Departments - News Coverage

November 16, 2009

Speckoz, Prokoz to combine management and staff; Younker named CEO

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Prokoz and Speckoz, both of Alpharetta, Ga., announced an alliance to combine management and staff. The plan calls for Rodger Younker, currently president and CEO of Prokoz, to assume the same title and responsibility for Speckoz.

"By sharing talent and resources, we believe Prokoz Inc. and Speckoz Inc. can benefit from each other’s know-how, supplier relationships, and systems," Younker said. "At this critical time, we want both organizations to be as focused and efficient as possible. This change will benefit our valued business partners, as well as members of each organization."

"This plan should align us more closely with our suppliers and customers by streamlining operations and giving us a better opportunity to respond to changes in the market," Lon Records, chairman of Speckoz, said. "We are pleased Mr. Younker agreed to accept the position with Speckoz Inc. while keeping his role with Prokoz Inc."

Under the new alliance, the following will occur:

Both companies will maintain separate identities, maintain separate programs and contracts with suppliers, and function independently.

Regarding staff integration, Younker will assume additional responsibilities as president and chief executive officer of Speckoz. He will report directly to the board of directors of Prokoz and Speckoz.

Jim Dodgen, financial business manager for Prokoz, will assume additional responsibilities as finance business manager for Speckoz.

Steve Jedrzejek, vice president of Prokoz, with current responsibility for Prokoz private label portfolio and product quality control, will have expanded responsibility to include Speckoz private label portfolio and product quality control. In addition, Jedrzejek will maintain limited supplier account responsibilities.

Mohamed Rachadi, private label product manager for Prokoz with responsibilities for state registrations, private label marketing, private label forecasting and Web site manager, will assume identical responsibilities for Prokoz and Speckoz. Additional responsibilities will include data collection and EDI coordination for both companies.

Michelle Jarmon, accounting/customer service coordinator and administrative assistant for Prokoz, will assume identical responsibilities for both Prokoz and Speckoz.

Robert Cafferata, customer service representative for Prokoz, and Speckoz, will maintain current customer service responsibilities for order entry and invoicing.

Speckoz is a purchasing co-operative whose members are distributors of chemical products, equipment and services in the U.S. structural pest control business. Prokoz is a purchasing co-operative whose members are distributors of chemical products, fertilizer, seed, equipment and services in the U.S. lawn, turf and ornamental business.


University of Florida researchers: Brown dog tick becoming resistant to pesticides

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It’s bad enough that the Southeast is bedeviled by a tick that doesn’t mind taking up residence inside homes. But now researchers say they believe the brown dog tick has developed resistance to the treatments most commonly used to fight it.

University of Florida researchers Phil Kaufman and Faith Oi will work with USDA tick expert Robert Miller to test the ticks’ resistance to permethrin, a chemical found in many pesticides and repellents, and fipronil, found in Frontline. Both are sold in pet stores.

A $171,000 grant from the USDA’s Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Center will support the researchers’ three-year study. When it ends, they hope to know the ticks’ level of resistance to both chemicals and to have an array of materials aimed at teaching the public how best to guard against infestations and what to do if they face one.

The brown dog tick has been invading homes across the Southeast for years, Kaufman said, but its resistance to chemical foes seems to have been building the last five to eight years. This study will be the first to document the ticks’ resistance in the U.S.

"The challenge now is in people not being able to control or knock out the ticks with some of the pesticides," he said. "And for controlling this particular tick, pesticides are almost essential."

Having one’s home infested with the brown dog tick is nothing short of miserable. While they’re not generally known for spreading disease to humans, they are often described as "predatory," lying in wait for whatever organism will provide their next blood meal, whether it be dog or human.

The ticks are small — about the size of a match head — before they get a blood meal and grow noticeably bigger. Before that, they’re tough to see, leaving homeowners to often miss the first signs of an infestation, especially when even tinier larvae and nymphs are present.

The first indication often comes when residents see ticks crawling up the walls or curtains.

