Coronavirus: Message to our Customers


Message to our Customers

During this uncertain time, our customers’ health and well being is our highest priority. As we continue monitoring developments related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), rest assured, we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure our customers and employees are safe. Our service is essential in preserving the health of our customers and protecting property. As such, we are going to modify our normal service by attempting to mitigate any pest issues from the outside of the home. This means that we will do our best, through the steps mentioned below, to reduce/eliminate inside services over the next few weeks.

  • Suspending all interior services/treatments unless absolutely necessary.  To protect your property, food and health we will continue interior services for ants, bed bugs, roaches, stinging insects, mice & rats.  All other interior pest issues will be addressed on a case by case basis.
  • Conducting additional customer screening for any absolutely necessary interior services
  • Ensuring our team keeps a proper distance (6ft or more), wears disposable gloves and masks if entering your home, and continues regular hand washing.

As a note, we are running on normal business hours at this time. Should you have concerns regarding our services, we’re here to support you and offer flexibility to reschedule at your convenience. We encourage you to contact us at 816-279-2000 if you have questions or do wish to reschedule.​

As the seriousness of this virus increases, all of our employees have been instructed to follow the CDC’s best practices, including frequent hand washing, limiting proximity to sick individuals, and being aware of symptoms. While this has not been an issue for Preferred Pest Control yet, we will also implement 14-day quarantines for any employees who are diagnosed with COVID-19. We encourage you to do the same, so please review the most up-to-date information here.

Finally, our hearts go out to all those affected by Coronavirus. Please check back for regular updates from us as we navigate this evolving situation, and thank you for being a part of our Preferred Pest Control family.

Preferred Pest Control Turns 50!

Preferred Pest Control turns 50 in 2020. The Northwest Missouri based company is grateful for the relationship they have with their residential and commercial customers.  Especially those who have been with them along the journey of becoming a premier, full-service pest control company.

1st Generation: Russell Smith

Preferred Pest Control was established in 1970 by Russell Smith to provide pest extermination services for local homes and businesses in St. Joseph, MO. Taking care of customers was Russell’s primary focus and the reason for our success then and now. Our many repeat and referral customers helped us grow the business through the years.   Janet Cooperider, Russell’s daughter, remembers her dad during Preferred’s early years in this video.  She thinks Russell would be very proud to know Preferred Pest Control turns 50 this year!

Russell Smith, Founder of Preferred Pest Control

Russell Smith, Founder of Preferred Pest Control in 1970

2nd Generation: Wally & Janet (Smith) Cooperider

In 1972 Wally Cooperider met Russell’s daughter, Janet.  During their courtship Wally began helping Russell with his pest services as a way to impress Janet and her dad.  He not only fell in love with Janet, but also Preferred. Wally and Janet married on November 3, 1972 and eventually purchased Preferred from Russell in 1977.  They operated the business together for many years.  

In the beginning Wally and Janet operated Preferred as a part-time venture out of their home.  This allowed Wally to keep his full-time night job with TWA.  It also gave Janet the ability to keep the phone answered during the day (and night) while taking care of their 3 kids.  With a lot of hard work, and very little sleep, they raised their children and grew Preferred into a full-time business by 1993. They believe this growth was due to always putting the customer first and expanding their services to include termite inspections for local home sales.  Wally credits the relationships he built with local Realtors for Preferred’s success in this new area.

Janet (Smith) & Wally Cooperider, 2nd Generation Owners 1977-2015


3rd Generation: Perry & Dawn Cooperider

Over the next 20 years Wally and Janet saw continued success.  Both of their son’s, Robert & Perry, helped provide pest control services with Wally off and on over the years as Preferred grew.  Eventually business grew into more than Wally could do on his own, even with occasional help from his sons.   During this time Wally had an unexpected health scare.

Perry decided it was time to return to the family business help with Preferred in April of 2012.  Perry went to work right away upgrading the software Wally had previously used to manage the day to day business.  He added new lines of revenue and recognized the need to hire a team to continue growing Preferred for a 3rd generation.  Perry’s wife, Dawn, joined the team a few months later and they saw rapid growth in a short amount of time. Several team members were added allowing Preferred to expand its service area to all of Northwest Missouri. Best of all, Wally made a full recovery!  

