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|Traded as||NYSE: ROL|
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Number of locations||More than 400|
|Traded as||NYSE: ROL|
|Headquarters||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.|
|Number of locations||More than 400|
Orkin is an Atlanta-based company that provides residential and commercial pest-control services. The company was founded in 1901 and became a wholly owned subsidiary when it was purchased by Rollins Inc. in 1964. Orkin has held research partnerships with universities around the country and with organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dating back to 1990 for pest biology research and pest-related disease studies. It has been ranked on Training Magazine's Top 125 list for its training programs since 2002.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2013)|
Orkin was founded in Pennsylvania in 1901 by Otto Orkin, who began selling rat poison door-to-door at age 14. The company's first offices opened in Richmond, Virginia in 1912 and soon expanded to other cities. Orkin moved its headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia in 1926. In 1964, the company was acquired by Rollins Inc.
Pest control is the management of a species defined as a pest because it is perceived to be detrimental to a person's health, the ecology or the economy. Orkin’s uses its A.I.M. (assess, implement, monitor) Solution for pest control, which includes assessing activity, implementing a program based on the activity, and monitoring the program’s effectiveness for the customer. Orkin uses a proactive approach, incorporating treatments with the least impact on the environment, to help prevent pest activity.
|Termites||Wood-destroying insects like termites cause billions of dollars in property damage every year in the U.S. Termites feed on wood products and are found inside and outside the home near gutters, fences, patios, decks, windows, attic vents, etc. Termite activity can be hard to identify because these pests eat wood from the inside out. It can take years before a homeowner sees damage to the home.|
Annual inspections by licensed professionals can help track warning signs of termite activity. Orkin provides termite inspections and customizes treatment options based on the home and the customer’s needs.
|Mosquitoes||As temperatures warm up in the spring and summer, pests like mosquitoes become more active, causing people to be cautious while enjoying outdoor activities.|
More than just a nuisance, mosquitoes can transmit potentially harmful diseases like malaria and West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes breed in standing water and often rest in shrubbery and grass around homes. Mosquito populations can increase after heavy rainfall. However, mosquitoes only need a few inches of water to reproduce. Mild winters and warmer temperatures during the spring can also cause mosquitoes to become more active and to reproduce earlier than usual, resulting in possibly one or two extra pest generations in a year. Orkin’s mosquito service helps reduce conditions that exist around the home and allow mosquitoes to survive and thrive.
|Bed Bugs||Bed bug activity is on the rise due to increased international travel and resistance to pesticides. These pests are flat, brown and similar in shape to an apple seed and have been found in hotels, offices, malls and other public places where they can feed on humans. Bed bugs can travel quickly, and they are known to “hitchhike” on items like suitcases, purses and backpacks. Orkin uses several techniques to help identify and control bed bugs, one of which includes bed bug DNA testing. An Orkin specialist swabs areas where bed bugs typically crawl and sends it to a testing lab to determine any presence of bed bugs.|
|Stink Bugs||Stink bug populations have increased across the U.S. since the first sighting in the Mid-Atlantic region. Stink bugs are agricultural pests that feed on and damage crops and plants, causing significant problems for farmers and homeowners. In the fall, they look for a warm place, such as inside homes, to stay during the winter. Stink bugs produce a foul smell when disturbed, so contacting a professional, instead of squishing them, is advised.|
|Other services||Orkin also provides inspection and control services for several pests, including: ants, cockroaches, spiders, rodents, ticks, fleas, and wasps.|
Orkin has had research partnerships and entomology endowments with universities since 1990 to study pest behavior and biology. The research aids the company in finding new prevention and treatment methods. These universities include Auburn University, University of California Riverside, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, Purdue University, University of Tennessee, and Texas A&M University.
Additionally, Orkin sponsors and conducts a number of educational programs and initiatives centered around teaching pest identification, entomology, and science basics primarily to K-6 students. The company has also sponsored a permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian to encourage a better understanding of insects and arthropods among the general public.
On September 9, 1993, the O. Orkin Insect Zoo (OOIZ) opened at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. This permanent exhibit, made possible through a contribution from Orkin Pest Control, was created to encourage interactive learning and a better understanding about insects from all over the world as well as those found in the average backyard.
