Franchising Today - Summer 2016 - 65
sees provide animal control services for
Franchisees usually make their highest margins by repairing damage from
critters. "Raccoons will rip off a roof
vent and may go in and defecate on insulation," Clark points out. "We replace
the roof vent, remove the insulation and
blow in new insulation. In addition to
animal removal, we provide repair of animal damage and exclusion to keep further entries from happening."
Wildlife repairs and exclusion may
lead to additional home services, such
as installation of gutter covers, chimney
caps, deck cleaning and power-washing.
"We're a service business; our customers know us, like us, trust us and are
satisfied with our work," Clark declares.
If customers require another home
service from their Critter Control specialist that is a natural extension of the
wildlife business, Critter Control will
Homeowners might consider critters
to be pests, but for the companies that
handle them, critters and pests are two
distinct groups. Among the critters are
ground squirrels, raccoons, birds, pigeons, moles, opossums, skunks, rats,
mice and woodchucks. The company
has no limits on the size of the critter
it will control. Some of its franchisees
have even handled alligators and deer
that have crashed through homeowners' windows.
"We have specialized in wildlife for 34
years now, and over the last 10 years we
have developed a general pest control
offering, mainly because pest control
companies will refer insect infestations
to us, like stinging insects, for instance,"
Clark says. "The pest control companies
generally request monthly or quarterly
services - they don't want one-shot jobs
like bees, which are somewhat dangerous and require special handling.
"That's how it started out, and we
provided such good customer service
that our customers asked us for general pest control," Clark continues. "So
the majority of what we do is residential and has to do with animal pests,
but a growing portion of the business
is general pest control." This provides
synergy with the brand portfolio of
Rollins, which acquired Critter Control in 2015.