FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recently released to consumers its bi-annual Bug Barometer forecast, a seasonal projection of the pest pressure and activity Americans can expect to see in their respective regions of the country based on weather patterns, long-term forecasts and pest biological behaviors. According to NPMA’s team of entomologists, warm and wet spring and summer conditions predicted for much of the U.S. will contribute to spikes in pest populations nationwide.
“While warm weather is a much-needed respite from the bitter cold temperatures most of the U.S. faced this winter, it unfortunately also brings increased pest pressure as well, especially when coupled with excess precipitation,” said Jim Fredericks, Ph.D., chief entomologist for NPMA. “With much of the country headed towards a hot, rainy spring and summer, disease-transmitting pests like ticks and mosquitoes will be afforded ideal conditions for populations to thrive. Other moisture-loving pests such as termites, ants and cockroaches may also experience a population boom, making proactive pest prevention and personal protection paramount to safety.”
2021 also brings with it the emergence of Brood X, the largest brood of 17-year periodical cicadas in the U.S., across 15 states. “In addition to heightened pest problems due to favorable weather conditions, almost one-third of the U.S. will also bear witness to the emergence of billions of Brood X cicadas from May through August. While harmless to humans, homes and pets, the phenomena can be quite jarring as the sound volume can reach 100 decibels in areas with large numbers of cicadas,” added Fredericks.
Learn more about NPMA’s Spring & Summer 2021 Bug Barometer at www.pestworld.org.
Private Equity Firm Acquires Pestmaster Services
RENO, Nev. — The Riverside Company, a global private investor focused on the smaller end of the middle market, has acquired Pestmaster Services, as well as four other service businesses, to launch a trade services franchise platform called Threshold Brands. The other businesses are MaidPro, FlyFoe, Men in Kilts and USA Insulation; all were acquired during the last eight months.
Pestmaster Services was founded in 1979 by Jeff Van Diepen, who owned and operated the business the last 41 years. Van Diepen took Pestmaster Services from a one-office operation to a $14-million-firm with offices throughout the country by selling Pestmaster franchise businesses. Pestmaster provides pest control services for residential, government and commercial markets with more than 35 franchised locations and is headquartered in Reno, Nev.
MaidPro is a national provider of residential and light commercial cleaning services through a network of more than 270 franchised locations. Riverside says MaidPro brings scale with two additional brands, FlyFoe, a mosquito and tick control franchise, and Men in Kilts US, a window cleaning/power washing/gutter cleaning franchise. USA Insulation, the fifth brand added to Threshold Brands, provides retrofit insulation services for residential and commercial customers across 50 franchised locations.
“We are excited to join these organizations together, building a robust trade services platform that will help more customers across the country,” said Riverside Managing Partner Loren Schlachet. “During our partnership, we will look to bring additional businesses under the Threshold Brands umbrella, assisting with improvements in technology and innovation, growth-driven sales strategies and development opportunities for franchisees.”
Riverside said it previously has invested in various franchise companies, growing them through operating expertise and strategic add-ons. The Riverside Franchising Specialization team says it seeks to source and integrate add-on opportunities, drive growth and capture potential. — Brad Harbison
Million Dollar Club Webinar Focuses on Improving Business Execution
ATLANTA — Since 2014, PCT and Arrow Exterminators have joined together to provide educational programming specifically for companies in the $500,000 to $2 million revenue range via the Million Dollar Club.
This year’s Million Dollar Club webinar will be presented by business leader Randy Gravitt. The free virtual event, scheduled for June 24 at 11:30 a.m. (EST), is titled “Win the Day...Your Epic Life: Proven Practices for Extraordinary Results.” Gravitt will discuss with PMPs how to excel at execution, using three fundamentals:
- Pursuing Mastery
- Owning the Numbers
- Helping Others Win
Gravitt has worked with companies such as Chick-fil-A, Grand Hyatt, FCA, Kroger and more. Register at http://integreat leadership.com/milliondollarclub/.
