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2013 Bed Bug Educational Tour - Clark Pest Control


Third Annual Bed Bug Educational Tour May 14th, 15th and 16th.


May 14 


RESORT and SPA 8:00AM - 3:00 PM


May 15 


8:00AM - 3:00 PM


May 16 


at the CLUB 8:00AM - 3:00 PM


Please join us as we discuss the infestation everyone’s talking about: bed bugs.

The Liabilities

Think somebody else’s bed bug infestation on your property is not your problem? Think again.

The Remedies

What can be done? All the latest bed bug solutions from Clark Pest Control.

The Realities

Bed bugs are the latest sensationalist scare whipped up by the media, right? No. Bed bugs create a problem that has proved difficult to solve.


Class sizes are limited to 100 seats for each day, reserve you seat early! Call Joy Freeman at 209-371-0758 or email today to reserve your spots. Registration is Free and no obligations!

Bed Bug tour 2013

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NPMA Legislative Day in Washington - Clark Pest Control



Clark Pest Control's Nicole Keefe and Darren Van Steenwyk Attend the NPMA Legislative Day in Washington

If you weren’t born looking like the little mustachioed guy in the top hat from the Monopoly game, perhaps the best way to get a sit-down audience with your representative or senator in Congress, along with their attention, is to go as part of a group focused on making change happen. Which is why every spring, the National Pest Management Association hosts an annual NPMA Legislative Day in Washington. This year’s three-day session took place March 17-19. Clark Pest Control participated in the event by sending two executives, Technical Director Darren Van Steenwyk and Marketing Director Nicole Keefe.

A number of at-large events took place – hosted luncheons and presentations with legislators and industry people, along with various meetings and breakout sessions. However, the event was structured so that participants could set up appointments on one of the days to meet with senators or representatives from their home states. Seven of the nine California representatives who participated in the event hail from districts that Clark Pest Control services. Van Steenwyk and Keefe met with some of them, or their staffers, to talk about issues pertinent to business in general and pest management in particular.

“The legislators were receptive to us – a lot more than in the past,” Van Steenwyk says.

nicole darren clark pestKeefe agrees with Van Steenwyk, in that the event was a success. “I don’t know if attitudes are changing,” she says, “but no matter which side of the fence we were talking to, they were receptive, they were engaged, they were listening, they seemed like they knew what we were talking about, and I haven’t had that experience the last couple of years.”

The game plan was to focus on three issues of importance to Californians, and California pest control operators (PCOs), that the NPMA had identified.

One issue has to do with how information is passed on to consumers; the language used in consumer-affairs laws in some states, California included, mandates that pesticide disclosure notices, service records and certain other pieces of information must be delivered to every consumer via hard copy. Many companies and customers are working hard to manage resources better and reduce waste, and would prefer to receive that information as, say, a PDF sent via e-mail instead. If the requirement was changed, companies like Clark Pest Control – which has embraced S.M.A.R.T. (Sustainable Methods and Responsible Treatments) business practices to better serve its customers and meet their needs – could cut back on paper use by notifying customers electronically.

“That’s an example of where consumer attitudes are far ahead of our industry’s ability to meet consumer attitudes,” Keefe says. “The other thing we have to do is hold on to records, like termite inspections, for three years. It becomes quite cumbersome and expensive for a company when you have to find space to hold all of that, rather than sticking it on a server that could occupy one tidy little spot.” Instead of pushing to get legislation passed state by state, Keefe says the NPMA is advocating an amendment to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or FIFRA, which would supersede current state laws.

Another issue arises from the way a 1987 law that authorizes the Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to manage nuisance birds and mammals in non-agricultural settings has been interpreted in the years since. While the law may have been written to give government employees the authority to manage bird problems at airports and deal with other wildlife-related issues, its broadly scoped language allows government agencies to compete with private-sector businesses, such as pest control companies, to control rats, mice and other vertebrate pests. The bipartisan Pest Elimination Services Transparency & Terminology (PESTT) Act (H.R. 730) defines the term “urban rodent control,” and directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to write a report that not only identifies actions that the Wildlife Services program performs that could be handled by the private sector, but makes recommendations on how to avoid competition in the future.

“What has happened, and we understand it’s through budget cuts, is that the Wildlife Services program has been supplementing its budget by actually doing pest control work that directly competes with us in the private sector,” Keefe says. “This last year, they did around $71 million of pest control work that could have been done by the private sector. That wasn’t the intention when it was formed.”

