Termite extermination company shifts business to disinfection services as companies look to reopen

Cleaning services are in high demand as businesses are reopening in compliance with county guidelines.

Clark Pest Control has added a new service in response to the demand.

The family-owned business headquartered in Lodi, California has been in business 70 years, since 1950.

It recently pivoted from exterminating termites to preparing businesses for re-opening.

The cleaning crew members put on coveralls and other protective gear before going the businesses they disinfect to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Clark's main focus is termite extermination, but it started the new service in March. Crews clean and disinfect businesses, schools, offices and other buildings in response to the pandemic.

"This service for us has been off the charts.  We've had a difficult time keeping up with it," said Darren Van Steenwyk with Clark Pest Control. He cleans and supervises crews.  

The Barrel Head Brewhouse in San Francisco's Western Addition is among the 100 clients Clark is cleaning this month alone.

"We're having them disinfect the entire building including the dining room where we'll eventually get to have guests back," said Ivan Hopkinson. 

Ivan Hopkinson, co-owner of the The Barrel Head, said he opened for takeout in April and he has been able to retain all 42 employees.

He said he initally had reservations about bringing in a cleaning crew wearing hazmat suits.

"It looks like they're coming in to diffuse a bomb at Chernobyl. I was like how are our guests who come to our takeout window-what are they going to think?" said Hopkinson.

But he decided that taking safety precautions is priority.

And it's still important even though the Centers for Disease Control now says the coronavirus does not spread easily from touching surfaces and objects.

"We need to do the best that we can to stay as informed as possible to make the most safe and educated decision," said Hopkinson. 

"What we need to do is cover all bases to protect our clients and customers at this time," said Van Steenwyk.  

The Barrel Head Brewhouse said it plans to get a professional cleaning once a week in addition to their own workers cleaning and disinfecting.

Clark said depending on the volume of foot traffic, it recommends professional cleaning ranging from once a week to once a month.