PCT, L&L In-Person Technology Conference To Be Held this Fall
VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — The Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference, presented by Lawn & Landscape magazine and Pest Control Technology (PCT), is a technology-focused event for the pest management and green industries. This year’s three-day event, which includes an exhibit hall, will offer both virtual and face-to-face options, as well as expanded education for PMPs. It takes place Aug. 31-Sept. 2 in Orlando, Fla. For more information visit www.lltechconference.com.
Pest-specific sessions include:
- The Essential Role of Technology in Streamlining Business Operations & Building Wealth, speaker: Andrew Barrows, chief strategy officer, Greenix Pest Control
- Training Techs with Tech, speaker: Caroline Kirby, technical director, Plunkett’s Pest Control
- Digital Marketing: The Key to Data- Driven Business Growth, speakers: Andrew Foster, senior marketing manager, Rollins; and Cam Glover, managing director, Rollins
- Future of Drones: Applications & Uses in the Pest Control Industry, speaker: David Fisher, senior vice president, Rentokil North America
AMVAC Announces Integration of Non-Crop Specialty Businesses
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — American Vanguard Corporation (AVD), and its subsidiary AMVAC Corporation, announced that they are bringing their OHP Inc. subsidiary into the AMVAC Environmental Products (“AEP”) family to create a unified non-crop business entity within AVD.
OHP, a provider of technology-based solutions for greenhouse and nursery production applications, was acquired by AMVAC in 2017 to expand its non-crop footprint in the plant production segment.
The integration of OHP and AEP — a provider of chemistries, biologicals and low-impact solutions to the professional pest, golf, landscape, and public health markets — is part of AVD’s long-term strategy to grow and re-define its position in non-crop markets through portfolio expansion, innovation, licensing and acquisition.
Eric Wintemute, chairman and CEO of American Vanguard, said, “The integration of our dynamic specialty product businesses is part of the company’s long-term strategy to increase capacity, broaden product portfolios, and support AEP’s and OHP’s collaborative efforts to develop new biological, biorational and proven chemistry solutions to the market.”
Bed Bug Awareness Week to be Held June 6-12
FAIRFAX, Va. — June 6-12 is Bed Bug Awareness Week, an annual designation recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events to remind consumers to remain alert for bed bugs while traveling. The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) is observing this week by educating the public through various media relations and social media tactics on the signs of an infestation and the importance of working with a licensed pest control professional.
“Bed bugs are not a DIY pest, so it is important for pest control companies to join us in spreading awareness,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “We encourage companies to devote their social media pages to all things bed bugs using the hashtag #BedBugAwarenessWeek in all posts and interactions on social properties from June 6-12 to join in the observance.”
PPMA also created a Bed Bug Awareness Week toolkit, which is available for download at ppmamainframe.org, an exclusive digital marketing hub containing hundreds of custom, professionally designed marketing materials and assets for pest control companies to use to promote their business. The toolkit contains a customizable press release, suggested social media content, Bed Bug Awareness Week logos, high-resolution photography, media training documents and video content that can be directly embedded on a company’s website.
For more information about PPMA, visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.
Insects Limited Launches Site for Pheromones, Trapping Systems
WESTFIELD, Ind. — Insects Limited, which researches, tests, develops, manufactures and distributes pheromones and trapping systems for stored product insects, recently announced the launch of a new website with updated product pages and easy online shopping.
The company says the new website features a simplified, user-friendly online store, the ability to identify and sort pests by category, information on stored product insects specific to industry, insect monitoring guidelines and many more resources.
Pat Kelley, president of Insects Limited, said the company has always prided itself as being on the forefront in innovation and education. “With our newly developed website, we feel that we are continuing to find the best ways to relay pest information and pheromone technology to our valued customers,” he added.
Learn more at www.insectslimited.com.
