Orkin Celebrates 120 Years of Business – PCT
In honor of its 120th anniversary, Orkin donated $120,000 to the American Red Cross.
ATLANTA — Since 1901, Orkin Pest Control has helped protect homes and businesses across the country. In honor of its 120th anniversary this year, the company says it is giving back to the communities and employees that have shaped its success, specifically through a $120,000 donation to the American Red Cross and the “Heroes of Home” initiative.
“The key to success is never losing sight of why you do what you do,” said Freeman Elliott, Orkin president. “At Orkin, we help protect one of the biggest investments a person will make in his or her life — a home or business. We don’t take that responsibility lightly, and we promise to continue to provide the service excellence our customers and communities have come to expect from us over the past 120 years.”
Despite wars, depressions, recessions and slumps, and most recently, a global pandemic, Orkin says it takes pride in continuing to provide high-quality service. Throughout 120 years of transition and growth, Orkin leaders have maintained a clear focus on the company’s ability to make a positive impact on where people live, work and play, both nationally and locally.
In 2020, Orkin launched its “Donating Blood Should be Voluntary” initiative in partnership with the American Red Cross to aid the organization in maintaining the country’s blood supply and protecting people against the public health threats of mosquitoes.
This year, in honor of the company’s 120th anniversary, Orkin donated $120,000 to the organization and encouraged the public to pledge to donate blood to the Red Cross through a SleevesUp campaign — an effort that has encouraged hundreds of people, including Orkin employees, to donate blood. As a result of the partnership, the Atlanta chapter of the Red Cross honored Orkin with its Good Neighbor Award for making a significant humanitarian contribution to the Red Cross.
OrkinServes, an employee volunteer program, aims to help take care of communities. Through the program, Orkin branches across the country set aside time each year to give back locally.
In addition to social responsibility, Orkin places significant emphasis on the importance of education. The company’s formal commitment to public education dates to the 1950s, when Orkin technicians started presenting to local students. Now, teachers can sign up online to bring Orkin specialists into the classroom to teach about insects’ important role in the ecosystem and environment.
With more than 8,000 employees around the world at more than 400 branch locations, Orkin says it understands the importance of keeping employees at the forefront. As part of its 120th anniversary celebrations, Orkin hosted a “Heroes of Home” contest to celebrate and honor technicians who are committed to protecting the joy of each home they serve. Customers nominated their technicians, explaining why their technician is a hero, an effort that resulted in nearly 500 submissions.
“We’re proud to be represented by world-class employees,” said Elliott. “By offering continuing education opportunities and more than 160 hours of training to each technician, Orkin aims to create careers — not just day jobs — for every employee. However, we know the job they do each day is a job well done, and I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work of every employee over the past 120 years.”
Orkin’s origins are rooted in 1901, when 14-year-old Pennsylvania farm boy Otto Orkin developed a rodenticide to protect his family’s farmhouse. The son of Latvian immigrants, Orkin’s job was to make sure rodents didn’t ruin any of the family farm’s stock. He knew to capture a pest, you had to think like a pest. The special blend worked well, so he started selling it door-to-door. In 1908, Orkin moved from selling a product to selling a service: pest control. By 1919, his pest control company was flourishing thanks to his commitment to service — a commitment Orkin employees carry on today.
As the business grew during the next 50 years, Orkin says its expertise grew as well, offering customers protection against common pests such as termites and other insects in addition to rodents.
Rollins purchased the Orkin Exterminating Company in 1964 in the first leveraged buyout in business history and helped turn it into one of the largest pest management companies in the world. Now, more than 8,000 Orkin employees around the world offer integrated pest control services to more than 1.7 million customers throughout the Americas, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and Australia.
For more information, visit www.orkin.com.
Terminix Announces Resignation of COO Kim Scott
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Terminix announced in September that Chief Operating Officer Kim Scott resigned after accepting another job opportunity. The company says as a result of Scott’s departure and in a continued effort to simplify and streamline the business, the sales, marketing and field operations leadership at Terminix will now report directly to CEO Brett Ponton.
Scott joined the company in December 2019 as president of Terminix Residential. In January 2021, she assumed the role of chief operating officer and expanded her responsibilities to include the commercial business.
