Sprout’s Pest Control uses essential oils – not pesticides – to battle bugs – Chattanooga Times Free Press


Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on September 6th, 2017

Services

Services offered include:

Commercial and residential pest control

Mosquito reduction services

Termite treatment services

Flea and tick control

Fly control

Rodent control

Snake repellent programs

Home moisture reduction services

Source: Sprouts Pest Contro

When Ethan Fortner worked as an exterminator to help pay his way through business school at Dalton State College, he noticed customers always had the same question.

"The first thing that always came out of their mouth was, 'Is this safe for my kids?' 'Is this safe for my pets?'" the 25-year-old said.

So when Fortner decided he didn't enjoy his post-college job doing insurance claims for Unum in downtown Chattanooga, he decided in 2015 to start a "green" pest control business with help from his dad.

Sprout's Pest Control LLC, named after the nickname of Fortner's first-born son, focuses on pest-control using natural ingredients such as boric acid, similar to the laundry detergent booster Borax, as well as essential oils of thyme, rosemary and cedarwood.

Ethan Fortner, 25, of Trenton, Ga., in 2015 founded Sprout's Pest Control LLC, which focuses on pest-control using natural ingredients

Ethan Fortner, 25, of Trenton, Ga., in 2015...

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

For more information about Sprouts check out fb.com/sproutspestcontrol or call Ethan Fortner at 423-619-6893 to schedule a consultation.

Ethan Fortner, 25, of Trenton, Ga., in 2015 founded Sprout's Pest Control LLC, which focuses on pest-control using natural ingredients

Ethan Fortner, 25, of Trenton, Ga., in 2015...

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

The business took off and now has about 200 customers. Fortner was able to quit Unum in November and does natural pest control full-time with his father as part-time helper.

"We've more than tripled [business] in the last eight, nine months," he said.

Based in Trenton, Ga., the business is licensed to do pest control in Tennessee and Alabama and should expand into Georgia in October. Cost is $35 monthly, $65 bi-monthly and $75 quarterly, Fortner said.

"I'm very pleased with Ethan's work, he's been awesome," said Vicky Lusk, a customer who lives in the Lakesite-Soddy- Daisy area and said the natural spray that Fortner applied outdoors helped combat mosquitoes.

Fortner doesn't blend the natural pesticides himself; he buys the products from such sources as Rockwell Labs and Zoecon. The products' bug-killing properties are scientifically tested, he said.

Boric acid strips insects, including cockroaches, of their waxy coating, causing them to dehydrate and die.

Essential oils fight insects in a way similar to traditional chemicals, or synthetic pyrethroids. Essential oils block an insect's octopamine, a neurotransmitter, that leads to a breakdown in the insect's central nervous system.

Most essential oils he uses are safe to use around fish and around bodies of water, which means they can be used to treat for spiders around boat docks.

A do-it-yourselfer can do natural pest control, Fortner said, but the cost of the products is high (he gets a discount for buying in bulk). Also, he said he's got the knowledge and experience about such things as how to caulk up cracks to thwart bugs.

Fortner uses natural products at the home he shares with his wife, Sarah, 2-year-old son, Noah, also known as "Sprout," and three-month-old son, Nate.

"I do. I treat my own house. I use the natural stuff on my house. That's definitely the preference of my wife," Fortner said.

For more information about Sprout's check out fb.com/sproutspestcontrol or call Ethan Fortner at 423-619-6893 to schedule a consultation.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or http://www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or on Twitter @meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.

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Sprout's Pest Control uses essential oils - not pesticides - to battle bugs - Chattanooga Times Free Press

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