What is your favorite Hulett commercial?

What’s your favorite Hulett commercial? There are a boatload to choose from on Youtube! These are a few of my favorites, I even threw in some of our old ones. Tell us which one is your favorite in the comment section, and if you don’t see your favorite listed below leave a link to it!
Tenting for Termites

No Tent Termite Treatment

Know Your Bugs

Ant Invasion

Ant Roundup (old)

Unexpected Guest (old)

Features – PCT Top 100 2011 [Top One Hundred] Hulett Environmental Service

[Top One Hundred] Hulett Environmental Services

Businesses, like families, have ups and downs. It’s how you support your employees and staff during the tough times that test the character of an organization.

Editor’s note: May PCT featured the 10th annual PCT Top 100 List, a ranking of the industry’s largest pest management firms. Due to space limitations, we were unable to run the following four articles in that issue. See page 86 for information about the Food Protection Alliance; see page 92 for a first-person account titled “Why I Hate the Word ‘Exterminator’”; and see page 96 for graphics that tracks the industry’s largest firms throughout the past 10 years.

A commitment to cutting-edge marketing, combined with a state-of-the-art disaster relief plan and enlightened management, have enabled Tim and Liz Hulett to create a true “family culture” at Hulett Environmental Services, a third-generation business serving the highly competitive South Florida market.

Tim’s father, Guy, founded Hulett some 40 years ago. During the past 40+ years the company has experienced consistent growth despite the inevitable ups and downs of the economy. Family owned and operated, Hulett Environmental Services is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., and has 12 offices serving customers throughout the Sunshine State. “Given the state of the economy, we’re lucky to be in this industry,” says President Tim Hulett. “We grew seven percent last year and expect a similar growth rate this year.”

Consistent Advertising
. “In terms of marketing, we’ve never stopped advertising because it’s worked well for us in the past,” says Randy Hulett, son of the owners and the third generation of the Hulett family to be involved in the business. “We believe in it.” A member of the company’s marketing team, Randy Hulett reports they’ve been able to purchase advertising more cost effectively over the last two years because of the downturn in the economy. “We decided to continue to invest in advertising during the recession,” he said. “While our competitors were cutting their ad budgets, we were protecting ours and getting more for our money.”

Florida’s economy tanked at the end of 2006, but in 2008 the company continued to advertise, according to Greg Rice, another member of the marketing team. “And we bumped up our advertising dollars in 2009, even though the economy still hadn’t turned around completely. Our offices got inundated with leads, which were up by as much as 70 percent,” he said.

Hulett has since added more radio and TV advertising to its marketing mix and enhanced its Internet and social media presence. “Increasingly, the Internet is where the consumers’ eyeballs are,” says Rice.

It’s difficult to track leads generated by TV, said Rice, the longtime “face” of Hulett Environmental Services, “but we’re moving to a cost-per-lead model with our marketing efforts. We’re now tracking all of our advertising down to the smallest marketing effort. Every online ad and every Yellow Pages entry is being tracked. This will allow us to evaluate our ad performance much more effectively this year.”
TV-Driven Organization. The company is a strong TV-driven organization, Rice said. “We know TV supports all the things we do to market the company,” he said. “For instance, there are hundreds of pest control companies advertising in the Yellow Pages in South Florida, so how does a customer pick Hulett? That’s where our corporate awareness (branding) efforts come in. We’ve emphasized our company brand through TV ads for more than 21 years throughout the state. That’s allowed us to stand out from competitors. A potential customer is probably familiar and comfortable with us because of our TV advertising over the years.”

Rice also shared a new direction, established in March, for Hulett’s TV commercials — the creation of the “Hulett Man”, a youthful, customer-friendly technician played by a local actor. Rice and his late-brother John — well-known local celebrities throughout South Florida — starred in many of the company’s TV commercials, but with the passing of John a few years ago, Hulett was forced to revamp and introduce the new character. “The ‘Hulett Man’ plays the role of a clean-cut young technician, very IPM-oriented, which ties beautifully into our three-year-old ‘HealthyHome’ marketing initiative,” Randy Hulett says. “That’s our green program, which is a GreenPro Certified service that does not [include] baseboard spraying.” Rice says the commercials utilize comedy to make a selling point and also entertain the TV audience. They push to make their ads entertaining and informative, but also strive for high production values, he said.
Enhanced web Presence. The company has had a lot of success with TV advertising, but is also interested in further updating and expanding its online presence (see a comparison of the old site vs. the redesigned site below). “We’ve now made our website more of a sales tool rather than just an information source for our customers,” says Randy Hulett. “Customers can make payments, log into their accounts, send us notes, etc. We have no auto response. If they contact us, we’re very quick to respond — within five minutes, if possible. We want to be out there the same day if a customer needs us or has an issue with our service. We want to complete the service cycle in one day. And if there is a problem we want to service it with an extreme sense of urgency.”