The third issue centers around the use of the gas sulfuryl fluoride, or SF, a broad-spectrumnicole keefe clark pest fumigant that had been championed by the EPA as a replacement for methyl bromide, which was phased out globally after being identified as an ozone-depleting chemical in the 1990s. In January 2011, the EPA issued a proposed order to revoke the use of SF to treat food items – various bulk commodities such as rice, dried fruit, cocoa, peanuts, walnuts and other items – and as a fumigant in grain mills and food-processing facilities, largely to avoid lawsuits from anti-fluoridation groups, even though, according to the EPA, the fluoride present in SF fumigations represents a tiny fraction of fluoride exposure to the public. What the EPA then did was it lumped naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water systems, a non-pesticide, in with SF fumigants when evaluating risk assessment for SF per Sec. 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA); the EPA already regulates drinking-water fluoride with the Safe Drinking Water Act. The problem arises when drinking-water fluoride, especially in places where it occurs naturally in excess, maxes out the “risk cup” for the aggregate exposure assessment for SF, which removes the fumigant from consideration for use. A legislative fix would remove drinking-water fluoride from the “risk cup” for sulfuryl fluoride.

“That’s actually a really scary development that could cost a lot of jobs in our area,” Keefe says, “when you think of all the almonds, all the rice – those are all commodities that are treated with sulfuryl fluoride, because [the EPA] took away methyl bromide. Without sulfuryl fluoride, there’s nothing; all that industry, that processing, would go overseas.”


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Coming to a TV near you - Clark's 2013 TV Commercial


Tell us what you think!

Clark Pest Control has created a new tv commercial for 2013 which will start airing April 15th. If you like our newest commercial, let us know by liking and sharing our commercial on FaceBook and Twitter!

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Wendy Wright of Clark Pest Control Reno Talks About A.C.E


Clark Pest Control Reno Office Manager Wendy WrightThe people who work at Clark Pest Control have long been encouraged to provide “A.C.E.,” or an Amazing Customer Experience, to every person this company serves. That’s been a guiding principle at our company since the beginning. But by putting new methods of gathering, filtering and routing information into action, our goal of keeping our customers consistently happy becomes easier to attain.

Over this past year, the Net Promoter System, or NPS, has been rolled out to all of Clark Pest Control’s 21 branch offices. NPS works by organizing information and feedback from customers into a roadmap that provides a much sharper picture of how effectively the people who work at Clark Pest Control are meeting our customers’ wants and needs. Then, that information can be targeted to the right person, or people, within the company, so they can ensure that each customer’s experience will be more satisfying –amazing, even.

The specific way each of Clark Pest Control’s 21 local service centers puts the A.C.E. concept into action may vary from branch to branch, depending on the creative ingenuity of our employees. At the "Reno, Nevada Clark Pest Control office, Branch Manager Steve Adams asked his team members to each come up with one year-end idea they thought could improve business, and then follow through on whatever they decided. Office Manager Wendy Wright, who has been working at the Reno office for almost three years, figured that focusing on people who already are Clark Pest Control customers made the best sense, so she started methodically following up with every customer who has called her office for additional service, after that requested service had been performed. “My thought was, let’s retain the customers that we already have. Let’s make sure that they’re happy. How can we do that?”

The answer she came up with was to become proactive. Wright begins her process by running a report to find customers who have called her office for an additional service, or to report a pest problem. Whether the target pests were ants, mice, spiders or something else, she then will give the customers a couple of weeks for whatever treatment was performed to take effect. Then, she will get on the phone. “I ask them, ‘How was everything? Did we address your concerns?’” Wright explains. “I’ve found a few, not many, where they’ll say, ‘Not quite sure; is it possible to get someone back out here?’”

According to Wright, some customers just don’t want to bother her office, or call back if they have any kind of problem. So she takes the initiative and makes a quality-assurance call to them instead. “This branch QA calling program has really helped us to identify those customers and address their concerns,” she says, “whether we have to go back out there a couple of times or not. And maybe it’s just an issue of educating them – informing them how our products work, or what it is that we do.”

Sometimes Wright can’t get through to a customer on the phone, so she will send a letter with her business card attached. The point is to get out in front of any customer concerns by addressing them, well before those concerns can turn into something much larger and more troublesome. “I’m finding customers very thankful and very receptive for the follow-up,” she says.

Wright’s experience has taught her that it’s always smart to keep word-of-mouth advertising in mind. “If customers are unhappy, they’re going to talk to people about their experiences,” she says. “But if we can keep those customers happy, they’re going to talk about that, also, so they’re becoming promoters for us.”

The people at Clark Pest Control can do a lot of wonderful things, like keeping your living space delightfully pest free, but our company generally does not employ mind readers. Like just about everyone else, if we want to find an answer to something, we have to ask the right questions first. Using the NPS system helps us do that. So by finding new ways to ask you how we can serve you better and keep you happy, Clark Pest Control can continue to deliver an Amazing Customer Experience to you, every time.   

