NEW YORK — The pest control industry mourns the loss of Harry Katz, renowned entomologist and former PCT columnist. Katz passed away on Aug. 28 surrounded by family. He was 101.
Katz

Katz was raised in the western Pennsylvania town of Cannonsburg, and introduced to the pest control industry by family friend, Fred Pollack, a pest control operator and supplier who sparked Katz’s interest in the trade during the 1930s.

Katz served the United States during WWII, and upon his return took over the Elco Manufacturing Company operation, in Pittsburgh.

Katz was one of the pest control industry’s leading educators and advocates for association involvement. For example, in 1961, Elco acquired a one-acre site near Pittsburgh where the company built a warehouse, office and training room for PCOs. Katz’s association involvement included becoming a founder of the Western Division of the Pennsylvania Pest Control Association in 1953. He served continuously as secretary of that association until the 1980s. Katz also was a member of the Entomological Society of America and was an honorary member of Pi Chi Omega, the pest control industry’s national fraternity.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Katz struck up a friendship with Pittsburgh resident Arnold Mallis, and was instrumental in preserving and archiving much of Mallis’ research. He also authored several chapters in past editions of the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control and wrote a monthly column for PCT magazine titled Myth Conceptions.

Faygie Katz-Sillman told PCT her grandfather used entomology to connect with her and her siblings. “As a child, he would take me out with a net to catch bugs and put them under the microscope. He taught me and my siblings how to recognize many different insects. He saved every issue of the magazine, and I would read them when I came to visit.”

In addition to his industry involvement, Katz founded the Parkway Jewish Center, which is still in operation, in suburban Pittsburgh. Katz’s wife, Ruth, passed away in 2002, and in 2008 he moved to New York from Florida, where he lived across the street from his son Elliot and daughter-in-law Linda.

Katz is survived by son Elliot (Linda); eight grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandson (born last year).

Katz was very close to the Yeshiva (seminary) where his son Elliot was ordained, and any (tax-deductible) contributions could be sent to: Rabbinical Seminary of America, 7601 147th St., Flushing NY 11367, in memory of Harry Katz. — Brad Harbison

Editor’s note: Visit www.pctonline.com and click on “online extras” for tributes to and memories of Harry Katz.

Anticimex Enters U.S. Market with Acquisition of Bug Doctor

STOCKHOLM, Sweden and PARAMUS, N.J. — Anticimex in August announced its entry into the U.S. market with its acquisition of Bug Doctor of Paramus, N.J. Bug Doctor was founded in 1992 by Stuart Aust.

Aust, president and CEO of Bug Doctor, said: “When our family decided that the time was right to sell our company, we searched globally for a buyer who shared our dedication to growth, our dedication to quality, and our dedication to our people and our clients. Anticimex, a leading specialist in preventive pest control, was our clear choice. They are committed to creating exciting new opportunities for our employees and our family while maintaining the focus on high-quality service that our clients have come to expect.”

“At Anticimex people are first all the time,” Anticimex Group COO Mikael Vinje told PCT. “Very similarly to Stuart’s company, what creates success at Anticimex is investing behind your own people and the quality of your service. That is in our DNA.”

Jarl Dahlfors, CEO and president, Anticimex Group, commented: “Our vision is to be the global leader in preventive pest control. There are more high-quality pest control companies in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, and we are excited about our continued growth prospects in this important market.”

Aust told PCT he is staying on board and will be involved in mergers and aqusitions for Anticimex in the U.S. “I’m going to keep my Bug Doctor CEO and president titles,” he said. “But what really intrigued me is to be involved in M&A and business development. It’s all very interesting to me.”

Derwin

Bill Derwin Resigns as Terminix President

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Bill Derwin, who served as president of Terminix the last three years, resigned on Aug. 15, a spokesperson from parent company ServiceMaster confirmed to PCT.

Derwin came to Terminix in November 2013 following an 11-year tenure at Otis Elevator, where he served as vice president of Otis’ $4.2 billion global field operations, with 30,000 employees around the world.

