In recent years, the Elf on the Shelf has given the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and even Ol’ St. Nick a run for their money, popularity-wise. The Elf hides in different (and creative) places around the house, so he — sometimes she, every family’s Elf has a different personality — can spy on the kids and report back to Santa whether they’re being naughty or nice in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
The intersection of Elves and pest management professionals (PMPs) first came to our attention after we heard how a customer praised a technician for having the presence of mind to put the family Elf in the fridge during a bed bug heat treatment. Not only were the bed bugs gone, but the Elf was kept safe. It got us thinking about whether there were other industry Elf stories in our midst. As it turns out, there are. To share your story, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patty Pierleonardi, owner of Pest Management Services Inc., Ashburn, Va., embraces Elf culture. Her office Elf is named Flick (after the movie “A Bug’s Life,” of course), and he tends to keep an eye on things from all corners of the office. Pierleonardi confirms that Flick is once again visiting this holiday season. PHOTO: PATTY PIERLEONARDI
American Pest Control, Athens, Ga., has a slightly different take on the Elf tradition. It has The Bear on the Stair visit the office each holiday season, and even blogged recently about cool places in which your Christmas spy can hide. PHOTO: MARISSA CHASTAIN
Trent Heard, general manager of United Pest & Turf Control, notes that Alpine the Elf “wreaked havoc daily last December” and will do it again this year, too. The office staff kept Alpine busy, but he also did a couple ridealongs, as documented on the Ardmore, Ala.-based company’s Facebook page. PHOTO: TRENT HEARD
Paul E. Zimmerman, owner of Z Pest Control, Walla Walla, Wash., melded the Elf and Ugly Christmas Sweater traditions together in this (kind of disturbing) photo. We especially appreciate how Imad Rizk, owner of Boundary Pest Control in New South Wales, Australia, identified the pest as “Greeneyeevilelfatermes.” PHOTO: PAUL ZIMMERMAN