FAIRFAX, Va. — The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), which serves as the public outreach arm of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), is calling on the industry to help educate consumers about the health threats posed by ticks during its inaugural Tick Awareness Week May 10-16. According to research recently released by the CDC, human cases of Lyme disease are more common in the U.S. than previously thought at an estimated 476,000 per year — a 44 percent increase compared to the previous annual estimate of roughly 329,000.
“With Americans eager to finally get outdoors, it’s crucial for pest control companies to encourage public vigilance against ticks,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “As we head into warmer months where tick populations are particularly prevalent, we encourage all pest control companies to join the cause to help educate consumers on the dangers associated with ticks and the steps they can take to ensure their property is properly protected to help safeguard themselves and their loved ones from tick-related health threats.”
PPMA will dedicate all @PestWorld social media channels to sharing tick information, facts, prevention tips and information about tickborne illnesses during Tick Awareness Week. Pest control companies can help further the cause by focusing their social media content on ticks throughout the week and using the hashtag #TickAwareness in all posts.
In recognition of its inaugural Tick Awareness Week, PPMA also will unveil a new consumer campaign: TickTalk. The campaign will kick off during Tick Awareness Week with a comprehensive digital and media relations plan as well as a new microsite complete with never- before-seen photos and videos. PPMA also created an exclusive toolkit available for Mainframe subscribers to download on PPMAMainframe.org. The toolkit includes a customizable press release, suggested social media content, “Tick Talk” logos to be used as website badges, high-resolution photography and video content, and more.
For more information about PPMA, its marketing programs or how to get involved in supporting the professional pest control industry, visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.
PCT Media Group Adds Two New Editors to its Staff
VALLEY VIEW, Ohio — The PCT Media Group is pleased to announce the addition of senior editors Jacqueline (Jackie) Mitchell and Jason Brill.
As senior editor of PCT, Mitchell writes news and feature stories for PCT magazine and pctonline.com. She also assists with copy editing and content development and will represent PCT at industry trade shows.
Mitchell joins PCT from ScripType Publishing (Richfield, Ohio), where she was editor of three monthly magazines focused on hyper-local community news: Brecksville Magazine, Broadview Journal and Bath Country Journal. Previously, she worked at the Cleveland Jewish News (Beachwood, Ohio) as a staff reporter.
“We’re excited to have a proven editor like Jackie join the PCT Media Group,” said PCT Publisher Dan Moreland. “Jackie’s journalism background includes time spent as a beat reporter and feature writer, experiences that will serve her well as senior editor. We’re fortunate to have Jackie as a new contributor to the ongoing success of the PCT Media Group.”
Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a journalism concentration from John Carroll University.
Brill is the new senior editor of the PCT Media Group’s Quality Assurance & Food Safety magazine (QA). His responsibilities include editing, writing stories and overseeing the publication’s production, while also managing the daily activities of QA’s website, qualityassurancemagazine.com. Brill also writes news and feature stories for PCT magazine and PCT’s website, and he will represent QA and PCT at industry trade shows.
Brill joins QA/PCT from Cleveland Magazine, where he was managing editor of the regional monthly lifestyle magazine focused on helping Clevelanders live their best lives in the city. Previously, he worked at Ohio Magazine, editing and writing content for various travel guides.
“We’re looking forward to Jason’s background as a storyteller building on the already great insight that goes into each issue of QA,” said QA Associate Publisher Mike Zaverl. “His experience finding stories his audiences crave, as well as his knack for writing about people, will bring a fun, engaging element to both QA and PCT.”
Tom McCloud Remembered as Charismatic Leader, Mentor to Many Industry Colleagues
LEAWOOD, Kan. — Tom McCloud, the third-generation owner of McCloud Services, South Elgin, Ill., died Jan. 8 at age 93 at a nursing home in the Kansas City, Kan., area. He is remembered by his colleagues and family as a compassionate industry leader with strong ties to the National Pest Management Association and Copesan Services, an alliance of regional commercial pest management companies with locations throughout North America.
Tom became involved in the pest management industry at a young age. McCloud Services was founded by his grandfather, William Bailey McCloud, as W.B. McCloud & Company in 1904, and later taken over by Tom’s father, Walter McCloud. Though the company originated in the Chicago area, by the 1940s, it had branched out to offices in central Illinois, central Indiana, eastern Iowa and St. Louis.
Tom faced adversity early in his career. Walter passed away in a 1947 car accident at age 49, when Tom was just 19. At 21, Tom was forced to lead the company and instantly faced a difficult decision.
“Dad entered the business in his early 20s and immediately removed his father’s successor, a well-liked industry professional who was siphoning off McCloud cash to run his own pest management business,” youngest son Chris McCloud said. “Since my father was a relative newcomer to the company and industry, this move was not received well by his peers. Later, he realized that as unpleasant as this experience had been, it helped forge his own identity as well as an immediate sense of ownership and accountability.”
