Meet the 2022 American Innovators of the Pest Control Industry


Earlier this year, we created the American Innovators recognition program in celebration of the ingenuity, creativity, and work ethic — the American Spirit — that pest industry professionals possess. And recently, we announced two 2022 American Innovators of the pest control industry, as selected by a committee of industry peers.

Stacy O’Reilly of Plunkett’s Pest Control in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Jacob Barnes, of Barnes Wildlife Control in Dayton, Ohio, were selected as the 2022 American Innovators of the pest control industry. Both were nominated for demonstrating excellence in professional pest management in one of two categories: 1) product use of cultural practices or 2) marketing and business management.

“We created the American Innovators program to recognize the creativity, innovation, and hard work that pest control professionals demonstrate every day in their collective pursuit of excellence,” says Shayne M. Wetherall, CEO, AMGUARD Environmental Technologies. “We’re grateful for the nominations we received from across the country, and we’re proud to shine a spotlight on two nominees in particular. Stacy and Jacob truly embody the American Spirit; they’ve gone over and above to support their customers and evolve their respective businesses and our industry.”

A selection committee composed of industry leaders and influencers selected O’Reilly and Barnes from a pool of worthy nominations. Each one was awarded a wooden American “Flag of Valor,” hand-crafted by an American combat veteran, as a tangible reminder of this achievement.

Stacy O’Reilly is the third generation in her family to run Plunkett’s Pest Control, which has served residential and commercial markets from its Minneapolis headquarters for more than 100 years. Stacy has held roles including technician, supervisor, and, since 2003, owner/operator. She was also the chairperson for Copesan Services, a national accounts pest control service. “Stacy didn’t care for the industry software available to help run and grow her business, so in 2016 she boldly created a new CRM for her business and then in 2019 allowed others to purchase and use it,” her nomination states.

“I am humbled to be recognized as a 2022 American Innovator of the pest industry, and it’s rewarding to see the industry recognize and appreciate our commitment to developing new and innovative solutions to old industry problems,” O’Reilly says. “I’ve always considered Plunkett’s a technology company as much as a pest control company, as evidenced by our investment in the development of Clypboard, our state-of-the-art electronic reporting system.”

Jacob Barnes wears multiple hats as the owner of Barnes Wildlife Control and as a partner of Viking Product Supply. He is the mastermind behind such products as Peak Protector, The Bat Valve, Bird Banisher, The Green Hornet Trap, The Bird Valve, and many more. “He is constantly striving to come up with new products and methods to make PCOs and WCOs more efficient in the field,” his nomination reads. “He leads by example and works right alongside his fellow technicians in the field, testing products on his job sites.”

“My passion is creating new products to solve problems relating to wildlife and pest concerns,” says Barnes. “I’m fortunate to have both a wildlife pest control company to prototype these products and the manufacturing company to produce them for our industry. I’m honored to have been nominated and to receive the American Innovator award.”

We will announce the American Innovators for the turf and golf course management industry early next year.