PCOC - Fall 2013 - (Page 31)

firm Profile Round the Clock Pest Control Inc. A leap of faith and strong family support led Robert Gallo to his dream of being an entrepreneur How did Round the Clock Pest Control get started? I originally started the company in 2003 wanting to work for myself and be my own boss. At the beginning I was a one man show. I was the technician, the one who answered the phone and did all the paper work and billing in the office. My vision was to give our clients a high quality of pest control services at a reasonable price. We initially started by servicing our residential customers doing general pest work and specializing in Rodent and Bee work. I never imagined where the company was headed, and within six months I had to hire my first employee to help me with all the work we were getting. What is your background, and what first got you involved in the pest control industry? I worked for a bank for about five years, starting off in the customer service department, then the banks’ research department, followed by the fraud loss prevention department. Working for the bank is where I learned how to speak and interact with different types of people and help solve and trouble shoot any issues that came my way. Around that same time I had a friend that had just started his own pest control company and wanted me work with him. I wasn’t sure that pest control was going to be for me. I really wasn’t into dealing with bugs and rodents, but after several attempts, he finally convinced me to go with him one weekend to see what pest control was all about. I was very surprised how much I enjoyed myself, and the satisfaction that I got from helping people resolve their stressful pest issues. I knew that the customer service skills I learned at the bank were going to help me in the pest control industry. Round the Clock seems to be considered a leading expert when it comes to bed bugs in the pest control industry and among the local media. With Los Angeles being a city with one of the highest infestation rates, what do you think has set your company apart from many of the others who also offer bed beg services? Do you foresee the bed bug boom slowing down anytime soon? I think the main thing that has set us apart from the other companies doing bed bug work is the research and time we put into understanding bed bugs and preparing ourselves for the outbreak that was headed our way. In 2008 I saw the bed bug problem in California starting to escalate, so I looked into several options and monitoring tools that I thought might help. With that research, I saw that the dogs were the best way to detect bed bugs. I attended every class and seminar that I could, so I could get as much information on bed bugs as possible. I went to all the local seminars and the PestWorld convention in Las Vegas that year. I spent more than a week in New York with a company that had been using dogs for several years with great success. That’s when I first got a chance to see firsthand, up close and personal, the dog’s capabilities. In 2009 we purchased our first dog “Toby,” who I personally trained for six months before we introduced him to the public. Since then we have expanded our K-9 program and now have four bed bug dogs, Toby, Baby, Herby, Grizz and multiple K-9 handlers. In March, we had all of our K-9 Teams re-certified by NESDCA (National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association). In 2012, I visited New York again for bed bug research for treatment related purposes. I worked with A&C Pest Management, a company that was using an electric heating system called Thermal Remediation specially designed to kill bed bugs. This safe, www.pcoc.org / Fall 2013 31 effective, and environmentally friendly process uses dry heat to kill the entire life cycle of bed bugs, while reducing the application of insecticides. Last May, I brought the first Thermal Remediation box truck system to California and have done hundreds of treatments with no damage issues and minimal re-treatments, and because our K-9s are trained strictly on the odor of live bed bugs, we can follow up after a treatment one week later to ensure that the treatment was successful. I don’t think that the bed bug problem is going away anytime soon. I think that we have just scratched the surface on how bad this problem is going to get. Our call volume for bed bugs has increased every year. Aside from hotels and apartment  complexes, we are now inspecting  movie theaters, banks, retail stores and hospitals. The company also has a K-9 Scent Detection Unit with a team of dogs trained in bed beg detection. What made you add this service as a component to your business? How has “Toby” and the other dogs helped with branding your business and creating a marketing strategy? The main reason we started using the K-9’s was to help identify low levels of http://www.pcoc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PCOC - Fall 2013

President’s Message
Martyn’s Corner
PCOC Expo 2013: A Pictorial Highlight
Expo 2013 Bed Bug Presentation: Control and Management Updates
Overview of NEW California Aeration Plan (CAP)
Calbug Project: Public Needed to Uncover Clues in Natural History Collections
Your Guide to Social Media Startup
Federal Update
Insurance Small Employer Responsibilities under Health Care Reform Act
State Capitol Report Back to Business
Firm Profile Round the Clock Pest Control
Index to Advertisers

PCOC - Fall 2013