"I always tell people it’s a minimum of a six-month ordeal and oftentimes, up to a year to clear an infestation," Kaufman said. "One female tick can lay 5,000 eggs. And if you miss one tick, and she lays those eggs — you’re starting over."

Part of the problem likely lies in pet owners’ good intentions, the researchers say. Pet owners don’t like the idea of pets with fleas or ticks, so they buy pesticides that come in handy one-month doses, and then treat for ticks and fleas whether they’re present or not.

That type of preventive spraying and dosing is typically reserved for pests that can kill us or our pets, Kaufman said, such as heartworm.

Researchers work to keep pesticides viable as long as possible by encouraging people not to overuse them, and to employ other techniques instead.

That means carefully monitoring one’s dog for any sign of ticks, shampooing the dog and physically removing ticks before they gain a foothold, vacuuming frequently and ensuring that hedges and underbrush where ticks can hide are kept cut back.

While the brown dog tick isn’t a major disease threat to humans, it falls into the same "creepy crawly" category as bedbugs or fleas, said Faith Oi, an assistant extension scientist with UF’s entomology and nematology department.

"They’re bloodsucking insects," she said. "It’s a difficult problem once the populations get high because they’re very good at getting into cracks and crevices. If you know where to treat, that’s one thing, but if you don’t even know where they are, it gets more difficult, and then you have to keep going back and back and it’s a very long process to get a handle on."


Univar USA announced Andrew Assir joined the firm’s Professional Products & Services business unit as a marketing manager.

Nisus Corporation promoted Lee Barrett to the position of director of new business development and international sales.

The Professional Women in Pest Management, an affiliate organization of the National Pest Management Association, announced Sarah Thomas, marketing specialist with Craig Thomas Pest Control, Hyde Park, N.Y., is the recipient of the 2009 PWIPM Scholarship. The PWIPM Scholarship is awarded annually to at least one female interested in advancing or securing a career in pest management.

BASF welcomed Ryan Weber as termite product manager for the Pest Control Solutions business. Weber will oversee operational activities for the company’s termiticide portfolio, including Termidor termiticide/insecticide, Phantom termiticide-insecticide and the Advance Termite Bait System.

Etex Ltd., manufacturer of the Electro-Gun, appointed Mike Fortuna chief operating officer.

Joe Wilson, owner and CEO of PermaTreat Pest Control, Fredericksburg, Va., was named a 2009 Excellence In Governance Award winner by the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. The Excellence in Governance Award honors people from member hospital or health system governing bodies who have a history of making significant contributions to the health care field — on both a state and local level — through commitment to service and leadership. Nominees must be or have been involved in health care from the governance perspective.

Johnson Pest Control, Sevierville, Tenn., announced the promotion of Jimmie Murphy to the newly created position of branch manager. Murphy previously had held the position of service manager.

Dave Ramsey, quality assurance specialist and branch manager with ProGuard Commercial Pest Solutions (division of Varment Guard Environmental Services), Columbus, Ohio, earned his Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) credentialing in September.

VanWal Services of the Carolinas recently added the following personnel to its North Carolina operation. Andrew Martin was named service representative. Theresa Taylor was named commercial sales representative for the Greater Greensboro area and Frank Lessi was named commercial sales representative for the Raleigh/Durham area. April Pope was named commercial sales representative for the Winston-Salem Triad area.

Harvey L. Massey, CEO and founder of Orlando-based Massey Services, was named chairman of the board of advisors for the Rollins College Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship The board is composed of entrepreneurial business leaders.



Residex offers online continuing education

Cranford, N.J. — Residex recently announced a partnership with Pested.com to bring online educational services to the pest management industry. "We are always looking for solutions that help our customer base run their business more efficiently," said Chris Donaghy, president of Residex. "We felt that Pested already had an excellent reputation for their online training as well as their customer service and this partnership made sense."

Residex customers can take advantage of online training at a 30 percent discount by going to www.shop.pested.com. Pest management professionals will be asked to supply their Residex account number to receive the discount.

Pested.com offers features like optional narration, the ability to pause and restart the program where the user left off and a 24-hour turnaround time to mail credits.

