Despite the challenges many businesses have faced this year with COVID-19, Reno, Nev.-based Pestmaster Services is seeing many positives, including an upward trend showing growth amid a pandemic. Since May, it has welcomed five new franchise locations: San Angelo, Texas; Philadelphia, Pa.; South Chicago Heights, Ill.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Little Rock, Ark.

As its expansion continues, the additional locations bring Pestmaster up to 47 franchises across 17 states, including Washington, D.C. The company also expanded into the international market with a location in the Republic of Lebanon.

Pestmaster was founded in 1979 by Jeff Van Diepen, ACE, and originally based in Bishop, Calif. The franchisor serves a blend of commercial, residential and government clients. President and CEO Van Diepen has been licensed in 15 states and earned his master of business administration degree from Malibu, Calif.-based Pepperdine University.

According to the federal procurement data system, Pestmaster Services is the No. 1 Small Business Enterprise in the United States for providing pest control services to the federal government, under NAICS code 561710. Pestmaster is one of 44 companies that has been able to navigate themselves into a contract with the federal government’s General Services Administration’s multiple award system. Pestmaster’s contracts procurement team has awarded more than $47 million to its franchise network in the past 36 months.

In June, the company went a little outside the norm of what most pest management firms consider to be a “general pest service”: It treated ponderosa pine trees in Sawtooth National Forest. Approximately 320 ponderosa trees in the Boise, Idaho, forest were treated for protection from western pine beetles (Dendroctonus brevicomis).