In NPMA's May 3 Policy Week in Review enewsletter, the association wrote: "Although structural pest control uses are exempt, this ruling is very problematic, as it sets a precedent of a locality banning specific products that have already been approved for use by the EPA, setting up a patchwork of regulation. If this ruling is allowed to stand, we expect to see other counties in Maryland and states without preemption look to attempt something similar."
RISE issued a statement saying it disagreed with the decision, which the trade group said failed to consider the strong opinion issued by the Circuit Court for Maryland in 2017, finding the county ban was illegal under existing state law and the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s comprehensive pesticide regulatory program.
RISE added that it is “currently evaluating next steps to help ensure that each Montgomery County resident has the right to decide for herself or himself whether to use pesticide products that have been approved by the state of Maryland.”