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Buddy Yockey is our chief pest control technician, and if you're one of our clients, you've probably met him. And if you've met Buddy, you know that his favorite thing about pest control is the people he meets. He cares about protecting the homes and businesses we serve because Buddy cares deeply about the people we serve.
Buddy was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and moved to Texas in the ‘70s. He ended up in Branson a few years later and worked there for several years as a professional drummer before moving to Carthage. While in Carthage, Buddy heard about an opportunity to change careers.A friend who had worked in pest control was looking to leave the business and informed Buddy that this would leave an open position. Buddy jumped at the opportunity and apprenticed in General Pest Control. He has been serving Carthage, Joplin, and the surrounding areas as a licensed pest control technician for 13 years now.
Buddy’s interest in insects began in high school, and in addition to all the training required for his exterminator's license, he enjoys researching and learning more about local pests. His official training happened alongside another pest control technician and culminated with a test to obtain his certified applicator's license. Similar to a driver's license, this one has to be renewed every three years.
Over his career, Buddy says the aspects of his job that have changed the most are application materials and techniques. Years ago, when an exterminator showed up at your house, you had to leave for several hours and it stank when you got home. Now, pest control materials are unscented and generally family and pet safe.. Buddy has also noticed changes over time in particular species of bugs and he's seen several different migratory pests move in and out of the area. Each one presents him with a unique challenge as a pest control technician, but he enjoys learning more and solving problems.
Buddy's favorite thing about his job is the camaraderie he experiences with customers.
He enjoys hearing people's stories, learning about their families and hobbies, and playing with their pets (he usually carries puppy treats in his pockets). Buddy especially enjoys his elderly clients and the friendships he has built with them over time. Knowing his visit has brightened someone's day is the best job perk Buddy could imagine.
When he's not serving the pest control needs of the Four States region, Buddy enjoys model railroading. He has traveled all over the Midwest and has won national recognition for his talents. Buddy's model railroading display is 20 feet long, with six different layouts. He loves entertaining the crowds that show up at train shows and festivals with his comedy routine and engineer costume.
Transporting and setting up his displays is time-consuming, but Buddy loves the looks of fascination on the faces of kids who come to see the displays. Buddy has also played the drums professionally for 50 years. He enjoys any kind of music with a beat, and has played in local bands and with several famous musicians, including Porter Wagoner, Del Reeves, and Jack Green.
With his years of experience in pest control for homes and businesses, Buddy says that what makes Homefront Pest Protection stand out is dedication to getting the job done and doing it right the first time. Buddy feels a sense of pride and accomplishment when a client lets him know their pest problem has been resolved. Helping his customers, who feel more like friends, enjoy their homes and businesses makes this job satisfying for Buddy and it's what motivates all of us at Homefront.