Before Critter Control, there were not many options for wildlife control and removal. Some pest control companies offered animal trapping services. There were even less that offered exclusions and remediations. Critter Control pioneered the industry.
The Beginning of Wildlife Control
Critter Control was founded in 1983 by Kevin Clark. The business evolved from Kevin’s father. He was a teacher who cleaned chimneys during the summer. Loaned a top hat and a few wire brushes, Kevin started working at Clark’s Chimney Service.
Customers called often about birds or raccoons stuck in their chimney. Kevin started offering animal removal from chimneys because of trapping experience from high school. The first animal removal job was on January 17, 1982. He removed a raccoon from a chimney, installed three homemade chimney screens, and cleaned the fireplace and chimney.
Clark’s Critter Control
Mr. Clark shifted from gears from chimney cleaning to wildlife removal services. Word-of-mouth spread naturally. A recurring theme was “we have called everybody, and nobody can help us.” Clark’s Critter Control was featured in Wood and Energy Magazine in April 1982. Clark’s Critter Control was born in 1983.
Clark’s Critter Control expanded to services to include attic work. From 1984-1985, branches were opened in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. Critter Control joined national associations like National Pest Management and Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators.
Incorporated in 1986, Critter Control started franchising in 1987 to help more customers. Critter Control provided training, support, equipment financing to franchisees to help get them started. Critter Control averaged one new office per month over the next decade.
Download: The Critter Control Concept Approaches of a Firm Specializing in Nuisance Wildlife Control
Lynn Braband, Kevic Clark, 1987
The Critter Control Brand Grew Rapidly
During the 1980s, the need for wildlife control was only increasing. At the 1988 Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences, the experts focused on nuisance wildlife.
“Wildlife damage complains are increasing throughout the United States. Continuing population expansion, spreading urbanization, and increasing wildlife populations are factors in the trend.”
“Damage concerns involved not only agricultural and forestry interests but also urban and suburban residents and the resource managers to whom they turn to for help and advice.”
Dr. Lee Stribling, Department of Zoology and Wildlife Science, and Dr. Nicholas Holler, Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Auburn University
“These types of challenges will continue to emerge as one of the world’s major environmental issues within the next few decades.”
Critter Control was there to help. As a nascent industry, Critter Control created and defined best practices. Franchise owners helped develop training programs and standard operating procedures to safely perform wildlife removal.
-Dr. James Armstrong (AL Coop Ext. Wildlife Scientist, Auburn Professor of Wildlife Sciences) recently headed up an international team of wildlife biologist studying issues with human/animal interactions.
Critter Control recruited people like Sean Carruth, Mike Dwyer, and Joe Felegi with degrees in wildlife related fields. Dr. George Rambo, Dr. Michael Dofrey, and Dr. s Chris and Marijo Christensen were members of the Vertebrate Control Committee and all opened their own franchises. The contributed greatly to our expanding knowledge base of pest and animal control.
“Hundreds of Millions of Dollars are spent annually in the USA dealing with nuisance wildlife control.”
-The Wall Street Journal
Growing the Critter Control Brand
Critter Control started getting recognized as the industry leader. Industry trade magazines like Pest Control Technology and Pest Management Professional featured Critter Control. In fact, Pest Control Technology Magazine credited Critter Control with creating the “Category of Wildlife Control”.
In 1990, Critter Control had ten offices in four states. There was a call from Houston, Texas property management to do a bat removal job in Little Rock Arkansas. Tom Brundgardt , the owner of the Kansas City franchise, traveled to Little Rock to complete the job.
On the 25th anniversary, Critter Control commissioned Franchise Business Review. Critter Control earned a top 25 franchise. 83% of franchises said their business was exceeding their financial expectations! In the first Pest Control Technology Top 100 Pest Control companies, Critter Control was #27. In 2015, Critter Control climbed to #14.
Over the years, Critter Control earned top rankings such as:
- Best of the Best from Entrepreneur Magazine
- Franchise 500 company every year starting in 1996
- #1 Pest Control Frnachise
- Top-100 home-based franchise
Rollins acquired Critter Control in 2015 and continued to invest in the business. There are over 120 Critter Control offices helping solve nuisance wildlife issues across the country.
Critter Control taglines:
Critter Control in Pop Culture
- The Nation’s Leading Wildlife Control Firm.
- Protecting People, Property and Wildlife.
- Get Them Out. Keep them Out.
- In 2002, USA Today featured Critter Control on the front page.
- World Greatest TV in 2014 as the World’s greatest Wildlife Control Company
- In 2015 Critter Control was an SNL Skit.
This company has been great. The technician Kensi was very through and checked everywhere to make sure all access points were found. After a skunk was found in the trap on a Saturday morning they came to pick it up very quickly.
Michael was super friendly and knowledgeable. He checked my entire house and recommended and installed the solution within an hour.
We are under contract with your company and so far they are doing a fine job. Many thanks.
Excellent work environment full of presence of God. Professional and dedicated staff. A good place if you want to have your children in a place where Christian values are protected and encouraged.
Great company and amazing service, the staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly! Thank you to the staff and especially to Bubba for taking care of my property and giving it that "personal touch" to rid and maintain it from pests and bugs! Appreciate you guys and look forward to continuing business together!
So when I went to have my insulation replaced I figured out that I had a critter problem that was beyond anything I was aware of. Not wanting to waste time I decided to call a professional and these guys were really good from day one. From the gentleman who gave the estimate to both of the guys that came out and did the work there was great communication and they were very effective at what they did. One little thing got missed and all it took was one text message and somebody was out the next day to take care of it. They always text me when they're on their way or going to be at the house and they let me know what they found along with photographs. My first thought when they gave me the quote was wow that was a lot of money and I didn't want to spend that much and now that I've had them do the service I feel like it's worth every penny and it's actually pretty damn reasonable considering the number of times that they come out and all the things that they do take care of.
I had an issue with squirrels getting into a small section of roofing without access from the attic or inside of the home. Critter control was a huge help in solving the issue, especially thanks to Brandon and Nate. Ended up catching 3 squirrels living in the roof plus they seal the entrance point after all is said and done. I would absolutely recommend critter control, Brandon and Nate did a stellar job.
Dominick was very friendly and he consistently put on his shoe covers each time he entered the house. He looked over every inch of the storage room where we thought the animal was and did a walk around the yard to see if there was evidence of entry. He was very thorough. He did not find any animal at that time. He said he would leave a trap and review the outside area of the house over the next week. It was the next day that the smell in our storage room indicated that the animal had died. We followed the small and discovered a dead bird in an open storage bin. I would highly recommend Dominick for 'Critter Control'.
Great explanations regarding findings, friendly, quality work! Each encounter with their tech has been professional and educational.
your representative (Dominic) was very friendly and quickly removed the dying raccoon from our outdoor window-well. He also shared information with us regarding raccoons on their behavior, what they liked/disliked, and provided information on how to disinfect the area the raccoon had been trapped in for a couple of days. I'd rate him 9 stars if I could. -pja