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Bed Bugs all Gone is a family owned business that is dedicated to eliminating bedbugs for San Francisco Bay Area residents wherever they sleep: houses, apartments, condos, hotels, motels, dormitories, fraternities, retirement centers, hospitals, military bases, churches, theaters, restaurants, planes, trains, etc. We can’t do it single-handedly, but we hope the entire planet will benefit from what we demonstrate here. Bedbugs seemed nearly extinct in the U.S. until about 20 years ago when they reappeared and multiplied with lightening speed despite the best efforts of thousands of professionals in the pest control industry. Now they are even in our five-star hotels, and they are growing resistant to the best pesticides. I was looking for a solution to this problem, but nothing I investigated provided rapid, safe, non-toxic and long lasting relief. The solution just wasn’t there.
Never Stop Looking For What Isn’t There! -- Author, Guy Thomas
Hi, I’m Steve Coy. I kept looking when traditional toxicants, fumigation, heat, and cryogenics didn’t seem seem to be the total answer. Around the start of 2012, I heard about a new non-toxic material that had just cleared it’s review by various governmental bodies such as the EPA. It promised rapid, safe, non-toxic and long lasting relief. Wow! I got some right away and tested it on some extremely infested situations. It worked beyond my best hopes, so, at age 67, I decided to sell my general pest control company in San Diego and start a new bedbugs-only company where I grew up, the San Francisco Bay Area. We are focusing on bedbugs only. We have an entirely new approach that is very comprehensive. We really can deliver fast, safe, non-toxic, long-lasting relief for your bedbug problems.
Some of my life story sounds as far fetched as Forrest Gump. When I look back on my life at age 68, I realize that the greatest triumphs have come from doing things that no one had ever done or that people said I wouldn’t be able to do. This might be my last chance to do just one more unlikely thing that changes life for lots of people. Some of the opportunities I have fallen into have changed the lives of a few people or given jobs to a few hundred individuals, or made life better for 50,000 Stanford students, or cut the cost of home mortgages for 30 million of our more disadvantaged Americans. I won’t force you to read about all of this, but I offer it because we have a chance here to relieve some suffering for over a billion people worldwide who face the scourge of bedbugs. Together, we will demonstrate how to defeat bedbugs. Others around the world will copy this and innovate it further. We don’t have to do it all, but we can make it happen faster. ( If you’d like, see “Some Snippets from an Entrepreneur’s Life” which follows this section, where you will learn a whole lot more about me.)
I work with Barbara Hartley, the bedbug dog handler. She was trained to be a dog handler at Ironheart High Performance Dogs, LLC, one of the best K-9 detector training centers in the United States. You will read more about Ironheart when you read about our K-9.
She then took additional training through K9 Operations in Romulus, Michigan. Patrick Currey, trainer, was himself trained in the highly structured, quality controlled programs of the military and U.S. Customs. There are few training facilities that can compare to that level of instruction. Barbara was coached by Pat to become the best, most productive detection team she and Jaime could be. She was also taught how to maintain the credibility of her dogs.
Barbara has a varied background. She did her Graduate work in Therapeutic Recreation at San Jose State University and used this training with both special needs children and the elderly as occasions presented themselves over the years.
In the 70’s and 80’s she worked in the Racquetball Industry, first devising children’s programs for the nation’s largest chain of racquetball/handball courts, which I co-founded. Barbara quickly rose to District Manager and finished her “racquetball career” as a Business Consultant.
She’s been a successful business owner---City Scapes, Inc., Advanced Health Source, and Pets In Motion, LLC are all to her credit. Pets in Motion pioneered a pet pain therapy center in her home state of Indiana, and she still gets calls from former clients of Advanced Health Source, on how to deal with health issues using nutrition.
In 1985 Barbara and her friend, Susan Connolly both solo canoed the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Being the first women to ever do so, a video is now being edited of this historic event. Barbara is passionate about dogs; she loves to quilt; and she still canoes.
