In 1964, a gallon of milk cost 95 cents and a gallon of gas was only 30 cents. Needless to say, a lot has changed in 50 years. The pest control industry has been no exception – from chemicals that can no longer be used, to advances in bait products. In 1964, Pete Biasella purchased a Terminix franchise in Knoxville, Tenn. and today it’s a thriving business. His employees organized a surprise 50th anniversary party on Jan. 9 to celebrate their decades of success, and their ability to change with the times.
“Obviously there have been a lot of changes,” says Bob Hutchison, CEO of the Knoxville Terminix franchise who is a 35-year employee. “The bed bug market has come back in full force. A lot of products we used to use have gone away. Naturally, the termite baiting system has been a huge game-changer in the termite market.”
The Sentricon® System has been a big change for the long-time pest control business, who started using it in 1997.
“We’ve gone from doing 100 percent liquid business to probably 80 percent Sentricon and 20 percent liquid,” he says. “Our termite damage claims have dropped dramatically over the years and I would say it’s been cut by 70-80 percent.”
With a laugh, Hutchison says it wasn’t only the customers that needed convincing that a baiting product would eliminate their termite problems ─ the employees were skeptical, too.
“I would say we were all unsure at first,” he says. “We put Sentricon at some of our worst termite houses where we were having difficulty eliminating the termites. In each case, Sentricon eliminated the problem.”
Hutchison has advice for similar companies that are thinking of offering Sentricon.
“It works. It’s just that simple. Our retention is about 95 percent and our liquid retention is a little lower than that, so we have better retention and our base is larger now because of offering Sentricon.”
While it would be great to go back to 30 cents-a-gallon gas, some advances have definitely gotten better over time.