During Derwin’s tenure, Terminix adapted its business model with new service offerings in response to the stagnant termite market. The company also made several acquisitions under Derwin’s watch, the largest being the 2015 acquisition of Alterra Pest Control, a $75 million company.

Also during Derwin’s tenure, Terminix dealt with the fallout from a 2015 fumigation incident that sickened a Delaware family vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands (see related article above). In ServiceMaster’s July earnings report, the company announced it was offering to pay the family an $87 million settlement.

A ServiceMaster spokesperson said that Derwin’s resignation was not related to the company’s financial performance or the fumigation events from last year.

Effective immediately, ServiceMaster CEO Rob Gillette is leading the Terminix team. — Brad Harbison

Dow, DuPont Stockholders Approve Merger

WILMINGTON, Del. and MIDLAND, Mich. — DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held July 20, stockholders of both companies have voted to approve all stockholder proposals necessary to complete the merger of equals transaction — a key milestone in the process to merge the two companies and subsequently pursue the intended spins of three highly focused, independent companies. The companies expect the merger transaction to close in the second half of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.

“The overwhelming support of Dow and DuPont stockholders to approve this historic merger transaction is a clear testament to the compelling value proposition and enhanced shareholder value that DowDuPont represents,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Today is a pivotal step toward bringing together these two iconic enterprises, and to the subsequent intended separation into three leading, independent technology and innovation-based science companies that will generate significant benefits for all stakeholders.”

Ed Breen, chair and chief executive officer of DuPont, added: “We are pleased to receive such strong support from our stockholders, which represents an essential milestone in the combination of our two companies and our intention to subsequently separate into three independent companies. We are now focused on important next steps toward completing the merger transaction, including working with regulators in the appropriate jurisdictions. We are confident that this merger will create long-term, sustainable value for stockholders and superior solutions and choices for customers.”

DuPont and Dow intend that, following the consummation of the merger, the combined company will pursue the separation of the combined company’s Agriculture business, Material Science business and Specialty Products business into three independent, publicly traded companies, subject to approval by the DowDuPont board and receipt of any required regulatory approvals.

Additional information is available at www.dowdupontunlockingvalue.com.

Rollins Announces Leadership Changes

ATLANTA — In July, Rollins announced leadership changes at its Atlanta headquarters.

President of Orkin North America Gene Iarocci will retire at the end of September, after 12 years with Rollins and a 48-year business career. Iarocci began as a region manager trainee in South Florida in 2003, quickly moving through operational and corporate leadership positions until he was named to his current position in 2013. Iarocci led Orkin to exceed $1 billion in revenue for the first time in the company’s history.

Freeman Elliott has been promoted to president of Orkin U.S., overseeing national sales, client services, Orkin customer contact centers and Orkin domestic franchising. Elliott began with Orkin as a lawn care technician in 1991, working his way through the company, most recently serving as Orkin Southeast Division president. Elliott will continue leading the Southeast Division until the company names a replacement.

Jerry Gahlhoff, who most recently led Rollins subsidiary HomeTeam Pest Defense, has been elevated to oversee operations of additional specialty brands including Western Pest Services, Waltham Services and Rollins human resources and training.

Steve Leavitt, who most recently led a group of Rollins’ specialty brands, has been elevated to oversee Rollins’ emerging opportunities. In this new role, Leavitt will oversee all international operations, including Orkin Canada, Rollins’ Australian and UK pest operation brands, and the Industrial Fumigant Company, which has international client base opportunities. He also will have responsibility for recently acquired PermaTreat Pest Control and the Rollins wildlife brands — TruTech and Critter Control — the company’s fastest-growing business line.