Some Snippets from an Entrepreneur’s Life:
Finding Out What You Can Do Sets Your Self Image
I always liked to run and jump as a kid, but at age 9, I wasn’t even in the top 6 in the “Junior Olympics” in my little town of Los Altos with just 200 boys my age. The real 1956 Olympic Trials were held in my birth city of Palo Alto at Stanford. I was looking for the secret of how to jump farther, so I rode my bicycle over, and I met Bill Sharpe, the American record holder in the triple jump. He placed fourth at over 52 feet at the 1956 Olympics just missing a Bronze medal, but to me he won the Platinum medal as a mentor. He encouraged me, phoned me, and wrote to me from international track meets all over the world. At the 1960 Olympic Trials, also at Stanford, I met with him again, but now I was the top 13 year old in all of Santa Clara County in both the long jump (16+ ft,) and triple jump (36+ ft,). Two years later, he was at the U.S. vs. Russia track meet again held at Stanford. I was pleased to tell him that I was first in the nation (and perhaps the world) for 15 year in olds at 23 ft. and 48 ft. I continued gaining strength the next year and in January, after I was exhausted from 60 practice jumps, we caught a couple of 24’ 2” jumps on video. Later that year, I got just over 25 ft. which surpassed the 16 year old world record. I drove to the next U.S. vs. Russia meet in LA to see Bill and give him the good news. An inoperable ankle injury ended my career before my senior year of high school track started, but I found out what was possible from that experience. And the good news is that the miracle of arthroscopic surgery has now fixed my ankle, and I will be able to train again for senior track & field.
Overcoming Objections And Adversity
As a senior in high school, the members of the honor society at Los Altos High elected me President despite the objections of the faculty advisor who said I’d be to busy to run the big rummage sale that raised the funds to send our foreign exchange student overseas. I really wanted to make the sale a big success so I threw every promotional idea that I could at it. As it turned out President Kennedy was shot the day before the sale and we had to reschedule it for the next weekend without much publicity. Despite that, we raised enough to send two students overseas and host two students in return.
Using All That You’ve Got To Get To A Goal
No one in my family tree had ever attended a 4-year college. When I got accepted to Stanford, my father said he could not pay for any of it. From a combination of academic and athletic scholarships, plus painting houses starting in the 8th grade, I was able to cover 100% of both undergraduate and graduate school expenses there.
Don’t Give Up When Your Ideas Seem Sound!
I’d taken economics in high school, and thought I was quite a hot shot. As a freshman at Stanford, the grad-student grader gave an “F” on my first mid-term exam. I was devastated, but I appealed to the Professor, Dr. Kenneth Arrow, one of the world’s first 4 Nobel Laureates in economics. He listened to my rationale, changed my grade to an “A”, and enrolled me in the honors program. I got to study under 3 other Nobel Laureates in economics.
Champion Other Peoples Great Ideas
In my senior year at Stanford, I read a letter in the student paper from Dr. John D. Black, retiring head of counseling and testing. He was lamenting that psychologists had said for decades “the carrot is better than the stick as a motivator”, but Stanford still gave D and F grades instead of a better incentive. He suggested that students would take more classes outside their majors (become well rounded) if they didn’t fear ruining their GPAs. His program was simple: You could take a course all the way through the final. If you weren’t at least at C level, then nothing showed on your transcript and you didn’t even have to drop the course. At least you learned something. You could take any course over for a higher grade. Seemed like the right idea to me, and I still had 5 months to go in my Senior year, so I called on him and asked if I could be his champion. He and everybody else said I couldn’t change education tradition, but I met with the Deans of the various undergraduate and graduate schools one by one to convince them over the next couple of months. The undergrad Deans said they didn’t like giving “D” and “F” grades, but they had to or the grad school Deans wouldn’t respect their grades. The grad school admission Deans said they didn’t care about “D” and “F” grades and they agreed with Dr. Black that they would like to see more non-major variety in their applicants. Then we had one big meeting of all the Deans together. After a good laugh, Stanford adopted Dr. Black’s program for the next 30 years. Over 50,000 students benefited from that!
