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Matt Lara
Employee in the Spotlight

Matt Lara

As a member of Killroy's 3rd generation, Matt has always been aware of the business his grandparents started back in 1956. He never thought he would eventually be part of the business when he attended UCSC. But as is often the case for most people, the pest control profession finds you. Rarely does anyone think they are going into the industry. Matt's mother, Jan Olavarri, is also a valued employee of Killroy. As we have always said, Killroy is a "Family"!

Matt is a great asset to Killroy as its technology go-to person, and also a key player in the office. He still performs some field-work to keep his hand in the service side of the business.

Matt spent a number of months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail back in 2015, and continues to enjoy the outdoors by biking, hiking, and golfing.

Matt shares his life with his long-time partner, Cassie, their dog Cinder, 2 cats, and 2 chickens.

Killroy's future is in good hands with Matt and his cousins learning the trade and assuming responsibility for the coming years.

Killroy offers all these services:

  • Termite Services
  • Tree Straying/Injection
  • Beneficial Insect Releases
  • Tunnel Topper (ask us!)
  • Rodent Control
  • Ground Squirrel Control
  • Dormant Spraying
  • Gopher & Mole Control
  • Fertilization & Root Feeding
  • Wild Animal Trapping
  • Weed Control
  • And more!


Fun Pest Facts

  • Also known as a rhinoceros beetle, the Hercules beetle is the longest beetle, and is the strongest creature on Earth for its size — it can carry 850 times its weight! That's like a person carrying seven elephants!
  • Insects do not breathe through their mouths. They inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide via holes called spiracles in their exoskeletons.
  • Insects have ears all over the place, yet rarely on their actual heads.
  • Crickets, including katydids, have thin sound-sensitive membranes on their legs.
  • Grasshoppers' ears appear on their abdomens.
  • Some hawkmoths apparently can detect ultrasonic vibrations with their mouthparts — all the better for avoiding bats.
  • Lacewings have ears at the base of their wings.
  • A human cannot jump higher than his or her own height. An insect called a meadow frog-hopper, on the other hand, can jump more than 100 times its height, up to about 28 inches.

Killroy Kourier

Community Newsletter - Spring/Summer 2019

Environmental Management

Environmental Management is a term widely used, but at times, poorly understood. As human beings, we build homes, housing developments, and commercial buildings. We plant attractive landscapes and lawns that change the "natural" order of things; thus creating habitats for many animal and insect species.

Most insects and other animals are either beneficial or neutral towards people. When insects and animals cause damage to our man-made environment, we consider them "pests". We then take efforts to manage our new environment to the level we determine acceptable. This is the key point. We determine what flora and fauna are acceptable in our environment. Left unmanaged, mother nature quickly reclaims the properties and creates an environment less habitable to humans.

Many factors influence how much effort is required to keep our living and working "habitats" acceptable to us.

1. The type of construction we choose
2. "Micro climates", or local weather and rain factors (often modified by our plants and watering)
3. Plant selection
4. Personal thresholds for any number of given pests.

Let's look at a few examples:

1. Construction: Often the architects and builders have creative and beautiful designs, but fail to consider how pests might take advantage of some of the architectural features, such as over- hangs and nooks and crannies. Tile roof designs can create an opportunity for sparrows and oth- er roosting birds to find nesting areas in openings. Gable ends and dormers often provide small sheltered areas on the roof that are ideal for pigeons. Small to medium openings also provide access points to the attic for rats and other animals such as squirrels and racoons. Excess stor- age of items along the side of the structure provides harborages for pests and limits access for you pest management specialist.

2. Micro Climates: A pond in the backyard has subtle effects on local temperature and humidity. The amount of foliage, turf, concreate, watering habits and the color of surfaces all affect the climate near your home or business. It may be 80° in the shade, but 140° in your attic or 120° on the tennis court! Pests react seasonally to the climate changes and frequently seek out the same climate you prefer.

