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Clark Pest Control clears bed bugs from Franco Center in Stockton



Fumigating a 110-unit apartment complex to remove a massive bed bug infestation is a big undertaking, one that requires months of planning. The Stockton, CA branch of Clark Pest Control just completed such a fumigation job at downtown Stockton’s five-story Franco Center, which currently houses 99 residents, primarily low-income seniors.

It took 28 workers several hours on Tuesday, September 1 to assemble the 38 blue-and-yellow 45’x60’ tarps into an enclosure large enough to contain the Franco Center, its unwanted population of bed bugs and cockroaches, and the 1.6 million cubic feet of fumigant gas (sulfuryl fluoride) needed to kill them. Once the tenting was in place, the fumigant was introduced, and two days later, giant fans were turned on to air the building out (the fumigant Clark Pest Control uses to control pests is odorless and leaves no residue) and the tenting was removed.

By the weekend, residents – housed elsewhere at the expense of the building’s new owners, WNC Inc. and Community Preservation Partners – were able to move back in, and two weeks after the tents came down, service dogs, trained to sniff out bed bugs, inspected the Franco Center room by room, no bed bug activity was detected.

Fumigating any building takes pre-planning, and when it’s one as large as Franco Center, that planning will take several months. The work was subcontracted to Murrieta, CA-based Your Way Fumigation with Clark Stockton branch’s WDO Service Manager Larry Bragg supervising, but Clark Pest Control staffers handled the logistics, which included partnering with the Franco Center’s owners to make sure that every resident understood what was happening, and what those residents’ part was in making the fumigation a success along with how to keep bed bugs from being reintroduced to the building.

“A lot of the residents thanked Clark for what we did,” Bragg said, “and some were in tears, stating it’s the first time in a long time that they could get a good night’s rest.”

As Bragg and Clark Pest Control Corporate Technical Director Darren Van Steenwyk both stated later, it was a job with a lot of moving parts, one that required a lot of hands-on detail work and expertise. The residents had been complaining about bed bugs and cockroaches and were clamoring for relief for some time. When the Franco Center’s new owners took over the building, they knew who to call.

“Clark, We Need You” is more than an advertising tagline – it’s a call to take care of business with pests.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit to learn more.

MUST SEE VIDEO!-Bloodsucking Bedbugs Spread To Stockton


This is aired November 11th 2010 on KCRA. This segment is about how the Valley is being hit by bed bugs. KCRA visits Clark and Delk Pest Control.

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit to learn more.

Bugging off chemicals

Pest control companies taking a less is more approach

By Alex Breitler
Record Staff Writer
April 27, 2010 12:00 AM

Clark Pest Control

Clark Pest Control's Adolfo Chavez sprays for
various bugs earlier this month outside a north
Stockton home.
Michael McCollum/The Record

It's a scene that makes the pest-control industry cringe: Actor John Goodman drowns a killer spider with a hose-like pulse of potent pesticide, then crushes the resilient beast with his boot.

The character from the 1990 movie "Arachnophobia" probably is typical of what people expect when they call in a bug blaster.

But state officials have recognized one San Joaquin County business for reducing the amount of chemicals it uses and for turning to other methods instead.

We're talking real high-tech stuff - such as vacuums, long-handled brushes to sweep out spider webs and handheld steam generators to sweat the little suckers out.

"We have been doing these types of things for a while, but a little bit more on the commercial level than residential," said Darren Van Steenwyk of Clark Pest Control, which has headquarters in Lodi but serves much of California.

"What we've tried to do is take the forefront, take the lead and try to minimize our impact and footprint on the environment to as little as possible," said Van Steenwyk, Clark's technical director.

The result, he said, has been a modest decrease in the amount of chemicals applied.

To be sure, the pest-control business is not pesticide-free. In 2008, 3.2 million pounds of pesticides were applied to homes and businesses in California, including 26,156 pounds in San Joaquin County, according to the Department of Pesticide Control.

That is a tiny fraction of the chemicals used on farmers' fields.

Nevertheless, any pesticides applied on the exterior of a home or on a garden or lawn are likely to run off into storm drains during wet weather, and those storm drains lead right to the Delta.

A University of California, Berkeley, study last year found pyrethroids - among the most widely used household pesticides - in Sacramento's American River at high enough concentrations to kill organisms similar to small shrimp.

The author of that study said at the time that he didn't believe most people need routine insecticide treatment.

"Average homeowners, when they hire pest-control companies to regularly spray their property to cut down on ants, don't realize that those same compounds end up in the American River at toxic levels," Donald P. Weston, an adjunct professor of biology, said when his study was released.

The San Joaquin River at the downstream edge of Stockton also reached a toxic threshold, Weston reported.

Clark Pest Control was honored by the state for a new program in which it inspects each property and talks with residents before deciding whether spraying is necessary. In the old days, spraying was pretty much a given.

Many residents are happy to avoid it if possible. Although make no mistake: They want the creepy-crawlies gone.

"You do what you have to, to take care of the problem," Van Steenwyk said.

Contact reporter Alex Breitler at (209) 546-8295

Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit to learn more.

Clark Pest audition grabs Stockton boy

Re Post from the Stockton Record 

After auditioning more than 300 people during the Lodi Grape Festival, Lodi-based Clark Pest Control has selected a 9-year-old Stockton student as the Northern California finalist in its search for the star of next season's statewide television advertising campaign.

David Frame, 9, is a student at River Oaks Charter School.

While he enjoys playing sports, his father says David really is an aspiring actor who loves drama and making up plays with his older sister.

