Pestie: Delivering the Best of Pro and DIY Pest Control
Earwigs. Spiders. Ants. When it comes to getting rid of summertime pests, what’s the solution? Buying over-the-counter pesticides at the local home improvement store to DIY, or hiring a professional exterminator to squash the problem?
A Utah startup is aiming to bring together the best of both worlds.
“We started Pestie because there aren't a lot of great options,” said Pestie co-founder and COO Dillon Jeppesen, who started Pestie with Matt Rogers (above center) and Jake Berube (above right). “Traditional companies have long contracts and high prices, and the store bought products just don't last. We knew there was a better way.”
With Pestie, a pro-grade pest control solution is sent to your door. Users follow the instructions to spray the outside of their home. Then follow-up applications are sent when needed. Co-founder and CMO Berube describes Pestie this way; “Pestie sends professional grade pest control to the consumer’s doorstep at a quarter of the cost of a professional pest control company.”
Jeppesen adds, “Sales commissions can be up to 50% of the contract [of a professional exterminator]. They only spray a few dollars worth of product on your house. We started Pestie to help consumers be better informed and save money by cutting out the salespeople and the commissions.”
Jeppesen has an operations background, while Rogers and Berube come with marketing expertise.
“Our average review rating is 4.7 from our customers. They absolutely love Pestie,” says Berube. “We hear from customers all the time, ‘I told my neighbor all about Pestie… I am going to tell everyone I know about this!’”
That word-of-mouth advertising has accelerated the one year old startup. “This year we’ve already seen 600% [growth] just year-to-date… it’s really been astronomically better than we projected it to be,” says Berube. “We’ve had to change our projections through the end of the year so many times at this point. It’s significantly higher than we expected.”
“Every state has different pesticide laws,” says Berube. “As of about a month and half ago, we’ve adapted to those laws and are now selling in all 50 states.”
Based in Lehi, UT, Pestle launched in April 2020, right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For so many businesses, the pandemic was a severe blow. Pestie co-founder Jeppesen thinks it was probably a boon for them. “We think with everyone being home, it actually helped our business, much like how 2008 helped AirBnB. If people didn't need extra money, they might not have rented out extra rooms.”
Pestie recently announced an investment from SkyLab Ventures, one of Utah’s newest VC firms, and covered by TechBuzz on June 30, 2021. “Pestie is a tremendous investment for SkyLab Ventures,” says Benson Metcalf, CEO of the venture firm based in Murray. “We are inspired by the founders and their competitive drive to deliver something truly disruptive to a stale industry (door-to-door pest control) and we see a broader trend of DIY across American households.”
Berube says homeowners (and parents especially) don’t need to lose sleep over the chemicals used, as long as directions are followed. “You don’t have to declare nuclear war to get rid of your bugs, but with the proper precautions you can apply these pesticides and you can do it in a way that’s not going to harm your kids or pets. Pestie's goal is to help reduce the harm to pollinators and the environment as much as possible.”