Distinguished Pests not Welcome!
Greenbug All Natural Pest Control offers safe solution to annoying pests
By Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer
April 3, 2013
The Lowcountry of South Carolina is naturally regal, known for its agricultural wealth, historic charm and cultured inhabitants. Its residents are polite and ever the gracious hosts, receiving a diverse population of visitors every year. Unfortunately, there is one group that South Carolinians do not welcome; yet, locals tolerate them season after season, reluctantly.
They are the South’s distinguished pests. And they are about to invade once again. Palmetto bugs, no-see-ums, mosquitoes, ticks and more will swarm into the region soon; and as much as homeowners and visitors try to discourage their company, these annoying pests will ceremoniously reign over the majestic Lowcountry.
And that’s exactly what Dan and Louise Hodges want to prevent. The Hodges family moved to Beaufort, SC from Charlotte, with their two daughters, Hunter and Ellen. They formerly owned a landscape design/construction business and relocated to the coast to cater to the second homeowner market. But their timing couldn’t have been worse. It was the beginning of the economic crisis, and their business began to suffer.
They started brainstorming new business ideas while learning to adapt to the coastal environment. Given their background in landscaping, they couldn’t help but notice the relative absence of outdoor living spaces as compared to their home in Charlotte.
“People don’t utilize their backyards as much here, and I don’t think it’s because of the heat. It’s because of the bugs,” says Louise.
The Hodges couple wanted to find an all-natural, safe solution to combat outside and inside pests. Thorough research zeroed in on cedar, which is deadly to pests yet harmless to humans, animals and the environment. They hired a chemical engineer and created a proprietary formula, which is University tested and proven 100% effective in killing pests.
Louise came up with the name Greenbug and trademarked the eco-friendly products for people and pets, indoors and outdoors.
Last year, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation, a collaboration between the Town of Bluffton and the Clemson University Institute for Economic and Community Development, accepted Louise and Dan Hodges as new innovators. The Don Ryan Center links innovators to intellectual property, technology evaluation, product development services, seed financing, business mentorship, corporate relationships and recruiting. The center’s philosophy is simple: the better the idea, the faster you need to get it to market.
While working with the Don Ryan Center, Dan and Louise pitched their revolutionary invention to its Board of Directors, an injector system that integrates their formula with existing irrigation systems.
They have a provisional patent on the Greenbug Injector System that distributes the Greenbug formula everywhere water is directed, creating an inhospitable environment for pests to breed. The formula is EPA exempt and does not require a professional license to apply. It’s also harmless to beneficial creatures like butterflies, honeybees and ladybugs.
The result? Pest-free landscaped areas and happy outdoor enthusiasts.
Both Louise and Dan are working with landscape professionals to install and service the injector systems, giving the landscape companies opportunity to sell the all-natural product and create revenue for their businesses.
They already have landscape partners from Savannah to Charleston, and more landscaping companies are signing up. With the help of the Don Ryan Center for Innovation, the Hodges hope to sell their patent-pending Greenbug Injector Systems internationally.
The partnership between Greenbug and the Don Ryan Center is especially distinctive. Both the Hodges attended Clemson University, the public institution that funds the Innovation Center. And it was Lisa Sulka, the Mayor of Bluffton and also a Clemson graduate, who introduced Dan and Louise Hodges to her peers on the Don Ryan Center’s Board of Directors.
“Working with the Don Ryan Center has been amazing. They have opened doors we couldn’t have opened, provided legal and financial advice and given us the jumpstart we needed to grow our company.”
Started in January of 2012, Greenbug now has more than 14,000 customers, is sold in more than 130 retail locations and has a growing online presence. Used by homeowners, professional pest control operators, property managers and landscape professionals, the ultimate testimonial is that Greenbug has NEVER been returned for lack of performance.
For more information about Greenbug, please visit www.greenbugallnatural.com.