3. Plants: So much is involved here, it deserves a separate article which we will ad- dress in the future. Be sure you understand how the plants you select will behave as they grow. Many varieties can invade areas where you didn't intend them to be. The ground cover that comes in those little 4 packs can spread further than you expected without a careful eye on their growth. They can provide habitats for ants and other crawling insects. Ivy can be another example. While climbing a wall is picturesque in a painting, it can crack stucco and provide a habitat for rats and snails. That small tree that came in a 5 or 10 gallon container can grow tremendously if the right variety is not selected for the right location. Planting trees too close to hardscapes can lead to cracks and broken foundations, pathways and driveways. Often it is best to choose native plants as they can often be drought, disease and pest resistant.

4. Mechanical Management: How one “manages” their property makes a huge dif- ference in how one’s environment remains “balanced”. Items stacked and stored next to your home or business can greatly impact the pest pressure on that space. When items sit for extended periods, they provide shelter and harborage for a number of pests. Foundation vents can be compromised without notice, allowing access to the structure. It may also be difficult for your pest management professional to access these areas for inspection and application.

5. Pest "Tolerance": If a single garden spider causes a “panic attack”, your need for a more frequent pest management program is much higher than someone who pre- fers spiders in the yard because they catch flies. Our goal as Pest Management Pro- fessionals is to understand your personal expectations and tolerances, and work with you to help meet them. We try to advise our customers on what things they can do to make their homes and businesses less attractive to pests, and use the latest materi- als and techniques to “Manage their Environment”! If you ever have questions regard- ing any of these issues, please let your personal Pest Management Professional know about it. He/she has the experience and training to assist you. If he doesn't know the answer, he will do his best to find it for you.

We want you to know how much we appreciate your business.
Thank you.



Past Issues:
Winter 2018-19 (Changing Seasons, Technician in the Spotlight: Lillian Guerrero, Fun Facts about ants, cockroaches, The Masked Hunter, fruit flies, and more!) Fall 2018 (Bees, Wasps, and Hornets, Technician in the Spotlight: Eddie Ruiz, Fun Facts about termites, fossils, griffinfly, fairlyfly, guy-fly, and more!) Summer 2018 (Killroy Gets a Facelift - Major Changes - Spring is in the Air - Spring Cleaning and Bed Bugs, Technician in the Spotlight: Cody Schmidt, Fun Facts about flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, ants, and more.) Winter 2017/18 (Improving Techniques - Protecting the Environment, Winter Weed Program - Prevent Spring Weeds, Killroy Korner with Laura Hammon:Killroy Entomologist, Technician in the Spotlight: Rick O'Hara, Fun Facts about beetles, bees, ants, and more.) Summer 2017 (Introducing Killroy's Customer Service Team, 45 Years at Killroy! Meet Don Taylor, Tom Votta in the Spotlight, San Diego Team Building) Spring 2017 (New Era New Look, Winter Weed Control Program, Lauren Kersten in the Spotlight, Policy Change: Regularly Scheduled Services) Summer 2016 (Zika, Bed Bugs, David Colombo in the Spotlight) Spring 2016 (Rain, Termites, 60-year Anniversary, David Flowers in the Spotlight) Fall 2015 (Drought, Bees, Kenneth Hamilton in the Spotlight) Summer 2015 (Tribute to Phil Olavarri, Steve @ Killroy in the Spotlight) Fall 2014 (Winter Pest Control, Trees Need Killroy, Pismo Beach Trip, Customer Service, Daniel Corry, etc.) Summer 2014 (Killroy is Growing, San Jose Giants, Drought, Andrew Gibson, etc.) Spring 2014 (Drought, Olive Trees, Trees, Richard Schmidt, Vice President, etc.) Fall 2013 (Wildlife, Lynn Olavarri / President, Nematodes, Lawns, etc.) Spring 2013 (Ants, Termites, Trees, Rain, etc.) Summer 2013 (Summer Pests, Tri Valley Branch, Diamond Certified, Mike Flowers Sr. - General Manager, Lawns Need Killroy, Referral Rewards, etc..)