Pested owner Kevin Hurley is a board certified entomologist with more than 20 years in the urban pest control industry. He has instructed thousands of applicators across North America and currently serves the Westchester County Board of Legislators as the IPM coordinator for all county-owned properties. The courses and resources offered by pested.com have been developed by Hurley and enhanced with the help of state regulators nationwide and a network of professional entomologists and business owners, Residex reports.

Courses are currently available in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Other states, including Virginia, Florida and others will be added in the near future. Distance learning compact discs for longer courses are also available to Residex customers at a discount price.


PCO Dick Scoville passes away

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Dick Scoville, founder of North Highlands, Calif.-based Pest Control Center (PCC), died Sept. 27,, after battling cancer. He was 71.

Scoville founded PCC in February 1986 although his first industry involvement was in 1963, working as a chemical salesman for distributor NAMCO. "His famous line was, ‘I saw how rich the people I was selling to were, so I decided to become a pest control operator,’" said son Steve Scoville, who is the company’s president.

Scoville moved to Sacramento in November 1967, where he opened a Hydrex Pest Control franchise. The franchise was eventually sold in the early 1980s.

Scoville founded PCC in 1986, and one year later Steve joined the company. Vince, another of Dick’s sons, joined PCC in August 1988. A third son, David, works for Millennium Termite & Pest Control. Steve Scoville said PCC has grown from five employees in 1986 to 35 employees today, and the company has annual revenues of $3.3 million.

"It was a combination of good leadership on his part and good employees who understood how it worked," said Steve Scoville. "My dad was a hard worker who taught everyone who worked for him something about this industry and what it takes to be a good employee."

Dick Scoville is survived by wife Sandy, brother Walt, sons Steve, Vince and Dave, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. — Brad Harbison



‘Most Endangered Studs Contest’ winner announced

ST. LOUIS, MO. — A Texas family of four — whose new home stands dangerously close to their old termite-infested, hurricane-ravaged house — won the "Most Endangered Studs Contest," created by BASF to find and treat the property most vulnerable to termite damage in the United States.

Janet and Eddie Gallaway of Anahuac, Texas, will receive a termite treatment by BASF with Termidor termiticide/insecticide. The Gallaways were selected by people across America who voted on the saveastud.com Web site. "This is really awesome," an excited Janet Gallaway said. "The termites have nearly taken over our old house and we’ve seen them swarming around our new house. We’ve been really worried that they’ll move in with us again."

The Gallaways have endured a series of setbacks since moving onto the property in 2002. Just as they were settling into the original house — which was Janet’s childhood home and her inheritance when her parents passed away — the Gallaways discovered it was plagued by termites. "We could see weak boards around the windows," she explained. "My brother is a carpenter, so he came over and looked at the damage. He told us that if we removed one board, we’d have to take off another and another — that’s how far the termites had spread."

At the time, Janet said, "We weren’t in a financial situation where we could do anything about the termite damage."

Then Hurricane Rita hit in September 2005. "We had a little bit of damage, but we still were able to live in the house," Janet recalled.

Hurricane Ike struck a more devastating blow in September 2008. Janet rode out the storm at work — she’s a police dispatcher for the nearby city of Mont Bellvieu, Texas. "When we came back to the house, it was a mess. Ike had shifted the house off its foundation, weakening the floors and the ceilings," Janet said.

Janet, Eddie and their two daughters looked for another place to live, but couldn’t find housing in the area because so many other people had been dislocated. So the Gallaways stayed in their tattered, termite-infested home — and made plans to move out permanently.

Using money they’d managed to save, they began building a new house on the same lot. But the excitement about their home-to-be was overshadowed by their fears about the threat from termites from next door.

"I went looking online for information about termites, and I found the Most Endangered Studs Contest," Janet said. "I instantly knew we had to enter."

Contestants submitted essays, then a panel of BASF experts selected three semi-finalists. Janet Gallaway wrote a short contest essay describing her family’s termite dilemma and mailed a picture of herself and Eddie in front of their nearly completed new house. Then came the good news: The Gallaways were one of three finalists. With nearly 11,000 votes cast over a three-week period, the Gallaways received 54 percent of the votes, earning them the grand prize.

