Glenn Matthews stared down in disbelief. The bill in front of him, which was from his family’s pest control company, was old, stained and yellowed. Printed in the top right corner in faded green ink was the date: Dec. 31, 1971 — more than four years before he was born.

“When he put it down on the table, I was shocked,” Matthews said.

Matthews is the owner and president of Modern Exterminating. The firm, based in Columbia, S.C., has remained under the ownership of the Matthews family since it was opened by George Matthews Sr., and Katherine Matthews, in 1955.

A current Modern Exterminating customer discovered the bill during kitchen renovations. The 47-year-old bill, which belonged to a previous owner of the house, had fallen behind the kitchen cabinets. Matthews believes that despite changes in the house’s ownership, Modern Exterminating has been providing it with pest control services since it was built, which he sees as an example of the firm’s ability to retain long-term customers. In addition, Matthews said he felt proud looking at the bill because it demonstrates the hard work and quality service that make up his family’s legacy.

“I think it says a lot about us,” Matthews said. “It shows we’re in it for the long haul.”

Running a family-owned business is a rewarding experience for Matthews, Modern Exterminating’s third-generation owner, who feels he was born into the pest control industry. Matthews grew acquainted with the company at an early age, going with his family to see it when he was three or four years old. Matthews earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 2003. In 2013, he became president and owner of Modern Exterminating.

Matthews said changes are constantly being made to Modern Exterminating’s processes and procedures to keep up with the rapid growth of technology. During the last six months, the company has expanded throughout South Carolina. In December 2018, Modern Exterminating acquired Smith and Son’s Pest Control and took over the firm’s daily operations. Modern Exterminating also purchased Carolina Pest Control, based in Irmo, S.C., in January.

The author is a Cleveland-based writer and can be contacted at pbennett@gie.net.

Ladybug Swarm Shows up on Weather Radar

On June 4, National Weather Service radar picked up a giant blob moving swiftly over southwestern San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles. Around 8 p.m., forecasters at the agency’s San Diego office called spotters on the ground, who told them it was an enormous swarm of ladybugs.

According to an NPR article, the phenomenon is known as a ladybug “bloom.”

“It was very strange because it was a relatively clear day and we weren’t really expecting any rain or thunderstorms,” Casey Oswant, a NWS meteorologist in San Diego, told NPR. “But on our radar, we were seeing something that indicated there was something out there.”

California has numerous species of ladybugs. It’s not certain what kind made up the cloud, but it’s highly likely they are Hippodamia convergens, commonly known as the convergent lady beetle, Cornell University entomologist John Losey told NPR.

A huge blob that appeared on the National Weather Service’s radar wasn’t a rain cloud, but a massive swarm of ladybugs over San Bernardino County in Southern California.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE VIA / AP