The opening of the zoo marked the first time the Smithsonian enlisted a sponsor for a permanent exhibit in any of their museums. The Smithsonian's popular insect zoo, which annually draws more than one million visitors, is the museum's only exhibit where living creatures can be seen in their natural environments. The insect zoo, located on the second floor of the museum, focuses not only on strange and beautiful insects, but also on the relationships insects have with plants, other animals and humans.
The exhibit features over 300 live insects and arthropods, including giant cockroaches, tarantulas, tailless whip scorpions and walking sticks. Each of the insects in the zoo live in their own natural habitats, which have been painstakingly reproduced under the direction of entomologists and museum professionals. Included in the habitat displays are mangrove swamps, a living bee tree, a desert diorama and a tropical rain forest.
In addition, there are plenty of hands-on activities that encourage the OOIZ visitor—adult or child—to get better acquainted with insects and arthropods of all shapes and sizes. Of particular interest in the OOIZ is the "Our House, Their House" display which shows insects living in and around a giant 3-D home. By pushing buttons in front of the house, visitors illuminate the harborage areas for common household insects such as fleas, roaches, carpenter ants and silverfish.
Orkin’s Junior Pest Investigators’ program offers free science lesson plans for teachers. These lessons, for students in grades K-6, focus on common pest identification and environmentally friendly ways to help control pests.  The lesson plans are based on the National Science Education Standards and provide resources for assessment such as grading rubrics and quizzes.
The Orkin Man School Presentation program, started in the 1950s, is a learning initiative that allows Orkin employees to educate students in their communities on the roles that insects play in the world and how they affect the environment.
Rollins University is a strategic training program that increases its employees’ pest management knowledge and provides Orkin specialists with the skills to better serve their customers. New technicians participate in eight weeks of field and virtual training. Training Magazine has recognized Orkin’s training program on its Top 125 list several times since 2002. The magazine honors programs based on various categories, including company investment, the depth of the training program and how it ties back to overall business objectives.
Located in Atlanta, the 28,000-square-foot (2,600 m2) training facility provides a state-of-the-art setting to engage employees through interactive distance learning and hands-on and web-based training programs. The facility includes simulated customer environments, including a house and mock grocery store. The facility also has a commercial kitchen, hospital room, hotel room and warehouse.
The Orkin Man icon originated from the “Otto the Orkin Man” advertisement, a spray-can cartoon man, in the 1950s. Since then, the Orkin Man has been depicted as the pest control expert (Big Number One campaign), technologically savvy (Exterminator Robot campaign) and scientifically trained to control pests (Pest Control Down to a Science campaign).
The most recognized Orkin uniform consists of a white collared shirt with the Orkin logo and red epaulets and pressed khaki (or gray) pants. The uniform varies depending on an employee’s job function for safety purposes. Commercial technicians have an additional pocket to store a handheld device used to record service data for on-the-job use.
Orkin’s advertising focuses on what the more than 100-year-old pest control company can do for homeowners. The company’s Big Bug advertising campaign features giant pests that attempt to enter homes through deceptive practices; however, the Orkin Man arrives to thwart their plot and offers homeowners his knowledge and expertise to help control pest invaders. The advertising campaign’s commercials include:
In March 2013, Orkin introduced its “Pest Control Down to a Science” advertising campaign. The new spots focus on the Orkin Man, who uses the tagline, “To catch a pest, you’ve got to think like a pest.” The advertising campaign’s commercials include:
In 1965, Orkin acquired the Midwest-based Arwell Pest Control. Arwell's jingle, "Call Arwell! Call Arwell!" was adopted as "Call Orkin".
Orkin’s fleet consists principally of white Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado trucks. Outfitted with Orkin’s red diamond logo, each truck has a global positioning system (GPS) to help improve routing efficiency so field specialists can increase their time with customers and decrease driving time. Ford ended production of the Ranger in St. Paul, Minnesota on Dec. 16, 2011. Orkin received the last truck off the production line for its service rotation.
Rollins announced in September 2012 that the Toyota Tacoma will replace Orkin’s fleet of Ford Rangers. Orkin will lease the Tacomas and sell the Rangers as those leases expire. The company plans to replace all Ford Rangers by 2015.
