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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 98  |  December 7, 2021


Minti Pest Co uses non-traditional management methods to protect people, pets and the planet

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

“All the U.S. pest control companies combined use six million lbs. of pesticides a year,” said Jake White, founder of Minti Pest Co.

“My dad started his business – Anthony’s Pest Control in 1972 in Anaheim – and my uncle bought it eight years ago. Besides my dad, who is retired now, I have two uncles, two cousins and two brothers who are also in the business.”

Not to say that pest control is in the “genes,” but this is a dynasty if there ever was one. 

Traditional pesticides

In a move started by his father, Wayne Anthony White, two decades ago, the younger White continued in the same vein and now uses only ethical and ecologically safe pesticides in his business. The National Library of Medicine states that traditionally used pesticides – Neonicotinoids and Synthetic Pyrethroids – can be harmful to humans and animals. Per the CDC, Organophosphates are a group of man-made chemicals that poison insects and mammals – and are the most widely used insecticides today. 

“These products have real world consequences,” said White. “I want to educate people and inspire small businesses to think differently, with an alternative business model that offers safer products.” 

To protect the environment and those in it, Minti Pest Co (not short for Control), which was founded in 2017, offers only nonpoisonous and other humane methods to manage pests. 

minti pest closeup

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Jake White, founder of Minti Pest Co

In addition to the use of non-poisonous treatments, Minti stands apart from other pest control companies simply for their service and commitment to their customers. 

According to White, “Our goal is to demonstrate our commitment to our customer from our first interaction; and we take customer care very seriously. We start with a no cost thorough inspection of the environment. We then educate the client about the possible issues and the most ideal services for the situation. In addition, we are committed to a more humane process of pest control by using deterrents instead of just deadly poisons and traps.”

White handles all the inspections himself. They have no service contracts, so customers are not tied in and can quit at any time, and they also offer 100 percent satisfaction. 

Products

The product White uses – ESSENTRIA IC 3 – sparked the idea for the name of his company. “The customers said it smelled minty.” 

The Active Ingredients are 10% Rosemary Oil, 5% Geraniol, 2% Peppermint Oil and are not harmful to pollinators. “It can be used in organic gardens and still maintain organic certification,” White said. “But we don’t spray flowering plants or milkweed.” He gets his products from Central Life Sciences and Rockwell. 

Essentria® IC-3, featuring active ingredients derived from essential oils, is an environmentally friendly pest control solution. The natural liquid insecticide provides immediate knockdown and long residual control of a variety of insects, including multiple types of cockroaches and species of ticks. It offers sensitive pest control, with a target-specific mode of action.

minti pest spraying pack

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Clearly an art piece, White’s pack was created of copper and brass by a local artist in 2018 

Essentria has a shorter shelf life – 30-60 days – depending on sun, heat and rain, and if it runs into the ocean, there’s no harm to sea life. Since it can last 60 days, most service calls are bi-monthly.

White points out other added bonuses:

–People and pets can stay in their homes (this was especially important during COVID). 

–It can be applied where other pesticides cannot – under patio furniture, in cracks and crevices, on dog beds, and in window and door casings. There’s no limitation. 

Laguna connection

Of Minti Pest Co’s 700-800 clients, 500 are in Laguna. “I realized I could make an immediate impact here,” White said. “The mountain slopes go down to ocean and cause runoff, so it’s the perfect place to make a difference. Inland Orange County is less impacted by runoff. Also in Laguna, there are lots of outdoor flower beds and greenhouses which attract pests.” 

No one will deny that we don’t want bugs, but we do want monarch butterflies and bees. White also suggests another way to control bees (other than killing them). “There are companies who physically remove them and take them to a beekeeper.” 

minti pest spraying plants

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Servicing a client’s patio garden

Laguna resident Claudia Gundotra, a two-year client, said, “I have been so happy with Minti Pest control. There are two reasons why I chose them over any other pest control service – one is their service. Whenever I have a question or request, I get a response immediately through text. The second reason is their product. Being a cancer survivor and pet owner, my primary concern is to have a non-toxic product that actually works on pests. We haven’t had any problems since we’ve started using them. And best of all, I have peace of mind knowing my health and my pet’s health are not compromised. I highly recommend them!”

