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McCloud Services takes clinical approach to pests

Fourth-generatiMcCloud CEO Chris McCloud stands front pictures prior McCloud owners: his gregrandfather Walter McCloud who founded company; his grandfather Walter

Fourth-generation McCloud CEO Chris McCloud stands in front of pictures of prior McCloud owners: his great grandfather Walter McCloud, who founded the company; his grandfather Walter McCloud and his father Tom who ran the company until Chris and Phil McCloud bought the company. | Paul Sullivan photo

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1635 North Lancaster Road

South Elgin, IL 60177

Call: (800) 332-7805

Web site:

Updated: February 23, 2013 6:11AM

SOUTH ELGIN — There’s a new exterminator in town.

And its name is McCloud Services, the 34th largest pest management company in all of North America. Consolidating two of its five Illinois offices, the firm recently moved into its new headquarters building in South Elgin.

McCloud Services kills, fumigates, excludes, contains, and manages pests for commercial accounts. Seventy percent of McCloud’s clients are in the food production and/ or food processing business. Over half of McCloud’s food company clients are in the Fortune 500.

“From the grain elevator to the table, from farm to fork,” said McCloud’s 46-year-old CEO Chris McCloud, the fourth-generation McCloud to man the helm.

The company services the food/drug manufacturing chain; health and family care; retail; property management and food service and hospitality industries. Locally McCloud Services’ clients, to name but a few, include Brookfield Zoo, Home Run Pizza, and FONA, a flavor development company in Geneva. For hotel chains and apartment building owners, McCloud Services eradicates such vermin and bugs as bed bugs.

But rather than always killing pests, McCloud Services offers integrated pest management to focus on tactics that will prevent or avoid pest issues rather than simply eradicating them when they show up.

“We’d rather take the easiest, safest solution first, like a doctor,” said McCloud. “If the problem is flying insects, we’d say fix the screen door before applying pesticides. A dumpster drawing flies. Empty the dumpster.”

Disease prevention

Vermin, bugs and birds carry all kinds of diseases. Mice carry and spread salmonella. A mouse drops 100 pellets of feces every 24 hours, not a good critter to have around any type of food production.

McCloud said human longevity has increased from 40 years of age to 70 because of better drugs, better medical practices and better pest management.

In 1904, McCloud’s great grandfather Walter McCloud founded the company in the Chicago stockyards by producing and selling sheep dip. Still a privately owned family company, McCloud Services has 177 employees in 10 states with 40 of those located at the new South Elgin headquarters. McCloud and his retired older brother Phil each own 50 percent of the company. Chris McCloud’s wife Stephanie Dickson is V.P. of business development; his nephew TJ McCloud is service manager. When Chris McCloud joined the company in 1984, his first job was drilling holes in concrete to kill termites.”I’ve done it all,” he said.

His greatest pleasure in managing the company is getting results out of people. “It’s the most rewarding and also the most frustrating.” During the recession, McCloud has added 30 new employees. “We’re a tighter, stronger company now. Those were all good, career jobs we added.”

From the McCloud Services mission statement, “We provide excellent service, succeed through continuous improvement and take personal ownership for the quality of our work.”

McCloud said the firm’s customer service objective is to build long-term customer relationships. One customer has been with McCloud Services since 1939.

Nonetheless, McCloud said he occasionally drops a customer. “If they’re not in line with our values, if they want us to keep applying pesticide instead of spending the money to fix, say, a structural problem, then we’re not going to have a long term relationship.”

In addition to training and certifying its own staff of specialists in food handling safety and pesticide application, McCloud Services also offers to non-employees the National Restaurant Association’s food safety course and proctors the state certification exam.

McCloud Services offers bird management/exclusion, aquatic weed management, food safety audits; structural, container and alternative fumigation, vegetation management, sanitation consultation and electronic data collection and web-based reporting. The firm owns a pesticide supply company in Kansas City.

“Our services are like insurance,” said McCloud. “ If our clients aren’t having any problems (with pests), we’re doing our job.”

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