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Pine Island Pest Control marks 30 years of service

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Apr 14, 2021

pleblanc@breezenewspapers.com

Jim Downer began Pine Island Pest Control by servicing his own home. He said the most important thing they do is to give people peace of mind. Now serving, not only Pine Island, parts of Cape Coral and also the outer islands by boat, he said there is nothing else he’d rather be doing.

“We live in the subtropics,” said Downer, “and in the subtropics you’re going to have situations with insects. They want to take over and infest and it’s our job to correct that.”

Proud to have enjoyed certain client relationships for more than 25 years, Downer said there are some people he considers his own family after decades of watching them grow, flourish and mature.

“It’s very fulfilling…it’s the best job I’ve ever had,” said Downer.

In his previous employment, Downer said he traveled the world drilling in places such as Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, but always knew he would return to Florida where he’d always spent summers. He admits having had a fascination for pest control whenever he encountered someone already in the business that seemed to stay with him for the whole of his life.

When Downer made a permanent move to Pine Island in 1987, he could not seem to get anyone to service his properties and restaurant for pests.

“It started as a necessity…that’s really how I started,” said Downer. “The guys didn’t seem to want to come out and do the restaurant at nighttime, so I bought the pest control equipment and started doing my own properties, and then did it for my friends, and became legal, and it just blossomed.”

As the years have gone on, Downer finds himself spending more time troubleshooting and tinkering in his shop than anything else, which he admits are his favorite aspects of the business. The company handles it all, he says, although sometimes they might have to bring in handymen for bigger vermin. Something like a raccoon, for example, might be trapped and relocated, but for bees, he said they rely on others, as they have no in-house beekeeper. Relying on experts is a fundamental part of the job, the same way they are experts when it comes to insects, and handling intruders as humanely as possible is always a top priority as Downer says he has no interest in killing an animal and that, “even insects have their purpose.”

“Thank you for being a part of my life,” said Downer, looking back at the years he’s spent servicing the island. “Pine Island has been a wonderful place to raise my kids. Every day has been a blessing, from the waters to the island and everyone on it — I’ve been really blessed to be able to spend my life here.”

Pine Island Pest Control is at 10480 Stringfellow Road, St. James City, FL 33956. Call 239-283-7463 for more information.