Tom furthered many of his father’s initiatives as a leader. Walter had served on the boards of several industry associations, and in 1940, he was president of the National Pest Control Association, now the National Pest Management Association. Tom followed in his footsteps, spending considerable time working with NPCA from the 1950s through the 1970s.
In 1954, Tom expanded McCloud Services further, adding Illinois branches in Decatur and Pekin. He was a bridge between post-World War II operators and subsequent generations, said his oldest son, Phil McCloud. “He was one of the youngest guys in the industry,” Phil said. “All the other dynamite guys were his grandfather’s age.”
Tom’s focus was always on building commercial accounts, said Phil. He rarely turned away work and was known for his honest reputation, which boded well when EPA began heavily regulating the industry in 1969. “My dad aggressively encouraged innovation and embraced new ideas and services that would provide more value to customers and help him grow the business,” said Chris.
For example, in 1980 he hired Pat Hottel as technical director, making her one of the first women in the pest control industry to hold this position.
McCloud Services was an original Copesan partner and remained a stockholder through 2018 when Copesan was sold to Terminix. Tom became involved in Copesan in 1958 and a stockholder in 1971. “That’s when it all took off,” said Phil. “Because, quite frankly, you could do the best you want to do in your industry, but if you don’t have friends and you don’t have mentors and you don’t have an association to gather information from, you’re not going to be as good.”
In addition to Phil and Chris (who succeeded Phil as president of the company in 2007), Tom’s daughter, Carol, worked in the business for 10 years.
Chris said his father took great pride in having his children involved in the business. “I was the youngest child and never reported directly to him, so his approach with me was hands-off, but I was set up to learn from his best people,” he said. “This was a positive in our relationship because it allowed us to have productive and healthy conversations about the business in general. He was a great mentor, and I could not have asked for a more supportive father.”
Chris led McCloud Services until 2019, when he sold the company to ServiceMaster.
Visit the Online Extras section of www.pctonline.com for additional remembrances from Tom McCloud’s Copesan colleagues. — Jackie Mitchell
Veseris’ Inventory Manager Solution Available at No Charge
AUSTIN, Texas — Veseris recently announced that for a limited time, its Inventory Manager solution is available at no charge to qualified and active Veseris customers.
Veseris says its Inventory Manager is a web-based application that allows business owners and operations managers to eliminate waste, reduce labor costs and improve cash flow by automating asset tracking and ordering. Once installed, team members of all skill levels can immediately begin using Inventory Manager on any device, the company added.
Doug Wyly, business development manager at Veseris, who has led the rollout of Inventory Manager across North America, stated, “Already deployed across 35 companies, Veseris Inventory Manager has proven over the last several years that customers can access up-to-date inventory data anytime they need it, placing key info at user fingertips, including product pricing, descriptions, images along with company and branch profiles.”
“Veseris Inventory Manager saves us hundreds on every order…with a bird’s-view of everything, it gives me peace of mind,” said Joel Miller, president of Miller Pest & Termite. “Veseris Inventory Manager saves us hundreds on every order.”
For additional information and to schedule a demonstration, customers should contact their sales representative or visit pestweb.com/inventory.
Software Firm ServicePro Joins ServiceTitan
COLUMBUS, Ohio — ServicePro announced it has partnered with ServiceTitan to deliver expertise and support to customers through scaled resources and innovation, the companies said.
ServicePro says it will continue to help customers meet their goals as part of the ServiceTitan family of companies. ServiceTitan says its investment ensures improved ROI for ServicePro users with a heightened focus on live support, dedicated account management and improved product experience.
“Existing ServicePro customers can expect to see benefits immediately as we take our solutions and support to a new level,” said ServicePro CEO Andy Deering. “They’ll enjoy enhanced engagement with the ServicePro team, with new resources targeted to continue driving their success.”
Deering and Kim O’Connor, CIO, will still lead ServicePro as a subsidiary to ServiceTitan and ensure continuity of service and roll out future ServSuite releases. Deering, O’Connor and designated ServicePro support teams say they are excited to accelerate their suite of solutions for customers with this new partnership.
“We’re continuously looking to build partnerships that help us deliver premium, vertical-specific solutions to professionals facing evolving challenges in the field service industry,” said Ara Mahdessian, co-founder and CEO of ServiceTitan. “Bringing ServicePro into the ServiceTitan family of brands will support our continued growth and help ServicePro users reach success, while also inspiring us to innovate and develop new solutions that transform the trades.”
B&G Donates Equipment to University of Kentucky
JACKSON, Ga. — B&G Equipment Company, a Pelsis Group brand, recently donated a comprehensive suite of pest control equipment to the University of Kentucky. B&G says the donation to the Department of Entomology gives current and future PMPs the chance to operate pest control equipment and a solid training foundation needed to safely and proficiently control pests.
