In Memoriam: Bart Baker


THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Bart Baker, former senior vice president of J.T. Eaton & Co., passed away on Jan. 3 from COVID 19-related complications in Leesburg, Fla. He was 78.

Baker’s father, Stanley Z. Baker, purchased J.T. Eaton & Co in 1949. The company was founded 17 years prior as a mail-order house for pest control products. Bart and his brother Ben grew up in the business, helping their parents fill orders at the warehouse and eventually learning the sales and management operations.


In the 1980s, Baker wrote the popular column “Bart Baker Speaks” for Pest Control (now Pest Management Professional) magazine. Baker always enjoyed working with pest management professionals, whether it was demonstrating J.T. Eaton’s latest Integrated Pest Management (IPM) innovation at a trade show or helping to troubleshoot a tough rodent or insect account on phone or in person. He retired from the business in 2012.

Bart is survived by his wife of 23 years, Priscilla Baker, children Rachel Calipetro (James), Jennifer Fullam (Jeff), Michael Puleo (Lisa) and Dale Baker (Tabitha), his brother Benjamin Baker (Janet), and his brother in-law Gregg Henry (Dale Walker). Bart was very proud of his grandchildren Mackenzie Fullam, Madelynn Fullam, James Calipetro III, Megan Calipetro and Jacob Calipetro.


In Memoriam: Doug MacPherson

BATON ROUGE, La. — Doug MacPherson, longtime owner of Dugas Pest Control and former NPMA president, passed away on Jan. 14 from COVID-19 complications. He was 89.


An Ohio native and Korean War veteran, MacPherson became involved in the pest control industry after graduating from Ohio State University in 1955. His first job in the industry was as a pest control business franchisee, then later as a manager for Redd Pest Control in Mississippi.

In 1973, MacPherson purchased Dugas Pest Control, and he grew the firm to serve Baton Rouge, La., and surrounding areas. In the late 1980s/early 1990s, MacPherson began transitioning leadership of Dugas to his daughter, Laura Simpson. He remained active with the company until 2003.

Simpson said the key to her dad’s success was that he was fair and respectful to his employees. “Between watching him and then doing it myself, I learned very, very early that your people are everything.”

MacPherson also took an active role in associations, serving as president of the Louisiana Pest Management Association (1971) and the National Pest Management Association (1979-80).

One of MacPherson’s greatest contributions to the pest management industry was as a founder of LIPCA, an insurance agency for the pest control industry. During the mid-1980s, pest control companies in Louisiana (and other parts of the country) were struggling to get general liability policies renewed by insurance providers. MacPherson and other pest control owners in Louisiana joined forces, found investors and formed LIPCA as a stock insurance company. In order to become a member of the Louisiana Pest Management Association, a pest control company had to be a LIPCA policy holder. As a result, Simpson noted that at one time 90 percent of PCOs in the state of Louisiana were LPMA members, which made the association one of the strongest in the country.

Simpson, whose background is in accounting, joined Dugas full time in 1979. Simpson also became an association leader, serving as NPMA president in 2013-14. Simpson’s family is still involved in the pest control industry. Her son, Jeremy Clark, is a Rentokil district manager, overseeing the Dugas operation. Clark is an LPMA past president, former NPMA board member, and he is married to Julie Tesh, daughter of Pest Management (PMi) Owner Billy Tesh. Dugas was sold to Rentokil in 2018.

MacPherson is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joanna Penn MacPherson, and his daughters, Laura Simpson (Floyd), Traci MacPherson, and Kelly Johannessen (Bob); grandchildren, Jeremy Clark (Julie), James Clark (Natalie), Alex Day (Danielle), Suzanne Otwell (Travis), Andrew Jones, Rob and Anna Johannessen; and eight great-grandchildren. — Brad Harbison



GIE Media, PCT Announce Technology Conference

VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — The Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2021, at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Fla. Lawn & Landscape is a sister publication to PCT magazine. This year’s three-day event will offer both virtual and face-to-face options, as well as expanded education for PMPs. Additionally, attendees will experience organized networking as well as access to an exhibit hall featuring industry-leading technologies, solutions and innovations for green industry and pest management professionals.

The Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference will bring together landscapers, lawn care operators and pest management professionals to learn from technology experts as well as fellow professionals who have successfully integrated software and technology into their companies to operate more efficiently.

