Green pest control company puts the heat on bugs
Q & A with Grant Fernow and Ron Ketner, owners of Azex Thermal Solutions in Chino Valley. 273-2587. www.azexthermalsolutions.com.
Q: What drew you to this green business?
Ketner: "We really wanted to give the residents of Arizona an alternative to pesticides and dangerous fumigants.
"The majority of our business is to eradicate bed bugs, dry wood termites and improve indoor air quality."
Fernow: "We started this service locally about two years ago and we serve all of Arizona and southern Nevada."
Q: What is the best business advice that you've received and given?
Ketner: "Be on time and offer a superior product at a reasonable cost."
Fernow: "Just be better, faster and cheaper than the other guys without compromising service."
Ketner: "The best advice is stay small and put a lot of effort into customer service."
Q: What do you like most about owning a business?
Ketner: "Every day's a new challenge. It's good to know you're working for yourself and your own dreams rather than someone else's."
Fernow: "You have the opportunity to be more flexible and creative in everything that you do."
Q: What is the key to your business longevity?
A: Ketner: "Persistence and the ability to evolve as technology progresses."
Q: What is something people don't know about you?
Ketner: "Before we started with this company, I worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture monitoring Mormon cricket and grasshopper populations."
Fernow: "I'm a fourth-generation Prescottonian."
Q: How many hours a week do you work?
Fernow: "About 50 to 70 hours a week."
Q: If you could take a week away from your business, what would you do?
Ketner: "I'd probably go fishing in Mexico."
Fernow: "I'd go hunting in northern Arizona."
Q: How are you rolling with the current economy?
Ketner: "We're doing pretty good - our numbers have actually improved from last year to this year because our business is need-based. When people have bed bugs, they have to be dealt with."
Fernow: "It's a public health issue."
Q: What is the most unique thing about your business?
Ketner: "We're the only company in Arizona to be trained and licensed to use heat to get rid of in-home pests - that's 100 percent non-toxic.
"We keep (heat) between 140 - 160F in the entire structure over four to eight hours."