Helping hands for the holidays


February 27, 2014

There’s never a good time for homeowners to deal with pests, but infestations seem particularly harsh near the holidays. Having to choose between presents and bed bug treatments isn’t a choice anyone should have to make. That’s why Rob

Greer, COO of Rove Pest Control in St. Paul, Minn., joined BedBug Central’s “Take The Bite Out of the Holidays” campaign, which offers free bed bug services during the holiday season to those in financial need.

Applicants are asked to write a letter to “Beddy Bed Bug” in 300 words or less about why their home or facility could use charitable bed bug treatments.

Winners are matched to pest management companies willing to provide the service. The management team at Rove, which has offices in seven states throughout the country and provides a full range of pest management services, decided participating in the program would be one way to give back to the communities in which they operate.

In its first year in the program, Rove has helped several individuals and families. One was a victim of domestic abuse who picked up bed bugs while staying at a women’s shelter. Another was a grandmother who brought her grandchildren to live with her because they weren’t being taken care of by their parents. The children brought bed bugs with them.

“She couldn’t afford to take care of the pests,” Greer says. “She was putting everything she has into taking care of her grandkids.”

While it’s particularly poignant during the holidays, Rove doesn’t focus on giving back only during December.
“We do this stuff year-round,” Greer says.

It’s no small feat either. A bed bug job can run from $1,200 to $2,500, depending on the size and scope of the work. At press time, Greer expected to complete about eight jobs — many of which came through BedBug Central — by Jan. 1.

Most Rove employees are happy to participate in the program. While many get paid even when the company provides the work gratis, several employees volunteer the six to eight hours it takes to complete a job using heat treatment.

“There’s a twinkle in their eye,” Greer says about employees who become involved. “That spirit in them wakes up. There are some who are excited to do it, and a few have donated their time.”

Some employees even dress as Santa Claus while they’re performing a service.

“It’s about the obligation to the community,” Greer says. “We make good connections. I’m a big believer in networks. It’s likely good things will come back your way.” pmp

Dan Jacobs is a contributor to PMP. Contact him at

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