Jeremiah Ebenzee Spence, the CEO of Lingo Exterminators, is using his expertise in sales and biology to continue his family’s legacy. We sat down with him to learn more about how he’s combining pest control technology and family tradition to fuel the success of his business.
The Lingo family has been serving the Southwest Georgia community for over 40 years. James Leon Lingo Jr. first launched Lingo Exterminators in 1976 to provide pest management to residential and commercial clients.
After Mr. Lingo passed away in 2018, his nephew Jeremiah Spence assumed the lead role in the family business in order to continue the Lingo legacy.
“For me, I think it’s very important that the business stays within the family. As a family-owned business, I think I have more creativity and freedom in terms of how the company operates and the services we provide. Our founder is my mother’s eldest brother. Thus, my family has continued their support of the business.”
Now Jeremiah is using his expertise and skills in sales and biology to further expand the business and define what pest control should be. He also developed the company’s website and publishes a monthly flyer-newsletter called The Beetle Bugle.
“I’ve worked in sales and customer service positions among other hats that I’ve worn, and I also have both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology. People often ask me how biology and pest control relate to each other, and I always explain to them that there are six kingdoms of living things, and each of those kingdoms contains pests which are managed by pest control specialists like myself. Even viruses, which aren’t included in the six kingdoms of living things are considered pests themselves and warrant control because of the harm they cause to life.”
Jeremiah is using his unique background and knowledge to provide new, niche services to his customers, like antimicrobial treatments. “Some of the unique services we offer include swimming pool maintenance, janitorial services, treatment of industrial water cooling towers, and cleaning and disinfecting of poultry houses. We also offer advertising space on our company website.”
The expertise Jeremiah has brought to the business is paying off since Lingo Exterminators is one of only a few companies in the entire Southwest Georgia region that has a license to provide those specialized services. But, Jeremiah tells us he’s not content to stop there.
“I also want to work directly with pesticide manufacturers to provide demonstrations to the public about how their pesticide products work.”
However, Jeremiah tells us he’s had to overcome several obstacles while running the business. “Getting new customers has been a challenge, mainly because many people try to handle pest control on their own. However, we’ve relied heavily on advertising efforts, both online and word-of-mouth and that’s one of the best tools that has helped us overcome this challenge.”
While running a business can be challenging, Jeremiah said there was one aspect that was easy, getting commercial insurance.
“I absolutely love CoverWallet. I find that the My CoverWallet customer portal on the website is very easy to use and convenient. I can view my policy there and see billing information too, which is very helpful. I received a competitive rate that fits my business needs. In Georgia, pesticide applicators like me have to earn an occupational license and be covered with general liability insurance, and CoverWallet helped me to get the coverages that I needed to meet these requirements.”