By Laurie Stone: PNT Correspondent
Editor’s Note: This story is part of a recurring series of profiles on local business owners who have been with their business for five years or more.
For the past 14 years, the owners of Redlands Pest control and Tree Trimming, Ken and Teresa Carlson, have provided a service that has kept their clients from going buggy.
Before entering the exterminating business, Ken Carlson worked for 13 years at Food Town (now known as La Tienda) as a food stocker before working his way into the position of store manager.
He said the long hours at that job led him to have another goal — to be self-employed.
Rick and Katrina Yochim of Clovis owned Redlands Pest Control before selling it to the Carlsons in 1990.
According to Ken, he wasn’t looking for a business that would make him a killing but would make him a living.
“Pest control is a significant business because of a person’s individual safety and their peace of mind,” he said. “Insects carry diseases, spiders bite and most people react to bug bites.”
Teresa said her husband loves his work.
“He cares a lot about people and does whatever he can, sometimes going beyond what he can do, to help others,” she said. “But he’s cheerful about it.”
Ken had to overcome his own fears regarding the insect world and is still challenged every so often — he admits he’s still afraid of one animal.
“I face challenges everyday and I feel good about it, but I don’t like dealing with snakes,” he said.
The business is close to seasonal, as the workload slows down after October, according to Ken.
“I felt guilty because I wasn’t working,” he said. “I worked as a substitute teacher twice when I realized that I preferred working outdoors.”
He expanded his business by adding tree trimming, firewood sales, mowing and landscaping.
Ken said his favorite parts of the jobs are watching how a tree foliates and shapes itself after being trimmed and solving a person’s insect or pest problems.
“I like my job because everyday is different,” Ken said. “As long as the phone keeps ringing, then there’s always room for future growth.”