First-time PCT Top 100 company Hometown Pest Control earned its spot the list the old-fashioned way — with hard work and a deep-rooted commitment to providing exceptional customer service.

“We understand that in the competitive South Florida market we have to exceed expectations when it comes to customer service,” says Rafael Rico, general manager for the Delray Beach, Fla., company that serves residential customers in pest-rich Palm Beach and northern Broward Counties. “Our staff takes ownership and great pride in their work, and they are the reason behind our growth and longevity.”

Rico says the investment in technician training and education has paid off recently as the company and its technicians have had to answer customer questions and concerns regarding the Zika virus. “Mosquitoes are quite prevalent in Florida and we made sure our technicians had the latest information to share with customers and separate fact from fiction when it came to Zika,” says Rico. “This is what helps us stand out in the market.”

Founded in 1997 as a one-man operation by Sal Yanello, who today serves as president, Hometown Pest Control employs more than 60 and topped the $6 million mark in revenue in 2015 — earning the company a number #91 ranking on this year’s PCT Top 100 list.

Rafael Rico (left) and Sal Yanello

Rico says the South Florida construction boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s propelled the company’s early growth and today a rebounding building market is once again driving new growth.

“One of our specialties is working with homeowner associations and Palm Beach County is experiencing a lot of new residential construction activity,” says Rico, who credits networking and word-of-mouth marketing for helping the pest management company land homeowner association and property management agreements that can often represent hundreds of clients in just one gated-community.

The company has also invested in online marketing efforts with Google, Angie’s List and Home Advisor with good success and the favorable reviews it has received about its customer service and quality work have made those efforts pay off. “Because of our size we are flexible and can try new marketing ideas to generate new leads,” says Rico. “The online advertising efforts have worked well for us and we plan on looking at ways to take further advantage of it going forward.” — Jeff Fenner