READING, Pa. — Rentokil Steritech announced the acquisition of Florida Pest Control, a Gainesville,Fla.-based firm that ranked #16 on the most recent PCT Top list, with annual revenues of $67 million. The acquisition was completed on Nov. 1.
The acquisition significantly expands Rentokil Steritech’s service footprint in the state of Florida, where the company already operates from 13 service centers.
Founded in 1949 by Dempsey Sapp Sr., Florida Pest Control has grown steadily under the leadership of his son, D.R. Sapp. The company employs 600 people, servicing central and northern Florida (including Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville).
“Companies are a reflection of their leadership. From the first time we met with him, it was very apparent that D.R. and his family have built an impressive company, one that truly cares about its customers and its employees,” said John Myers, president and CEO of Rentokil North America, the parent company of Rentokil Steritech. “This same genuine care is reflected throughout the organization. Through his relationship with our Chairman Emeritus, Vic Hammel, we are extremely proud that D.R. considered and selected Rentokil Steritech when it was time to sell his company.”
Sapp added, “I knew I had to find a company to sell to that would take the best care of our 600 coworkers, that offered good benefits and advancement opportunities. Rentokil was the ideal fit and will make a wonderful partner for our customers and colleagues.”
Rentokil continues to build its presence in the Southeast. Other Rentokil acquisitions in the region include Oliver Exterminating, Allgood Pest Solutions, Active Pest Control, Heron Home & Outdoor, Johnson Pest Solutions and Russell Pest Control.
“This acquisition is very much in line with our strategy to acquire pest control businesses that build customer density and add to our scale in key local markets, and will make a strong contribution towards our North American revenue and margin targets,” Andy Ransom, CEO of Rentokil Initial, said in a news release.
LR Tullius represented and acted as financial adviser to Florida Pest Control during the transaction. — Brad Harbison
Industry Mourns Larry Eichler
ROSWELL, Ga. — Larry Eichler, longtime president of Prentiss, died Nov. 9, at age 74.
Throughout his time leading Prentiss, a manufacturer of pyrethrum, Eichler was regarded as an “old school” businessman who grew up in an era when deals were sealed with a simple handshake, and relationships were nurtured by after-hours conversations in the hotel restaurant and lounge.
Eichler sold Prentiss to SantoLubes, St. Charles, Mo., in 2008, but he remained involved in the pest control industry, serving as an honorary member of the United Producers, Formulators & Distributors Association (he was a former president and board member of UPFDA).
Valera Jessee, recently retired UPFDA executive director, remembers Eichler as a problem-solver who “helped develop policy, position and action for the organization to keep it moving forward.”
Former UPFDA President Steve Levy, CEO of Bell Laboratories, said even in retirement it was important to Eichler that UPFDA’s legacy thrived. “He believed in the power of the industry rowing in the same direction, and it was important to him that everyone was successful. Even when he retired, he still kept a watchful eye on UPFDA’s vibrance.”
Lon Records, another longtime UPFDA board member, said Eichler was a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done. “He had a great sense of humor and always had a good joke or story to share. Larry was a great leader,” Records said.
Eichler was preceded in death by his wife, Ginger Walker Eichler, who passed away in December 2017. — Brad Harbison
Ole Dosland, Longtime Food Safety Professional and QA Columnist, Passes Away
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Ole Dosland, who spent 48-plus years as a food safety and quality assurance professional, passed away on Nov. 7, at age 70. Dosland died as a result of complications following open heart surgery, according to his friend and business partner, Stave Wawrzyniak.
“Ole leaves behind a wonderful legacy as a family man, internationally recognized food safety and quality expert, as well as an incredibly talented golfer,” said Wawrzyniak, who is executive director of the Strategic Alliance of Food Experts.
A graduate of Upper Iowa University (1971), Dosland began his career working in a variety of quality assurance positions at Ralston Purina. After having held quality assurance positions at IAMS Pet Foods and ConAgra Foods, he moved to Copesan Services (1997), where he became director of education and training. In this position, he directed the company’s pest management technical and training initiatives with an emphasis on IPM. Dosland was also one of the charter founders and lead developer of Copesan University, a state-of-the-art online training center. Dosland was a huge proponent of helping others better themselves and their operations by utilizing practical problem solving skills, a philosophy he shared with readers of PCT and QA magazines. — Brad Harbison
NPMA Announces Launch of Workforce Development Initiative
FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Pest Management Association in October announced the unanimous approval by its board of directors of a comprehensive Workforce Development Initiative to help ensure the future growth of the pest control industry. Through this initiative, the NPMA board of directors said it is working to meet the increasing challenge of attracting and retaining qualified talent to the industry.
“The timing is right for our organization to address the long-standing need for skilled workers in professional pest control,” said NPMA CEO Dominique Stumpf. “Our members have shared that the number one thing standing between their business and continued growth is a lack of workers — and when individual companies are unable to grow, the industry is unable to grow. The National Pest Management Association is taking action now to fuel and drive greater awareness around the many job opportunities, career growth possibilities and earning potential that exists in the industry today.”
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of pest control workers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations, which is 5 percent.
