PMP Hall of Fame History: Al Cossetta


February 15, 2023

As Pest Management Professional (PMP) magazine celebrates 90 years, take a look back into our archives as we highlight the found of the magazine, Al Cossetta. He is a member of the PMP Hall of Fame’s Class of 2002.

According to fellow PMP Hall of Famer Dr. Robert Snetsinger’s seminal chronicle of the industry, The Ratcatcher’s Child, Cossetta realized his dream of an industry trade journal on Jan. 1, 1933, when the first issue of Exterminators Log appeared.

“One night, endeavoring to sleep but really pondering my business problems, I was inspired with the thought that I should start a national journal for the pest control industry,” Cossetta recalled in his book.

“Since the industry had no journal and needed one, I was impelled to consider launching out on such an endeavor. I hesitated, and thought the matter over carefully to be certain that I would be successful. The more I thought about it, the more I was impressed that I should launch out. The following morning at the office, I made known my plans and immediately started to shape up a letter to be mailed to all possible prospects who were in the business.”

For $3 a year, companies could receive eight issues full of technical notes and personal interest stories. There were 100 paid and about 650 unpaid subscribers that first year.

By 1934, Exterminators Log hit its stride as a beacon for the pest management industry. Compared to the dieting tips and personal asides of previous issues, it began to report on the development of various associations and conventions, took a stand for state and local regulation for fumigation and offered technical information on pests.

That doesn’t mean, however, that it totally abandoned its personal touch. Cossetta knew that pest management was by and large a family industry, and updates of whose daughter just got married or who was sick and on the mend also appeared. Snetsinger likened it to a “small-town newspaper for the pest control industry.”

The journal was renamed Pests in August 1938, then Pests and Their Control in June 1939. In 1941, Cossetta sold his pest control business, and in March 1948 he sold the magazine to three individuals who later formed Trade Magazines, Inc. The headquarters were moved from Kansas City to Cleveland, and fellow PMP Hall of Famer Jim Nelson was hired as editor.

Nelson later became publisher, and his name became synonymous with what today is known as Pest Control magazine until he sold it in 1967. Pest Control became Pest Management Professional in 2007.


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