Xterminator Pro Now a Division of Aegis Insurance
SAN DIEGO — K2 Insurance Services recently announced that Xterminator Pro is now a division of its subsidiary Aegis General Insurance Agency. Xterminator Pro had previously been a part of Skyway Specialty Insurance. Post-acquisition, Xterminator Pro clients will have access to Skyward’s insurance carriers, policies, forms and endorsements for three years.Xterminator Pro says it will continue to offer general liability, workers’ compensation, commercial auto, commercial property, excess, island marine, crime and EPLI to protect the business needs of pest management professionals and provide a single source of insurance coverages to the brokers dedicated to serving them.
The company also said the entire team of professionals in underwriting and support will make the transition to Xterminator Pro. Billy Craft moves from Skyward to Xterminator Pro as the president of the division, which will remain based in Orlando, Fla. Allen Fugler will maintain his role as director of risk management, working with insureds on regulatory compliance, employee training, file documentation and risk mitigation.
Aegis General Insurance Agency is a subsidiary of San Diego-based K2 Insurance Services. Learn more at www.aegisgeneral.com/products/pest-control-insurance.
Rollins’ Frank Meek Recognized with IPM Award
ATLANTA — Frank Meek, technical services manager, Rollins, recently received the International IPM Award of Excellence (IPM Practitioner — Non-Academic), for his work in developing and implementing novel IPM-based strategies of controlling pests in the urban environment. The awards, presented by the International IPM Symposium, recognize individuals who “have made outstanding achievements in IPM adoption, implementation and sustainability.”
Meek has spent his career in the urban pest management industry. He has worked with manufacturers to help research new ways of controlling pests, specifically German cockroaches in the urban environment. Meek has written protocols that emphasize the importance of inspection, monitoring, and physical and cultural controls within a program where cockroach gel bait is necessary. His work on the introduction of cockroach gel bait into an IPM plan to Orkin was a game changer in the 1990s, the company said. Meek is known for his excellent communication skills, which led him to more than 60 different countries, providing initial training and orientation to local staff.
“It is truly an honor to receive this recognition. However, this is not my recognition alone, but also to the many coworkers and teammates across the company and industry who have been a part of advancing our work and industry,” he said.
NCPMA Graduates First Class of Premier Technicians
RALEIGH, N.C. — Eight professionals completed the North Carolina Pest Management Association’s (NCPMA) Premier Technician Program and have become the program’s inaugural graduating class.
The graduations were celebrated during the program’s two courses in March.
The new Premier Technicians are:
- Christian Beane, Four Seasons Pest Control (Reidsville, N.C.)
- Jason Choate, Pest Management Sys- tems (Greensboro, N.C.)
- Jason Keough, City Wide Exterminat- ing (Locust, N.C.)
- Wes McBride, Four Seasons Pest Control (Danville, Va.)
- Russ Millhouse, Wheeler Exterminat- ing Company (Kinston, N.C.)
- Bobby Reynolds, Clint Miller Exter- minating Co. (Mount Pleasant, N.C.)
- Ross Rhodes, Wheeler Exterminating Co. (Kinston, N.C.)
- Brandon Tilley, Go-Forth Pest Control (High Point, N.C.)
Premier Technician is a course designed to elevate a PMP’s knowledge of the industry through the in-depth study of at least eight key areas including ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, flying insects, occasional invaders/stored product pests, rodents, wood-boring inspection (or WDIR Accreditation) and wood-destroying organisms.
“We congratulate each of these individuals on this amazing accomplishment and are thrilled to welcome our new Premier Technicians to the NCPMA family. The graduates began their Premier Technician journey in 2019, and their commitment to their field and the industry is to be commended,” said Marie Horner, co-chair of the NCPMA Premier Technician Committee.
The Premier Technician program offers a continuous series of courses to help professionals develop a deeper understanding of pest infestations. Individuals who complete the program must have worked in the industry for at least one year and must complete the wood-boring beetle/inspection course or have WDIR Accreditation through NCPMA.
“Each of these professionals have shown their dedication and commitment to their industry and to their careers, and we are proud to welcome them as our first Premier Technicians. We are looking forward to welcoming other Premier Technicians to our industry in the coming months,” said Dylan Morrison, co-chair of the Premier Technician Committee.
To maintain the designation, professionals must continue to take at least one, eight-hour course every two years.
