Local Man Pays Dues To Start Pest-Control Business

A man with a watering can in front of a flower pot.

“At Mojo’s Coffee Shop is where it was born,” Barnes said about the business’s name. “Super Fly Bug Guy was born last March in the middle of COVID.”

It was a twist of fate that brought the business into being, as Barnes started working for the Newton Fire/EMS Department in 2014 when he moved to town. He said most fire guys have second jobs, so he got into pest control basically when he started with the fire department, working for a local company.

“I started this on my off days,” he said, adding firefighters are on 24 hours and off 48 hours. He worked for the pest control company and the fire department until 2018 when he sustained a neck injury.

He had various treatments, which weren’t completely effective, before having neck surgery. With the injury, he lost control of his left arm.

“Through physical therapy, I was able to gain feeling in my left arm and 100 percent of my strength,” Barnes said.

After the surgery, he and his surgeon talked and the surgeon told him he had a good chance of injuring himself again.

“I decided to hang it up,” he said about his fire department job. “I wanted to be healthy when I was older.”

After that, Barnes worked for a financial advising company and found that wasn’t for him. He didn’t like sitting in the office all day. He’s a go-getter.

“I have a business degree with a certificate in entrepreneurship,” he said.

So, when the financial advising didn’t work out, Barnes decided to pursue his own business.

“I built it from the ground up,” he said. “First thing, I had to come up with a name. It just came to me having coffee at Mojo’s by myself. I called [my wife], and she said, ‘Absolutely not.’”

She didn’t like the name Super Fly Bug Guy. But then Barnes talked to a friend, who wanted to know what Barnes’s business would be called and he told her some more boring names, as well as Super Fly Bug Guy. She really liked the latter name.

So Barnes told his wife he was going to override her thoughts. From there, he called a company, talking to a graphic designer, who came up with a logo, which now is trademarked.

“I didn’t know what I was doing starting a business,” Barnes said, adding he did know how to make it legal to be a legit business, as he put it.

“When I decided I was going to start my business, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to support my family starting out,” he said.

He got a job with Cintas, getting up at 3 a.m. to do his route. First, he had 10 weeks of training. Barnes worked for them four days a week and then in the afternoons and evenings, he worked his Super Fly Bug Guy business. After getting home, he did family time and after the family went to bed around 9 p.m., Barnes said he’d do invoicing.

“Sleep three hours and get up and do it all over again,” he said. “I didn’t want my family to stress financially.”

He was able to leave Cintas after a little more than a year and now has his business full time.

“It was not fun,” he said about paying his dues and not sleeping much. “I was tired. I was working weekends.”

He said he’s grateful he worked so hard and grateful for the experience of only getting a few hours of sleep. It afforded him a chance to build his business.

“The fact that I could work my own schedule was huge,” he said about that time.

He left Cintas around March or April.

The business has “blown up” with work, Barnes said, adding they were runner up in a best of the best contest.

“It’s a huge honor to have that support in the community,” Barnes said.

The business’s No. 1 goal, he said, is customer satisfaction.

They also like to help out.

“We try to donate to local charities,” he said, adding an example is they sponsored a hole at the Vince Garcia Golf Tournament.

“We try to give back because we know none of this is possible without our customers and the community,” he said. “If we can give back to help Newton grow, we want to do that.”

Services they provide include full-service pest control, like general treatments, treating the inside and outside of buildings as often as customers want it done and infestation bugs, like getting rid of German cockroaches, fleas, bedbugs and termites. For termites, Barnes does inspections and treatments.

“We work with a lot of realtors,” he said. “We also do rodent control.”

He said he doesn’t do bird and skunk removals, although he has done snakes.

Super Fly Bug Guy services Harvey County, Wichita, Derby, Andover, Goddard, McPherson, Maize and El Dorado.

They service residential and business customers, and they can do general treatments as often as customers wish. The majority of his customers have him come out every three months. He has a part-time employee who helps him with larger jobs.

NEWTON—The name of the business says it all—Super Fly Bug Guy.

Bret Barnes is the owner of the business, which buzzed into the world during the pandemic.

Post Credits

Post was originally written by Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now

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