by John Stapleton, Contributing Editor
How did your business first start, and what was the staff?
HPC was created in 2011 by my partner and myself. For the first few years, I was the only full-time technician. Previously, I was the training manager for a large pest control company, where I was employed for 5 years. After a year or so of talking about it, my childhood friend and I pulled the trigger and got Hunter Pest Control going.
You just added weed control to your services, tell us about it and what to look out for.
Weed products are highly regulated and a company has to be fully licensed to obtain the correct products as well as have the know-how to apply them correctly. Working with non-certified businesses can result in plants dying that you don’t want dead, and those companies are breaking the law.
Also, our service is guaranteed for six months, and you won’t be receiving any HOA letters in that time.
Let’s talk pigeons, what does Hunter Pest Control know about them?
HPC has extensive experience with pigeon control. Pigeons are sometimes referred to as flying rats; they carry disease and make as much of a mess, or more, as rats. We have three full-time techs able to rid our customers of the pesky pigeons on their rooftops.
Once pigeons take up residence on a roof they can cause extensive damage with the buildup of their nesting materials and fecal matter. We have seen a home where these materials caused water to collect on the rooftop, which caused a leak in the roof. The water source then fed an extensive termite problem.
Are termites really a problem in the hot Arizona desert?
They absolutely are. There’s a saying: “There are two types of homes in Arizona — those that have termites and those that are going to get them.” I like to add a third type: “There are homes that have had termites but no longer do because they were treated by Hunter Pest Control!” We can inspect your home if you are seeing signs of termites.
Do you do rodents?
We have two techs trained on rodent removal and exclusion. Roof rats are a huge problem in the Valley. Our techs not only eliminate the problem, they find and seal off all entry locations the rodents used to get into your home.
What are people most freaked out about?
Scorpions, spiders, and termites. I’ve had customers tell me they have nightmares of huge termites crawling inside of their walls. If you spot a scorpion, there could definitely be more, same with termites. A spider typically won’t hurt you, but the spider knows there are other pests in the area if they have found a spot.
Let’s talk about community involvement. Can you mention some of the events you sponsor and why you do it?
We are regularly involved in community events, fundraisers, and we host our own at least once a year. We’ve had events such as a charity poker tournament, during which we were able to raise thousands of dollars for the local food bank; we donate services to the local Against Abuse women’s shelter, and we host an annual charity Izzy Calderon softball tournament with our friends to help raise money.
We also were a sponsors for the Central Arizona Car & Bike Show, Central Arizona Food Truck Battle, the Western Pinal County Business and Crafts Expo, and the always fun Chihuahua Festival, which is a great event for pet services, including adoption.
We are also active with Pet Social Worker dog rescue, happy hour fundraisers and have fostered and placed hundreds of dogs in new loving homes.
What is the makeup of your current staff?
We have four full-time techs, a full-time service manager, an office assistant, a vice president, and of course our President Jeremy Waters. We have plans of growing Valleywide within the next two years and statewide within five years. Then the world … muhuhaahahaha (menacing laugh)!
What have been the keys to success?
First, our Vice President Julie Rae Applegath has been invaluable to our success. The vision, drive, and motivation she has rubbed off on all of us. Without her, we would not be where we are today. Additionally, it’s our goal to maintain lifelong relationships with our customers so we have a strong focus on making sure our customers are happy… as soon as possible.
Why should someone give Hunter Pest Control a shot?
Hunter Pest Control was built on the relationships we have with our customers. If we weren’t everything our customers wanted us to be, they would not be so happy to refer us to their friends and family.