The Premier Technician Program is made possible through the contributions of its Strategic Founding Partners: BASF, Bayer, Bell Laboratories, Corteva Agriscience, FMC and Syngenta.
The Orlando Business Journal selected Andrea Massey-Farrell, president of the Harvey & Carol Massey Foundation and senior vice president of community relations at Massey Services, as one of its 2021 Women Who Mean Business honorees. The annual award recognizes Central Florida’s top 20 female leaders for their career achievements and the impact they have on the local community.
Atlanta-based Germinator Mobile Sanitizing and Disinfecting announced the addition of Dr. Jay Noller to its scientific advisory board. Noller has served at Oregon State University for 21 years. Noller will assist with the design and execution of proposed studies to explore the remediation of surface and food acquisition of COVID-19.
Green Lawn Fertilizing/Green Pest Solutions Senior Vice President of Operations Josh Willey was named to Chester County’s 40 Superstars Under 40 List by VISTA.Today. The list celebrates the most dynamic business and professional leaders under the age of 40 in Chester County, Pa. Willey oversees sales, customer service and operations at the lawn care and pest control provider.
The Arc Jacksonville announced new board leadership for 2021, led by Chairman John Cooksey, COO/entomologist, McCall Service (now a Rollins company). He has served on the board since 2015. The Arc Jacksonville serves and advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental differences.
The American Heart Association and Go-Forth Pest Control, Greensboro, N.C., partnered to provide a free workplace wellness seminar series for local employers across the region. The three-part series included topics such as mental health and healthy eating on the go. Go-Forth also partnered with the AHA as the NC Triad and Iredell County platform sponsor for the AHA’s Go Red for Women campaign for the next three years.
Plunkett’s Pest Control, Fridley, Minn., recently made two acquisitions: Carter Pest Services, Farmington, N.M.; and Johnstown Pest Control, Johnstown, Pa. Bruce Carter started his firm in 1980. “I’m thrilled to work with Plunkett’s,” Carter said. “Like us, they are a family-owned business with a reputation of innovation. We bring expertise about bird exclusion and pests of the Southwest, and Plunkett’s brings investments in training and software.” Don and Trina Cortese owned Johnstown Pest Control since 1980. “With this merger,” said Trina, “we found a partner with comparable values — a partner focused on service excellence — who will continue to provide opportunities for our team as well as additional service offerings to our customers. We feel confident about leaving our life’s work in Plunkett’s hands.” The Potomac Company acted as exclusive financial advisers to Johnstown.
PCT keeps a pulse on the industry with timely Reader Poll questions. Here is the most recent question for pest management professionals. Which of the following is the best source for finding potential new hires?
READER POLL RESULTS
Here’s a look at results from a recent Reader Poll:
Join Randy Gravitt on June 24 at 11:30 a.m. (EST) for a webinar in which he discusses how PCOs can excel at execution. Gravitt has worked with companies such as Chik-fil-A, Grand Hyatt, FCA, Kroger and more. His presentation is for Million Dollar Club 2.0, a program presented by Arrow Exterminators geared towards pest control companies in the $500,000 to $2 million range. Learn more and register at http://integreatleadership.com/milliondollarclub.
Webinars On Demand
Throughout the year PCT hosts FREE webinars sponsored by leading industry suppliers. PMPs can watch and participate in these webinars live or access them from the webinars on-demand page: www.pctonline.com/webinars. Recent webinars include: “Spring Training to Help PMPs Deliver Their Best Perimeter Performance,” presented by BASF; “Mosquito Control Best Practices, Emerging Species and More,” presented by Syngenta; and “SMS Marketing 101 for Pest Control Businesses,” presented by Podium.
Nominate a Technician of the Year Online
In April, PCT launched its annual Technician of the Year Awards program, sponsored by BASF. The awards recognize a trio of standout professionals in the residential, commercial and termite categories. Be sure to nominate your company’s standout service professionals. You can fill out the online form downloadable or download a PDF of the form and fax it back to PCT or email it to us.