Orkin has more than 400 owned and operated branch offices and 58 franchises in the U.S. The company also has international franchises and subsidiaries located in Canada, Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa and Mexico.
Orkin’s employees have received industry recognition for their service. In 2012, Rick Gaudreault of Collinsville, Ill. was chosen as the “Termite Technician of the Year” by Pest Control Technology magazine. In 2011, Jim Bailey of Columbus, Ohio was honored by Pest Control Technology magazine as the 2010 Commercial Technician of the Year. In 2010, Randy Miller of Greenville, S.C. was chosen by the magazine as the 2009 Residential Technician of the Year.
Employees have also gone above and beyond to help others. In 2008, Darrell Johnson, an Orkin employee in Atlanta, Georgia, chased down a robber who snatched a woman’s purse outside Emory Crawford Long Hospital. Darrell returned the purse to its owner and was honored at a luncheon hosted by the hospital. In 2011, Jeffrey Dancy of Phenix City, Alabama, saved a local family when he noticed that their house was on fire while driving his morning work route. He then called 911 and knocked on the family’s door until they were awakened.
Orkin created the “Fight The Bite” campaign in 2008 to help raise money for the purchase and distribution of bed nets in Africa, where 90 percent of malaria-related deaths occur among children. From 2008 to 2011, Orkin donated one mosquito net to Nothing But Nets a campaign started by the United Nations Foundation, with the purchase of every mosquito service. Nothing But Nets provides insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent deaths by malaria in Africa. Orkin’s "Fight The Bite" campaign, which also includes donations, raised more than $820,000 in four years.
Orkin has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on public education initiatives involving pest-related health risks since 2004. The CDC shares their scientific knowledge on pest-related diseases with Orkin employees during bi-annual training sessions. In April and September 2010, Orkin hosted CDC-led training seminars to discuss triatomine bugs (insects that transmit Chagas disease) and insect resistance to pesticides. Orkin’s April 2011 training session featured CDC behavioral specialist Dr. Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez, who discussed emerging mosquito-borne and tick-borne diseases in the U.S. and provided prevention measures for technicians to share with homeowners. During the October 2011 seminar, an expert shared rabies transmission facts and prevention tips. The seminars are broadcast via satellite to Orkin branches throughout the country. Field representatives from Orkin’s 400 locations view the live broadcasts or access them later through a video-on-demand feature.
Orkin serves as the presenting sponsor of the National Pest Management Association’s Women of Excellence Award. The international honor recognizes one woman each year who displays outstanding leadership skills and significantly contributes to advancing the pest management industry.
The winners of the NPMA Women of Excellence Award are as follows:
Orkin is an official corporate sponsor of the Houston Zoo, supporting annual programs and community outreach initiatives. Orkin also sponsored the Houston Zoo’s Earth Day celebration in April 2012.  Orkin partnered with the Houston Zoo to sponsor the DINOSAURS! exhibit, which opened May 4, 2012. Orkin sponsored “Pollinator Palooza” at the Houston Zoo in June 2012 to highlight the role of Earth’s pollinators.
Orkin has been the subject of many lawsuits around the country over recent years for alleged faulty service and slipshod practices. Notably, Orkin was investigated in Florida for racketeering in 2004 for its termite contracting practices, with one source citing over 15,000 consumer complaints in the state in a four-year period. This investigation comes on top of multiple lawsuits around that state alleging fraud and poor performance, and similarly around the nation. 
Recent revelations by a former high-level Orkin risk manager may serve to bolster those claims levelled against the company. In 2001, NY Attorney General Spitzer instituted measures to reform Orkin advertising and arbitration for its termite services.
Other noteworthy lawsuits against Orkin in recent years can be found at these links, illustrating problems common around the country. Often these cases have gone beyond mere allegations of fraud, deception and poor service to accusations of injury and even death from chemical misuse.
"Another House Destroyed – Another Family Ruined"
"Health and Home at Risk?"
Other interesting case histories are linked here, including examples of the numerous class action suits endured by Orkin over the recent past.
"Orkin Man is Super Con"
"Class Action Granted in Orkin Case"
"Orkin to reapply termite treatment to Missouri homes under terms of record consumer settlement with Nixon"