TROY, Mich. – Rose Pest Solutions has 160 reasons to celebrate this year. The business once known as the Rose’s Rat Exterminator Company has grown to become one of the nation’s oldest, family owned pest management company. Founded in 1860, Rose Pest Solutions is celebrating its 160th anniversary, including the past 88 years under the ownership of the Ives family.
In 1932, Harlem Ives received a week’s worth of training, a partnership agreement, a book of recipes that included ingredients like arsenic, sulfur and cyanide, and moved to the “fumigator’s town” – Detroit. Harlem opened his office at 151 E. Elizabeth Street in the Motor City – better identified today as Kaline’s Corner inside Comerica Park – and began servicing manufacturing plants and food production facilities.
In the early days of pest control, companies were called in when rodents and insects became unbearable. Businesses would completely shut down while pots containing ingredients designed to terminate anything alive in the building would be lit. Seeing an opportunity that was mutually beneficial to both parties, Harlem took a different approach to pest management. He recommended routine scheduled services, rather than waiting until the problem required extreme measures. That tactic worked and the company grew over the next 20 years.
Rose added an additional six routes to their service area and a new Ives was added to the company’s roster. Harlem’s only son, Bill Ives, joined the team in 1952. During Bill’s tenure, he helped manage the company as it grew and added offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Toledo, Ohio and Saginaw, Michigan. Over the course of the next 40 years, the pest management company expanded its presence in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio through internal growth and acquisition of other pest control businesses, and welcomed the third generation of Ives to the Rose organization.
Russ Ives joined the company in 1978 and Jim Ives began in 1981. Each generation of Ives brought different skillsets to the company. While Russ focused on the business and managing the finances, Jim understood the importance of client service and sales for continual growth. Russ and Jim Ives grew in responsibilities over the years before landing in their current roles, CEO and president, respectively.
“Our father, Bill, made sure Jim and I didn’t receive special treatment because of our last name,” said Russ. “He believed in the value of hard work and taught us how to succeed, as well as learn from our failures. This is something the entire Rose Pest Solutions staff embodies and why the company has remained successful for 160 years.”
Throughout Rose Pest Solution’s history, pest trends have varied. Rats and mice have been a constant issue for commercial clients; however, with the growth of the housing market in the 50s and 60s, the company experienced an increased number of residential calls for ants, mice, spiders and cockroaches. In the last 20 years, bed bugs have returned as a significant pest and continue to be near the top of the list for most requested service.
Rose Pest Solutions recognized the need to educate its service technicians on the different types of pests and hired its first entomologist in 1979. Currently, the company now employs six board certified entomologists (BCE) to educate and train more than 200 technicians. The entomologists provide ongoing training and establish service protocols to meet the ever-changing needs of clients, as pest trends continue to evolve.
In 2020, the fourth generation of Ives are employed at Rose Pest Solutions: Jeff Ives, a district manager, Case Ives, a human resources manager, and Kimberly (Ives) Rodriguez, in-house counsel, are part of the team that their great-grandfather started. Each plan to carry on the traditions that have kept Rose Pest Solutions at the forefront of industry trends to make them one of the Midwest’s leading, most respected pest management companies.
For more information about Rose Pest Solutions’ storied 160 year history, please visit www.rosepestsolutions.com/about-us/history.