While the judges auditioned many talented people of all ages, the panel agreed that David's audition tape showed a unique quality the company is looking for in its campaigns. Clark Pest Control has historically used humor in its commercials to illustrate the many problems its customers are encountering and the services it provides to counteract those issues.

Auditions were also held in Paso Robles and Reno, and a finalist was selected from each of those auditions as well.

The finalists from these auditions are married couple Edward and Nancy Martinaitis of Paso Robles and 9-year-old Mariah Glassgow from Marysville.

All the auditions, including David's and the other finalists', can be seen at

Judges are working with the company's advertising agency to determine which of the finalists is best suited for the 2010 campaign. The grand prize winner will be announced by the end of November.

-Information submitted by Clark Pest Control

HOME Reader Reactions We welcome your feedback on this story, or any follow-up story ideas you might have. Please send a letter to the editor to, or submit story ideas online here. When submitting a letter to the editor, please review our submissions policy.Visit the Clark Pest Blog or visit to learn more.

Stockton musicians to go from garage bands to hall of fame


By Tony Sauro

Record Staff Writer

September 10, 2009 12:00 AM

The notion of establishing a rock 'n' roll hall of fame for Stockton got Kelly Foley and Peter Hackett thinking.

Which isn't a bad thing.

They weren't so much pondering possible candidates as they were musing about providing someplace for many of these experienced and talented musicians to keep doing their thing.

"They don't really have a lot of opportunity to play these days," said Foley, an artist, writer and musician who's been playing and singing in bands since he was a Stockton teenager. "If we're able to do it in exotic, bizarre locations - not just a club - we'd then try to expand that out."

Foley, 50, and Hackett, 47, mixed music and art at the Hotel Stockton and The Haggin Museum last year. They also staged a multimedia music, dance and art show this year at Kudos in north Stockton.

They've thought about performing "Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)," a classic 1969 album by England's Kinks, in its entirety. "We could pull it off," Hackett said with a laugh.

On Friday night, they'll be pulling off something different again at the Hotel Stockton, as part of the city's monthly summer Art Walk series.

Hackett will do it all, drumming for James Blonde, Lisa Gallego and Jackson (Brian) Griffith at the hotel. He'll get a break when the Willie Hines Band plays.

They'll each pick one glam-rock song (T-Rex, David Bowie) as part of their sets to accompany Foley's art display.

Hackett and Eric Westphal, a singer, songwriter and bassist, are joined by Stockton guitarist Joe Bettencourt in James Blonde and by Lodi guitar player Mike Wilcox in Gallego's group. Hackett's 12-year-old son, Matthew, also will play electric guitar.

Drummer Dave Mompean, guitarist Jeff Babineau and bassist John Wise join Hines, owner of Stockton's Replay Records and a former member of Jet Red, a 1980s rock band.

Foley and Hackett hope this showcase of musical experience will increase familiarity - fame or no fame (speaking of Bowie).

"It's just a start," said Foley, whose current band, Toadstool Theatre, released an ambitious album ("Last Days of the Flying Machine") in 2008. "They all have a body of work and a name they can attach themselves to.

"We're just trying to keep that above ground. Young people have it now the way we used to have it. Their friends come to their club shows. We have to specialize to come up with other ways to do it."

One avenue might be using an abandoned building at Sutter Street and Weber Avenue in downtown Stockton.

"Upstairs, it has this huge room with these really high ceilings," Hackett said. "I could just see my dad coming back from World War II and see people up there dancing and doing the jitterbug.

"It's funny, but Kelly and I were thinking the same thing. Maybe it's time to step up and try to involve ourselves. We're the last generation that grew up shopping in downtown. I don't know why everybody's so scared of going down there. It's perfectly fine."

Foley - whose art "sort of has been restyled into larger stuff," including some painting with Lodi's Joe Clark, who uses oils on large canvases - always is seeking unconventional ways to display, discuss and define art.

"Basically, we're the next to take over the art scene in a few years," said Hackett, who shares Foley's sentiment and points to Middagh Goodwin's Plea for Peace Center on Weber Avenue as an example. "It could go from landscapes of Lodi Lake to something more modern. Everything has its time.

"Politically, we can get connected in public-private projects to get stuff happening and do some more in downtown. There's a lot of space. A lot of space not being used."

Griffith, who grew up in Stockton and went on to jobs as an editor, columnist and reporter at the former Tower Records Pulse! magazine and Sacramento News & Review, remembers a different time.

"Stockton's one of those places where you've gotta make a choice," said Griffith, 54, a mostly acoustic singer-songwriter and single parent living in Sacramento. "You could either be a juvenile delinquent or pick up a guitar or a paint brush. Or pick up whatever.

"There was a lot of support for the arts, for nurturing people coming up. It definitely was there."

Many took advantage of it. Foley, Hackett and Griffith, just for fun, listed those whom they consider possible charter members of a Stockton rock hall of fame:

» Foley: Jazz man Gil Evans ("rock 'n' roll is more of an attitude"), The Family Tree (Segarini), Laibach, Studebaker Hawk, Crayon 48, Thunderwing. "I'm just a weirdo guy," he said.

» Hackett: Dirk Hamilton, Bob Segarini, Tommy McClendon, Pavement, Chris Isaak, and "I'd like to think we (James Blonde Band) would be among the first inducted."

» Griffith: Pavement, Grant-Lee Phillips, Isaak, Segarini, Hamilton, the Authorities and Thunderwing (with McClendon).

"There's also Lord Buckley, Gil Evans and Dave Brubeck," Griffith said. "People in Stockton had an inferiority complex. People who play music always knew cool stuff came from there."

It still does.

Contact Tony Sauro at (209) 546-8267 or

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