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Each week, The Columbian offers a brief snapshot of an interesting Clark County business. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.
Business name: Alpha Ecological Pest Control.
Owners: Jim and Linda Hargis and Scott Sneer.
CEO: Scott Sneer.
Address: 1200 N.E. 112th Ave., Suite 100.
What the business does: Alpha Ecological is a pest management company located in Vancouver, with service in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Texas and Idaho. The company says it focuses on preventing infestation by identifying conditions conducive to pests and by assessing the biology of the insect, using as little product as possible. The company says it uses reduced-toxicity products that are a combination of natural, botanical-mineral and biodegradable products that target specific pests. In addition to commercial and residential pest control, Alpha specializes in air-duct cleaning, crawl space restoration, and commercial gutter and window cleaning.
Steps to building your business: Alpha is considering expanding to two new markets this year.
Greatest challenge: The biggest challenge of running a pest control business is probably its seasonality, says CEO Scott Sneer. He says Alpha's other services, such as duct cleaning and crawl space restoration, help offset the seasonal nature of pest control.
What's ahead: Alpha is working with area schools through its free online educational resource, Fraboom. The program allows teachers to download educational insect activity books from the online children's museum. CEO Scott Sneer, "the bug guy," and company mascot, "Seymour Green," educate children through an animated online course on the importance of insects in the environment and how they help humans. Alpha also works to hire veterans and help honor them by donating money, time and volunteers.
Owner's business history: Sneer started in 1999 at Alpha and worked his way up from technician to manager to CEO and partner.
Year established in Clark County: 1987.
Employees: The corporate office is in Vancouver and most of its 144 people work in Clark County; a few technicians are in other states.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.