PCOC - Spring 2014 - (Page 30)
Corky's Pest Control
After starting his business in 1967,
Corky Mizer is still passionate about
pest control and dedicated to cultivating
top-notch pest control professionals.
PCOC: How did you first get involved in
the pest control industry?
Corky Mizer : I grew up on a farm in
Michigan and how it actually all started
was when I was between 8 and 9 years old.
We had an orchard at our place where we
had a lot of fruit trees. So I took an apple
to my father and said, 'These apples are
full of worms.' And he said to me, 'Well
what are you going to do about it?' The
next day, my mother took me down to
the Farm Bureau and I showed them the
apples and they told me what I needed to
do in order to salvage them for next season. I went and I sprayed the trees the way
they told me to and then the next year,
the apples still had a few worms here and
there, but they were really nice compared
to what they had been since I ever remembered and so suddenly I got the job of controlling all the insects on the property, so
I kind of grew up in a place of it was my
job to control insects.
How did a boy's interest in bugs turn
into Corky's Pest Control, a longtime,
respected business with more than
When I came to California I came to
work for General Motors...I worked there for
five years and during that time I moved up
and became a supervisor. I had to wear a tie
to work every day. It was like a hangman's
noose...It was choking me. It just was not me.
I was playing poker on Friday nights with
a bunch of people who were in the pest control business. And they would bring me their
insects or they would just talk about them
and then I'd go upstairs and get my books
and I'd tell them how it really was. Over a
period of time, they asked me why I didn't
go into the pest control business because
I knew so much about bugs. So finally I
decided that's what I should do and I did.
You have to do what you love in life. 1967
was the beginning and I was 26 years old.
You have an interesting concept in
regards to your hiring process and
employee satisfaction and retention.
Tell us about it.
Over a period of time, I realized if you're
going to build a company, you have to build
a foundation of good employees in order for
that company to survive, so I sat back and
tried to figure out what is it that I can do to
make that happen. So I figured out what I
really wanted to do was to hire somebody
and when I hired them, I wanted to be able
to inspire them and I wanted them to be able
to tell me they wanted to be a pest control
professional and that is what they wanted to
do in life.
Early on, I used to advertise the fact that
if a person can't convince me that being a
pest control professional is what they want
www.pcoc.org / Spring 2014
to do with their life, that it's their life's
work, then I wouldn't send them to a customer's door meaning I wasn't going to
hire them...then you have good times and
bad times with business and you kind of
get away from that...So then I started to
re-emphasize that in my whole company
again. If you want to be a pest control professional, not only will I hire you, but I
will help through the process of going all
the way licensing-wise until you are a top
licensed pest control professional.
So why wouldn't all the pest control companies try to do that same thing
because wouldn't that raise the level of the
industry in the eyes of the consumer. The
NMPA came out with a survey that showed
22 percent of people in the United States
believe that when a pest control technician
comes to the job, they are a professional.
What an ugly percentage. What we have
to do to change that is pest control companies have to look at it as when I send a new
employee down, where's this employee
coming from and where does he want to
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Spring 2014
Beyond the Bugs: A Conversation with Michael F. Potter
Equipment Financing & Leasing: An Important Tool for Business Growth
Maximize Our Presence at PCOC’s 2014 Legislative Days
Small Employer Responsibilities Under Health Care Reform Act
Happy Days are Here Again
Corky’s Pest Control
Index to Advertisers
PCOC - Spring 2014