Sprague Pest Solutions knows its service is only good as the people who deliver it. We pride ourselves on hiring and training the finest service specialists in the pest management industry. The “Beyond Pest Management” series will introduce to some of the talented, dedicated people who are Sprague Pest Solutions.
Pest Prevention Specialist
Jeremy Hundley joined Sprague in 2017 as a pest prevention specialist working out of the company’s Portland service center. The energetic Hundley has been a quick study and has set his sights on advancing within the company to a QA or technical services position.
Hundley grew up in the Portland area and has always had an interest in science. He attended a local magnet high school, Science and Technology, and attended Portland Community college while working part-time. He later transferred to Portland State University where he graduated with a B.S. in Biology: Organismal.
We road along with Hundley on one of his service routes to find out what he thought about his job, how consumers view the pest management industry and what misconceptions are out there about the industry that protects people, property and food from harmful pests and the diseases they can transmit.
What do you like most about your job?
Independence, problem solving and growth. Sprague has empowered its technicians with the freedom to schedule their workload. I decide when I start and end my days, as long as the quality of my work meets and exceeds the standards set by our clients and internally at Sprague. I also enjoy problem solving and the fulfillment that comes from resolving a pest problem or sanitation issue for a client. The company is growing and providing opportunities for advancement for its technicians, and I look forward to my continued growth with Sprague.
How do you describe your job to people outside the pest management industry?
I tell people that I work in food safety and pest management. Sprague’s mission is to help the world eat safer food, live healthier lives and work in better environments. As part of that team, I have an important job to do. Whether it’s a restaurant, farm, food processor or distribution warehouse, our clients rely on us to help keep their products safe, protect consumers, and protect their brand. Sprague passionately delivers uncompromising service.
What is the biggest misconception of the pest management industry?
In my experience, it is that a technician can just “spray” and the pest problem will be taken care of. My first introduction to pest control was John Goodman’s character in the movie Arachnophobia where he was called out to take care of a spider issue. He first sprays the spider and then steps on it when it doesn’t die instantly. That’s not reality in the pest management industry.
Many times I have been called out to a client to solve a pest problem and the first thing they ask is for me to spray it and make the pest go away. That is not to say that exterior perimeter treatments and interior crack and crevice treatments do not have their place in a pest management program, they do, but spraying does not solve underlying conditions of the pest problem.
Our job is to not only to eliminate current pests, but to find where the pests are coming from and explain to the client how to prevent future pest issues. Many of the root causes of pest issues are not readily visible. You must take the time to investigate and identify those causes as a crucial first step. Building good relationships with clients is the best way to bridge the divide between misconceptions and pest solutions.
What would your clients say about your work?
Sprague is well known in the industry for its innovative, quality of service and part of that reputation has been championed by technicians. I have worked with Sprague for just under two years now and have always received positive feedback. A manager at a coffee shop recently called me, “their hero,” while addressing a small fly issue.
The accolades do come with one caveat – relationships. I personally serve close to 150 clients on a monthly basis from fast food locations to food processing plants. Building relationships with our contacts is critical, whether it’s a small coffee shop or a major food distribution hub.
I approach each client the same and provide the same quality of service regardless of account size. With a strong connection with the client, we can address problems together. Without trust and mutual respect, some conditions may never be properly addressed. If I do my job correctly, a client sees the potential risks and will address them.
What are your favorite activities outside of work?
My partner and I both enjoy backpacking across the Northwest. Whether it’s to see waterfalls, mountains, flowers, or wildlife – we love it. This last spring we took a week long road trip to visit as many wildlife refuges in southern Oregon and northern California as we could to see migratory birds, it was amazing. We also enjoy our native pollinator garden in her yard or unwinding with a TV show or video game.