Business Spotlight: Rambo Total Pest Control

 The inside of Rambo Total Pest Control's main office looks a bit like a museum. Upon entering the door, you are greeted by a display of insects preserved in test tubes and a glass case filled with pinned beetles, ants and other insects native to this region of the Pacific Northwest. Just behind the bugs, inside owner Luke Rambo’s office, is a large shelf with a collection of antique pest control product containers and samples of wood showing carpenter ant damage. During the holiday season, a Christmas tree in the lobby is decorated with tinsel and plastic ornaments of rats, mice, and other pesky household pests. From the décor alone, it's obvious that Rambo and his team are committed to their field of work. As much as the décor might make the average person squeamish, there is also an inexplicable warmth and friendliness that exudes from every corner of the building.

“We try our best to foster a family atmosphere here,” Luke explains. Since opening in 2007, the Rambo team has grown exponentially. What started as an operation with just Luke and his wife, Tera, has become a team of eleven—all devoted to working together to help people eliminate pests and improve the quality of their lives. It's obvious that the employees at Rambo Total Pest Control love what they do. Becki, one of the office administrators, teared up while describing her thankfulness for her work. “I have never worked in such a positive atmosphere, for a boss who is so fair, generous, and caring. He works with you exactly where you are at.” Colette, another office administrator, shared how unique the family environment at Rambo Total Pest Control is. Colette shares an office with her dog, a Bouvier named “Kaleah” who roams freely throughout the office. The family-oriented, casual, personalized feel of the office extends directly into the Rambo Total Pest Control customer service philosophy. “There is nothing more satisfying than helping people,” shared Mariah, an employee at Rambo Total Pest Control since 2014. 

RTPC family
Luke, holding his "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" award with wife, Tera, and kids, Ben and Chloe
In 2007, after six years of professional experience in the pest control industry, Luke decided to open his own business in Puyallup with the support and encouragement of his wife, Tera. A Seattle native, Luke finds it refreshing to be in Puyallup. “I like how much more spread out it is here,” Luke said. “It’s a slower pace than Seattle, and I appreciate that. Not everyone’s in a hurry. The people are great.” Luke also described how he likes the mix of “the old and the new” in Puyallup. “One day, I will be working in a pristine, newly-constructed home, and the next I am in an old historical building downtown. It keeps things interesting.” Luke has two children, Chloe and Ben, who attend school in Puyallup and aspire to join their mom and dad in the family pest control business one day. “If Ben’s professional baseball career doesn’t pan out, he told me he’s on board,” Luke laughed. “And Chloe is so upbeat, positive and creative…I can see her doing marketing for the business.” Luke largely handles the customer service side of the business, while Tera leads the financial side.

In November, Luke was recognized by the National Pest Management Association for his devotion and passion for the industry, winning the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award at a national pest management convention. He is the first person from Washington to receive the honor, which is given exclusively to candidates under 40 years old who have made significant contributions to the industry, their personal business, and their local community. Luke has certainly done all three. And while his knowledge of pest management is vast, it is his ability to relate to people that sets him apart. Luke and the whole Rambo Total Pest Control team have the same valuable characteristics in common: they love their team, their community, and most of all—they love to help others.