At City Wide Exterminating, we have a deep commitment to the customers we serve. As a part of that community commitment, we want people to get to know us a little bit better, and getting to know us means first and foremost getting to know the people who make the company what it is. In our most recent staff interview, we talk to pest & termite service manager Dylan Morrison about his experience in the field, entomology, and what makes City Wide’s culture so special
Hey Dylan! Let’s get started. How long have you been working in the pest control industry?
I’ve been in it for 15 years now. I started at it way back in high school, stuck with it through college, and here I still am today!
What interested you about the field starting out?
It was a very organic process. Growing up, Robert and Linda, the owners of City Wide, lived next door to my parent’s house. Eventually, he asked me if I would like to start helping him out as my schedule allowed. As I got older and the company grew, I started working in a more substantial part-time capacity, and then it progressed into a full-time position after high school. The longer I worked in it, the more intrigued I became not only by the technical side but by the business side as well, which meshed well with what I studied in college. Surprisingly, I did not study anything insect-related back then, but rather, focused on business management.
In later years after college, I completed Purdue University’s entomology program while also completing the state certification process. After that, I thought, “Why not keep going?” and decided to become an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) through the Entomological Society of America(ESA). There are currently about 1300 of us in the country who have the urban entomology certification. So I guess it all started out of just simple circumstance, but as I got deeper into the business I got more interested in all of the moving and rewarding parts of this industry.
What makes Entomology important?
One reason that Entomology is more important now more than ever is that you really need to understand insect biology in relation to modern pest control. A decade ago we had a few products that could eliminate almost any pest. Unfortunately, that really wasn’t the safest or environmentally sound way to control pests, so we all had to learn and adapt once regulations rightfully tightened. It allowed our industry to really demand more education and science behind our work rather than a “spray and pray” method.
It is so important to know insect biology and life cycles in order to predict and control their colonies. Also, insects are on the move. In North Carolina, so many new types of insects have made their way into our area. There are so many different spaces for entomology that it can be a little confusing from the outside looking in, but ultimately insects are really worth understanding and are actually pretty interesting!
We talked a bit about your journey into pest control, but is there anything specific about the industry that really drew you in?
There’s a number of things. On the service side, I love the customer interaction. I enjoy the freedom of being out and about every day, and just being on the road and being in Charlotte. I also value meeting new people and creating new relationships with customers on a regular basis.
You’ve been in the industry for over 15 years now. How have you seen it change?
Well, because the industry is still relatively new, we’re still very much in an evolving process. Treatment strategies even 3-4 years ago have changed significantly, in part because of regulatory changes. But also the technical side of things has massively changed how we serve customers. Industry-standard used to be leaving a note on a door after treatment, but nowadays everything is done electronically. Customers get photos of their treatment and a detailed report of what was used and performed at their property.
We know that pests behave differently when put in different environments. Each of our homes are different environments, so knowing every property and using the latest technologies on the market really gives us a leg up in solving pest problems. Customer engagement and communication has been one of the biggest changes, but honestly, all for the better. It’s enjoyable educating our community and our customers of their problems, and the ability to do that through pictures, imaging, email, and more is just icing on the cake.
What, in your opinion, makes City Wide stick out from other pest control companies?
It’s a little cliche, but the fact that we’re family-owned. Our customers have really been an extension of our own families. We’ve developed personal connections with our customers, which is a culture we embrace with our entire team. As we continue to grow, this culture of family is something we laser focus on. I think each of our team members does a great job making those connections and maintaining them for years and even sometimes decades into their careers here.
I’ve personally had the privilege of watching our customers’ kids grow up, and we’ve even added them on as customers when they have their own homes. We know our customers, and our customers know us. We make a commitment to embedding ourselves into the local community so the money spent with us is revitalized back into the local market. We’ve been here for years, and we’ll continue to be here for them and their children and their children’s children. It’s truly an honor to be a part of those generations.
Describe City Wide in one word.
Family. It’s all about family, from our team to our customers. We have team get-togethers and outings with each other, our families, and significant others quite frequently. Some of us work out together, camp, fish, and hike together outside of work on a regular basis. It’s really so much more than a job for all of us here, and I’m fortunate to be a part of this family.
What do you like to do outside of the job?
I’ve got three young children, and I love spending time with them. We go to the mountains; we go to the beach and everywhere in between when we get the chance. We enjoy exploring our state and love to be outside. Beyond that, I enjoy running a few days a week. I usually run about 4-5 miles a day, and it gives me an hour to decompress.