The sum total of Al “Bugs” Burger’s training in pest management consisted of his brother giving him a five-minute demonstration on how to work a B&G sprayer with the directive to “spray where you see ants.”
Of course, that’s not the whole story. From there, Al became passionate about his work and learned as much as he could about the business as he dreamed big. His wife, Sandee, as the financial brains of the operation, was the realist who kept him grounded.
Jacques Hess could not understand why the industry hid itself in shame when he joined Guarantee Exterminating Co. in 1925. He spent the rest of his career, which spanned nearly 54 years, trying to give pest management its proper due with the public.
Keep this in mind when you consider the career of Motokazu Hirao: Before he and Matsushita Electric Works (now Panasonic Co.) funded the original 20 companies in the Japanese pest management industry, there were none — and there’s little doubt the country needed them.
Joe Thomas owes much of his, and Arrow Exterminator’s, success to his family. It was his father who got him into this business, and his daughter who’ll take the reins when he’s ready to hand them over. He admits he couldn’t have built Arrow into the $100 million company it is today without them.