The blessings of being in pest control


April 17, 2024


Branch Manager Steven Aguilar receives kudos from WesLaco Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara Jean Garza during last summer’s ribbon-cutting event for ABC’s Rio Grande Valley office. PHOTO: WESLASCO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

I have written many articles about how lucky I feel we all are to have landed in the pest control industry. When most people outside our industry think of pest control, they think of killing bugs and crawling under houses and all the reasons they have for never even considering joining our industry.

I also have written before about how people change their minds and develop a new appreciation for what we do when they get to know us better and learn about the magic of our repetitive business model.

This time, though, I’d like to focus on another aspect of our industry that I find really cool: the actual work and the daily aspects of dealing with our customers. Getting a new customer is great! They add to our services lists and our bottom lines, and help us grow our businesses and feed our families.

Another great aspect of gaining new customers is the opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level. Spending time with customers, talking to them, getting to know them and their families, their spouses and their children. Getting to visit them over and over again. Connecting with them on a deeper level — in their homes — is not something many other industries get to experience.

We look at our list of service stops for the day, and we see more than just “stops.” We see customers, acquaintances and friends. We see pets and children. We see people we get to care for and get to know better.

A two-way street

In addition, your customers also want to know you better. They are interested in your life, your family, where you come from and so on. At first, they want to know these things because they just want to learn a little bit about who they have let into their house or on their property. Over time, though, they want to honestly get to know you as a person, a parent, an employee, or a coach. Doctors get to know their patients like this, but most people do not really look forward to doctor visits. They do, however, look forward to your visit.

Dennis Jenkins

Dennis Jenkins

I realize that times have changed, and that the popularity of exterior-only services have impacted this, but when we do get this to this level, your customers become more than just a “stop” — they become a relationship.

COVID-19 had a negative impact on this, as we all learned that an exterior service can be pretty darn good at taking care of most pest invasions. I would challenge us all to take stock of that, though, and get back to building relationships instead of just running stops. Remember the days when we used to get face-to-face with customers and realize that those interactions are what keeps customers.

Strengthen your relationships

What we do is incredibly important. We protect people’s health, property and food. But it is who we are and the relationships we have that make us so very special. It makes our customers love dealing with us and look forward to seeing us.

As long as we are willing to give of our time and ourselves, our customers will look forward to sharing their lives with us. It’s the very best part of being in our industry.

About the Author

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JENKINS, who rotates this column with his brothers Bobby and Raleigh, is president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Dallas, Texas. He can be reached at

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