A lot can change in 50 years. That’s certainly been the case for us, anyway.
When our founder, Jim Hegwood, started National Exterminating in 1974, he almost certainly could never have imagined that his little town of Warner Robins, Georgia, and his new exterminating company would grow to what they are today.
In this article, we’ll celebrate fifty years of National Exterminating. We’ll look at how much our hometown of Warner Robins has grown and changed, and we’ll talk about some of the ways our company and industry have grown and changed over that same period.
Warner Robins: 1974
In 1974, Warner Robins:
- Had a population of about 36,000
- Was served by two high schools
- Had one main commercial area that was centered on Commercial Circle at the corner of Watson Blvd. and Davis Drive.
Russell Parkway was still mostly empty, as was Watson Boulevard west of where At Home stands today. The closest Walmart was in Tennessee, but locals could find most essentials at the Houston Mall, which had only been open for three years. The Galleria was still two decades off, and most major shopping trips required a drive to Macon to find larger stores.
Robins Air Force Base had expanded to support air operations over Vietnam, and new neighborhoods had sprung up and were continuing to spring up in the western and southern parts of town. The homes built when the base first opened during and just after WWII were nearing or surpassing the 30-year mark.
National Exterminating: 1974
Our founder, Jim Hegwood, settled in Warner Robins after years in a career that required moving his family from place to place every few years. He wanted to start his own pest control company and realized that Warner Robins, aside from being home to some of his extended family, could be a growth market for a new exterminating company.
He and his wife, Sarah, settled in a small office and began their work. Their son, Roger, was finishing up at UGA and joined the new National Exterminators as soon as he graduated.
In 1974, the exterminating business looked very different. The science of pest control had not advanced to its present state, and exterminators commonly used chemicals that today are known to be hazardous to the environment and people. Chlordane, now banned for residential applications, was still the leading termite control product on the market. DDT had only been banned for a handful of years, and many homeowners continued to control yard pests with supplies of DDT they’d stockpiled before the 1970 ruling pulled it from shelves.
Environmentally friendly pest control solutions were being investigated and beginning to see use in some places around the country. However, the industry relied primarily on pesticides like methoxychlor to eradicate and repel insects and other pests.
Since then, National Exterminating has been proud to take part not only in the growth of our community and our business but also in advancing the safety, sustainability, and effectiveness of pest control.
Warner Robins: 2024
Now, Warner Robins:
- Has a population of about 81,500 – an increase of more than 140%.
- Is served by four high schools.
- Has expanded its boundaries and now crosses county lines to include portions of Peach County.
Russell Parkway is now a major commercial thoroughfare and has been extended to reach I-75. What was mostly farmland near Centerville has become a huge retail area, one of several in town. Gone are the days when major shopping trips required driving to Macon. (In fact, many Maconites now find themselves traveling south to do their shopping!)
Robins Air Force Base has continued to grow, and its mission has evolved to reflect the Air Force’s increasing use of unmanned and other advanced technologies. As the base has grown, so has the community. The number of homes in Warner Robins has more than doubled since Jim Hegwood founded National Exterminating in 1974, and we remain proud of our community and the part we play in keeping our neighbors’ homes pest-free.
National Exterminating: 2024
Now, in our 50th year, we continue to grow and improve our service offerings. We currently serve families and businesses beyond Warner Robins, with a customer base reaching from Butler to Milledgeville.
The tools we use have improved as well. Our termite treatments, Termidor and Sentricon, are safer and more effective than the old chlordane treatments, and the pesticides we use to control indoor and outdoor pests are safer and more effective, as well.
We’ve also kept up with industry trends in natural pest control. We use a natural product to manage our customers’ pest control issues whenever possible, helping to keep our practices as safe and sustainable as possible.
National Exterminating: Always
As we continue into our second fifty years, we’re excited to see what the future will hold. We’re sure that our beloved hometown will continue to grow and thrive as our nation’s defenders continue to rely on the team at Robins AFB to keep their planes in the air and as more and more people recognize that Warner Robins is a great place to live.
We’re also sure we’ll continue changing our pest control services. As research and development around pest control leads to even better, safer, and more effective pesticides and natural pest control solutions, we’ll strive to ensure that we’re always offering our customers the best possible solutions at the best price.
What won’t change? Our commitment to our customers. Our commitment to honesty and transparency. And our commitment to keeping our neighbors free from the irritation and health hazards of pest infestations. We’ve thrived for 50 years by keeping our customers’ needs at the center of our business, and we don’t anticipate changing that focus any time soon.
This year, as we celebrate 50 years of National Exterminating, we invite you to join us in remembering 50 years of exceptional service, ushering in the next 50 years, and paying tribute to the town that has given us a place to grow for the last half a century.
We’ve Grown With You For 50 Years – Let National Exterminating Handle Your Pest Control Needs. Call Us: 478-922-1410.
National Exterminating’s licensed pest control professionals have the tools to keep pests away if you’re trying to eliminate an existing infestation or prevent a future one. Call us today at 478-922-1410.