Banks Pest Control

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Profile appeared in our 32-1 Issue – April 2015

“Hello Banks… Bye, Bye Bugs!”

If you have lived in Kern County at any time since the 1980s, chances are you know that tune. The song belongs to Banks Pest Control, a local company started by Orland Banks in 1969.

Orland Ray Banks, 1995

Orland Ray Banks, 1995

Orland was fresh out of the Navy, looking for a job when he went to work for Wheeler Pest Control. He worked there for a few years, then decided to go into business with Ed and Helen Thompson at Ben Hur Pest Control. After a few years, he decided to venture out on his own and started Banks Pest Control, which handled residential and commercial pest control services. He worked all day spraying customers’ homes and businesses while building his business, and at nights he worked at 7-11 on Baker Street to help pay his bills. His parents, Frank and Vertes Banks, also helped fund this endeavor (his mom handled the bookkeeping).

In 1970, Orland decided he needed to add termite inspections, fumigations, and a partner to the business. Enter Bill Rogers. Orland and Bill had worked together at Wheeler Pest Control years before with Orland in the Pest department and Bill in the Termite department. This partnership lasted until Bill’s untimely death in 1994.

The company was run from Bill’s garage on Arvin Street with the billing being handled at Orland’s home. That quickly became too complicated and they moved both departments to one location at Wilson Road and South Chester Avenue. They shared the building with a friend in the insurance business before moving to their current location at 215 Golden State Avenue in 1976. Their first employee was Bill’s childhood friend Connie Glass, who worked as a barber and helped them with termite fumigations on the side. It was a busy time getting the business going but, by the mid 1970s, it was growing by leaps and bounds. More employees were added and the company was on the move.

During these early years, Orland’s four children (Alan, Don, Tammi, and Ty) spent summers working for the company, helping it grow. Two of the children—Don and Tammi—still work there and have for 35 years. This second generation learned their father’s business sense and has helped tremendously in the continued growth of the company.

Not only was Orland working hard to further his business during these years, he was also raising a family, helping start the NOR Baseball program, and a fully participating North High Booster from 1973 – 1981. He also was involved in helping out the Toys for Tots program and providing Christmas trees, meals, and presents for families who couldn’t afford them. In recent years, Banks Pest Control has given Christmas presents to the Women’s and Children’s shelter party. Orland fully believes in his community and strives to give back as often as he can.

Being a big family man, Orland made Banks Pest Control a family-oriented business from day one. They worked and played together as a family. This atmosphere has been a mainstay of the company to this day. Many of the employees, who have moved on from Banks Pest Control, whether it be to retire or just make a career move, still continue to stop on in and see the gang from time to time. New faces have been added and they quickly become part of this “family.” Orland Banks’ motto from the start was, “Service You Can Depend On,” which the Banks family continues to uphold today.


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