People Power


October 4, 2023

Exterminator's Log

Photo: PMP Archives

Countless people — including Heather Gooch, PMP’s editor-in-chief, and PMP Hall of Famers Jerry Mix, Norm Cooper and Dr. Austin “Doc” Frishman — “warned me” during my first month serving this B2B media brand 20 years ago that I would fall hard and fast for the pest control industry. They couldn’t have been more correct.

Hard and fast, I fell in love with this close-knit cottage industry. I had covered more than a half-dozen other niche markets and found them interesting, even fascinating at times. None, however, captured my heart like pest control quickly did with its rich history steeped in people.

Case in point: Our pest control magazine’s own back story is ripe for the silver screen; dare I say even Academy Award-winning material. Pest Management Professional (PMP) and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) trace their roots back to 1933, the darkest time of the Great Depression. Wall Street and one-third of America’s banking systems had failed. Unemployment averaged 25 percent. Those few who still had jobs were, on average, making 43 percent less than they had earned four years earlier.

Then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), in his first inauguration speech, tried to embolden America’s downtrodden with his “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” line. Thankfully, Al Cossetta and FDR were on the same page regarding fear. In January 1933, Cossetta launched Exterminators Log (now named PMP).

As Cossetta recalled in a 1958 column celebrating the magazine’s 25th anniversary:

Al Cossetta

Al Cossetta

“I was told I would lose my shirt if I were foolish enough to put out a publication for this industry. Today, this publication is recognized as one of the top-notch trade magazines in the whole country. … The launching of Exterminators Log was a milestone in the early history of the structural pest control industry. Appropriately enough, the page-one editorial in the magazine’s first issue was titled, ‘At Last We Have It.’”

Ninety years later, we still have it thanks to people like Cossetta, Doc, Cooper, Mix and countless others, including our long-loyal marketing partners and readers (now also viewers and listeners).

Prognosticators and financial analysts predict a bumpy road ahead due to a slight economic downturn in 2024’s first and second quarters. However, thanks to FDR, Cossetta and a host of other industry beacons, we know fear is no match for hard work and fast friends.

Onward and upward, we journey, pest control friends. Here’s to our next 90 years of people-powered growth!

About the Author

Marty Whitford

Marty Whitford is North Coast Media’s VP of Content and Publisher of PMP and GPS World. He can be reached at or 216-706-3766.

Leave A Comment

Comments are closed.