“Without the time and resources needed to train new employees, many pest control companies often rely on PowerPoint presentations,” said Dr. Zachary DeVries, assistant professor of Urban Entomology and chair of the University of Kentucky Pest Control Short Course. “This equipment gives us a hands-on way to teach technicians how to safely operate and maintain the equipment that is so vital to control pests in and around homes.”
With the donated equipment, the University of Kentucky will offer hands-on training to companies throughout the region.
“B&G has always been committed to making sure pest control operators are properly prepared to combat pest issues,” said Chris Jamison, B&G sales manager at Pelsis. “That includes knowing how to safely and effectively use equipment and technology to manage those pests. This donation will help equip PCOs with the latest equipment, knowledge and technology they need to control pests in and around homes for years to come.
“Oftentimes, training programs don’t fully appreciate the importance of knowing when, how, and why to use the various pieces of equipment we have,” added Jamison. “Dr. DeVries’ program does a nice job in filling this gap.”
For more information about B&G, visit https://us.pelsis.com.
Target Specialty Products Integrated into WorkWave Marketplace
HOLMDEL, N.J. & SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — WorkWave and distributor Target Specialty Products announced in March a partnership that integrates Target Specialty Products into the WorkWave Marketplace, WorkWave’s in-app platform for savings and offerings.
The companies say the strategic alliance allows both firms to provide additional digital value, e-commerce platform technologies, features, and product and service offerings across the industry to PestPac customers.
University of Kentucky professor Dr. Zach DeVries (blue shirt) and students in the UK Department of Entomology with the donated equipment from B&G/Pelsis.
The genesis of the partnership occurred last spring after WorkWave CEO David Giannetto struck up a conversation with John Myers, president of Rentokil (Target’s parent company). At the time, WorkWave had recently launched WorkWave Payments, which made them payment facilitators; essentially WorkWave took ownership of the flow of PCO transactions, from the credit card through the banking system into customers’ bank accounts.
Giannetto said the Target partnership is an opportunity to “apply that buying power of WorkWave Payments to smooth this transaction out and go up into the supply chain in a way that benefits our customers. So, we really see our responsibility to give our customer base a competitive advantage as more than just [providing] great software.” Giannetto added that the partnership can “level the playing field” for smaller owner/operators who “don’t have the ability to go in and bargain the same way some of the industry giants do.”
Target Specialty Products offers a broad catalog of pest control products and experts to provide guidance for PMPs on how they can most effectively use that portfolio of products.
David Heldt, president of Target Specialty Products, said the partnership will take the customer experience to the next level by giving PMPs convenience, exclusive savings and leveraging the services PestPac provides through the Target Specialty Products store.
“But I think it goes well beyond that,” Heldt said. “It’s about this digital relationship with our customers and how we develop and provide value through that relationship by leveraging the expertise, the knowledge, everything that the WorkWave side of the partnership has with everything that Target Specialty Products brings to that equation.” The result, Heldt said, is that this partnership can help PCOs in development of “unique approaches to provide unique value to that [PCO] and their business to allow them to become more productive, more efficient, better at driving their business, better making product selections, etc.”
Giannetto said that the intangible benefits of this partnership have tremendous value. “We didn’t partner with Target just because they were supportive of this idea. We did it because they bring resources to the table that our customers need to effectively navigate the complexities of supply today,” which includes how to take advantage of rebates and discounts that manufacturers have ensuring they’re operating in a safe and effective way when their technicians are out in the field.
“So to me, it’s a change at nearly every level of the industry,” Giannetto said. — Brad Harbison
Pest Management Foundation Awards Five Student Scholarships
FAIRFAX, Va. — The Pest Management Foundation recently awarded five scholarships to university students pursuing advanced degrees in entomology. The Pest Management Foundation scholarship program, which began in 2018, provides up to five $2,000 scholarships annually for outstanding students interested in urban entomology.
The Pest Management Foundation says its Scholarship Program identifies and rewards the best and brightest minds in undergraduate and graduate programs across the nation, supporting the next generation of urban entomologists who will become part of the pest management industry in the future.
This year’s scholarship winners were:
- Alexander Blumenfeld, Ph.D. student, Texas A&M University
- Johnalyn Gordon, Ph.D. student, University of Kentucky
- Allison Johnson, Ph.D. student, University of Georgia
- Jamora Hamilton, Ph.D. student, University of North Carolina
- Seun Oladipupo, Ph.D. student, Auburn University
The Pest Management Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission and purpose is to advance the pest management industry through education, research and outreach. The Pest Management Foundation is affiliated with the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The Foundation has been in existence for more than 40 years and has funded urban entomology research projects at universities nationwide, officials say.
For more information about the Foundation, visit www.npmafoundation.org or contact Jim Fredericks at [email protected].