Across America, the tide has turned. No longer remaining content to blindly use chemicals anymore, homeowners are becoming more aware of harmful health effects and decreased efficacy of using pesticides and chemicals in the house and yard. Akamai Pest Solutions, ahead of the trend, was the first company to bring a natural solution to a very Hawaiian problem: termite control.
“Here in Hawaii we have one of the most challenging environments for drywood or Formosan subterranean termites in the world,” notes Ronda Galimba, the Akamai Pest Solutions Oahu and Kauai branch manager. While tent fumigation is the typical response to termites, comes at a high cost. Moving out of the house, staying in a hotel, eating out and boarding pets are just a few of the lifestyle sacrifices demanded by the tent fumigation process. What’s more, the health risks of chemical fumigation are just the beginning to be studied. In 2015, for example, the American Academy of Pediatrics found that there was a higher risk of childhood cancers in children exposed to indoor insecticides.
The founder of Akamai Pest Solutions – owner Roger Meints, and regional manager and trainer Tony Galimba-had both previously been managers for a large tent fumigation company, which left them convinced there must be a better means of pest control. “When they left that company, they vowed that they would never again be associated with fumigation,” says Galimba. Years later, they continue to fulfill their word and proudly proclaim, “And we never have!”
Instead, at the 2004 Hawaii Pest Control Association Convention, Galimba and Meints were introduced to XT2000 Orange Oil, a natural method of termite control, from Mike Folkins. At that time, the product was not catching the attention of other businesses. “No one else in the entire Hawaii pest control industry was interested in what he was offering,” shares Galimba. “We became the orange oil pioneers in Hawaii.”
Knowing that, it is important for customers to consider whether they’d want a pioneer in the business or a Johnny-come-lately to take care of their most precious loved ones and possessions.
The active ingredient Orange Oil XT2000, derived from orange peels, is safe enough to use for termite treatment while the family remains inside the home. “We were contacted by a homeowner whose wife had undergone a liver transplant less than a month before, and was at home recovering,” recalls Galimba. “Her husband was quite distressed thinking he might have to use fumigation to treat their home, but we were able to successfully treat their home without interrupting her normal recovery routine.”
While other companies have since begun to offer Orange Oil treatment as an additional service to other chemicals forms of pest control, Galimba notes that Akamai Pest Solutions has over 15 years of experience exclusively using natural termite control methods. “We believe in concentrating on one thing and becoming the very best at it,” she notes. True to their mission, Akamai Pest Solutions has won the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s People’s Choice Award for Pest Control 4 years in the running, in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
This natural treatment expertise has won Akamai a number of unique and high-profile clients committed to safety and sustainability. The Lanikai Estate, Diamondhead Estate, and Organic Farm for the Paul Mitchell Estate, famously committed to the environment, all called Akamai for their unique termite challenges. “They are still satisfied clients after 12 years,” says Galimba.
Another particularly memorable client was the Hawaiian Island Human Society SPCA in Hilo. “There were 40 cats, 30 dogs, chinchillas, birds and a donkey,” explains Galimba. “We treated the entire complex without their having to find an alternative boarding site to handle ‘Noah’s Ark’ for two days, or expose them to toxic gasses and toxic chemicals.” The only “animals” harmed in the process were the termites-that’s the quality pest control even your pets can get behind.
As a service to Hawaii homeowners, as well as the environment, the company urges residents to “Always Think Green, Live Green,” and call Team Akamai to treat Orange!