2020 Growth Leaders: The bug stops here


September 25, 2020


From left are Advanced Services Vice President Bo Thomas, ACE, President Dena Thomas, ACE, and Chairman Jeff Annis. PHOTO: ADVANCED SERVICES PEST CONTROL

Branding themselves as “Team BugStopper,” the crew at Advanced Services Pest Control actually do a lot more than general pest control work. Other service offerings include attic insulation, moisture control and wildlife control. Advanced Services’ Environmentally Conscious Organization (ECO) service is another option for customers.

Advanced Services was founded in March 1986 by Frank Damiano, who previously worked for Annis Pest Control. That firm was founded by chemist Larry Annis and his wife, BJ, in 1954. It was sold in 1985 and renamed Safco Pest Service, then later sold to Waste Management.

The couple’s son, Jeff Annis, grew up in the business and started working full-time for it in 1977. In 1986, he joined his longtime friend Damiano at Advanced Services. Damiano retired from the industry in 1998, with Annis doing the same in 2016. Although Annis is still active as chairman, longtime employees Dena Thomas, ACE, and her husband, Bo Thomas, ACE, are leading Advanced Services as president and vice president, respectively.

These days, Annis focuses on Worklife Advisors, an industry coaching firm whose “Camp BugStopper” sessions for pest management owners vary from a half-day course to two weeks of intensive training. Much of what is imparted to colleagues has been tested and proven first at Advanced Services.

Bo Thomas theorizes that Advanced Services has been able to thrive in 2020 because of its focus on residential business. “I think commercial business has been more affected by the pandemic,” he explains.

As for growth plans in the years ahead, he says, it’s a matter of focusing on what works well for the business, and staying the course.

“We typically project between 7 percent and 10 percent growth each year, not including any acquisitions we might make,” he says. “We’re poised to continue in that direction.”



2019 REVENUE: $5.2 million

PROJECTED 2020 REVENUE: $5.8 million



1. Invest in your people. They’re your most valuable resource.

2. Keep your team in the loop. Share your numbers and goals.

3. If you track it, it will improve. It doesn’t matter what “it” is: As a team, choose what’s most important and have everyone watching it.

About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at hgooch@northcoastmedia.net or 330-321-9754.

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