The business eventually relocated to Savannah, MO to allow for further expansion.  In July of 2015, Perry and Dawn bought Preferred from Wally and Janet and built the office that houses Preferred Pest Control today.  Wally & Janet continue to be a valuable resource for Preferred and enjoy spending as much time with their kids and grand kids as possible.  

Perry & Dawn Cooperider, 3rd Generation Owners 2015 – Present

4th Generation: ???

Perry and Dawn appreciate all the dedication, sacrifice, and hard work that has gone into growing Preferred over the last 50 years and continue to have big dreams for the future.  They believe the BEST is yet to come!


Kill Bed Bugs Fast

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are bad news for homeowners and business owners alike.  Due to their small size and excellent instincts to stay hidden they often go undetected until it’s too late for DIY solutions.  Knowing what bed bugs look like, the areas they like to hide in and what bed bug activity looks like in those hiding areas is key to kill bed bugs fast.  Bed bugs can multiply quickly making early detection, swift action, and dedicated follow through extremely important for successful elimination.

What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

One of the reasons bed bug infestations spread so fast is because they are difficult to identify.  Depending on their stage of life, they can vary greatly in size. A baby, nymph, can be as small as the tip of mechanical pencil lead.  As if that doesn’t make it hard enough to spot they are also translucent until they have had their first blood meal. Can you imagine combing through a whole home or hotel room looking for a small clear speck?  Impossible!

Adult bed bugs can be easier to spot, but are still fairly small.  They are similar in size to an apple seed. A bed bug’s color will vary depending on how long it has been since their last feeding, but they are typically a reddish brown color.  Prior to feeding a bed bug will appear mostly flat. However, after a meal they will plump up and appear darker from the blood they just consumed.

Many people initially mistake a bed bug for a tick since they are similar is size and color.  However, there are a couple distinguishable features that will help you tell them apart. First, a bed bug will have 6 legs compared to a tick which has 8 legs.  The other main difference in appearance is bed bugs have a pronotum, fat neck for lack of a better description, where a tick doesn’t have a “neck” at all.  Acuratly identifying the problem pest is crucial to killing bed bugs fast.

Where are they hiding?

The other very important part of detecting a bed bug problem is knowing where they hide.  They are looking for shelter in areas of convenience and protection. Bed bugs are easy to smash and instinctively know to protect themselves by hiding in secure areas, but they also like to be close to their next blood meal.  Often times they will find hiding spots on the mattress or on the bed frame, but the bed isn’t the only place they will infest.  

Think about the places you spend the most time while being still.  Do you have a favorite recliner you sit in to read or watch TV? Do you spend long periods of time at your desk?  What about those waiting room chairs at your local doctor’s office? These places provide excellent feeding opportunities so bed bugs could be hiding in those pieces of furniture or in the hot zone, anything that is 2-3 feet around that area.  

How do I spot a bed bug problem early?

Once you know what bed bugs look like and where they like to hang out you will find it much simpler to spot a bed bug problem early.  Bed bugs will squeeze themselves into cracks and crevices for protection. Look along the seams of the mattress edge, the fabric folds on the corners of box springs and where the pieces of your bed frame meet.  You are not only looking for live bed bugs. You will also be looking for their shed molts (skin casings) and feces marks. The feces marks will look like someone took a pepper shaker to that area. Sometimes you can also find blood splatter in your linens if they were squished while trying to feed.

Widen your search out to the items 2-3 feet out from your bed, favorite recliner, office chair or other area of concern.  Bed bugs will hide in the seams and folds of curtains and drapes. They especially like to hide at the top near the curtain rod, in a nearby night stand or behind artwork hanging on the wall.  Other areas often overlooked are the seams between wallpaper or paneling. Also where the wall meets the baseboard or crown molding. They can even squeeze into a small hole in the wall where a nail or screw may have been previously.  

Can I kill bed bugs fast myself?

Your success rate to kill bed bugs fast will increase greatly if you catch the problem early.  If you can begin your DIY treatment methods when there are only a handful of bed bugs present and be diligent in repeating your efforts often to ensure elimination of stragglers it is possible to control them on your own.  However, it is very difficult to notice a bed bug problem until it beyond this point.  

Most of the time the people we end up performing bed bug treatments for have already tried all the over the counter products, essential oils and organic remedies they can find online.  They have thrown out or set fire to their furniture. They have replaced carpeting and even left the plastic on their newly purchased replacement mattress. However, they still can’t get rid of them.  They are better for a while, but they still linger on and eventually come back with a vengeance. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to give us a call.  

