This month’s Meet the Board features Dana McDuffie of McDuffie Pest Control in Elizabethtown, NC. Dana serves as one of NCPMA’s At-Large Directors.
What led you to pursue a career in pest management?
My father started this business before I was born so I grew up in it. I sometimes went out with him to customers’ homes and watched while he treated for roaches, ants, etc. I enjoyed going with him under homes when he had to inspect for termites. I was always intrigued by things you see in crawl spaces. As I got older, I helped out in the office after school. Then in College, I had my own pest control route.
How do you envision the pest management industry in North Carolina growing in the coming years?
Pest management is an ever-changing industry. There are so many factors that change such as new pesticides being formulated that are more target specific and friendlier to the environment, and the resistance and/or aversion of pests themselves. There are always new techniques being introduced into this industry. It’s hard to say how I envision the future, I feel like the industry is a very strong one and although it is not recession proof, it is very tolerant to recession, which has been proven over many years.
Why do you believe the services we provide as pest professionals are so crucial to the public?
Pests are controlled from the time crops are grown until they are put on the table. Imagine if the restaurants were not practicing pest management, roaches and flies would infest the food. These two insects are known to carry many forms of bacteria and allergens that can cause food poisonings and allergic reactions. Fire ants, which are an ever-spreading insect, cause painful and sometimes deadly stings. What if they are in the classroom with children that are allergic to them? This can be detrimental!
Why should association members become more involved in the association’s effort to strengthen the pest industry in North Carolina?
The more we pull together as a group and represent the pest industry, the louder voice we will have to defend our industry when offensive political issues arise. We should work together and help one another to help promote pest management in a professional manner.
On a lighter note, what is your most interesting pest story?
We were hired to do a termite treatment at a customer’s home, when the termite technician opened the access door to go under the home, he could smell gas. He immediately went over to a gas line under the house and saw where it was leaking. The customer was not home, so he turned the gas off going to the home and called the homeowner, who is a widowed woman, and told her about the situation. She was so relieved that he found the situation and took care of it. To this day she comes in every year when she comes in to pay her renewal, she praises him for “saving her and her home.” Customers appreciate going above and beyond the normal call of duty.