Sasquatch stands out


August 18, 2023

Photo: andi permana putra/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Bigfoot may or may not have had the same musical tastes as the author did “back in the day.” Photo: andi permana putra/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

When I was in high school, I loved Bon Jovi. I had the band’s posters on the walls of my bedroom. I had all three of their albums (Bon Jovi, 7800 Fahrenheit and Slippery When Wet) and I wore my blue jeans tight enough to change me from a tenor to an alto.

But Bon Jovi wasn’t my first band to love. When I was 10, I couldn’t get enough Seals and Crofts. After that, I switched to Van Halen. Prince bridged the gap between David Lee Roth and Jon Bon Jovi. From there, I moved onto the Offspring, then TLC, the Killers, etc. As much as I loved one group, I quickly moved onto the next great thing.

In any industry, you hear whispers about the next generation. “Her Beef Wellington reminds me of Gordon Ramsey’s” or “he’ll be the next Bill Gates” or “LeBron is better than Michael” (sorry, that last one was a cruel joke).

Tyson and Kristofer Elling of Sasquatch Pest Control epitomize the next wave of pest management professionals (PMPs). Last year, when I was interviewing the potential candidates for this column, I had the entrepreneurs on speakerphone so my wife, who was sharing an office with me, could hear. Tami respected many of the 27 start-ups I talked to, but she especially liked Kris. “He reminds me of you when you were his age,” she commented, pointing out his attitude, energy and workaholic mentality. Kris and his older brother Tyson have done an incredible job of selling “their type” of pest control to the people of Northwest Washington — it includes moles, a killer logo and an unequaled internet presence.

Sasquatch stands out

The Ellings are laser-focused on customer service, and they have a passion for new technology. What has impressed me the most about these owners of Sasquatch Pest Control is their ability to “own” their local market. If you look at their analytics for the area around Bellingham, Wash., they are
No. 1 in nearly every community from Ferndale to Alger and Deming to Dewey. Word of mouth for their excellent mole work is spreading their name, too.

They finished 2022 with $154,522.80 in revenue. Thanks to their marketing efforts, they should double that figure in 2023. But it’s not just a great SEO campaign that is helping get the word out about Sasquatch Pest Control.

“Besides staying hungry online,” Kris recently told me, “we always respond to local Facebook posts regarding pest control.”

Pete Schopen

Pete Schopen

Speaking of Facebook posts, at press time they are promoting a “Spot the ’Squatch” campaign that is driving people to their Facebook page. The contest requires residents to take a photo of the Sasquatch logo anytime they see it, and then post the pics on the Sasquatch Pest Control Facebook page.

Harnessing the power of AI

The Ellings also are using the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT to create targeted Facebook posts.

Cutting-edge technology like ChatGPT is something this new generation of PMPs relies on heavily. Kris told me he and Tyson are using AI to create their Sasquatch Pest Control merchandise — including shirts, caps, website videos and much more.

Another piece of technology they plan to eventually invest in is remote-controlled inspection robots to tackle hard-to-reach places for powderpost beetle jobs. For my older colleagues who, like me, remember trail cams as being cutting-edge, this might seem like a stretch. But in a world where drones are treating bald-faced hornet nests, the future is now. Check out these robots on sites such as

Facing obstacles

When Tyson and Kris put together a strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis for me earlier this year, one of their concerns was a scalable infrastructure for their two-man company.

core value“We don’t want to be crushed by our growth, but we do want to be prepared,” Kris explained.

I love numbers and stats. Used properly, you can see your growth potential, forecast expansion and hire accordingly. Kris and Tyson have been diligently looking at end-of-month numbers to monitor their sales, new customer calls and production. I think they should hold off on hiring in 2023, but I could easily see them bringing on one and possibly two techs at the start of 2024. This would free up Tyson to handle the office work and sales, and Kris can continue to grow routes and train new techs.

I’m at an age where I can bridge the gap between the “old school” and the next generation. I remember my dad selling $4 monthly services for Orkin back in the 1970s. He was responsible for mixing his own pesticides (not just adding water, kids) in the back of his work truck. Now we have drones applying pesticides and ChatGPT answering clients’ questions. It’s a strange new world out there, and Sasquatch Pest Control is using these new tools with great success.

If my dad was Elvis and I am the Red Hot Chili Peppers, then the Elling brothers are Greta Van Fleet: new, cool and exciting to watch.

About the Author

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Schopen is owner of RV There Yet Pest Consulting and my email is

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