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!