Cape Coral has grown a lot over the past 35 years, and ABC Pest Control, at 2719 SW 8th Place just off Skyline Boulevard, has grown with it.
The company, which was just the third pest control company in the city when it started, is celebrating 35 years in business, and many of its customers have sworn by ABC for almost as long.
Nick Libretto and his father, Ray, said the secret has been word-of-mouth and excellent customer service, which has allowed the company to survive without salespeople and to go through the toughest times without layoffs.
"At least 60 to 70 percent of our customers have been with us 15 years. We don't skimp on things, we try to do the best service we can and keep prices reasonable," Nick said.
"Service is always important. We get new customers and when they ask for references, we have them talk to people who have been with us 30 years," Ray Libretto said. "It's the customers that sell you."
Ray started in pest control in 1968 while living in New Jersey, where he also did mowing and snow removal. When he got tired of shoveling snow, he said he moved to Cape Coral and started ABC Pest Control shortly thereafter.
"It was a nice, quiet community. Everybody knew each other. I was in the first graduating class at Cape Coral High School," Nick said. "The population now is 10 times what it was in 1978."
Nick worked with his father through his high school years and has continued on the family legacy; his father still a heavy influence on the company.
ABC was able to survive the financial downturn by maintaining a level keel which, in turn, kept it from having to lay off people.
"We've seen highs and lows, mostly highs. When we had the big downturn, we didn't lose a lot of work or lay off employees," Nick said. "Some companies grew too fast and when the economy collapsed, they did. We stayed level."
The company is celebrating 35 years in business with rollback prices on many of its services. For $35, you can get interior and perimeter pest control, lawn insect control, fertilization and an irrigation system check, based on the size of your home.
The company is also growing, doing more advertising and designing a new logo.
It also is looking to get new customers in Charlotte and Collier counties, though it will continue to be based in Cape Coral to keep costs down.
ABC also has lawn cutting service, irrigation, landscaping, trees and shrubs, and exterior lighting, for which they have worked with companies for years, Nick said.
For more information, call ABC Pest Control at 574-7900.