“Kim installed the fundamentals of customer retention, safety and labor management in Terminix and was a stabilizing presence over the last year,” Ponton added. “She recently consolidated the operations of our commercial and residential businesses and oversaw improvements during a challenging operating environment in 2020. I would like to thank Kim for her contributions to Terminix and wish her well in her new position.
“I am excited to engage directly with our sales and marketing teams and experienced field leadership as we continue our efforts to create a world-class sales and service organization. Simplifying the structure will allow us to move faster to implement the key operational capabilities necessary to develop a scalable, consistent business model enabling accelerated growth and profitability. I am confident we have the right team in place to make progress on our goal to become the global leader in professional pest management.”
WSDA’s Pest Program uses a bucket lift to access a nest 15 feet up in an alder tree.
WSDA Takes Asian Giant Hornet Removal to New Heights
BLAINE, Wash. — In late September, the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s pest program removed the third Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) nest of 2021, making it the fourth nest removed since the invasive hornet was first detected in Washington in December 2019. All of the nests have been in the same general area east of Blaine.
Most research on these hornets suggests that they normally nest in the ground and more rarely in trees. But so far, 100 percent of nests found in Washington have been in tree cavities. The entrance to this latest nest was more than 15 feet above the ground. A thermal-imaging camera showed the nest itself was below the nest entrance.
The challenge posed by working on a nest at such a height was compounded by the fact that it was surrounded by dense trees and vegetation, especially blackberry patches as tall as 8 feet. The team of entomologists and others from the pest program had to use new tools to eradicate the nest, including a rented bucket lift to raise them over the bulk of the vegetation so they could work safely at the nest entrance.
Just as in the other nest removals, once at the entrance, the team sealed up the tree and vacuumed most of the hornets out before sealing the entrance.
As the alder tree in question was decaying, it made it risky to safely cut it down. A trail steward from the Department of Natural Resources was able to help. Wearing a bulky hornet suit, he cut the tree so it dropped right on target. Once the tree was down, he cut it into sections and split the tree open so the team could finish collecting the remaining hornets and the nest.
The WSDA/DNR/USDA team removes the third Asian giant hornet nest of 2021, fourth nest total.
Found in the latest nest were 777 total life stages: 10 combs; 674 total cells; 86 empty cells; 128 eggs; 202 larvae; 261 capped cells; 185 workers; zero males; and one queen.
None of the nests eradicated this year have had new queens, meaning the nest was found and removed before queens could emerge, mate and leave to start new nests next year.
Two of the three nests were found from reports made by local residents. This is the critical time to find nests before creating new queens. If you or your customers see an Asian giant hornet, take a photo and submit a report at agr.wa.gov/hornets.
Video of activity at the nest as well as the nest removal is available at youtube.com/WSDAgov.
Los Angeles Tops Terminix’s List of Most Rodent-Infested Cities
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Terminix released a list of the top 50 most rodent-infested cities in America, with Los Angeles topping this year’s list.
Terminix released the list in conjunction with Rodent Awareness Week, designated by the National Pest Management Association from Oct. 17–23. The week aims to raise awareness about rodents by promoting public knowledge of the pests and the dangers they present to home and health.
Hojun Song and Jason Bond
New York City ranked as No. 2 on the list, followed by Philadelphia at No. 3, San Francisco at No. 4 and Dallas-Ft. Worth at No. 5. Florida had the most cities on the list with six cities, followed by California with five cities. “As the seasons change and lower temperatures are just around the corner, rats and mice will be looking for warm, safe places to live, including our homes,” said a Terminix representative. “…Terminix knows how to handle rodent infestations. Our teams understand the biology and behavior of these pests, which can damage homes and potentially spread germs that cause diseases.”
Terminix based the rankings on the number of requests received for help with rats and/or mice from each city over the past year.
For more information, visit www.terminix.com.
Song, Bond Named New Editors-in-Chief of Insect Systematics and Diversity
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Entomologists Hojun Song, Ph.D., and Jason Bond, Ph.D., are the new co-editors-in-chief of the journal Insect Systematics and Diversity, published by the Entomological Society of America.