Have Yourself a Merry Little Pest-Free Baking

Preferred Pest Control shares tips for a pest-free baking this holiday season.

As the holidays draw near, families will begin spending more time in their kitchens baking festive treats and snacks. This popular tradition can quickly turn into a nightmare if you find signs of pests, such as cockroaches, rodents or pantry pests like beetles and moths. Once inside your home, pests can spread bacteria and contaminate food surfaces and ingredients. To ensure a pest-free holiday season, Preferred Pest Control, with the help of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), is sharing tips for homeowners to use to prevent pesky kitchen pests.

Preparing for a busy holiday season includes pest-proofing your kitchen and not just decking the halls.  Pantry pests such as beetles or moths can quickly infest the food in your cupboards and even contaminate the baking ingredients your family will use when preparing holiday meals this year. Other pests such as mice or cockroaches can spread throughout the house, causing an even bigger issue and headache for people.  Follow these tips today to ensure your holiday baking day is pest-free!

8 Tips to Stop Pantry Pests from ruining your holidays:


  1. Store food in tightly sealed plastic or glass containers.
  2. Always discard any food past the expiration date on the package.
  3. Sift through flour, sugar and other dry ingredients carefully before adding to your recipe.
  4. Routinely clean out pantries and cabinets, checking in corners for signs of pests.
  5. Check ingredients and food items to ensure packaging is intact before purchasing them at the store.
  6. Look for any cracks or holes where pests might be coming into your home and seal them shut.
  7. Keep a clean and crumb-free kitchen, carefully wiping up spills and sweeping frequently.
  8. Eliminate sources of moisture around the home, paying special attention to the area under the sink.


If household pests are a problem, be sure to contact us for help at 816-279-2000 or click here for more information!


Vampires Aren’t the Only Blood Suckers to Worry About this Halloween

It’s that time of year that we celebrate all things scary!  We love becoming a creepy spider or a blood sucking vampire for a night, but waking to a bed bug feasting on you or your children is a nightmare that many families face everyday.  Bed Bugs have been making a comeback for several years now and can be found just about anywhere. Over the years we have found bed bugs in a variety of places, from warming shelters to five-star hotels and everywhere in between.  Although bed bugs are tiny, they will make you feel like you are living in a house of horrors because they’re so difficult to find and eliminate.  Use the tips below to prevent and remove bed bugs so they don’t suck your blood this Halloween!

Tips to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation:

  • Get Rid of Clutter – Bed Bugs love small places and narrow crevices.  Removing clutter, especially around and under the bed, will minimize potential hiding places.
  • Don’t Bring Home Used Furniture – Furniture that has been disposed of could potentially be infested.  The couch may be free, but the cost of getting rid of a bed bug infestation will have you wishing you had purchased new rather than used.  
  • Make Your Bed – Bed Bugs prefer a messy bed, and when bed coverings touch the floor it is an immediate access point for bed bugs to climb into bed with you.
  • Move Furniture Away From Walls – This will discourage bed bugs from hiding in narrow spaces between your furniture and the walls.
  • Protect Your Mattress – Use a zippered mattress protector on your box springs and on your mattress under your mattress pad.
  • Use Light Colored Sheets – Using sheets that are white, or lighter in color, will discourage bed bugs from infesting your bed and make it easier to spot bed bugs, blood marks from feeding, their feces marks or shed skins.
  • Home Repair – Seal cracks in floors, walls, and ceilings.  Also repair peeling wallpaper. These areas make excellent hiding places for bed bugs.

Already suspect a bed bug problem?

While there isn’t fool-proof method for preventing bed bugs these techniques will make your home less susceptible to bed bugs and make an infestation much easier to diagnose.  Bed Bugs can easily hitch a ride in suitcases, on clothing and in other human belongings, allowing them to spread quickly and infest homes, transportation systems, offices and any other place where people gather. If bed bugs do find their way into your home, do not attempt to deal with the infestation on your own.  We’ve seen too many people put themselves in dangerous situations while trying to eliminate a bed bug problem. For peace of mind, it’s best to call us for a professional assessment and treatment options.  

For more information on bed bugs click here!

To schedule your FREE Bed Bug Inspection click here!