LOAN FOR A SPRAY TANK
Fred Rottler purchased his first spray tank and started a small pest control business in 1956 with a $10 loan from his wife’s aunt. A Florissant native, Rottler worked part time (after getting off from his other job at St. Louis Car) spraying homes in North County. His timing was good, with the black widow scare of the fifties transpiring and more people moving to the city, helping him keep his one man pest control show in business.
At this time, a typical house could be treated for around $3.75 to $5.00. A kind-hearted, family man, Rottler made a lot of contacts and got even more business through referrals. He continued working for St. Louis Car for about 5 more years, while attending pest control classes at the University of Missouri. Rottler joined the Missouri Pest Control Association and became an expert in termite control and prevention. Throughout his career, Fred remained active in St. Louis Pest Control Association, serving as President in 1969 as well as the Missouri Pest Control Association, serving as President in 1973.
Throughout their high school years, Rottler’s two sons, Mike and Gary worked part-time after school, on weekends and over summers, helping their dad service homes. After college in the 1980s, with annual revenues around $78,000 and just two trucks, the sons joined now Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions full-time to help their father build his business. In 2000, at age 76, Fred Rottler finally retired and left his sons to run the family business as partners. Since then, the brothers have grown the company into a multi-million dollar operation, reaching $15.7 million in revenues in 2015.
THE FAMILY TRADITION CONTINUES
Today, Mike and Gary continue to instill their father’s family-like service approach in their employees, even though Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions is now ranked #50 in the United States on PCT (Pest Control Technology) Magazine’s Top 100 list of pest management firms for 2015 and is the largest independent pest control operating firm in Missouri. Rottler has over 90 service vehicles on the streets, employs over 140 people and operates out of eight locations throughout St. Louis, St. Charles, Springfield, Kansas City and the Columbia/Jefferson City, MO areas. Once offering only general pest and termite control, Rottler’s service offering now encompasses residential and commercial properties and includes everything from ants, spiders and mice to termite control & prevention, wildlife management, lawn & tree care and even Christmas decorating services. The newest additions to the Rottler product line include attic insulation, bed bug heat treatments and bed bug K-9 inspections.