Cook’s Pest Control has stood the test of time. It offers a wide range of services to home and business owners alike. The family-owned business began as “north Alabama Pest Control” and maintained its dedication to quality customer service throughout its history. After his untimely death in 1950, John R. Cook dedicated his son John L. Cook to his father’s legacy of pest extermination excellence and to helping Cook’s remain America’s seventh-largest pest control firm.
The company’s Web site boasts a history that spans nearly two-thirds of a century. John L. Cook was born in segregated Birmingham, Alabama. His parents, like many others of their city, experienced the full ramifications of Jim Crow laws and were subjected to many harsh restrictions while trying to gain equal rights with their white counterparts. John grew up learning that his only way to achieve some measure of success was to learn as much as he could about business and trade, and also about the various pest infestations that constantly beset the area. He spent many of his early years traveling between jobs, making sure that he was always on top of the latest developments in the field.
A contributing factor to his lifelong passion for the industry was an incident that occurred while he was serving as a teenager in a small town called Ellijay. An unidentified individual had contracted cholera from a local bed bug infestation. When the young John L. Cook presented his case to the local authorities, the case became a high-profile one, and it ended up being covered in the famous book by reporter Bennington Brody. The publicity helped the young Mr. Cook secures a position as a clerk with the University of Alabama. In the acknowledgements to his obituary, the author included a note that the young John L. Cook had “served as chief agent in the Hot Box Store campaign of Ellijay, during the last fifteen years”.
It is apparent that one of the reasons why the young Mr. Cook pursued his career in Cook’s Pest Control was because of his interest in insects. Several of the pests plaguing Ellijay at the time were beetles, earthworms, and bed bugs. Among his fellow graduate students, Mr. Cook quickly became known for his experiments with various methods of exterminating these insect pests. A contributing factor to his success was the fact that he was free to experiment with different techniques without having to report his findings to anyone. Without the hindrances that come with working in a laboratory setting, scientists can more easily get involved in pest extermination.
One interesting example of the importance of young people’s attitudes towards Cook’s Pest Control can be seen in the work of Keith B. Laggos, who later went on to become one of the leading pest controllers in the country. While in graduate school Mr. Laggos spent considerable amounts of time in the Cook’s Pest Control, working with both the state and federal government. He had no prior experience in the field, however, and continued to employ the use of pesticides on a fairly regular basis well into his adulthood. As an adult, he continued to be highly involved in pest management, and was responsible for the death of thousands of flies and other bugs.
When discussing the connection between young people’s attitude toward Cook’s Pest Control and the prevention of insects, it is important to point out that even young people can be effective pest controllers. The most successful pest controller in recent history has been Jim Liggett, a young man who started selling his organic pest control products upon graduating from college. Although he did not start working in pest control until he was 35, he began eliminating bugs in local grocery stores. He may have had access to the most advanced pest control technology available at the time, but he was still able to keep a tight control over the insect population and make the products highly affordable to a wide range of customers.