All Natural Pest Elimination originated in southern Oregon in 1996 with an owner who was intrigued by the idea of treating homes using only natural products.

In 2013, Eric Ritchey took over as the company’s president. He started with All Natural in 2001, and for more than a decade he excelled as a lead setter/generator, inspector, salesperson and mentor. Twelve years later, he purchased the firm.

Since taking the reins, Ritchey has made big changes to the company culture and customer service protocols. With his passion for sales and exceptional customer service, All Natural Pest Control has experienced at least 20 percent growth in each of the past four years, and 30 percent growth in 2017.

“Twenty-two years ago it was considered really innovative and somewhat controversial to treat homes with natural products,” said Ritchey. “When I started here 16 years ago, I knew that there was something unique about this company and how they were changing the face of pest control. The fact that they were using products that were safer for their customers, for the technicians and for the environment has really driven me to be a part of the changing landscape of pest control.”

Not only was All Natural Pest Elimination using all-natural products, but those products were proprietary, giving Ritchey and his group a unique place in the market. “We have created a unique and proprietary line of pest control products that are safer, effective, truly botanical and mineral-based. Our customers really like the fact that we protect their homes and families with all-natural products and we are continually looking to the 25(b) exempt list for additional products that can be used to treat their homes,” he said.

All Natural Pest Elimination’s President Eric Ritchey.

And Ritchey says those proprietary products get the job done. With the high moisture content in relation to rainfall in his area, the All Natural Pest Elimination team has honed their expertise in treating fungi and dry rot in wood structures. “Wood preservation is what we have built our company on, and although we offer all other pest control services including construction services, we are passionate about protecting structures from wood-destroying pests,” he said.

When it comes to pests, Ritchey says All Natural is dealing with a carpenter ant population 10 to 15 times larger than in other areas of the country, with individual colonies ranging from 100,000 to 150,000 ants. They also treat Western subterranean and Pacific dampwood termites, plus the firm has seen a significant increase in rodent activity around structures in recent years.

But with the right training, All Natural Pest Elimination technicians are able to tackle the job. “Training with our inspectors and technicians has always provided a unique challenge,” said Ritchey. “We tend to stay away from employing folks who have been in the industry because of the paradigm shift they need to go through. The training for our unique brand of pest control is very specialized with the use of botanical, mineral and inorganic products.”

At All Natural, the training program focuses on the biological approach to pest control. But custom training isn’t all employees at All Natural Pest Elimination enjoy; Ritchey says when employees join the All Natural team they also become part of the family.

“With almost 50 employees, we strive to create a family-like culture,” said Ritchey. “We treat our employees and their families to family fun days, where we rent the local activity center for some fun and fellowship. In addition to this, we also have an annual summer party that includes jet boat rides, a catered barbecue, bounce houses as well as an ice cream truck.”

Ritchey ensures his employees are receiving traditional benefits too. He said he’s met his goal of increasing yearly wages for all employees, as well as adding a significant benefits package. He’s also always looking for ways to advance technology to make jobs easier for employees, and to improve service for their customers.

“We are very pleased and humbled to be a part of this list and our goal for this year is to be even higher on the list next year,” Ritchey said. — Laura Straub