The “Law Of Unintended Consequences” Can Also Be Good
I applied to both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and School of Law. About 10,000 well qualified people apply to one or the other. If you can get into both, you can get the two degrees in 4 years instead of 5 since they count the other school’s degree as electives. Seemed like a good deal to me since I was paying my own way, so I was one of only a dozen people to manage it. The Business School wanted applicants who had at least 5 years of “real world” job experience, but they accepted me in short order based on my eight years as a painting contractor and their surprise that I got Dr. Black’s idea adopted. They like consensus makers.
I had painted houses and some income properties for the ex-Dean of the Law School. We had engaged in some great discussions about legal theories while I worked. When I applied to the Law School, I went to his office to tell him that I’d put the application in. He asked me to wait outside a minute while he completed a call. Then he called me in. We talked for a couple of minutes about whether I would do law or business or both, and then his phone rang. He said “Oh, that’s very good” and then he said “It’s for you!” I was surprised as no one knew I was there. It was the Dean of the Law School who said, “You’re in!” My friend, the ex-Dean, explained “We had a side bet on whether you could put over Dr. Black’s deal on grades. You and I both won”. They like guys who can negotiate out-of-court settlements!
Don’t Be Afraid To Tell The Truth
In between my first and second year at business school, I took a summer job in Chicago at the Harris Bank. I’d never been far from Palo Alto, never worked in a big crowded city, and never worked for a big corporation. It seemed that all those things might happen after I graduated from biz school, so I’d better take this last chance to find out how it would be. As a summer intern at Harris Bank, I had 4 concurrent projects with four different bank divisions. They all went very right, but the one for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the Merc) took the cake. The Commodity Exchange Authority required that about $50 million of margin money had to be held in an interest-free demand deposit. That was worth $3 million in pure profit yearly to the bank. I was supposed to make the Merc feel they were getting their money’s worth by creating some charts that showed how well the Merc’s new Lumber Futures Contract would help companies hedge their sales and purchases. Unfortunately, the specifications that the consultant had designed for the contract were all wrong. I had to say “the King has no clothes!” and maybe lose the bank $3 million a year. I knew I had to have my facts straight to help everyone see the right decision. I hurriedly took trips to the West Coast lumber region and to their annual convention in Arizona. I got letters from the big and small mills, the traders, the wholesalers, retailers, builders, and the editor of the pricing newsletter of the industry. I presented my evidence to the Merc’s board which was only 3 weeks from the Contract’s big gala to debut it to the world. They were shocked and panicked as was my superior at the bank. Another board meeting was immediately set for 2 days later as a showdown between me and the consultant. He was twice my age, had a Doctorate, a professorial tweed jacket with leather elbow patches, and a pipe. I wore my one and only cheap suit. At the end, they kicked him out and told me I was appointed to be the presenter to over 500 executives and the press at the Roosevelt Hotel in 3 weeks. It was scary but actually fun, and the Harris bank became known as the bank with the expertise in lumber futures even though I was returning to school in just a month.
A week after the symposium, I revisited the northwest and landed many big clients that had rejected the Harris’ advances for years. The Weyerhausers flew into Chicago on their private jet. Later, at the awards dinner, the Harris Bank president had me sit next to him and said that I’d paid for the entire 100 interns they had hosted over the last 10 years. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth!
More Good Unintended Consequences
Upon graduation from Business School, the Bank and two different Commodities companies made job offers. A partner and I decided to start a west coast office for the fast growing brokerage firm of the vice chairman of the Merc. Commodities were known as a huge gamble that would eventually wipe out most traders. We did two things fundamentally different than tradition. First, we traded with only 10% of the leverage available so we had 10 times the range of movement before a wipeout. Second, we had our clients in a mix of trades kind of like an individual mutual fund. This turned out to be very stable: we never had a month worse than 1% gain or better than a 5% gain. Totally, it was about 40% gain in the first year. Fantastic we thought, but our investors didn’t like it! They wanted the big killing. I became disenchanted. At the same time, we were helping young firms plan out their future growth and raise their capital. We enjoyed that much more. Then an entrepreneurial thing happened.
