20 August 2021

Meet the member: 25 years of pest control at Des Bone


BPCA’s Communications Officer Kat Shaw spoke to Ann Bone, of Des Bone Ltd, about their quarter-century journey as a pest management business.

Sussex-based Des Bone Limited was established on 1 July 1996, after Richard Bone moved on from the well-established Boxhill & Headley, following its sale to Terminix.

Deborah Boulton, out riding her horse when she got a call out

How was Des Bone Ltd born?

Following the sale of the pest control business my husband was working for, we decided to take the plunge and open our own. Our aim was to establish a small, well-run company so that we had a reasonable living.

We started Des Bone Limited in two stables in the garden of our house. It soon progressed to three stables and from there we realised we were quickly outgrowing that space too. We decided to move to somewhere larger, so that we could have more office space and a better storage area for products.

Was your background in pest control too?

No! My background was running my own company with four beauty salons in West Sussex. I had experience in internal security, teaching and beauty – a far cry from pest control. But I joined my husband and ventured forward into unknown territory.

It was a big leap, but so worthwhile. We’ve had great fun over the years, met some amazing people and learned so much.

How has Des Bone evolved over the years?

After we moved to bigger premises we took on our first employee, then two more and over the years we’ve had lots of employees come and go.

All except our lovely Deborah Boulton, who has been with us over the past 18 years. Some may recognise her name from the series on BBC2 ‘The LadyKillers: Pest Detectives’, where she was asked as one of the few lady pest technicians to take part in the series.

Richard also took on the task of internally training our own staff to high standards. It was a big personal development move, and he took his City and Guilds teaching certificate to be able to do this. I already had my Certificate in Education, so we worked well together.

Richard also began producing equipment to assist with the ‘hands on technicians’ with the DBL 2000 gas pump, along with the Kania paddle and bracket for ease of use with squirrel traps.

As the business evolved over the years, especially dealing with the progression of pesticides and chemicals, keeping up with technology was quite a challenge and still is.

Taking on new office staff to cope with the ever-changing demands of the industry seemed inevitable.

Much like we’ve seen in the last 25 years, the future (not only for Des Bone Limited but the pest control industry in general) will be having to compete and adapt with unknown future changes in product removal and legislation demands.

Ann Bone, Des Bone Ltd

What does the future hold for Des Bone?

Much like we’ve seen in the last 25 years, the future (not only for Des Bone Limited but the pest control industry in general) will be having to compete and adapt with unknown future changes in product removal and legislation demands.

There have been some fantastic changes, such as CPD schemes like Basis Prompt and BPCA registered, along with events like PestEx.

These introductions, especially for the newer blood into the industry, are extremely important, ensuring that the pest control industry survives and promotes its professionalism way into the future.

One last question! Your branding – why a cheetah?

Haha, one thing that has never changed over the twenty five years is our logo, and we do get asked this question on occasion. We chose this because we wanted to give the impression of a fast, responsive service.

When clients have a problem, it is usually a panic situation or one that they are afraid of. We want people to know that when they call us, we’ll deal with their problem quickly.


We love to hear from BPCA members about their pest control journey. Get in touch if you'd like to be our next Meet the Member feature.

Source: PPC104

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