Leavitt

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PPMA Calls for Industry Participation in Annual Rodent Awareness Week

FAIRFAX, VA. — In anticipation of rodent season, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), which serves as the public outreach arm of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), is working to educate the public about the diseases and dangers associated with rats and mice during Rodent Awareness Week, Oct. 23-29. Rodent Awareness Week is an annual designation recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events and is celebrated by companies throughout the pest management industry. Using various media relations and social media tactics, PPMA’s goal is to encourage public vigilance to protect against the health threats posed by rodents and to promote the importance of working with a licensed pest professional in the event of an infestation.

“Although rodents are a year-round problem, we do find that consumers report an uptick in rodent infestations occurring in the fall and winter months. In fact, rodents invade about 21 million homes in the U.S. each winter, making them one of the most common pests,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “Pest control companies have the knowledge, first-hand experience and tools needed to educate consumers on the damage rodents cause, the importance of being proactive against this destructive pest, and the diseases they can carry. So, let’s get out there and spread the word! Join us during Rodent Awareness Week to get the conversation going about rodents and why they need to be controlled with the help of professional pest control services.”

PPMA is launching a consumer media relations campaign and a weeklong social media effort across all @PestWorld properties designed to help educate the public about rodent facts and the risks associated with infestations.

PPMA also has developed an exclusive toolkit for Mainframe subscribers to utilize as a resource for their publicity efforts. For more information about PPMA and all of its marketing programs, visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.

Mosquito News and Notes

Editor’s note: PCT has received numerous press releases about mosquito control, particularly related to Zika virus. What follows is a compilation of news and information from industry suppliers.

Mosquito-Awareness.com Launched as Educational Resource by Central Life Sciences

Schaumburg, Ill. — Central Life Sciences this spring announced the launch of www.mosquito-awareness.com, a site created to raise the visibility of diseases mosquitoes can spread, and educate about preventing exposure and transmission. As part of an overall public education campaign focused on the “world’s deadliest” insect, the website supports the nationwide work of mosquito abatement districts (MADs), public health officials (PHOs) and mosquito control professionals in providing timely information about mosquitoes and their effects.

“One of the best ways for the public to approach the upcoming warmer months is by being educated about issues that can affect their health. Many people throughout the U.S. are familiar with West Nile virus or the more recent advent of the Zika virus,” said John Neberz, business manager, Vector Division at Central Life Sciences.

Specifically for mosquito abatement professionals, mosquito-awareness.com offers free outreach materials, ordered online, to support the “World’s Deadliest” campaign. This public education and awareness program communicates the critical nature of professionals’ work. Through the distribution of customizable posters, door hangers and informational brochures, pest professionals can augment their work in local communities. More information can be found here: http://mosquito-awareness.com/for-abatement-pros.

Bayer Joins Forces with CDC Foundation to Combat Zika

WHIPPANY, N.J. —The CDC Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that connects the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with private-sector organizations and individuals to build public health programs that make the world healthier and safer.

This spring, the CDC Foundation reached out to Bayer for assistance on the CDC’s extensive Zika virus preparedness and response efforts. Bayer responded immediately to the CDC Foundation’s request for assistance by committing to financial support, product donation and assistance on education.

“We believe in the value of public-private partnerships to combat the world’s most pressing global health threats,” said Phil Blake, president of Bayer Corporation and head of the Americas region for Pharmaceuticals. “As a global life science company, we are well-positioned to address this challenge. We are proud to partner with the CDC Foundation and do our part to help prevent the spread of the Zika virus and protect public health.”

Bayer is working with the CDC Foundation to curb the spread of Zika in a number of ways:

  • U.S. Zika Action Plan Summit Sponsorship. Bayer was one of two major corporate sponsors of the U.S. Zika Action Plan Summit, held on April 1, at CDC in Atlanta.
  • Women’s Health. Zika virus can be passed from mother to fetus and may be the first mosquito-borne virus connected with birth defects. To protect women of childbearing age who do not want to become pregnant in Puerto Rico, Bayer is donating more than 90,000 units of intrauterine device (IUD) and oral contraception products.
  • Mosquito Control. Bayer is donating more than 700,000 units of its mosquito-control product K-OTAB for use in the CDC preparedness and response effort in Puerto Rico. In addition, Bayer is donating 10,000 long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets (i.e., LifeNet[s] will help reduce bites from mosquitoes). These nets, evaluated by the World Health Organization (WHO), are expected to continue to protect those sleeping under them for up to three years.
  • Technical Assistance. Bayer experts in vector control and women’s health participated in the U.S. Zika Action Plan Summit. The company also has committed to assisting the CDC Foundation in the dissemination of donated products in Puerto Rico.