In addition to the educational program, attendees have access to the trade show portion of the event, where they can discover some of the best software and technology serving the professional “green” and pest professional markets.

“We are excited to bring the industry back together in 2021 and to offer the opportunity for green industry and pest management professionals to reconnect and discover new ideas, tools and processes that will give their companies the competitive edge,” says Brian Horn, editor of Lawn & Landscape.

“Recognizing lawn care operators and pest control professionals can benefit from the same technologies to advance their businesses, we are excited to engage the pest control industry and offer both a high-level education track as well as the latest technology that will allow PMPs to continue to grow their business,” says Jodi Dorsch, editor-in-chief of PCT.

“This year’s conference offers a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity between two service industries that not only survived, but in many cases excelled, during the recent worldwide pandemic,” states Dave Szy, publisher Lawn & Landscape. “The exchange between professionals in both industries will be just as valuable as the education programming.”

Booth space and sponsorship opportunities for the event will be available soon.

Initial details are now available at More information including speakers, sessions, registration pricing and other conference events will be announced in the coming months.



Rentokil Announces Acquisition of Eight Companies Across U.S.

READING, Pa. — Rentokil North America recently announced the acquisition of eight companies across the United States.

“The Rentokil family continues to grow with the acquisition of these strong companies,” said John Myers, president and CEO of Rentokil North America. “We are proud to add to our legacy of protecting people and enhancing lives, and adding to our valuable employee base and customer service areas.”

The recent acquisitions add more than 900 colleagues to the company. In January, Rentokil also announced the acquisition of Environmental Pest Service (see related story below). The other companies acquired in the fourth quarter of 2020 include:

  • Bain Pest Control: Bain Pest Control is based in Lowell, Mass., and serves communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine.
  • Blue Chip Pest Control: Founded in 1971, Blue Chip Pest Control is based in Fenton, Mo., and serves commercial and residential customers in the metro St. Louis area as well as communities in Illinois.
  • Garrie Pest Control: Garrie Pest Control, founded in 1972, serves residential and commercial customers in the New York Hudson Valley communities and Fairfield County, Conn.
  • Griffin Pest Solutions: Griffin Pest Solutions, founded in 1929, has built a strong client base in Michigan as well as Northern Indiana and Northwest Ohio.
  • Ja-Roy Pest Control: Ja-Roy Pest Control is based in Louisiana and provides residential and commercial services to customers in the Northshore area of Lake Ponchartrain, north of New Orleans.
  • McNeely Pest Control: The North Carolina-based McNeely Pest Control serves customers in North Carolina and southwest Virginia.
  • Suburban Exterminating: Based in Smithtown, N.Y., Suburban Exterminating serves commercial and residential customers on Long Island, including Nassau, Suffolk and the East End.
  • The Bug Man: The Bug Man is based in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and serves the metro Nashville communities.


Certus Enters Georgia With Peachtree Acquisition

Left to right: Mike Givlin (Certus), Jimmy Arnold (Peachtree) and Rand Hollon (Preferred Business Brokers).

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Certus announced the acquisition of Peachtree Pest Control, which has five branch offices in South Georgia and Florida — Brunswick, Savannah, Warner Robins, Jacksonville and Ormand. The company was founded in 1976 by Steve Arnold, the uncle of the firm’s current president, Jimmy Arnold, who opened the Brunswick branch with his wife Tammy in 1995.

Jimmy Arnold, president of Peachtree, said, “As the pest control industry grows, innovates and changes, you have to do the same. At Peachtree Pest Control, we consistently look to do that every day. Partnering with Certus was that next step for realizing opportunities and growth for our team and our company. Their ‘people first’ mentality is what really connected with me. The most important asset we have is our people. It’s such a great opportunity to continue to grow our team and do something different in the pest control industry.”

Mike Givlin, CEO and co-founder of Certus, said, “Jimmy has built a fantastic company. He has been able to achieve tremendous organic growth, provide world-class service to his customers and create a great work environment for his people. I am very excited about working with Jimmy over the coming years as he continues his career here at Certus. This partnership highlights our desire to keep pest control local, as Jimmy Arnold and Peachtree Pest Control have been ingrained in the local community for over 20 years. Peachtree has a great reputation in their service area and we welcome them into the Certus family.”

