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Three real estate experts tackle new industry: pest control

Majority women-owned Lady Bugs All Pest solutions focus on comprehensive solutions

Three real estate experts tackle new industry: pest control

Majority women-owned Lady Bugs All Pest solutions focus on comprehensive solutions

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Lady Bugs All Pest Solutions owners Joe Petralia, left, Dara Rennert, center, and Suzanna Dutro, right. The three also work in real estate, and having a background working with commercial and residential properties has been helpful as they navigate this new venture. (Photo provided)
Lady Bugs All Pest Solutions owners Joe Petralia, left, Dara Rennert, center, and Suzanna Dutro, right. The three also work in real estate, and having a background working with commercial and residential properties has been helpful as they navigate this new venture. (Photo provided)

If you would have asked Dara Rennert if she were interested in owning a local pest solutions business 18 months ago, she would have looked at you funny.

After a year-plus global pandemic, however, the idea was not only feasible, it became a reality.

Rennert, a licensed real estate salesperson with Keller Williams Commercial, opened Lady Bugs All Pest Solutions, along with her business partners, in April.

The other owners — who are also involved in the local real estate market — are Rennert’s fiancé, Joe Petralia, a senior loan officer with Genesee Regional Bank, and Suzanna Dutro, a licensed real estate salesperson with Howard Hanna.

Lady Bugs All Pest Solutions offers comprehensive pest control solutions.

The business — based in Henrietta — serves Monroe and surrounding counties. It currently employs seven. Technicians who go on-site follow all COVID-19 safety protocols, company leaders said.

Lady Bugs All Pest Solutions can handle pesky critters from mice and squirrels to spiders, ticks, fleas and stink bugs. The company offers several services, including a seasonal bee and wasp program and carpenter ant program.

There is an emphasis on preventative care, which can be easier and more cost effective than a problem that has already occurred, Rennert noted.

Formerly RCD Exterminating, the company was founded in 1985 by Bob Dehn, who retired with the sale of the business.

The majority female-owned business is unique in the industry, she said, adding the Lady Bugs name was chosen, with assistance from employees, to highlight its women owners.

The company’s motto is “Making pest control classy,” with the owners placing an emphasis on making pest control services more accepted and user-friendly.

“We take a different approach than what you traditionally see in this industry,” Rennert said, noting everyone needs pest control services at some point. “It’s part of life.”

The slow-down in the real estate market last year due to COVID-19 gave Rennert time to reflect on other professional opportunities.

At the same time, she was seeing more people pursue self-employment as a result of the pandemic.

As a commercial real estate professional, Rennert worked with someone who used to be employed by a dog groomer who was in the process of opening a specialty bar and with another person looking to open a training facility for injured dogs.

Rennert — who is continuing her career in real estate in addition to being an owner in Lady Bugs All Pest Solutions — said the innovation and creativity during COVID-19 has been inspiring.

She added that having real estate professionals run a pest control business is a natural fit, noting they have a background in residential and commercial properties and their upkeep.

In RCD Exterminating, they also have the benefit of a well-established business staffed with pest control experts.

Dutro said Lady Bugs All Pest Solutions continues to add top-notch talent and new technologies to its offerings.

According to Dutro, the pest control industry has seen an uptick as the pandemic has led to people spending more time at home, including working remotely.

“They are spending more time at home and want a pleasant environment,” Dutro said.

The trio believe that trend will continue and are looking to expand their business concept, with plans to add locations in five cities.

“We are excited and believe we have a concept that is really going to take off,” Rennert said.

Andrea Deckert is a Rochester-area freelance writer.

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