MGK Employees Support Fight Against Zika

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — MGK recently answered the call for support against Zika and other mosquito-spread diseases. Employees from every part of the company packed and prepared 5,000 bed nets for families in Puerto Rico.

“Insects spread disease and protecting against that will always be a challenge but at MGK we are continuously working to develop innovative and effective solutions to prevent the spread of disease,” said Jennifer Williams, entomologist — Research & Development, MGK. “Part of our mission is to help in any way we can and sending insect-controlling bed nets, which are treated with permethrin, to the frontline of the current Zika outbreak helps protect vulnerable families.”

NPMA Offers Zika Resource Package for PMPs

Fairfax, Va. — Since the spread of Zika to the Americas, NPMA is educating its professional pest management members, legislators, regulators and the public on the importance of proper mosquito control. In an effort to provide the most comprehensive suite of resources, NPMA has compiled and categorized the following collateral. Learn more at http://npmapestworld.org/technical-resources/npma-zika-resource-package/.

Zika and Mosquito Management Online Training. This 30-minute interactive course provides an overview of the Zika virus, information on the biology and behavior of the mosquitoes that transmit Zika, and recommendations for managing those mosquitoes.

Zika Four-Part Webinar Series. This program focused extensively on the Zika virus and covered a broad range of educational topics including mosquito biology, behavior and control, backyard mosquito business models, consumer messaging and an update from representatives at the CDC on efforts to combat the virus.

In addition to the live 3½-hour webinar videos that can be accessed, panelists share presentations that can be downloaded below:

  • CDC Update on Zika Virus — Speaker: CDR Joe Laco, MSEH, RS/REHS, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Aedes Mosquito Biology and Behavior — Speaker: Laura Harrington, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • The PMP’s Role: “Backyard” Mosquito Treatment Protocols — Speaker: Jim Fredericks, Ph.D., National Pest Management Association
  • Communicating to the Public About Mosquitoes — Speaker: Cindy Mannes, National Pest Management Association

Zika Technical Bulletin. As an insert in the monthly PestWorld magazine, NPMA produced a Library Update titled “Zika Virus and Container-Breeding Mosquito Control.” This four-page technical bulletin focuses on Zika, the U.S distribution of yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), provides information on personal protection from mosquitoes, and pest management strategies to manage mosquitoes and eliminate breeding locations.

Consumer Messaging:

Pests Without Borders Video. This new 60-second public service announcement focuses on pests as vectors of disease and the positive impact that professional pest control has on the quality of life enjoyed in the United States.

Applying Insect Repellent Correctly Video. This two-minute video, designed for consumers, demonstrates the correct way to apply mosquito repellent.

One-Page Handout on Repellents. Provides customers with information on the most effective repellents and active ingredients to check for before purchasing any products.

One-Page Handout on Mosquito Breeding Conditions. This handout depicts the areas around a home that may be prone to mosquitoes.

Regulatory and Policy Information:

ASPCRO/AAPCO Zika Survey of State Lead Agencies. The Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials and the American Association of Pesticide Control Officials collaborated on a joint survey of state lead agencies to determine regulatory structures in each state.

State Licensing/Regulatory Information about Mosquitoes: For information about state-specific pesticide regulations and regulator contact information, visit www.npmapestworld.org/public-policy/state-advocacy/. Also, many state departments of health have compiled information as it relates to the spread of Zika. Visit state websites for more information.