Rand Hollon of Preferred Business Brokers acted as exclusive adviser/intermediary for Peachtree.


West Coast Rodent Academy Goes Virtual

IRVINE, Calif. — The West Coast Rodent Academy recently went virtual for the first time since its creation in 2016. With the help of sponsors BASF, Bell Laboratories, Liphatech and VM Products, the academy was able to offer a number of scholarships for people to attend the virtual event.

“It is important to me to ensure that we reach underserved communities,” said Niamh Quinn, a human-wildlife interactions adviser with the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. As such, the academy reached out to women in pest control, professionals serving k-12 schools, and tribal stakeholders in particular for scholarships.

“Now, more than ever, pest control is so important in our communities, and this is also true for our underserved communities. It was a pleasure to be able to reach out to a diverse group of participants and offer a total of 22 scholarships,” she added.

The program has a tradition of offering scholarships at in-person training and as a result have been able to serve diverse audiences that would not normally be supported in their attendance.

The Rodent Academy also raised $20,000 to support rodent research in Dr. Quinn’s lab.

The next West Coast Rodent Academy will be held on March 3-4. It also will be a virtual event. Dr. Bobby Corrigan is on the program. Learn more.



First-Ever ICUP Webinar To be Held in March

Barcelona, Spain — The International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP) announced it will be holding its first free-of-charge online webinar on March 9.

The webinar will consist of a series of presentations by leading scientists on a range of urban pest mangement topics, with an opportunity for a questions and answers session with the speakers.

The event will take place on March 9 at 10 a.m. (EST), and will last for no more than three hours. For those who are unable to attend the live event, recordings of the presentations also will be available for viewing later. Full details of the program and the registration process will be posted and regularly updated on the ICUP website.

Until 2020, the ICUP events consisted of a conventional, in-person conference that was hosted every three years. However, with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the tenth iteration of the conference, which was due to be held in Barcelona, Spain, was postponed.


Rollins/Northwest Acquires McCall Service

Left to right: Josh Cooksey, current general manager, McCall Service; Stanford Phillips, division vice president, Rollins; Jennings Cooksey, former executive vice president, McCall Service; Bryan Cooksey, former president/CEO, McCall Service; Jerry Gahlhoff, president/COO, Rollins; John Cooksey, former COO, McCall Service; David Cooksey, former CFO, McCall Service; Steve Leavitt, group president of Rollins Brands, Rollins; and Jeff Dunn, chief progression officer, Northwest Exterminating.

ATLANTA — Rollins and Northwest Exterminating in January welcomed McCall Service into the Rollins family of brands. McCall will join Northwest to create a Southeast-focused, regional platform business.

Based in Jacksonville, Fla., McCall Service has provided residential and commercial services for more than 90 years throughout North and Central Florida and South Georgia. This service territory fits in well with that of Northwest Exterminating which had previously expanded from Georgia into Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina, the companies reported.

This transaction highlights one of Rollins’ core acquisition philosophies — maintaining involvement from the families that have helped to build the industry over generations, the companies said. McCall Service has been led by the Cooksey family for generations, and Josh Cooksey will continue as general manager. “With the support that our partnership with Rollins and Northwest offers McCall, I look forward to remaining focused on the overall growth and success of each teammate and looking for opportunities to better serve our customers for years to come,” he said. The combined McCall/Northwest business will continue to be led by members of the third generations of the Cooksey and Phillips families.

“McCall has an incredible reputation in our industry and with their customers,” said Stanford Phillips, Rollins division vice president. We’re excited to welcome the extraordinary team into our Northwest Family. We are grateful McCall chose to trust Northwest as a partner in growth moving forward and for the opportunities ahead for both brands.”

LR Tullius represented and acted as exclusive financial adviser to McCall on the transaction.


PCT No Longer Seeking CEUs For Online Label Training

VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — Effective immediately, PCT is no longer applying to states to have its online label training courses approved for continuing education credits.

All courses that are currently approved for credits will continue to be processed until they expire, or are otherwise made ineligible by a state’s certifying agency. Once they have expired, the courses will no longer count towards CEUs.

To find out when currently approved online training courses expire in your state (and/or the state you are applying them towards) refer to, which provides a summary of states that accept online courses and contacts within in each state’s certifying agency.

Online label training modules will remain active on PCT Online and can be used by applicators as a training tool.