Pest Control History: Otto Orkin Founded 1901 to the Orkin Man

History

Orkin pest Control circa 1901In 1901, Otto Orkin, the son of Latvian immigrants, started selling rat poison door-to-door to neighboring Pennsylvania farmers. Even as a boy, he understood that to catch a pest, you have to think like a pest, so he carefully observed the rats in the farmhouse attic to understand their behavior. With $25,000 in savings, he opened his first office in Richmond, Va. Billing himself as “Otto Orkin, The Rat Man, Orkin began serving local businesses and residents to help control rat problems.

 

By 1929, Orkin’s service had expanded to help control cockroaches, bedbugs and other pests with 13 offices in eight states, including a new headquarters in Atlanta. Orkin introduced The Orkin Man™ to television viewers in the 1950s with the company’s first series of commercials. Beginning as a cartoon, “Otto the Orkin Man” evolved into The Orkin Man™ pest management icon we know today.

 

In 1964, Rollins Inc. purchased Orkin Exterminating Inc. from the Orkin family and helped turn the business into one of the largest pest management companies in the United States.

 

To address an increasing need for its pest management services among business customers, Orkin formed a separate division, Orkin Commercial Services, in 1996. Since then, Orkin Commercial Services has grown to be trusted by more businesses than any other provider in North America.

 

Today, our service sets the standard for commercial pest management, continuing a tradition started by Otto Orkin more than a century ago.