American Pest Control was founded in 1971 by Mr. Gene Higginbotham, an Oconee County native. Mr. Higginbotham worked for a national chain pest control company for several years, travelling with his family to work in cities across the US. After climbing the ranks within the company, he became more disappointed with their lackluster attitude toward customer service and decided to branch out on his own. He and his family returned to Athens, GA and American Pest Control was born. Kathy Hollin and Doug Craft joined him soon after he opened the company’s doors on November 15th, 1971 and remain employed with the company to this day. The first location was on Atlanta Highway just across the street from the Georgia Square Mall. In the 1980s, the building which still serves as the company’s headquarters was constructed at 3145 Atlanta Highway.
Throughout the years, the company and its employees have celebrated numerous milestones. American Pest Control became debt free within just six years of opening. In the late 1980s to early 1990s, Mr. Higginbotham purchased companies in Rockdale, GA and Toccoa, GA and opened the first two branch offices. There are now offices in Winder, Social Circle, Conyers, Greensboro, Washington, Hartwell, Toccoa, and Clayton in addition to the headquarters office in Athens. In 1997, American Pest Control became one of the first authorized users of the Sentricon Colony Elimination system. Mr. Higginbotham served on the panel to test and help develop the product in its early stages. In 2001, the company celebrated its 30th anniversary by rebranding, updating the logo and transitioning to the truck design that is now synonymous with the American Pest Control brand. In 2006, the founder Mr. Higginbotham was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011, the company earned Quality Pro Distinction, a title that is held by only 3% of companies in the industry.
Mr. Gene Higginbotham passed away in August of 2015 after a battle with cancer. His children, Laurie and Scott Higginbotham continue to run the company with honesty, integrity and quality customer service as top priorities. In 2016, the Gene Higginbotham Memorial Scholarship was founded in his honor. Mr. Higginbotham supported education and community initiatives throughout his career.Since its inception, American Pest Control has awarded $93,000 in scholarship funds to 66 students across Northeast Georgia. The company is proud to continue his legacy by supporting education.
This year as they enter 49 years of serving communities in Northeast Georgia and Western South Carolina, American Pest Control employs 137 people throughout 8 offices, partners with over 50 schools and community organizations, and is looking forward to seeing what the coming years hold.