Pest Patrol owner is raring to grow


April 17, 2024

Gabe Seymour

Gabe Seymour

I’ve been hustling my entire life. I understood at a very early age that if I wanted something, I had to work and make money to get it.

When I was 10, I collected aluminum cans and beer bottles from bar dumpsters and turned them in for recycling money. When I was 12, I had five yards that I mowed and landscaped every weekend. At 14, I split wood and did yard work after school for several widows near my home. When I was 16, I got a job cutting grass on a tractor for the Nebraska highway department. Senior year of high school, I worked in a butcher’s shop after football and track practice. When I was a freshman in college, I ran the nursery at a Pentecostal church in Salina, Kan. — I will never look at a tambourine the same way again — and I babysat for many church families during the week. My last three years of school at Elmhurst University, I worked for a local newspaper as a sports reporter; I ran routes for my dad at Mid Central Pest Control; and I worked evenings and weekends at River Forest Country Club.

While my friends were watching TV or playing games on their Atari, I would be hunting frogs in a bog near my home and selling them to a local bar for fried frog legs. I wrote term papers for classmates for $2 per page. I would sort freshly picked, freezing-cold potatoes on a conveyor belt until my hands bled.

One of the most gruesome jobs I had was at a grain silo. A local rancher would lift off the tarp and my buddies and I would catch and kill rats.

The point is, if there was money to be made, it was a given that Pete Schopen was lurking somewhere nearby.

Meet another multi-tasker

Gabe Seymour, 30, is very much the same type of guy. The owner of Pest Patrol in Portland, Ore., has a very hard time just sitting around. At 16, he got a job at a retail store, but he also started teaching music on the side. At 17, he learned mole trapping with Chris Taylor. Seymour would marry Taylor’s daughter Kelly three years later; they now have five children.

At 19, Seymour started his own mole trapping company, Mole Trappers PDX (named after the famed Portland Airport) and started advertising on Craigslist. At the same time, he became a bookkeeper at his father-in-law’s six stores in the Oil Can Henry’s franchise. He was soon promoted to general manager. Oil Can Henry’s became Valvoline Instant Oil Change stores in 2015.

As with many other Americans, though, COVID-19 caused Seymour to change course. Taylor decided to sell his six locations due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. That, unfortunately, left Seymour without a job. So, on Aug. 8, 2020, with no pest control experience, the young entrepreneur watched some videos by The Pest Posse, got licensed, and started providing rodent trapping and ant treatments.

Finding his calling

With his success in the oil-change industry, it was surprising that Seymour chose pest control. But he has two great reasons. “There is tremendous opportunity in pest control,” he explains, “and the barrier was lower to get into pest control.” Had he continued in his previous business, there would have been a lot of start-up costs involving find the right property, marketing, hiring, etc. By contrast, he was able to start Pest Patrol with a used pickup truck and some basic materials and equipment.

Seymour considers his late mother, Erin, a role model. He notes she taught him and his three siblings to be compassionate in all things. “She was a positive emotional influence on me,” he adds. “In pest control, there is tremendous potential to really help clients and make a difference.”

Path to success

His company has grown quickly in the Portland market. In 2021, Pest Patrol finished at $220,000 and Seymour hired his first technician. In 2022, revenue jumped up to $330,000 and Seymour hired a second route technician. Same story in 2023: Revenue up another $100,000 and he hired a third team member. Our goal for 2024 is to see him hit $525,000 in revenue by improving the company’s rodent pricing, working on upselling, and getting standard operating procedures in place for all services.

Naturally, growing a successful pest control company isn’t enough for Seymour. In May 2023, he joined Andy Sanefski of Perimetek Pest Management and started the very popular “Coast-2-Coast Pest Talk” podcasts, available on Spotify. Seymour has become something of a social influencer, too, posting on LinkedIn more often than Gordon Ramsey creates new TV shows.

Next up? Baby No. 6 is due later this year. I told you, this guy doesn’t believe in sitting around!

S.W.O.T. Analysis: Pest Patrol


  • Creativity
  • Good communication
  • High customer satisfaction
  • Thorough services
  • Friendly team


  • Lack of organization
  • Bookkeeping
  • Lack of key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • No central office


  • Upselling high-ticket items
  • Customer exclusion work
  • Rodent station installs
  • Price increase/change
  • Local property managers


  • Oregon’s (very liberal) Paid Medical Leave Act
  • Lack of standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Aging vehicles
  • New state and federal laws/regulations

About the Author

Avatar photo

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

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