FAIRFAX, Va. — The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recently released to consumers its bi-annual Bug Barometer forecast, a seasonal projection of the pest pressure and activity Americans can expect to see in their respective regions of the country based on weather patterns, long-term forecasts and pest biological behaviors. According to NPMA’s team of entomologists, warm and wet spring and summer conditions predicted for much of the U.S. will contribute to spikes in pest populations nationwide.

“While warm weather is a much-needed respite from the bitter cold temperatures most of the U.S. faced this winter, it unfortunately also brings increased pest pressure as well, especially when coupled with excess precipitation,” said Jim Fredericks, Ph.D., chief entomologist for NPMA. “With much of the country headed towards a hot, rainy spring and summer, disease-transmitting pests like ticks and mosquitoes will be afforded ideal conditions for populations to thrive. Other moisture-loving pests such as termites, ants and cockroaches may also experience a population boom, making proactive pest prevention and personal protection paramount to safety.”

2021 also brings with it the emergence of Brood X, the largest brood of 17-year periodical cicadas in the U.S., across 15 states. “In addition to heightened pest problems due to favorable weather conditions, almost one-third of the U.S. will also bear witness to the emergence of billions of Brood X cicadas from May through August. While harmless to humans, homes and pets, the phenomena can be quite jarring as the sound volume can reach 100 decibels in areas with large numbers of cicadas,” added Fredericks.

Learn more about NPMA’s Spring & Summer 2021 Bug Barometer at www.pestworld.org.

Private Equity Firm Acquires Pestmaster Services

RENO, Nev. — The Riverside Company, a global private investor focused on the smaller end of the middle market, has acquired Pestmaster Services, as well as four other service businesses, to launch a trade services franchise platform called Threshold Brands. The other businesses are MaidPro, FlyFoe, Men in Kilts and USA Insulation; all were acquired during the last eight months.

Pestmaster Services was founded in 1979 by Jeff Van Diepen, who owned and operated the business the last 41 years. Van Diepen took Pestmaster Services from a one-office operation to a $14-million-firm with offices throughout the country by selling Pestmaster franchise businesses. Pestmaster provides pest control services for residential, government and commercial markets with more than 35 franchised locations and is headquartered in Reno, Nev.

MaidPro is a national provider of residential and light commercial cleaning services through a network of more than 270 franchised locations. Riverside says MaidPro brings scale with two additional brands, FlyFoe, a mosquito and tick control franchise, and Men in Kilts US, a window cleaning/power washing/gutter cleaning franchise. USA Insulation, the fifth brand added to Threshold Brands, provides retrofit insulation services for residential and commercial customers across 50 franchised locations.

“We are excited to join these organizations together, building a robust trade services platform that will help more customers across the country,” said Riverside Managing Partner Loren Schlachet. “During our partnership, we will look to bring additional businesses under the Threshold Brands umbrella, assisting with improvements in technology and innovation, growth-driven sales strategies and development opportunities for franchisees.”

Riverside said it previously has invested in various franchise companies, growing them through operating expertise and strategic add-ons. The Riverside Franchising Specialization team says it seeks to source and integrate add-on opportunities, drive growth and capture potential. — Brad Harbison


Million Dollar Club Webinar Focuses on Improving Business Execution

ATLANTA — Since 2014, PCT and Arrow Exterminators have joined together to provide educational programming specifically for companies in the $500,000 to $2 million revenue range via the Million Dollar Club.

This year’s Million Dollar Club webinar will be presented by business leader Randy Gravitt. The free virtual event, scheduled for June 24 at 11:30 a.m. (EST), is titled “Win the Day...Your Epic Life: Proven Practices for Extraordinary Results.” Gravitt will discuss with PMPs how to excel at execution, using three fundamentals:

  • Pursuing Mastery
  • Owning the Numbers
  • Helping Others Win

Gravitt has worked with companies such as Chick-fil-A, Grand Hyatt, FCA, Kroger and more. Register at http://integreat leadership.com/milliondollarclub/.


