Dirty job, must love bugs: Bret Rogers removes pests, greatest fears with Bugtime Pest Control

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20 February, 2019 By Johnston Farrow

Most people consider the pest control business a dirty job, but for Bret Rogers and his 10 staff members at Bugtime Pest Control Products and Services, bugs, rodents, and other unwanted creatures invading living spaces makes them positively giddy.

 

“You had someone the other day bring in baby bedbugs and you would have thought it was Christmas,” Rogers said. “We were like, ‘Oh my god, look at those baby bedbugs, that’s so cool.’ People look at you like, ‘What?’ You’re excited to see even new bugs, rare insect finds. But of course, finding them means helping a customer solve their problem.”

Photo: Drake A. McIntosh Digital Media

 

Bugtime, located at 235 FM 1960 E Bypass Rd in Humble, is the place for anyone in search of do-it-yourself pest elimination products or for those that need experienced professionals to do the job for them. Walk into the store and customers are greeted by a cheeky, neon “Free Rats” sign and a large saltwater aquarium with the same fish as Finding Nemo, both a sure giveaway of the type of friendly customer service visitors have come to expect from Bugtime staff.

 

Rogers, a graduate of Kingwood High School, joined Terminix Commercial Pest Control after completing his time with the United States Air Force. Five years later, he started his own pest control company, eventually opening his Humble storefront in 2002.

Photo: Drake A. McIntosh Digital Media

 

“There were a couple of other do-it-yourself stores in Houston and there was just nothing to fit the Humble market,” Rogers recalled. “Pest control operators shop here as well. For pest control operators such as myself and for the public, there was just nothing like it in this part of town.”

 

Bugtime services the Lake Houston area but takes calls from all over greater Houston, The Woodlands, Conroe, Tomball, Spring, and Cleveland. The store features products to tackle any pest at their house: bed bugs, termites, ants, spiders, rats, raccoons, possums, and even snakes. It also has lawn and ornamental products for their yards, fertilizers, sprays for plants, even green products, drawing customers from some unlikely places.

Photo: Drake A. McIntosh Digital Media

 

“I’ve had big box store employees come to my shop because they said, ‘I work there and I’ve tried everything. Do you have something that works?,’” Rogers said. “Now I have the big box stores sending me customers. That’s the biggest form of flattery.”

 

Rogers’ experience working for Terminix means he does brisk business with the bigger pest control services, acting as an equipment and product supplier for companies all over Houston. He also receives referrals to tackle challenging infestations those operators may not be able to handle. But for those willing to roll up their sleeves and take on their pest problems, Bugtime is a great way to save money.

 

The success of Bugtime has Rogers expanding his business, with land recently purchased in Humble to build a warehouse to buy products in bulk, keeping prices at the store affordable for customers. Rogers freely admits he doesn’t have many hobbies other than his role as doting grandfather, that he “lives and sleeps pest control.”

Photo: Drake A. McIntosh Digital Media

 

“I help people get rid of their biggest fears,” Rogers proudly said. “I could have a big, ex-Marine cop, he will be terrified of something. It will be rats or something else that turns this macho man into a little, screaming kid, running the other direction. I enjoy the fact that we help people solve problems.”

Written by

Johnston Farrow

Johnston Farrow is also a columnist for Houston's CultureMap and has been a journalist for over 15 years, covering everything from news, entertainment, sports and more.


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