Innovate A Whole New Industry
My co-founder enjoyed handball, but the dozen or so courts in the Bay Area were always booked up. They took reservations for next Tuesday starting at 6AM this Tuesday and by 6:10 AM all courts were taken. If he didn’t get a court he’d have to wait to try again tomorrow -- and he’d be upset all day! So I looked at what people might pay for court time versus the costs of building space, labor, advertising, utilities, etc. It looked very promising. We sent our brokerage firm’s clients their money back and we painted houses for a couple of months while we talked out our plan. As one homeowner said, “I just listened to a 50 hour board meeting this week. Don’t you guys ever stop?” We probably had over 200 hours in this process. Plan A, B, C, D, & E for every business aspect. I would advise any entrepreneurs to do the same. The high-tech venture capitalists who backed us couldn’t believe how we could complete each other’s sentences. If there is one thing they like, it is unified founders. So they backed a low- tech venture with $500,000 to build a number of million dollar court centers. I told them we could negotiate zero down, “turn-key” leases, and I know they doubted me. But in about 5 years we had 8 court centers open in the Bay Area (about 100 courts) with 4 leases negotiated and about to break ground in LA (another 60 courts), and we still had all of our original $500,000 in the bank, plus we were profitable 12 months out of the year. Thousands of people were enjoying playing racquetball and handball with us.
Since we had another dozen or so locations under negotiations, and planned to up our growth rates each year, some of our developers wanted us to add another $1 million of capital to our balance sheet. Based on our record, it was easily done, but one single investor got majority control and he wanted to change the whole concept. My co-founder got fired in this process, but they wanted me to stay and “do your real estate magic”. I felt their new idea was all wrong, but I couldn’t talk them out of it, and I didn’t feel right signing developers to 20 year leases for a concept that might tank in a year. Since I was getting married in 3 weeks, I tendered my resignation and wished them well.
Life Is What Happens When You Are Planning Something Else
After the wedding and a three week honeymoon, I took my bride, Julie, to meet many of the people I’d told her about. When we went to Chicago, we met with some of the people at the Harris Bank where I had interned for a summer ten years earlier. One of my superiors was now the President of the bank. His secretary politely explained that he was booked every minute for the next two months, and that nobody could possibly get a meeting. I pleaded “just tell him Steve Coy is here and only wants to introduce his new bride”. She got on the intercom very tentatively saying “I know that you are totally booked, there is a Mr. Coy here and...” Just then, he bellowed “cancel my appointments for the next hour and send him right in”. I introduced my wife. He asked what I was doing. I told him we had just left the prior job and might travel around for a few months. Then he said, “I’ve got just the job for you as head of the corporate finance division”. “All the bankers we’ve tried are too conservative, and we need a go getter like you. When can you start”? We started two weeks later. At 30, I was the youngest division head in the 100 year history of the bank. My wife transferred to Lake Forrest college and graduated two years later. We made a lot of friends and got a lot of job offers after that. She wanted to return to the Bay Area, and I wanted to help more entrepreneurs start companies, so we left Chicago and returned home.
Cutting Mortgage Costs In Half For 30 Million Mobile Home Owners.
Just before I left the bank, I had a visit from the chairman of the world’s largest mobile home insurer. About 10% of Americans live in mobile or modular homes. As we talked, he mentioned that mobile home owners were paying 16% interest while conventional housing was paying 8%. (yes, in the Jimmy Carter era, interest rates “went through the roof”). I wondered out loud if this rate difference could be because mobile homes had more risk from weather or fire. Then, I realized I was talking to the man who was taking all of that risk for everyone. With his company insuring things, there was only the financial risk of the borrower not paying. So I asked him if the risk of delinquency, default, and foreclosure was higher with mobile homes. He wasn’t sure. First thing after I left the bank, I was off to Washington D.C. to visit Fanny Mae, Freddy Mac, HUD, the FED and anybody else who might have some data. Well, they had plenty of data, but nobody was doing anything to help the mobile home owners. In less than two months, we compiled all of the data to show that “your home is your castle” no matter what your income level. The delinquency, default, and foreclosure rates were virtually identical for all kinds of housing and all income levels. It was just an historical accident and inertia that had kept mobile home mortgage rates high. Originally, mobile homes financing had started as travel trailers which were treated like boats or other things towed behind a vehicle. With the advent of large single wides, double wides, and triple wides, these “mobile homes” were only mobile as they were trucked out to the building site.
