Bed bugs, ants, spiders, termites, roaches, mice.
The South Jersey branch of Viking Pest Control has done a lot of killing over the past year.
Located off Route 47 in Cape May Court House, the branch of the Bridgewater-headquartered extermination company has a company-bestowed honor as a bragging right - a golden, horned Viking helmet trophy sitting on a desk in its office.
The plaque represents the second consecutive year the location won the best-office award for the family-owned company, which has about 10 locations.
Manager Erin Schempp, 46, of Cape May Court House, said the award recognizes achievements during 2013, including customer growth and retention.
The branch, which covers Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties, employs six people, five of whom were working last year when the award was earned. It includes residential and commercial pest control and bird management.
In 2010, Viking acquired another pest control company, All Season Pest Management, Schempp said.
An exterminator can receive all sorts of telephone calls - from bed bugs climbing up the walls to ants parading around kitchen countertops.
"There's never a dull moment. It makes for a fun day, because there's a variety of different things. You can be catching squirrels one minute, and the next minute you're in someone's home trying to figure out the point of entry for the rodent problem they're having. From a day-to-day basis, it definitely doesn't get boring," Schempp said.
"Bed bugs seem to be the more frantic calls now, because bed bugs are hitchhikers. It really knows no boundaries, so you can get them from anywhere," Schempp said. "You can get them from a hotel. Day care centers are getting them, hospitals are getting them. There's really no rhyme or reasons for how you can bring bed bugs into your home."
Attacking infestations can involve different methods.
Spring tends to be the time when pests appear, said Tom Thompson, 35, of Egg Harbor Township, a pest management professional at Viking.
"When the spring gets here, everything kind of wakes up and comes out," he said.
When it comes to attacking bed bugs, there are multiple ways of doing it, he said.
Thompson said the company can use liquid spray treatment or can use that along with a treatment that involves heating the entire house to at least 135 degrees. The company has trained dogs that can help locate new infestations, he said.
The office staff involved in the award include: Erin Schempp, 46, of Cape May Court House; Tom Thompson, 35, Egg Harbor Township; Mark Santora, 50, Cape May Court House; Denny Moore 49, Goshen, Middle Township; and George DeScala, 62, Cape May Court House.
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