Founded in Crowley, La., in 1959 by Robert John Sr. and his brother Harry, an entomologist, J&J Exterminating has grown from two brothers knocking on doors for business to the largest independently owned pest control firm in the state. In those almost 60 years, the company has witnessed a dynamic pest management product evolution. “One of the big components that drove this improved technology was right after the war, in the late ’40s, when the termites were brought in from other countries,” Robert John Sr. said.

Robert and Harry John with their first fleet vehicle in 1959.

The devastating amount of termite damage caused a large economic impact and created the need for better technology. John and his staff have kept up with industry advancements, offering monthly and quarterly pest control services for homes and commercial structures. The firm uses a wide range of products to control Formosan termites, drywood termites and other wood-destroying pests — including the Sentricon System and Termidor.

J&J also rids customers of mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders, fleas, silverfish, ants, wasps, ticks and earwigs, among other pests, via the treatment of entry points and common insect hiding places, IPM and outdoor perimeter misting systems.

GREAT STAFF, GREAT FUTURE. “We have some of the most outstanding people in Louisiana,” John said. “We have some of the finest people in the industry working for us, and they’re dedicated to their work.”

The 12-location business is family-owned and -operated, with Robert John’s son, Robert John Jr., acting as the company’s president, and a grandson studying entomology at Louisiana State University.

Left to right: Robert John Sr., Bobby John and Robert John Jr.

The company tries to give back to the community it serves, and is actively involved in St. Jude’s Dream Home, recreational sports programs, church fundraisers and school benefits. J&J also has serviced Shadows-on-the-Teche (a historic house and garden) located in New Iberia and the Alexandria Zoo, helping to preserve Louisiana’s landmarks.

J&J Exterminating has served on the Louisiana Pest Control Commission and the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. The company is also an NPMA member. It has worked under two governors, serving for eight years as an industry member on the regulatory board of the Department of Agriculture.

John also offers his support and encouragement to other entrepreneurs in the pest control industry, hoping new businesses will see his story as a source of inspiration. “Try to (run your business) the right way because that’s been the key to our success,” he said. “The right way with the right people.” — Melissa Schiller, PCT contributor