2009 PMP Hall of Fame inductee Al “Bugs” Burger, whose pest elimination guarantee turned the industry on its head in the latter half of the 20th century, died Aug. 10. He was 82.
Burger was a fourth-generation pest management professional. After working for his brother and for another local company, Burger and his wife and fellow Hall of Famer, Sandee, founded and ran Bugs Burger Bug Killers (BBBK) in Miami from 1960 until they sold to S.C. Johnson Wax in 1986. BBBK was the first to offer a complete money-back elimination guarantee — something that commercial accounts especially appreciated, even with the premium prices.
The Burgers’ legacy lives on today with son and daughter-in-law Andy and Michele Burger; the couple purchased the company name back from S.C. Johnson in 2000 and today have BBBK locations in Florida and Texas.
Although retired from the industry since the late 1980s, Burger had a second career at the helm of Roasters ’n Toasters, a deli and coffee shop in Pinecrest, Fla. It has the flavor and flair of Burger’s New York roots, and continues today under new ownership. In 1993, according to his obituary in the Miami Herald, “Burger patented his Bagel Balls, received over $1 million for the rights, licensed the product to Medley bagel maker Gary Schwartzberg, and his creation was sold to Kraft in 2006. Kraft markets them in groceries’ frozen food sections as Bagel-fuls.”
Besides Sandee, Andy and Michele, Burger leaves behind daughter Susan, and grandchildren Jacob Greenberg, Dani Greenberg, Tali Burger, Jonathan Burger and David Burger. The PMP staff sends its sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues.
Read Burger’s Hall of Fame Industry Profile here.