We know - this has been a weird year. With so many annual routines disrupted and the seemingly endless negative news cycle, we want to highlight various stories from the past year that show the many ways pest management professionals like you have made a positive difference in local communities.
Meeting Surging Demand
Thanks to a survey of over 3,000 households from Smith’s Pest Management in California, we have an idea of how the pandemic created a surge in “unwelcome house guests” across the country. One big reason for the increase in household pests, according to the survey, comes from increased household waste.
In Michigan alone, the survey found a 24% increase of pests since the start of the stay-at-home orders. Click here if you want to look at an interactive map and see the numbers for your state!
Despite these rising numbers, you and your pest management colleagues from across the nation did and continue to do the essential work of keeping full homes (and empty offices/restaurants) safe from pests. And speaking of restaurants...
Supporting Local Communities
Keeping Out Unwelcome Diners
With many states enacting renewed pandemic safety orders, such as closing indoor dining at restaurants, one pest control company in Fort Wayne, IN is stepping up and making a difference.
Ben’s Bugs Be Gone is offering free pest control throughout the winter for local privately owned restaurants. The owner, Ben Williams, is a COVID-19 survivor who said his recovery experience changed his perspective. Now that he’s working again, he wanted to give back to the community.
Williams says he knows local restaurants and businesses are struggling, and with these facilities closed, they will most likely have to deal with whatever pests made their way in, while the business was on its way out.
Partnering With Local Charities
We know there are plenty of pest control businesses that have helped their local communities; probably too many to count! But here are three examples that may inspire you or your business.
Near the end of November, P.E.S.T. Relief International (which here stands for Professionals Empowering, Sustaining and Transforming) showed its support for military veterans by creating the “A Bag of REST” project that launched during the Certified Pest Control Operators (CPCO) of Georgia conference.
During the CPCP, participating pest management professionals carefully filled backpacks with toiletry kits, masks, snacks, and personal notes of encouragement. Project sponsors included Target Specialty Products and Bug Off Pest Control Center.
After the event, Andrea Hancock, founder of P.E.S.T. Relief International and vice president of Mattress Safe, drove the backpacks down to the Elks Lodge in St. Petersburg, FL, where she distributed them to local veterans residing at the Bay Pines Veterans Administration Healthcare System.
“I had the pleasure of meeting four veterans who were homeless and offered them a Bag of REST as a tangible way to show our deep appreciation for the sacrifice they made for our country,” Hancock said.
In early fall, Logan, Utah-based Fox Pest Control and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah threw Mason, a local teenager, a “reveal event” in which he learned he was selected by the foundation to grant his wish.
Fox Pest Control made the reveal event possible by contacting several local businesses to help donate food, supplies, and funds. Make-A-Wish Foundation Community Manager Melanie Rossiter described working with the Fox Pest Control team as “an absolute joy.”
“Fox embodies what it means to be a partner that truly puts the wish kid first. Every detail of the evening was clearly based all around Mason’s interests and favorite things. We are so grateful to grant wishes with such a generous, thoughtful, community-oriented business,” Rossiter said.
If you’re thinking that you can’t do anything “big” like these last few examples, take a look at what Miller Pest & Termite from Missouri did back in November. When it comes to supporting your community, even the “little things” make a big difference.
To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the team at Miller Pest & Termite automatically donated $10 for every new service it signed on to the Pink Tractor Foundation, a Non-Profit Organization that raises money to help local families fighting cancer.
Additionally, the company also matched customer donations up to $1,000 in total donations. Miller said it is proud to have raised a total of $1,120 for the Pink Tractor Foundation. This charity is one Miller felt strongly about supporting since some of its own families have been affected by Breast Cancer.
Adapting To Meet New Needs
Back in July, Arizona-based Truly Nolen Pest Control made the news for adapting their business to exterminate not household pests, but COVID-19. After Truly Nolen Pest Control realized they were already using an effective COVID-19 “killer” sanitizing spray for cleaning up after rat infestations, they decided to start a new side “business.”
Truly Nolen worked out procedures for a program called Truly Sanitized, developed training and then started offering their new service. Mark Ringlstetter with Truly Nolen said he sees the value in large scale sanitation for his pest control business.
“I would imagine [the pandemic has] changed everyone's perception of how to protect yourself against things like the common cold or even the flu. So I think you're going to see some public behavioral changes with the way they go about things.”
Are there things you or your business has done to help your community during the pandemic? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know on social media or email us for a chance to be featured in a future blog!