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A Special Wish Granted - Clark and the Make-A-Wish-Foundation


Clark Pest Control helps grant wish for toddler with cancer

By New-Sentinel staff and wire reports


Clark Pest Control employees spent a month during the holiday season trying to make one little boy's wish come true. The Lodi-based company's employees donated more than $5,000 to send a 3-year-old boy and his family to Walt Disney World Disney this spring.

Reuben Nazareno of Rancho Cordova was diagnosed with leukemia when he was not yet 1 1/2 years old. Nazareno receives monthly and daily treatments of chemotherapy and other medications.

A group of Clark Pest Control employees worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to send Nazareno and his family on a week-long, expense-free trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Nazareno, a Disney fan, was hoping to see dolphins. He will also have the opportunity to meet other children with cancer during the trip.

"We were touched by Reuben's story and are happy that we could do something to help make his dreams come true," said Nicole Keefe, marketing and advertising manager at Clark Pest Control. "Our wish is that this trip gives the Nazareno family memories that will last a lifetime."

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Whats Lurking in Your Furniture? - Bed Bugs


Could bed bugs lurk in used furniture?

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Termite Facts - a visual representation

Termites are a growing problem, do not become a termite statistic!

termite facts 2013Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit to learn more.

Interview With Clark Pest Control Yuba City Branch Manager Travis Mickel


Jackson Griffith/ Fred Speer
Clark Pest Control

A Personal Interview With Branch Manager Travis Mickel About Pest Control in Yuba City, CA


Clark Pest Control’s branch office in Yuba City pest control services routes that wind through a wide swath of northern California, spanning the Sacramento Valley and such cities as Woodland, Colusa and Yuba City-Marysville up into the mountain communities of Nevada and Sierra counties – Grass Valley, Nevada City and even Downieville. The territory includes a lot of prime agricultural land, residential areas from urban settings to small towns and, heading east, mountain forests.

Travis Mickel, the Branch Manager, moved to Yuba City from Clark’s Salinas branch, about a month and a half after the office moved into new digs on the Garden Highway. According to Mickel, it’s a real upgrade that has resulted in much-improved employee morale. The added space has provided room for branch employees to pursue the continuing education they need – to maintain state license requirements, and to keep up on the latest developments in pest management, customer service, and sales. “One thing we’ve done recently,” he says, “is we’ve opened a library here at the branch with basically everything from sales to service books that guys can check out on the honor system – videos, audio books, even NPS materials. So we’ve got that as a resource for all our employees now, and it’s kind of exciting.”

NPS, or Net Promoter System, is what Clark uses to assess customer satisfaction, with feedback that helps the company design and guide efforts to improve service. It’s a company-wide effort, and the 21 Clark Pest Control branches in California and Reno, Nevada are where the idea of Amazing Customer Experience gets put into practice. “We’re heavily into NPS,” Mickel says, “like I think everyone in the company is. I have a fantastic NPS Champion, Brad Braun, who also is my Service Manager. We typically let everyone know what our results are each month, and we’ve been scoring consistently better than the company average, month in and month out – which I attribute to a lot of really good technicians who deliver great customer service, as well as Brad and Tony [Garcia], the supervisors overseeing that.”

According to Mickel, Yuba City’s numbers are increasing, both sales and estimates. “So far this year,” he says, “we’re 40 percent ahead of where we were last year at the same time period for our number of estimates, and our number of sales is 42 percent ahead of where we were last year.

“Team Yuba City pest control takes pride in growing bigger and better,” Mickel adds.

Looking ahead, Mickel sees that to grow his 30-year-old branch, which today employs 28 people, he will need others to step up, so he started a leadership class four months ago that’s set to graduate its first group this week. “I asked for volunteers, if anyone would be more interested in learning about leadership,” he says, “possibly in an existing role as a supervisor, or those who would want to go into that at some point in the future.” The result he calls pretty exciting, and kind of a cool thing.

Yuba City also recently hired a new termite inspector. “We’re looking for good things to happen there,” Mickel says. Lately he says he’s really been focusing on sales training for his staff. “I’ve been taking the whole branch through The Personal Guide to Successful Sales book that I wrote many years ago, and we’re seeing results with our creative sales. Lot’s of great things are happening.” 

Clark Pest Control Yuba CityVisit the Clark Pest Blog or visit to learn more.

Clark Pest Control Educational Conference


commercial pest conference


We are excited to announce that our yearly educational conference will be held tomorrow in Lodi. We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our employees and vendors. Thank you for being a part of what we are certain will be an exceptional educational conference.

