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Pest Control for Your Home: An Interview with Modern Exterminating Company, Inc.

By Kristen Bosse

Please describe a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Modern Exterminating Co., Inc. opened for business on October 3, 1955. Started by George G. Matthews, Sr. and Katherine E. Matthews, the company has remained under the ownership of the Matthews family since that time. Principals George Matthews, Sr. (1955-99), Katherine Matthews (1955-present), George Matthews, Jr. (1969-present), and G. Glenn Matthews (2002-present) have been involved in the day-to-day operation of the company since its inception. We have 39 full-time and 3 part-time employees with over 500 years of combined experience in the pest control field.

Modern Exterminating Co., Inc. is the oldest, largest locally owned independent pest control company in Columbia, SC. We service a 40 mile radius from downtown Columbia, and have over 10,000 customers in the greater Columbia area.

Our services include: Monthly pest control, Bi-monthly pest control, Quarterly (every three months) pest control, One-time service, Yard and flea treatments, Guaranteed fire ant treatments with Top Choice, Mosquito Reduction Program, Liquid termite treatments, Termite baiting systems, Five (5) and six (6) inch gutter installation, Polyethylene moisture barriers, Temperature control ventilators, Power vent, Exhaust fans, Sump pumps, French drains, Termite damage repair, Water damage repair, General repairs, Bathrooms, Tile work, Hardwood floors, Doors and windows, Fascia and soffit repair.

How did you get into this line of work?

My grandfather started the company in 1955 after 13 years of experience working for Orkin. My father took over after him, and now I've taken over for my father. You could say it is a "family tradition."

What is the first thing someone should do once they suspect a pest problem in their home?

Call a professional pest management company to do an inspection. We are trained to spot problems that the average person may not be able to see.

What are some signs that your doors or windows should be repaired?

Windows or doors should be repaired when you see light or feel wind coming in through the cracks around the frame. That is also a great entry point for pests if not properly sealed.

In your opinion, how often should homeowners/businesses receive the pest control service?

For most customers, I recommend a quarterly (every three months) pest control service. If there is a severe infestation, I recommend monthly until it is under control. I also recommend monthly pest control for restaurants and food handling establishments.

How can the moisture barriers help your home?

Moisture barriers can help a home in a variety of ways. First and foremost, they keep the ground moisture from seeping into the sub-structural timbers, which can cause wood decay fungi and health related molds that can destroy the wood. Secondly, pests thrive in moist conditions, and moisture barriers can help cut down those pest populations.

How do you know if you simply have a few spiders and ants around the house or your bug issue is a real problem?

I believe it is all about personal tolerance. Some people can tolerate many pests, and for some people, one is too many. I personally believe that if you see one or two pests every once in a while, that is relatively tolerable in our hot, humid southern climate, but if you are seeing them everyday inside your home, you may want to call a pest management professional to take care of the problem.

What should homeowners be looking for in a qualified pest control company?

I think you need to ask: (1) how long they have been in business, (2) if the technicians are licensed, (3) what insurance requirements do they carry? I would also recommend checking Angie's List and the Better Business Bureau.

What sets your business apart from other comparable companies? Is there anything you believe you do better/different?

I believe our experience in the industry sets us apart from our competitors, we have long-term, licensed technicians that have spent years mastering their craft. At Modern Exterminating, our logo is "We Know What Bugs You" and the reason we feel that way is because of our experience.

Once the new homeowner moves in, are there any precautions they should take relating to pest control within the first couple weeks?

I would always recommend having a pre-inspection done before you put an offer in on a property so you can get a good idea what you are getting yourself into. Any pest management company can perform this inspection, and it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. During the purchasing process, I would recommend getting a CL-100 termite letter on the property. This report will alert the new homeowner to any possible pest damage or pest infestation. After the property is purchased, I would recommend the new homeowners call a pest management company to inspect the house and put it under a termite and/or pest control guarantee.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?

Call us at 803-765-2315 or e-mail us at

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

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