PCT, L&L In-Person Technology Conference To Be Held this Fall

VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — The Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference, presented by Lawn & Landscape magazine and Pest Control Technology (PCT), is a technology-focused event for the pest management and green industries. This year’s three-day event, which includes an exhibit hall, will offer both virtual and face-to-face options, as well as expanded education for PMPs. It takes place Aug. 31-Sept. 2 in Orlando, Fla. For more information visit www.lltechconference.com.

Pest-specific sessions include:

  • The Essential Role of Technology in Streamlining Business Operations & Building Wealth, speaker: Andrew Barrows, chief strategy officer, Greenix Pest Control
  • Training Techs with Tech, speaker: Caroline Kirby, technical director, Plunkett’s Pest Control
  • Digital Marketing: The Key to Data- Driven Business Growth, speakers: Andrew Foster, senior marketing manager, Rollins; and Cam Glover, managing director, Rollins
  • Future of Drones: Applications & Uses in the Pest Control Industry, speaker: David Fisher, senior vice president, Rentokil North America


AMVAC Announces Integration of Non-Crop Specialty Businesses

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — American Vanguard Corporation (AVD), and its subsidiary AMVAC Corporation, announced that they are bringing their OHP Inc. subsidiary into the AMVAC Environmental Products (“AEP”) family to create a unified non-crop business entity within AVD.

OHP, a provider of technology-based solutions for greenhouse and nursery production applications, was acquired by AMVAC in 2017 to expand its non-crop footprint in the plant production segment.

The integration of OHP and AEP — a provider of chemistries, biologicals and low-impact solutions to the professional pest, golf, landscape, and public health markets — is part of AVD’s long-term strategy to grow and re-define its position in non-crop markets through portfolio expansion, innovation, licensing and acquisition.

Eric Wintemute, chairman and CEO of American Vanguard, said, “The integration of our dynamic specialty product businesses is part of the company’s long-term strategy to increase capacity, broaden product portfolios, and support AEP’s and OHP’s collaborative efforts to develop new biological, biorational and proven chemistry solutions to the market.”


Bed Bug Awareness Week to be Held June 6-12

FAIRFAX, Va. — June 6-12 is Bed Bug Awareness Week, an annual designation recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events to remind consumers to remain alert for bed bugs while traveling. The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) is observing this week by educating the public through various media relations and social media tactics on the signs of an infestation and the importance of working with a licensed pest control professional.

“Bed bugs are not a DIY pest, so it is important for pest control companies to join us in spreading awareness,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “We encourage companies to devote their social media pages to all things bed bugs using the hashtag #BedBugAwarenessWeek in all posts and interactions on social properties from June 6-12 to join in the observance.”

PPMA also created a Bed Bug Awareness Week toolkit, which is available for download at ppmamainframe.org, an exclusive digital marketing hub containing hundreds of custom, professionally designed marketing materials and assets for pest control companies to use to promote their business. The toolkit contains a customizable press release, suggested social media content, Bed Bug Awareness Week logos, high-resolution photography, media training documents and video content that can be directly embedded on a company’s website.

For more information about PPMA, visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.


Insects Limited Launches Site for Pheromones, Trapping Systems

WESTFIELD, Ind. — Insects Limited, which researches, tests, develops, manufactures and distributes pheromones and trapping systems for stored product insects, recently announced the launch of a new website with updated product pages and easy online shopping.

The company says the new website features a simplified, user-friendly online store, the ability to identify and sort pests by category, information on stored product insects specific to industry, insect monitoring guidelines and many more resources.

Pat Kelley, president of Insects Limited, said the company has always prided itself as being on the forefront in innovation and education. “With our newly developed website, we feel that we are continuing to find the best ways to relay pest information and pheromone technology to our valued customers,” he added.

Learn more at www.insectslimited.com.


Xterminator Pro Now a Division of Aegis Insurance

SAN DIEGO — K2 Insurance Services recently announced that Xterminator Pro is now a division of its subsidiary Aegis General Insurance Agency. Xterminator Pro had previously been a part of Skyway Specialty Insurance. Post-acquisition, Xterminator Pro clients will have access to Skyward’s insurance carriers, policies, forms and endorsements for three years.Xterminator Pro says it will continue to offer general liability, workers’ compensation, commercial auto, commercial property, excess, island marine, crime and EPLI to protect the business needs of pest management professionals and provide a single source of insurance coverages to the brokers dedicated to serving them.

