In 1982 Detroit metropolitan based chimney sweep Kevin Clark received a call to remove a raccoon from a chimney. The caller said they had phoned all over town to everyone they could think of to help solve their problem, but nobody dealt with marauding wildlife. Clark began calling pest control companies and animal control officers in the metropolitan Detroit area, and confirmed the caller’s predicament.
Seizing the opportunity, Clark’s Critter Control was born. Five years later, Critter Control, Inc. was incorporated and began franchising the concept in 1987. Wildlife damage complaints in urban areas were increasing all across the United States, and the company added an average of one new office a month over the next decade.
Clark shares the credit with his franchisees, who've helped grow the business. "We have dedicated people, who are passionate about protecting people, property and wildlife," he said. "Franchising was the perfect way to grow the concept and share the dream," he notes, and adds that "it's been extremely satisfying to pioneer an industry, and in the process create over 400 jobs."
Today, Critter Control is part of Rollins, Inc., a premier global consumer and commercial services company. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Orkin, Orkin Canada, HomeTeam Pest Defense, Western Pest, Critter Control, Industrial Fumigant Company, Trutech Animal Control, AllPest Pest Control (Australia), Waltham Services, PermaTreat Pest Control, and Crane Pest Control, Rollins provides essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects to more than two million customers in the United States, Canada, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe, Africa, Mexico, and Australia from more than 500 locations.
“61% of the 100 largest metropolitan centers in the U.S. reported that their residents had a problem with one or more wildlife species during the prior year and suffered a mean loss of $73 in damage.”
Source: M. Conover—Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts (2001)
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