Vermin watch out: LAX spending on pest control to increase tenfold

Sharon McNary/KPCC

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The 70 million passengers hauling personal snacks through LAX each year make it a big buffet for roaches, mice and rats. The restaurants, restrooms, garages, and landscaping also attract unsavory critters.

So LAX is hiring the Orkin man.  The Board of Airport Commissioners on Thursday is expected to grant Orkin Services of California a $5.2 million pest control contract for the next 7 years.
The contract — at up to $750,000 a year — is more than 10 times what the airport is spending on pest control now.

The airport has a $70,000-per year contract with a smaller company that runs through next year. With the new contract, Los Angeles World Airports is taking a broader new approach that will put exterminators on the premises 24/7.
Rather than merely waiting for reports of vermin to come in — as the current contract requires —  then waiting hours more for the bug busters to show up, a new on-site pest service would be continually on the hunt for dust mites, ants, bees, raccoons, skunks, and other unwelcome visitors.

Orkin would be responsible for pest control of all the terminals, the central terminal area and most other buildings in and around the airfield, said David Shuter, deputy executive director for facilities engineering and maintenance. The contract does not include cargo hangars or leased food preparation areas outside the passenger terminals.

"The new program is based on removing the factors that invite/harbor pests, eliminating conditions and paths of travel," Shuter said in written comments forwarded by an airport spokeswoman.

"It will be very dependent upon almost continual inspection, monitoring pre-designated locations, and training stakeholders.  The goal is to ensure that there are no un-treated and un-watched areas where pests could incubate and thrive," Shuter said.

Orkin ranked highest among the four companies bidding for the contract. The runners-up were Dewey Services, Inc, Animal Pest Management Services of Chino and Terminix.

The airport's current pest control company, Stafford Environmental Services, Inc. did not submit a bid, and its attorney asked the contract be re-bid due to unclear language describing pre-bidding deposits to be paid. The City Attorney's office declined the request.