He says that normally most pest control companies around the country use their corporate name as their domain name. “We on the other hand, are www.bugs.com. The name Hulett can be spelled 12 different ways, so it’s easier for the consumer to remember bugs.com.”

To prove Internet effectiveness, Hulett reports that one of the company’s branches — an average-sized branch — generates $1 million in sales, and gets 50 leads a day. “The real challenge is keeping up with that many leads. Seeing customers the same day and maintaining the same level of urgency throughout the sales and service cycle is critical but it’s a great problem to have.”
Disaster Relief. Another significant reason for Hulett Environmental Services’ growth — and survival — over the years was the creation of a disaster relief plan prompted by the three hurricanes that clobbered Florida several years ago.

“Recovering from the hurricanes was stressful and represented a lot of hard work and planning for the future,” recalled Liz Hulett. “After living through the experience, we were very committed to ensuring that we would not fall short again when it came to disaster preparedness. Our computer system went down during the last hurricane and our records were at risk as a result of the storm.”

The two owners vowed then and there that they would never put their business at risk again. “We had our whole lives in our building and it could instantly be gone without any backup,” says Tim Hulett, so they began the process of putting redundant systems in place for their back-office operations. The company’s computer databases — the lifeblood of every service business — are now backed up by a mirror system located in Charlotte, N.C., far from hurricane-prone South Florida.

“If our system here should go down again, we could switch to our back-up facility and be up and running again in minutes,” Tim says.

They also showed exceptional consideration for their employees both during and after the hurricanes, when a number of their staff lacked access to food and shelter, as well as fuel since South Florida was under a state of emergency for several days. “We opened up our building, which has impact-resistant windows and other hurricane-resistant features, to our staff. They brought their children and pets to our building,” he said. “We had birds. We had cats. We had dogs. It was like a little Noah’s Ark. We bought giant ice machines to help them keep their food and baby bottles fresh. We bought hamburgers and hot dogs and fired up the grill to feed everyone.”

Added Mike Fearns, VP of Hulett’s pest and lawn operations, “We even used our fumigation tarps to help cover the damaged roofs of the homes of our employees.”

According to Frank Dowling, vice president of sales and general manager, they even bought gas for employees so they could go to and from work. “We tried to ease their minds. If they could take care of what they needed to do at home, they could think clearly and do their job for us.”

As a result, the staff, having gone through that trauma, feels more like family than co-workers, which is paying dividends for Hulett Environmental Services now.

“Tim and Liz have created a family culture here,” said Fearns. “They’ve given us employees the ability to treat Hulett as if it’s our own company. Liz and Tim are the owners, but they make everyone feel like they’re wanted and needed.”

The author is a contributing writer to PCT. E-mail him at jfox@giemedia.com.

Another Blogger Likes our Commercials

Remember when that blogger wrote a post about how much he loved the Hulett Environmental advertisements? Well another blogger has praised an old school Hulett advertisement on his blog. You can see it here. Something tells me this isn’t the last blogger to love, share or write about our commercials :-)

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Florida Termite Renewals

It is estimated that termites annually cause more damage to Florida homes than all fires, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. That is why it is so important to renew your Annual Termite Protection with Hulett.

Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent termites from attacking your home:

  • Remember to maintain your termite contract and renew it annually.
  • Maintain gutters and downspouts so that rain water is discharged 18 to 24 inches away from the foundation.
  • Channel air conditioning drainage away from the house.
  • Keep roof in good repair; stop leaks immediately.
  • Keep mulch and landscaping away from the siding.
  • Keep irrigation away from the siding and the foundation.
  • Don’t pile wood against the house or in the garage.