Generational link

In addition to Minti Pest Co, there are several companies in the Anthony Pest Control, Inc. corporate family. However, (Jake) White is the only dual licensed owner in the family – in both termites and pest control. 

White’s dad went to Cal State Fullerton and received a degree in accounting. “One of his summer jobs was at a pest control company, and when one of the owners passed away, my dad tested for a license and ran that business for two years before he started his own,” said White.

 “We had six company branches, one in Laguna Niguel, and I remember coming to Laguna Beach as a child.”

But why follow in his dad’s footsteps?

“I had a conscience growing up,” White said. “When I was five or six, I told my parents that I wanted to be a professional and be in the pest control business like my dad.” 

minti pest truck

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Jake White, founder of Minti Pest Co

White was born in Orange and raised in Huntington Beach, and along with his brothers, he started helping in the business when he was 8 or 9 years old. 

“Both of my brothers and I experienced organophosphate chemical exposure poisoning at various times throughout the 10 years working for my parents’ company,” said White. “I’ve also had more than a couple of experiences of Neonicotinoid chemical poisoning while working as a termite technician in my early 20s. The experience is very similar to short term flu symptoms, including throwing up, uncontrollable shakes and twitches and extreme headaches. It was after those experiences that I committed my life to making and inspiring drastic changes within the pest control industry.” 

His dad started thinking about bait stations and the anticoagulants, which induce bleeding internally. The rodents die in walls, attract bot flies and fleas. He asked, “Why not look at what’s attracting them, water and food, and seal off access points and make the home less attractive to rodents?”

“He stopped using poisons in the late 1990s and early 2000s and became more interested in ethical and ecological products and taught that through education, the population can be rodent free/pest free,” White said.

White was hired at Anthony’s Pest Control when he was older, then went to work for Bugman. “My dad said he didn’t want me to be tied to the [his] business. But I was fired from Bugman when I was 21 years old. I had a lot of lessons and people skills to learn.” 

Eventually, he went into partnership in a pest control business, but the other owner wanted to offer both poison and non-traditional pest control methods and White knew he had to start his own company.

“I made the first step using no kill products,” White added. “I had a passion for it and wanted to be the second generation. I love the customers and helping people, and I’m building a life protecting and serving the community.”

minti pest holding sprayer

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Unique sprayer designed by local artist

However, Minti Pest Co isn’t just all about insects and rodents.

White relates the story of a client who kept hearing noises under his house that kept him awake at night. White crawled under the house and found that the noise was coming from a 40 lb. raccoon with four 4-6-week-old kits. 

“The only way out was behind me, so I backed out, and she ran out,” White said. “I got some welder’s gloves and a cage and got the kits out and put them a distance away. Then I restricted access to the space under the house.” 

The mom came back and got them and relocated.

“It’s called ‘I have to figure this out problem solving,’” White said. “It’s more than just a job.”

He also gets rattlesnake calls. Instead of catching them, White installs galvanized screen on the fences to prevent access, but sometimes it’s not possible, he explains. They also install pest proof fences and sea gull decoys.

Calls

Service/inspection calls are customer dictated. “We always go out,” White said. “There is no one size fits all.”

“We sometimes get called into hoarding situations where the houses are overrun with rodents and insects,” White said. “They are the most difficult and overwhelming, because of unsanitary conditions.”

White suggests that if you see mosquitoes, call OC Vector Control, who will send out workers to city- and county-owned property to treat the surrounding areas. “If residents have gotten rid of standing water sources, chances are the mosquitoes are coming from another source,” he said. “Customers can buy a Dynatrap (a mosquito catcher) from Amazon.”

It’s clear that White is passionate about his business and spreading the word about products and services that aren’t harmful to the environment and its inhabitants – whether they be human, animals, or insects. 

Over the past four years, they have grown – 95% via word of mouth – and now have five staff members, including White’s wife Victoria and the social media Dream Team – Sarah Hamilton and Zach Frazier. 

“I don’t ever plan on selling, which happens to a lot of these companies,” White said. “They grow to a certain size and sell out to larger companies like Western Exterminators.”

He adds that they’re always hiring, emphasizing that people can be trained and licensed once they’re hired. “I don’t hire within the industry. I hire people who love people and are not biased in any way from previous experience, and I believe in incentives for quality and outcome.”

For more information, go to www.mintipestco.com or call 714.728.7081 and look for them on Instagram and Facebook.

 

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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