Clark Pest Control Educational Conference Speakers

Jeffrey m. Lipman

Jeffrey M. Lipman is a Des Moines, Iowa-based attorney who, among other areas, specializes in bed bug litigation. Last year he was a participant in Clark Pest Control multi-city bed bug tour, where his presentation “Can Ignoring the Bed Bug Problem Put You in Legal Jeopardy?”

wowed audiences with a graphic sequential illustration that spelled out just how quickly and extensively bed bugs can take over two towers of a residential complex, and what kind of issues are raised when their spreading infestation is not addressed. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Arizona, a Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law, and is a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College.


Bill pursley

Bill Pursley joined AIB as a field sanitarian in 1975, later becoming program director. He’s carried out many special assignments that deal with sanitation problems for food companies throughout the U.S. and Canada, and he also has conducted special seminars in other countries for U.S. Wheat Associates. In 2011 he received the George B. Wagner Award for outstanding contributions to mill sanitation and food safety at the International Association of Operative Millers’ 155th annual convention in San Antonio. He holds a Masters Degree in Grain Science from Kansas State University.


Rod Wheeler

As AIB’s Food Defense Specialist, Rod Wheeler assists food processing and manufacturing corporations with development and implementation of food safety and security plans, procedures and guidelines. As former director of the Office of Food Security and Emergency Preparedness with Food Products Association, Wheeler developed a series of

food security and defense programs to support food processing, manufacturing and retail food outlets. Previously, he served as Secretariat of the Food and Agricultural Coordinating Council. He’s made over 300 appearances as a law enforcement and security expert on Fox News Channel, Court TV and MSNBC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice/ Criminology from Ohio

State University and a Key Executive Masters Degree in Public Administration from American University.

Roger crawford

Roger Crawford was born with the kind of physical challenges that would bar almost anyone from succeeding, much less becoming an NCAA Division I athlete and United States Tennis Association-certified champion. Yet he overcame those difficulties to excel in sport at Loyola Marymount University. Crawford later distilled what he learned about maintaining focus to move through adversity and break through limitations, and as “America’s Possibility Coach,” he communicates those strengths and inspires audiences to reach higher with the Possibility Principles: Purpose, Perspective, Precision and Perseverance. His story was featured in the best-selling book Chicken Soup for the Soul, and was portrayed in the Emmy Award-winning NBC-TV movie In a New Light.

We thank each and every one of you for your continued support of Clark Pest Control.

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Interview with Clark Pest Control's Coach Robert Sperling


“Send Coach Sperling down here! I want him to do my pest control!” Robert Sperling, quoting one of his happy customers, says. According to the coach, they half-expect him to show up in a white Ford Ranger to take care of marauding ants. But Sperling, for the past two years a commercial sales representative at Clark Pest Control’s Stockton office, only handles the sales part of the transaction, even though he now is licensed by the state of California to treat for pests. 

Though Sperling may not wear a service technician’s cap, he does wear a few different hats, with his most recent addition being named the head football coach at Lodi High School. Sperling has been coaching football for 16 years; it runs in his family, going back to a grandfather who played under Paul “Bear” Bryant at Alabama and later coached, and a dad who coached, and numerous relatives who also coached.

“It’s what we do,” Sperling says of his football-enthusiast family. “Years ago, I learned to coach, not for the wins and losses, but to develop kids – because I had really good coaches growing up, and they had a big influence on me and my life. My uncle taught me … a long time ago, he said, ‘If you get into it to coach just for football, just for wins and losses, then don’t. But if you’re going to do it to teach the love of the game, and what the game has to offer young men, to teach them values in life, then do it. And that’s why I do it.”

Sperling, who played football at Stockton’s Lincoln High and then at Sacramento State until he was sidelined by an injury, has coached high school ball in varying capacities over the years, at different levels – freshman, sophomore, junior varsity. He also started the Lodi Junior Flames with another coach, Ken Rhodes, as a youth football team that would act as a feeder system for Lodi High’s program.

To pay the bills so he could coach football, Sperling worked at Alpine Meats in Stockton for 18 years; he began by working in the slaughterhouse, and then drove a truck. Drivers would sell what goods were left at the end of the day, and right away, Sperling’s bosses recognized his natural ability for sales. He got promoted to a regular selling gig, which led to him landing contracts to supply hot dogs and other meats to a number of sports concessions, including the San Francisco Giants.

After Alpine Meats got sold and dismantled, Sperling moved from selling packaged meats to pest management. Because Alpine Meats and Clark Pest Control were both sponsors of the Lodi Grape Festival, Festival manager Mark Armstrong put Sperling in touch with Clark, which quickly recognized the value of having an active coach making sales.

“Especially with my job, with leads and cold calls, you’re constantly meeting new people,” Sperling says. “I love meeting new people. I’m a people person. And, I love helping them with their issues. That’s probably my favorite part.”

clark pest coach sperling

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