“We have been listening closely to the needs of our members, and are so pleased to bring this comprehensive initiative to the industry,” said Chris Gorecki, NPMA president and vice president of operational support at Rollins. “We will position NPMA as an advocate for prospective and current employees with a top priority on attracting field technicians and other roles to our great industry, effectively building a pipeline of qualified candidates to help all NPMA members meet business demand.”
The group will develop a new external website dedicated to promoting careers in professional pest control, along with corresponding social media properties for Facebook and LinkedIn to help drive awareness of professional pest control as a desirable career path. NPMA said it will work closely with its members and committees to increase overall pride and professionalism in the industry and showcase the value of what pest management professionals do to protect people, food and property from the threats associated with pests, improving overall quality of life for all.
To learn more, visit npmapestworld.org/workforceplan.
Dates, Location Announced For 14th Fumigants & Pheromones Conference
VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe — Insects Limited and Fumigation Service & Supply will host the 14th Fumigants & Pheromones Conference at Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 12-14, 2020.
The Fumigants & Pheromones Conference was started in 1993 in Lubeck, Germany. Its purpose was to gather like-minded companies together under a common cause: sharing through education.
The conference will offer new information and technologies regarding ways to protect stored products. Conference officials say the event’s speakers will present information from their experiences to help those involved with stored product pests perform their jobs better and more effectively. Victoria Falls offers a backdrop of one of the “7 Natural Wonders of the World” to the three-day conference.
Dave Mueller, conference organizer, said, “Much like our 12th Fumigants & Pheromones Conference in Adelaide, Australia, this stored product protection conference in Victoria Falls will reach an all new group of delegates. In Adelaide over 60 percent of the attendees were from Australia and most had never attended a Fumigants & Pheromones Conference before. That is why we decided to have this conference in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, to reach a new group of people. After 27 years, this is our first time to offer this educational program in the giant continent of Africa.”
For more information and conference registration visit www.insectslimited.com.
ServiceMaster Acquires Pest Pulse
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — ServiceMaster has acquired Pest Pulse, a Dublin, Ireland-based developer of an IoT solution that uses internet-connected smart pest traps and software. Pest Pulse was acquired by ServiceMaster in May, according to Pest Pulse CEO Brian Monaghan.
Pest Pulse smart devices monitor customer sites 24/7. As soon as a trap is activated, an alert is sent out and a technician is dispatched to perform an inspection and take any necessary corrective measures. “We don’t have to go onsite as much as the devices are permanently monitoring for activity. When we do go onsite, the treatments are quicker and more targeted,” said Monaghan.
In a Pest Pulse blog post, Monaghan noted that Pest Pulse was contacted by ServiceMaster’s Innovation Center in April 2018 to be part of Start Co’s Launch Delta accelerator in Memphis. Soon after, ServiceMaster approached Pest Pulse with an offer.
Monaghan said the deal gives Pest Pulse the ability to put together an even more compelling offering for customers, faster. “We can combine Pest Pulse’s technology and proposition with ServiceMaster’s infrastructure and deep pest expertise. Being part of a company this size gives us access to resources that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to get,” he said.
Pest Posse Academy Approved CEU Provider In Four States
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Pest Posse Academy, a training provider for small- to medium-sized pest control companies, as well as individual PMPs, is now an approved continuing education provider in California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas. There are several courses that have been approved for continuing education credits with more courses being added every day.
Pest Posse Academy provides online video-based training. The training is a regular monthly subscription-based solution that delivers regular weekly training on topics such as safety, pest identification, reading pesticide labels and specific application techniques.
Learn more at www.thepestposse.net/pestposseacademy.
American Pest Acquires Virginia-Based PestMasters
FULTON, Md. — American Pest, a Washington, D.C.-area pest management firm, in October acquired PestMasters — a family-owned pest control business located in Richmond, Va.
PestMasters has served central Virginia since 1953. Dave Boose, CEO and owner, is a past president of the Virginia Pest Management Association and has been chairman of the Legislative Committee for more than 20 years.
“We look forward to building a relationship based on the respect and trust that PestMasters has provided to their customers,” says David Billingsly, president of American Pest. “Their skilled pest control professionals will be a great addition to our team.”
The acquisition is American Pest’s 11th acquisition in 36 months. PCO M&A Specialists, a division of PCO Bookkeepers, acted as exclusive financial adviser to PestMasters.
Target Specialty Products Continues its Expansion; Opens Newest Branch In Orlando, Florida
SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – Target Specialty Products opened an Orlando branch in November (its 44th overall). The new location will meet high demand in the Orlando market and will further strengthen Target Specialty Products by supporting both delivered and walk-in customers in the Orlando area, the company said.
“We continue to see growth in the Orlando market, creating an opportunity for us to provide our customers with new products and services in the area,” said David Helt, president of Target Specialty Products. “As we continue to provide unparalleled customer service and an array of leading and innovative products, we look forward to growing our customer base in the Orlando area.”
Headquartered in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Target Specialty Products continues its growth throughout North America, expanding its footprint and customer service efforts across the West, Midwest and East Coast regions.
Target Specialty Products’ new Orlando location is located at 1468 N. Goldenrod Road, Suite 255, Azalea Park, FL 32807, phone number: 888/285-6219.