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The Terminix International Company, L.P.
Subsidiary of ServiceMaster
Industry Pest control
Founded Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. (1927)
Founder E.L. Bruce
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Harry J. Mullany, CEO
Services Pest control
Number of employees
Parent ServiceMaster
Slogan "Honor God in All We Do"
Website www.terminix.com

Terminix International Company, L.P. is the largest pest control company in the world, operating in 45 states in the United States and 14 countries around the world. It is a unit of ServiceMaster.[1]


Terminx pest control vehicle

In 1927, E. L. Bruce, owner of the E. L. Bruce Company in Memphis, Tennessee, wanted to find a way to protect the hardwood floors they manufactured from damage by termites. He founded the Bruce Terminix Research Laboratory. In 1932, senior chemist Frank Lyons created the first termiticide, an insecticide specifically designed to kill termites. The company began to franchise under the name Bruce Terminix. In 1955, Terminix was the first company to offer a termite protection contract, with annual inspections and a guarantee. In 1957, franchisees began offering residential and commercial pest control services.[2]

In 1968, the E. L. Bruce Company, including Bruce Terminix, was sold to Cook Industries. The company began looking to expand their business both in and outside of the United States, and purchased a pest control company in Mexico and began partnering with Sears, Roebuck and Company to offer pest control services under the Sears Termite and Pest Control name. In 1972, the company changed their name to Terminix International to highlight their expanded operations.[2]

ServiceMaster purchased Terminix from Cook Industries in 1986. They continued to acquire pest control companies, including former franchisees, to become the largest pest control company in the world by 1990. In 2001, Terminix purchased its former partner, Sears Termite and Pest Control.[2] In 2007, ServiceMaster moved their main offices from Downers Grove, Illinois to the site of Terminix's headquarters in Memphis.[3] On Dec 16 2012 Terminix acquires Pestmaster Services of California.

Legal proceedings[edit]

On May 31, 2008, termite inspectors in California sued ServiceMaster and its Terminix Unit for failure to pay overtime, allow the opportunity for lunch and rest breaks,and for failure to reimburse vehicle and other work-required expenses.[4] The case challenged the company's classification of termite inspectors as "outside sales persons."[4] Federal and state labor laws exempt employers from the duty to pay overtime and minimum wages to "outside sales" employees.[5] The company characterized termite inspections as "sales activities" and contended its termite inspectors were, therefore, properly classified as sales persons.[5] On June 20, 2011, the U.S. District Court held that termite inspections are not sales activities.[6] Although the case was filed as a class action, following the April 27, 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Federal Arbitration Act bars class actions in arbitration,[7] the company asserted its arbitration rights and the class action was denied; individual claims allowed.[8] Denial of a class action lifts a stay of the statute of limitations and thereafter requires claimants to file within the applicable time limits or forfeit the right to sue for back pay.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In 1971, Stan Freberg won Clio Awards for three of his radio commercials for Terminix, entitled "Vintage Floorboards," "Interview," and "Blue Tennis Shoes."[10]
  • In 2010, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim claimed at Comic-Con that they had partnered with Terminix for an upcoming release of their movie "Blues Brothers 2012". In this film; the Blues Brothers would take the roles of exterminators for Terminix.[11]


  1. ^ http://servicemaster.com/
  2. ^ a b c http://www.pctonline.tv/Article.aspx?article_id=39028 Pest Control Technology Magazine: Terminix Timeline
  3. ^ http://www.allbusiness.com/operations/facilities/3922621-1.html ServiceMaster to Consolidate Headquarters: Will Move Offices to the Memphis Area
  4. ^ a b Pablo et al. v. ServiceMaster Global (Terminix), CASE NO. 3:08-cv-03894-SI(U.S. Dist. Ct. N. Dist. CA(filed May 31, 2008).
  5. ^ a b 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1). See generally Allan J. Schwartz, Who is employed in "capacity of outside salesman" within the meaning of 13(a)(1) of Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C.A. 213(a)(1)), as amended.
  6. ^ Pablo v.ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc., No. C 08-03894 SI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64969,(N.D. Cal., June 20, 2011, supra.
  7. ^ AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, No. 09-893, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 131 S. Ct. 1740; 179 L. Ed. 2d 742; 2011 U.S. LEXIS 3367; 161 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P10,368; 22 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 957; 52 Comm. Reg. (P & F) 1179,(April 27, 2011).
  8. ^ Pablo et al., supra.
  9. ^ See Am. Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah, No. 72-1195, SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, 414 U.S. 538; 94 S. Ct. 756; 38 L. Ed. 2d 713; 1974 U.S. LEXIS 42;(January 16, 1974).
  10. ^ http://www.clioawards.com/archive/ Clio Archive
  11. ^ http://blogs.laweekly.com/stylecouncil/2010/08/tim_heidecker_eric_wareheim_bl.php LA Weekly: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim Say They're Remaking 'The Blues Brothers' with Terminix's Help

External links[edit]