Keeping pests at bay
This is the time of year when pest problems become noticeable.
Spiders are elbowing their way inside homes and rodents are looking for warm places to live as the temperatures drop.
That's where Nathan Danielson comes in.
As the owner of Alliance Pest Protection, his job is to make sure unwanted guests don't get too comfortable in homes and businesses.
Despite just setting out on his own May 1, Danielson says pest control isn't new to him. He's been doing it for 12 years.
"It was time to venture out on my own," Danielson said. "I've had a lot of support from family and friends."
He likes the freedom of being his own boss now.
"I can't blame anybody for what goes on," Danielson said. "I can go anywhere I want in Minnesota and North Dakota."
That range has come in handy lately. His work on lake homes in the area has led him to additional business with customers' primary homes in Fargo. Plenty of positive references have led him to commercial jobs, too.
He said the restaurants need pest control to keep up with health department regulations.
"Anyplace that doesn't have pest control, like a restaurant, I would be afraid to eat there," Danielson said.
As for work in homes, spider control provides a good deal of business right now.
"Spiders are the biggest thing people want off of their houses," Danielson said. "They're not poisonous or anything, but they deface buildings."
Another pest is Asian beetles that have migrated into the Detroit Lakes area in the past few years.
Danielson also goes out to rural areas where rodents pose a problem, especially in cabins.
"Nobody likes to see a mouse," he said. "That's probably the No. 1 thing that freak people out."
To get rid of the pests, Danielson prefers an approach that differs from pest control in the past.
There used to be a stereotype that exterminators just like to kill bugs, Danielson said.
"A lot of people have a weird idea about an exterminator, in that they're just this crazy-looking guy where all he does is just spray things," he said. "It's really changed. We're doing a lot more natural pest control now instead of just spraying."
He said that cleaning an area helps a lot. That preventative work removes the natural habitat of rodents and insects.
By launching out on his own, Danielson also gets to get his family involved. It's something that didn't happen in his past job.
His wife and 13-year-old daughter help with marketing materials. His 17-year-old son, who is a junior in high school, comes out on some jobs when available and his 11-year-old helps unpack supplies.
Plus, Danielson has a sister who works on the books.
Having his family involved is important, he said. It helps him keep his roots solidly in the Detroit Lakes area.
"This in an area that I want to take care of," Danielson said. "My goal isn't to go way out."
As winter approaches, at least Danielson is able to slow down and go fishing. It's a hobby that doesn't happen in the summer with all of the hours he puts in.
"In Minnesota we get a break, we get to go fishing," he said.
More info about Alliance Pest Control is available by calling 234-6557.