The foundation of the home was blown out. The result: A tunnel open to any rat who wanted the good life, nesting in a bed of home insulation. Enter Alan LaBissoniere, who runs his own varmint-removal business, Frontier Pest Control.
Down in a crawlspace, LaBissoniere was on a mission to stop the intruders.
LaBissoniere’s been in pest control for eight years. He started with the big companies, then went out on his own two years ago, and never looked back.
“This is the best thing I’ve done yet,” LaBissoniere said. However, there’s a lot of work, a lot of study and plenty of tests when it comes to being an exterminator. That’s because the chemical that LaBissoniere handles is highly regulated.
“The rule is: The label is the law,” he said. “You’ve got to understand how to apply it.”
LaBissoniere theorizes that some folks may be a little hesitant to call in the pest control guy: “They don’t want their neighbors to know they’ve got rats.”
But his business will always spike when there’s a flood in the Valley. Flooded-out rats just want to come inside.
Most of the time, local rodents and bugs are outside, where they belong.
“I tell people, if they’re inside the house, it’s not OK,” LaBissoniere said. “When they come in, we have an issue. If they’re in your house, give me a call.”
On the job, LaBissoniere deploys an integrated pest management approach. First, he tries to keep the intruders out, blocking entrances with caulking and foam. Then, it’s time to trim the bushes and clean up the landscaping to discourage pests. Chemical agents are a last resort, and LaBissoniere says his primary chemical is based on natural ingredients.
Bugs don’t bother me
LaBissoniere loves being his own boss.
On the job, he’s seen some strange sights, visited hoarder homes stacked floor to ceiling with junk. He’s learned to know whether there are bedbugs in a room by smell.
You can check for bedbugs in a hotel by checking the mattress seams. And if you find them, definitely get a new room—you don’t want to bring them home with you.
Temperamentally, LaBissoniere is suited to this work, though he does get a little claustrophobic in those tight spaces.
That’s where his assistant, Dave Dickinson, comes in. He’ll help Alan if he gets into a real jam, grabbing him by the feet and hauling him back out of those tight crawlspaces. Dickinson is now going through the certification process. Once done, he can take care of pest control problems on his own. It’s good work, Dickinson says.
“Bugs don’t bother me,” he says.
Both Alan and Dave are involved in volunteering for the King County Search and Rescue, and as emergency HAM radio operators. They’re part of SECAST, the Valley’s emergency radio broadcasting unit, and drive support vehicles for search and rescue.
Frontier Pest Control serves the Valley, King County and upper Kittitas County, and is a big promoter of shopping local.
“Keep your money in the Valley, because that’s where your dollar is going to be spent,” Alan says.
• Reach Frontier Pest Control at (425) 577-2944 or visit frontierbugs.com/pest-control/.