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When John Stellberger opened EHS Pest Services in December 1985 he wanted the company to be different. He wanted his approach to solving pest management problems to differ from the industry norms at the time and embrace the principles of Integrated Pest Management.

A lot has changed since then — including the Red Sox winning three World Series titles — but Stellberger and his team of more than 50 pest professionals remains just as dedicated to providing pest management services that leave a smaller environmental footprint.

The company focuses mostly on the commercial market and services a variety of diverse accounts from grocery stores and restaurants to pharmaceutical research facilities and the city of Boston.

“We like the challenge commercial accounts present and solving pest problems in a wide array of unique and sometimes complex environments,” says Stellberger. “We enjoy working with clients that share our philosophy and vision for IPM, and are capable of buying into to what it takes to deliver this style of service.”

Stellberger says what makes the Norwood, Mass.-based firm stand out in the competitive Boston market is the company’s genuine interest in helping clients solve pest problems and collaborate to find long-term solutions.

“We want to support our clients as well as educate them on how our systems work and what role they play in the success of the program,” says Stellberger. “We also are dedicated to supporting our technicians and employees to empower them to find the right solutions for the customer.”

With continued growth in the commercial sector expected, EHS is adding staff — including Technical Director and Board Certified Entomologist Justin Hedlund, who started in January — and is focused on hiring a new generation of technicians with deeper educational resumes that include an emphasis on biology.

“We view our technicians as observational biologists in the field who can deconstruct a building and apply exclusion and sanitation protocols to prevent pest incursions,” says Stellberger, whose commitment to the environment includes deploying hybrid fuel service vehicles.

Securing buy-in from clients for a more labor intensive — and costlier — approach to pest management requires more education but the end result is worth it, he said.

“We have a number of progressive clients who embrace the IPM approach and we work closely with their staffs to educate them on what it will take to get the job done and secure their buy-in,” says Stellberger. “It may sound old school but if you take care of your clients they will take care of you.”

The author is a frequent editorial contributor to PCT.