The Killo Exterminating Company, Inc. is a third-generation locally-owned and operated family pest control company that was started in 1939 when Walter Killough, who had been working for several years with a national pest control company, started his own pest control business in Raleigh, N.C. In 1948 Walter and his brother Arnold Killough bought a one-man pest control company in Charlotte, N.C. With equal ownership in the Charlotte location, Arnold assumed manager of the Charlotte office and Walter acted as a silent partner. The Raleigh and the Charlotte offices were operated independently of each other.
In 1965 Dr. Ralph Killough (entomology), Arnold’s son, joined Killo and worked at both offices as company entomologist.
In March 1970 Arnold Killough unexpectedly died of a heart attack. As a result, Dr. Ralph Killough became manager of Killo in Charlotte.
In the mid-1970s, the two branches incorporated separately thus forming two individual companies.
In April 1991 Brian Windham, Ralph’s son-in-law, joined Killo
January 1, 1998 Brian assumed the responsibility of Killo’s daily operations when he became president of Killo and Ralph took the position of entomologist.
Killo’s greatest asset is its employees. Even though it is a family-run business, the company is operated on a “team” concept. This is proven by the longevity of many of our staff. Our Office Manager has been with us since 1972 and our Sales and Service Manager has been with Killo since 1978. Half of our service staff have been with us for more than a decade with two having joined Killo in the 1980’s.
Having an owner that has his Ph.D. in Entomology, Killo has always had a firm belief in education. Although it is not required by the state, Killo requires all of its technicians to pass a written state examination on pest control that classifies them as a “Certified Applicator.” In addition, three of Killo’s office staff have passed this state examination and are Certified Applicators. To maintain the status of Certified Applicator, an individual must go through continual training and earn Continuing Credit Units. To make sure that all of its technicians know the safe and proper use of a particular pesticide product, Killo requires all technicians to pass a closed-book written examination on the label and safety data sheet of each pesticide product they may be using before that are allowed to either handle or apply the product.
Dr. Ralph Killough
Dr. Killough received his Bachelor of Science degree in entomology (study of insects) from North Carolina State College in Raleigh, N.C. and his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. When attending N.C. State, he spent the summers working in the pest control industry. When attending Purdue, for three years he was a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Entomology.
After graduating from Purdue in 1961 he went to work for the Insects Affecting Man and Animals Division of the U. S Department of Agriculture serving as the entomologist on a team of four individuals doing research on the development of physical methods of controlling flies around dairy barns.
In 1965 Dr. Killough joined the Killo Exterminating Company as an entomologist.
In 1967 and 1968 Dr. Killough served two one-year terms as president of Pi Chi Omega, which is a national professional pest control fraternity.
In 1970 his father(Arnold) died of a heart attack and Dr. Killough became manager/part owner of the Charlotte office. A few years later he became President and owner of the Charlotte office.
All pest control companies operating in North Carolina must be licensed by the state and there are rules and regulations that they must follow. The law is administered and enforced thru the N. C. Department of Agriculture. The law established a Structural Pest Control Committee of five individuals who were empowered to make the rules and regulations and serve as enforcers of the law and its rules and regulations. In 1970 Governor Robert W. Scott appointed Dr. Killough to serve a four-year term on this committee and in 1977 Governor James B. Hunt appointed Dr. Killough to serve another four-year term.
Walt Disney World. Dr. Killough served as consultant to the architectural firm that was designing Walt Disney World as it related to insect-free lighting and pest control in the park. This opportunity came about as a result of the research Dr. Killough did at Purdue for his doctorate thesis.
Because of a major chemical warehouse fire in Charlotte in the early 1980s, the city of Charlotte became acutely aware that it’s procedures for dealing with such a situation were inadequate. As a result, the city council established a “Blue Ribbon Committee” to study the city’s current procedures and make recommendations accordingly. Dr. Killough was one of eleven members appointed to this committee. As a result of this committee’s recommendations, the Charlotte Fire Department and Police Department developed procedures that became recognized as one of the top programs in the nation and to the point that other cities in other states were sending their staff to Charlotte for training.
Through the years Dr. Killough has served on numerous committees and projects in the North Carolina Pest Control Management Association as well as serving as a Director on the National Pest Control Management Association.
In 2001 Dr. Killough was one of ten individuals nationwide in the pest control industry to be selected by Pest Control Technology magazine to receive their 2001 Leadership Award.
In 2010 Dr. Killough was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the North Carolina Pest Management Association (NPCMA). This is the highest honor that can be bestowed by the NCPCMA.
In 1986, Brian met Dr. Killough’s youngest daughter, Denise while both were sophomores at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Upon graduation, Brian went to work for NCNB Mortgage Corporation in Charlotte while Denise returned to the family business. Later in 1990, they married. In April 1991, Brian joined Killo and started the process of learning about Killo, literally from the ground up. He spent much of his first year in and under houses.
On January 1, 1998, Brian became President of Killo.
North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPMA). Dr. Killough always felt that working together and sharing with your competitors helps whole industry improve. This philosophy was driven home to Brian who has gotten involved with projects and leadership roles with NCPMA. Brian has served as chair of the Public Relations Committee, Regional Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, President, chair of the Past President Council and Past President Education Committee.
Dr. Killough wrote and donated a best practices guide for pest management companies to NCPMA. Later, Brian served as editor of this project.
Certification and License Exam Review Committee. Brian was appointed to work with the committee that was updating the state-wide exams for Pesticide Licensing and Certification.
WDIR Accreditation Committee. Brian was appointed by the director of the NC Structural Pest Control Division when this new credentialing program was being designed.