The company also said the entire team of professionals in underwriting and support will make the transition to Xterminator Pro. Billy Craft moves from Skyward to Xterminator Pro as the president of the division, which will remain based in Orlando, Fla. Allen Fugler will maintain his role as director of risk management, working with insureds on regulatory compliance, employee training, file documentation and risk mitigation.

Aegis General Insurance Agency is a subsidiary of San Diego-based K2 Insurance Services. Learn more at www.aegisgeneral.com/products/pest-control-insurance.


Rollins’ Frank Meek Recognized with IPM Award

ATLANTA — Frank Meek, technical services manager, Rollins, recently received the International IPM Award of Excellence (IPM Practitioner — Non-Academic), for his work in developing and implementing novel IPM-based strategies of controlling pests in the urban environment. The awards, presented by the International IPM Symposium, recognize individuals who “have made outstanding achievements in IPM adoption, implementation and sustainability.”


Meek has spent his career in the urban pest management industry. He has worked with manufacturers to help research new ways of controlling pests, specifically German cockroaches in the urban environment. Meek has written protocols that emphasize the importance of inspection, monitoring, and physical and cultural controls within a program where cockroach gel bait is necessary. His work on the introduction of cockroach gel bait into an IPM plan to Orkin was a game changer in the 1990s, the company said. Meek is known for his excellent communication skills, which led him to more than 60 different countries, providing initial training and orientation to local staff.

“It is truly an honor to receive this recognition. However, this is not my recognition alone, but also to the many coworkers and teammates across the company and industry who have been a part of advancing our work and industry,” he said.


NCPMA Graduates First Class of Premier Technicians

RALEIGH, N.C. — Eight professionals completed the North Carolina Pest Management Association’s (NCPMA) Premier Technician Program and have become the program’s inaugural graduating class.

The graduations were celebrated during the program’s two courses in March.

The new Premier Technicians are:

  • Christian Beane, Four Seasons Pest Control (Reidsville, N.C.)
  • Jason Choate, Pest Management Sys- tems (Greensboro, N.C.)
  • Jason Keough, City Wide Exterminat- ing (Locust, N.C.)
  • Wes McBride, Four Seasons Pest Control (Danville, Va.)
  • Russ Millhouse, Wheeler Exterminat- ing Company (Kinston, N.C.)
  • Bobby Reynolds, Clint Miller Exter- minating Co. (Mount Pleasant, N.C.)
  • Ross Rhodes, Wheeler Exterminating Co. (Kinston, N.C.)
  • Brandon Tilley, Go-Forth Pest Control (High Point, N.C.)

Premier Technician is a course designed to elevate a PMP’s knowledge of the industry through the in-depth study of at least eight key areas including ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, flying insects, occasional invaders/stored product pests, rodents, wood-boring inspection (or WDIR Accreditation) and wood-destroying organisms.

“We congratulate each of these individuals on this amazing accomplishment and are thrilled to welcome our new Premier Technicians to the NCPMA family. The graduates began their Premier Technician journey in 2019, and their commitment to their field and the industry is to be commended,” said Marie Horner, co-chair of the NCPMA Premier Technician Committee.

The Premier Technician program offers a continuous series of courses to help professionals develop a deeper understanding of pest infestations. Individuals who complete the program must have worked in the industry for at least one year and must complete the wood-boring beetle/inspection course or have WDIR Accreditation through NCPMA.

“Each of these professionals have shown their dedication and commitment to their industry and to their careers, and we are proud to welcome them as our first Premier Technicians. We are looking forward to welcoming other Premier Technicians to our industry in the coming months,” said Dylan Morrison, co-chair of the Premier Technician Committee.

To maintain the designation, professionals must continue to take at least one, eight-hour course every two years.

The Premier Technician Program is made possible through the contributions of its Strategic Founding Partners: BASF, Bayer, Bell Laboratories, Corteva Agriscience, FMC and Syngenta.