This reminded me of the Lumber Futures Contract experience from years earlier. We wrote up a specification, found $50 million of mortgages to underwrite, took the package and the data to Wall Street and, instead of mortgages costing twice as much interest, the package went for only 1/4% more than conventional home mortgages. I doubt that I had much over 100 hours in the whole project, and at least 30 million people have benefited from this, as residents or builders since 40 years ago. Winston Churchill comes to mind. To paraphrase: “Never have so few helped so many with so little effort”.
Many Other Entrepreneurs Helped
My real hobby is helping founders think through their business plans and avoid as many pitfalls as possible. All kinds of ventures have come my way. A real estate investment trust * A group of brewers who wanted to start a gasohol plant * A woman who started a very successful temporary help firm for tech companies * The Chaminade Conference Center * A cattle raising venture for 2000+ pound Cianina bulls in Central America * A rabbit raising venture * A USDA slaughterhouse * A woman who built twenty gigantic billboards in Chicago and sold her company to Gannet * An SEO firm * A vehicle restoration an upgrade company * A coal tailings reclamation project * A cosmetics startup * A diversified conglomerate we assembled and funded, that did everything from jet engine turbines and missile warheads to concrete blocks and elaborate consumer packaging * A company that prepared collateral materials for drug companies on products like Tagamet * A computer time sharing company * Totally, the count was up to about 40 company ideas the last time I checked.
The Family Pest Control Businesses
While all of this was going on, my father in law had a heart attack at the young age of 54, so I left all of these ventures to run his business while he recovered. In two years, together with his three daughters, we had doubled the size of the business and restored profitability. He didn’t want to grow any more, so my wife and I started a new pest control company in another area. It grew from scratch to over 10,000 clients in just 5 years, then we realized that our kids (aged 5-10 at the time) didn’t need us to be rich; they just needed us to spend time with them as they grew up. So we sold majority interest in that venture and started a “Mom and Pop” operation with just me in the field and her in the office. As a result, we never missed a play, recital, ballgame, parent teacher meeting or any other key event. Today, all three kids ages 28-34 are entrepreneurs with great reputations, working in fields they love. What more do you want to leave behind than that?
The Current Goal
At age 70, I am looking forward to pioneering this new bedbug technology with a small company doing high quality work for everyone from homeowners to universities or hotel chains in the Bay Area. Barbara and I invite you to become our valued clients in this pioneering venture.
At Bed Bugs all Gone you will enjoy the best overall value and results.
- - We respond rapidly to anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area and work long hours, six days a week to make sure you get the absolute best service…quickly, thoroughly and safely.
- - Your family and pets are totally safe since our treatment is non-toxic. We use Cimi-Shield, guaranteed by the manufacturer to be 100% non-toxic and “Generally Regarded As Safe” (GRAS) by the EPA. Its active ingredient is soybean oil, a natural substance which dissolves the bug’s waxy coating so bed bugs die from dehydration in just two to eight hours after exposure to Cimi-Shield.
- You have to do little or no preparation before we come out.
- - You get zero surprises since our fees are clearly noted (see the Best Value). In speaking with you by phone, we inform you that our fees vary depending on whether the property is vacant or occupied; unfurnished or furnished; and/or the level of infestation and clutter. We can give you a firm quote by phone 510-886-1236
- Non-toxic Cimi-Shield treatment kills bed bugs for an entire year and comes with a standard one year conditional warranty.
- We offer K-9 inspections. K-9’s have over 1,000 times the scenting ability of humans; it is incredible! Dogs are far more accurate in finding bed bugs than a human doing a physical inspection since bed bugs hide during the day. Our dog, Megan, is specially trained and is faster and far more precise than any human inspection.
- - We are local and family owned. Our owner was born in Palo Alto and received his degrees at Stanford. Our dog handler did her graduate work at San Jose State University.