As you probably know, I grew up in the pest control business. By the time I was four years old or so, Dad had my two older brothers and me working on stuffing envelopes and walking neighborhoods putting flyers on doors. Dad was president of the then-National Pest Control Association (NPCA) for 1987-88. My brother Bobby was president of the organization — which became the National Pest Management Association, or NPMA, in 1999 — for 2002-2003. My brother Raleigh was the NPMA president for 2009-2010, and I was the NPMA president for 2018-2019.
To say I believe that being involved with our national association has helped grow my business would be a vast understatement.
AN INDUSTRY THAT STANDS APART
Being involved in pest control organizations is not like being involved in groups in other fields. For example, I am in a business owners group that shares information openly. I have been in that group for 10 years and have gotten to know owners from about 30 different companies, all from different industries. When I tell them how open our industry is, and how much we all share information and really try to help each other — they are amazed. Some even question whether I am exaggerating, or outright lying. I’m always proud to assure them I am not.
Our industry is filled with people who are committed to the notion of growing the pest control industry. While we do compete with one another, mostly we grow as an industry by getting consumers to use a professional, rather than doing pest control themselves. Because most in our industry recognize this, we work together. We share more information and ideas than any industry I know.
Just look at the how much we have grown as an industry. Depending on where you look, we have grown almost 47 percent in the past 10 years. These gains have not been made by stealing customers from one another, but rather by increasing our combined efforts through our association with groups like the NPMA’s Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), and the work they have done to grow our market by convincing people to hire a professional.
I strongly encourage everyone to become active in our great industry. Not only will you grow your business, you will gain friendships, too. From a personal basis, some of my very best relationships have been made and fostered by being involved. The time spent is an investment in yourself.
How to get involved
If you’re looking for ways to get involved in the pest management industry, look no further than:
State Associations: Provide ongoing education and training, legislative updates, regulatory advocacy and networking opportunities. Conduct an online search for the pest control association in your state.
National Pest Management Association: Established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. NPMAPestWorld.org
Pi Chi Omega: A fraternal organization dedicated to furthering the science of pest control; members include entomologists, PMPs, manufacturers, consultants, researchers, professors, students, and others dedicated to the technical side of structural pest control. PiChiOmega.org
Professional Women in Pest Management: An affiliate group of the NPMA whose mission is to attract, develop and support women in the pest management industry through educational programs, resources and peer networking. PWiPM.org
Entomological Society of America: Founded in 1889, it serves the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and individuals in related disciplines. EntSoc.org
National Wildlife Control Operators Association: Dedicated to supporting businesses and providers of wildlife control services by providing training and education, and promoting competence, service and integrity within the wildlife damage management industry. NWCOA.com
JENKINS is president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Dallas, Texas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.