Eat Bugs, Save The World

Allow me to introduce you to Daniella Martin. She is the host of Girl Meets Bug, the insect cooking show. Her website explains, “She is passionate about teaching people that insects are fabulous food –in addition to being the most environmentally-efficient animal protein source on the planet!” She makes some valid arguments on her site noting that “insects require up to 20 times less food than cattle, meaning that per pound of food they are given, they produce several times the amount of protein.” The bottom line is if you want to help save the world then get on the insect diet. Although she brings some valid arguments to the table I don’t foresee insect diets catching on in the near future. Considering many people have fear of such insects is just the beginning, I have been around bugs my entire life and I wouldn’t for one second dream of letting this yummy “cuisine” anywhere near my mouth. Just check out the clip below, looking at it just makes me wonder how many organisms may be growing out of her. None the less we bid her good luck in the insect eating quest, but please be sure to save some for Hulett.

Carmel on the Case: Bed Bugs

Carmel on the Case: Bed Bugs

Experts say no matter where you go you should be on the lookout for bed bugs. The blood sucking bugs are infesting hotel rooms, movie theaters and even retail stores across the country. Seven’s Carmel Cafiero is on the case and goes to the experts to find out how to inspect hotel rooms to make sure there are no uninvited guests.

WSVN — Experts say from high end hotels to road side motels, travelers need to be worried about bed bugs.

Greg Rice: “They’re moving around the world in record numbers now.”

We took bug man Greg Rice of Hulett Environmental Services to a hotel with a history of bed bug problems.

Greg Rice: “This is a great place for bed bugs to hide.”

He says #1: Never put your bags on the beds or any furniture within ten feet of the beds. #2: Always travel with a flashlight to help you search the room, start with the night stand.

Greg Rice: “Take the drawer out of the night stand do an inspection.”

Look at seams on the drawer and then check the stand itself.

Greg Rice: “What you are looking for is small black bugs that are about the size of an apple seed. What you’re also looking for is fecal matter in other words bed bug poop.”

Next, inspect everything on the night stand.

Greg Rice: “Another great hiding spot is in a hollow lamp.”

Clock radios phones even remote controls are good dark hiding spots for bed bugs.

Greg Rice: “Take the battery cover off. Maybe take the battery out.”

Next, move on to the beds.

Greg Rice: “Pull the spreads back pull the mattress pad back. Here in the corners is a great hiding spot.”

You want to look in the seams of the bed in the tufts of the mattress.

Greg Rice: “The head of the mattress is going to be more likely to find evidence than you will down here at the foot of the mattress.”

You also need to check the box spring, pull it out from the wall and again check near the head. When we did that we found signs of an infestation.

Greg Rice: “Here we have right here, this is fecal matter from bed bugs.”

And before we knew it several live bugs made an appearance.

Greg Rice: “Here is a live bedbug. This one recently had a blood meal. You can see how he or she has some what engorged. Had we not gone through the trouble of pulling this back away from the wall we probably would not have found this.”

Greg says at the first sign of bedbugs you need to get out of that room.

Greg Rice: “Immediately take your suitcase and all your belongings and go down stairs and demand another room.”

Make sure they don’t give you a new room on either side or above or below the one you just left.

Greg Rice: “The bedbugs can travel through the electrical wiring to all the rooms that are adjacent to this room.”

Carmel Cafiero: “And you can’t stop worrying once you get home because bed bugs can travel from other passengers on a plane or their luggage.”

So when you get home and if it’s summer just leave your suitcase in the trunk, park your car in the sun for a full day and the heat will kill the bed bugs. In the winter, the sun isn’t hot enough but there are other ways to protect yourself.

Greg Rice: “Take suitcase into your laundry room. Take everything whether you wore it or not and put it into the clothes dryer turn it on for 30 minutes on a higher temperature

You should also wrap your suitcase in a plastic garbage bag and store it away from your bedrooms. It may seem like a lot of work but Greg says the last thing you want is even one these little critters in your home.

Greg Rice: “They multiply so quick you can bring in just a few and in a months time you have thousands infesting your home.”

A creepy thought that no doubt gave rise to the old expression “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Who would have thought it would apply in today’s world.

Miami-Dade: 305-627-CLUE
Broward: 954-921-CLUE
E-mail: clue@wsvn.com

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