"The new home is obviously at very high risk for termite infestation because of its proximity to the old house," said Dr. Bob Davis, Chief Entomologist with BASF. "The Termidor treatment and monitoring system will give the Gallaways peace of mind, allowing them to enjoy their new home for many years to come."


PCO News

Getem Services, a Hampton Roads, Va., termite and pest control firm, was recognized as the Norfolk Small Business of the Year. Getem has been family owned and operated for more than 80 years.

Team Too Termite & Pest Control, Corona, Calif., in cooperation with the IPM Institute of North America, has achieved the status of Green Shield Certified Provider. Besides earning that distinction, Team Too also holds the QualityPro, QualityPro Green and EcoWise Certifications.

Western Pest Services, Parsippany, N.J., recently has received its GreenPro certification from the National Pest Management Association; this is in addition to the company’s existing QualityPro certification.

Enviro-Tech Pest Services recently began franchising and now has six locations. The company is establishing a "green standard" for pest management and offers residential and commercial pest control, termite treatments, nuisance wildlife control and real estate services.

Pest Control Technicians, Norristown, Pa., was recognized recently by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program for its commitment to reducing the amount of pesticide in the environment.

Arrow Exterminators, Atlanta, Ga., proudly served for the second year in a row as Presenting Sponsor for St. Jude’s Recovery Center’s "Voices of Recovery" annual luncheon event in Atlanta. The event coincided with St. Jude’s 47th anniversary and raised more than $80,000 in sponsorships and donations throughout the Atlanta metro area.

Black Pest Prevention, Charlotte, N.C., was a flagship sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The "Black Pest Froggers" raised $8,143 for breast cancer research, education, patient services and advocacy programs. It was Black Pest’s fifth consecutive year as a flagship sponsor.

Parkway Exterminating, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; General Pest Control, Cleveland, Ohio; SOS Pest Control, Kansas City, Mo.; VanWal Pest Elimination, Kernersville, N.C.; Rose Pest Solutions, Northfield, Ill.; Eden Advanced Pest Technologies, Olympia,Wash.; and Area Wide Exterminators, of Stockton, Calif.; have been approved for bedbugFREE membership. They have committed to the guidelines and practices of Bed Bug Central, a Web site devoted to bed bug information and removal methods.



PPMA launches Pestworld Twitter account

Fairfax, Va. —The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), which serves as the public outreach arm of the National Pest Management Association, has launched a Twitter account. Using the handle PestWorld, PPMA posted tweets on behalf of the NPMA at the conference and invited its industry colleagues to follow them at Twitter.com/PestWorld. In the future, the account will be used to share industry news and highlights, as well as engage consumers through contests, polls and fun facts.



Dec. 2-4: NPMA and PLANET (the Professional Landcare Network)’s Lawn Care Summit, Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, Orlando, Fla. Contact: NPMA at www.npmapestworld.org/events or 703/352-6762.

Dec. 2-4: Kansas Pest Control Association Winter Conference and Exhibition, Kansas City, MO. Contact: www.kansaspest.com or 785/271-9220.

Dec. 13-17: 2009 ESA Annual Meeting, Indianapolis Convention Center, Indianapolis, Ind. Contact: www.entsoc.org or 301/731-4535.

Jan. 11-15, 2010: 74th Purdue Pest Management Conference, West Lafayette, Ind. Contact: www.conf.purdue.edu/pest or call 765/494-9482.

Jan. 25-27, 2010: Wildlife Control Technology16th Annual Seminar, Charlotte, N.C. Contact: 815/286-3039.

Feb. 3-4, 2010: 24th Annual Michigan Mosquito Control Association Conference, Traverse City, Mich. Contact: www.mimosq.org Randy Knepper at 989/755-5751 or via e-mail at randy@scmac.org.

Feb. 3-4, 2010: NPMA’s Southern Conference 2010, Hilton Memphis, Memphis, Tenn. Contact: See Dec. 2-4.