Rose Pest Solutions, based in Troy, Mich., is celebrating its 160th anniversary of business. Founded in 1860 by Solomon Rose, PMP Hall of Famer (Class of 2001), the company was originally known as Rose’s Rat Exterminator Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio. The original Rose company also gave rise to Rose Pest Solutions in Chicago, Ill., a separate company that is run by PMP Hall of Famers Bob and Judy Dold (Class of 2002); and to Rose Extermination Co., the St. Louis, Mo.-based firm that has been run by the Soell family since 1991.
For the past 88 years, the Troy-based company has been under the ownership of the Ives family. In 1932, Harlem Ives received a week’s worth of training, a partnership agreement, a book of recipes that included ingredients like arsenic, sulfur and cyanide, and moved to the “fumigator’s town” — Detroit. Ives opened his office and began servicing manufacturing plants and food production facilities, take on a unique approach to pest control services by recommending routine scheduled services, rather than waiting until a problem required extreme measures.
Harlem’s only son, Bill Ives, joined the team in 1952, helped manage the company as it grew and added offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Toledo, Ohio and Saginaw, Michigan. Over the course of the next 40 years, the company expanded its presence in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio through internal growth and acquisition of other pest control businesses, and welcomed the third generation of Ives. Russ Ives joined the company in 1978 and Jim Ives began in 1981. Russ and Jim grew in responsibilities over the years before landing in their current roles, CEO and president, respectively.
“Our father, Bill, made sure Jim and I didn’t receive special treatment because of our last name,” Russ said. “He believed in the value of hard work and taught us how to succeed, as well as learn from our failures. This is something the entire Rose Pest Solutions staff embodies and why the company has remained successful for 160 years.”
The company hired its first entomologist in 1979, and today the company employs six board certified entomologists (BCE) and eleven associate-certified entomologists (ACE). The entomologists provide ongoing training and establish service protocols for the company’s more than 200 technicians.
In 2020, the fourth generation of Ives are employed at Rose Pest Solutions: Jeff Ives, a district manager, Case Ives, a human resources manager, and Kimberly (Ives) Rodriguez, in-house counsel.