Song is an associate professor in the department of entomology at Texas A&M University. Bond is a professor and the Evert and Marion Schlinger endowed chair in insect systematics in the department of entomology and nematology at the University of California, Davis. They will begin in their positions with the journal on Jan. 1, 2022. In September 2021, the ESA Governing Board approved their appointment after an open search was conducted for candidates to succeed founding editors Sydney A. Cameron, Ph.D., and James B. Whitfield, Ph.D.
Insect Systematics and Diversity published its first issue in 2017 and has since offered research on systematics, evolution and biodiversity of insects and related arthropods.
ESA says Song and Bond bring a complementary blend of experience in entomology to their new roles. Song’s research has focused on understanding behavioral, ecological, physiological, morphological and molecular evolution of various groups of insects, particularly those in the order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids and relatives). Bond has specialized in spiders, millipedes and darkling beetles, with a focus on speciation patterns and processes, high-level phylogenomics and the influence of habitat destruction and climate change on biodiversity.
Jessica Ware, Ph.D., ESA vice president and chair of the search committee, lauded Song and Bond’s experience and enthusiasm for advancing the journal. “They both impressed the committee with their editorial skill, scientific expertise and commitment to ESA’s mission and vision for its family of journals,” she said. “ISD aims to publish high-impact, integrative research, and I’m confident the journal will be in good hands.”
Song and Bond will take on a four-year term as co-editors-in-chief.
Bird-X and Tri Lite Complete Merger
ELMHURST, Ill. — Humane wildlife control supplier Bird-X and specialty dock lighting and safety equipment manufacturer Tri Lite completed a merger intended to streamline both firms’ operations.
The companies said several reasons led to the decision to merge these two seemingly different firms, one of which is to enhance operations for both. “While there are certainly many Tri Lite customers who can benefit from the products offered by Bird-X, the most significant advantage this merger provides is the ability to leverage resources that will fund future opportunities to maintain leadership positions in several diverse markets,” said Jeff Spencer, president of Bird-X and Tri Lite. “Although operating separately for over 50 years, Bird-X and Tri Lite have been interconnected to each other through the ownership of each company.”
Bird-X will continue to sell products under the Bird-X, Cozy, Yates-Motloid, Tri Lite and Mars brand names.
PestRoutes and Lobster Marketing Rebrand as FieldRoutes
McKINNEY, Texas — Pest control software providers PestRoutes and Lobster Marketing have rebranded as FieldRoutes to deliver modern technology to field service companies, the company says. This will enable expansion into new verticals, and as part of this move, FieldRoutes has developed several new solutions for lawn care service providers and unveiled a new company website, fieldroutes.com.
“As two brands and sister companies, PestRoutes and Lobster Marketing shared like-minded values,” said William Chaney, Field-Routes CEO. “Together, under one united brand, our mission and values remain, and we are committed to fueling our customers’ growth. Over the years, we’ve seen an increasing trend with the pest control customers we serve adding residential lawn care as part of their service offerings. Aligning PestRoutes and Lobster Marketing under one brand allows us to expand, and as such, it was a natural progression for us to expand our capabilities and officially enter the lawn care market.”
FieldRoutes Chief Product Officer Piyum Samaraweera said, “We learned that to truly serve the lawn care market, we needed to add additional capabilities, which we’ve completed.”
The product lineup now includes FieldRoutes’ operations suite (formerly PestRoutes), FieldRoutes’ sales and marketing suite (formerly Lobster Marketing) and FieldRoutes Payments, a fully integrated payment solution that delivers enhanced payment functionality, such as the account updater which automatically updates lost, stolen, expired or closed customer payment card information.
The software now includes service plan functionality, which allows clients to bundle multiple services into discounted packages — a practice known as “programs” for lawn care businesses and “bundles” for pest control operators — and the ability to charge customers by measurement. It also includes property estimations and updated routing functionality to take technician skills and certifications into consideration when scheduling a service.
Also new is the ability to route by chemical capacity, which allows clients to optimize routes by the amount of chemicals that can be carried by each vehicle.
Rounding out the enhancements is the addition of pre-payment discounts and consolidated invoicing, which allows clients to create a single master invoice for individual services completed during a specific period.
Visit fieldroutes.com/free-demo to sign up for a free demo of the operations and sales and marketing suites.