Houston family carries on 50 years of pest control
Kimberly Barton considers Long Point Pest Control a second home. As a high schooler, she worked in the office of the company her great-grandfather founded more than 50 years ago. Today, her father, Randy Barton, is semi-retired and grooming her to take over the business.
The career path and love of the pest control business surprised Barton, an only child who majored in art history and marketing at the University of Houston. “I had no idea what I wanted to do,” Barton says. “I worked here while I was going to school. It kind of became my baby.” Barton enjoyed working with the customers, and before she knew it, she was hooked. In addition, Barton says she saw more women entering the pest control business and doing more than office work, which opened her up to the possibility of the family business becoming a viable career.
Owners Randy and Kimberly Barton of Houston run the company that was founded 50 years ago. Long Point won the Super Service Award in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
These days, Barton says she’s interested in learning about the whole company and not just the office. It’s hard to improve upon a business model that’s lasted decades, but Barton’s put her marketing skills to use and now relies on more than word of mouth to spread the gospel of Long Point. “Angie’s List was pretty much our first attempt at advertising, and we’ve seen a big jump in customers that come from Angie’s List.”
Long Point specializes in insect extermination, animal trapping and removal and rodent control. The company also offers integrated pest management (IPM) such as removing firewood away from a home to deter infestation and uses environmentally safe products for its green-conscious customers. Also, for customers who prefer chemicals not be used inside, the company recently added an extermination plan that focuses solely on the perimeter of a home.
A customer for 10 years, midtown Houston member Marianne Blackstock says Long Point sends the same technician with whom she’s familiar. “He loves the dogs,” Blackstock says. “He knows the dogs’ names. They’re excited to see him, too. It’s kind of like having a friend come in and do your pest control.”
Barton admits that running a company so widely known in the community presents expectations she feels pressure to meet, but thankfully her father is around to answer any questions that arise. “In customer service, you’re not going to make everyone happy and that’s hard, but you try.”
When not learning the ropes of the business, Barton likes to travel abroad to places like London, England, and Varanasi, India. “Everyone has something interesting to say — you just have to find it,” Barton says. “It gives you a better understanding of your world and other cultures.”
The Super Service Award recognizes contractors and health care providers that have maintained a stellar service rating on Angie’s List throughout the past year. Be sure to always check the List before hiring, however, as ratings can and do change.