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Women In Pest Control

Here's an eye opener for those of you who think pest control is a dirty business that's all about killing bugs and catching rats. First, it's not necessarily an industry of mom and pop operations, although the majority of the nearly 22,000 licensed operators in the U.S. are, in fact, small to medium-size companies. Yes, 26.5% of the industry's total revenues of $11 billion dollars are earned by the top four pest management companies. But, with nearly 150,000 pest management employees, smaller firms are responsible for the lion's share of the employment rolls.

Here's another interesting factoid. Most people think of the pest control industry as a men-only club, but the reality is that women in pest control command top positions in many of the largest and best-run organizations. For example, Judy Black is Vice President of Technical Services for Steritech, a $110 million dollar a year pest control company, headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Charity Lowder is the Atlantic call center manager at Orkin which is ranked as the largest pest management company in the U.S.

Women are sprinkled throughout the pest management industry in a variety of rolls. There's Emily Thomas Kendrick, CEO of Arrow Exterminators of Atlanta, Georgia. Mrs. Kendrick divides her time running her $110 million company, participating in industry activities and being a mother. Makes me tired just thinking about it. Laura Simpson is President of Dugas Pest Control of Baton Rouge, LA and is President of the National Pest Management Association, overseeing the welfare of its 7,000 members. Not to be outdone, Stacy O'Reilly is President of the $27 million Plunkett's Pest Control of Fridley, Minnesota. Stacy also is active with the National Pest Management Association and Copesan, an alliance of premier pest management companies that provides pest management to businesses throughout North America. Let's not forget Marie Horner, Director of Operations for the $20 million Bruce-Terminix Co, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

As you can see, there is no lack of female leadership in the pest management industry. And women in our industry are certainly not limited to only the large organizations. There are many independent small business owners, as well, such as Lisa Alfaro of Lady Bug Pest Control Specialist, Litchfield Park, Arizona and Leslie Lane Wyman, President of Epcon Lane Pest Control, a third-generation family-owned business in Akron, Ohio. There's Debbie Holt of Advantage Wildlife, Cincinnati, Ohio, whose business focus is live animal trapping and removal. Judy Dold of Rose Pest Solutions in the Chicago area is a past president of the National Pest Management Association. Chau Tran is CEO of Asian Pest Services and is the first Asian woman-owned pest control company in the Washington Metropolitan area.

There are other aspects of the pest management industry aptly covered by women. Industry suppliers like Bird-B-Gone Professional Bird Control Products of Orange, California has Stephanie Fitzpatrick in the role of a company director. Dr. Cisse W. Spragins is CEO of Rockwell Labs of Kansas City, Missouri. Rockwell manufacturers many products used by professional pest management companies. Kari Warberg Block is Founder & CEO at Earth-Kind in Bismarck, North Dakota. Ms. Warberg's company  manufacturers green technologies in rodent control for retail, government, farms, and commercial markets.

The industry also has its share of high profile women such as Deni Naumann who is President of Copesan of the aforementioned alliance of more than 75 pest management companies doing well over $50 million in annual revenues. There's Jodi Dorsch, Editor of PCT Magazine, one of the major industry-related monthly publications read by every person interested in pest management. There are too many women to mention coming from the Entomology departments of the fine universities from around the world.

The pest management industry has long been a progressive market segment, open to full participation of everyone. As evidenced by the aforementioned individuals, women in pest control will continue to provide strong leadership and will stand in no one's shadow. 









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