Boston's EHS Pest Services works primarily at commercial accounts, servicing a variety of diverse locations — from grocery stores and restaurants to pharmaceutical research facilities and the city of Boston. And many of the company's accounts include rodent work.
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When John Stellberger opened EHS Pest Services in December 1985 he wanted the company to be different. He wanted his approach to solving pest management problems to differ from the industry norms at the time and embrace the principles of Integrated Pest Management.
A lot has changed since then — including the Red Sox winning three World Series titles — but Stellberger and his team of more than 50 pest professionals remains just as dedicated to providing pest management services that leave a smaller environmental footprint.
"We like the challenge commercial accounts present and solving pest problems in a wide array of unique and sometimes complex environments," says Stellberger. "We enjoy working with clients that share our philosophy and vision for IPM, and are capable of buying into to what it takes to deliver this style of service."
EHS Leaves Rodents Out in the Cold
An April 2016 article in The Boston Globe titled "Boston's new method of killing rats will give you the chills," featured a review of how the city is using dry ice to kill rats.
Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. As it undergoes sublimation (a solid turning into a gas without becoming a liquid), it turns into carbon dioxide gas (which is heavier than air and displaces oxygen). The carbon dioxide gas fills the burrow, suffocating any rats inside.
EHS Services provided the training for the city of Boston on this project.
"We have been successfully using this method for four years, including city properties, as an approved vendor. EHS does not use rodenticides at all in open air burrows. (There are) no downsides at all," said John D. Stellberger, A.C.E., president, EHS Pest Services.
Stellberger said this method features no rodenticides so there are no secondary effects to hawks and owls; there is no contamination to groundwater; it is 92 percent effective after the first application; and rodents are eliminated after two to three visits.
Stellberger says what makes the Norwood, Mass.-based firm stand out in the competitive Boston market is the company's genuine interest in helping clients solve pest problems and collaborate to find long-term solutions.
"We want to support our clients as well as educate them on how our systems work and what role they play in the success of the program," says Stellberger. "We also are dedicated to supporting our technicians and employees to empower them to find the right solutions for the customer."
With continued growth in the commercial sector expected, EHS is adding staff — including Technical Director and Board Certified Entomologist Justin Hedlund, who started in January — and is focused on hiring a new generation of technicians with deeper educational resumes that include an emphasis on biology.
"We view our technicians as observational biologists in the field who can deconstruct a building and apply exclusion and sanitation protocols to prevent pest incursions," says Stellberger, whose commitment to the environment includes deploying hybrid fuel service vehicles.
EHS sponsors 2016 Boston Rodent Summit
Earlier this year, famed rodentologist Dr. Bobby Corrigan offered his New York Rodent Academy for the first time in Massachusetts as part of the 2016 Boston Rodent Summit. The summit, which was conceived and sposnored by EHS, included professionals from the cities of Boston and Cambridge, as well as manufacturer Xcluder Rodent Exclusion products. EHS paid for the event; the city of Boston donated use of the venue.
With an educational focus on keen observation, exclusion, prevention and pesticide-free alternative techniques (such as carbon dioxide and open air rodent control), the event was "a huge success," said EHS President John Stellberger. "Bobby exudes an infectious passionate mix of science, environmental stewardship and common sense like no other human being."
Securing buy-in from clients for a more labor intensive — and costlier — approach to pest management requires more education but the end result is worth it, he said.
"We have a number of progressive clients who embrace the IPM approach and we work closely with their staffs to educate them on what it will take to get the job done and secure their buy-in," says Stellberger. "It may sound old school but if you take care of your clients they will take care of you."
The author is a frequent editorial contributor to PCT.
Source: PCT Magazine (http://magazine.pctonline.com/article/august-2016/a-different-approach-pays-off.aspx)