This article was published in Stateline Business, Col 6, Issue 6, June 2006 by Hillary Wundrow.
Loves Park, Illinois......It's a pest-filled job, but someone's got to do it, and that person would be Chris Mei - the "Bug Lady".
After launching her own Pest Control business, Chris is reaping the wing-filled rewards of Stateline Area insects.
With a tattoo of a dragonfly on her right arm, a butterfly on her wrist and a mosquito below her shoulder, Chris' fascination with insects is easy to see.
"I kind of like Bugs," Chris said. I think they are very interesting.
Chris opened her business out of her home on North Alpine Road in May, 2005, with a 1993 Nissan, a truck full of chemicals, an Office Manager and a Technician. Chris is able to keep more than 300 customers safe from pesky insects.
Although her new business was an instant success, her journey to opening it was a long one. One of Chris' first jobs after high school was managing a gas station. One day the man who performed pest control at the station told Chris he was looking for a woman to learn the art of pest control.
He said a lot of stay-at-home women didn't feel comfortable with men in the homes!
Chris took the man up on his offers and once she started working at Burr Pest Control in Rockford, she was hooked. Over the years Chris has made her rounds through residential homes, restaurants, nursing homes, and all types of businesses.
"I like it. I got into all kinds of neat places, I know where to eat and where not to eat," Chris joked.
During her career at Burr Pest Control, she was the only woman pest control technician. Although she got a few negative comments from men in the beginning of her career, she said women were generally glad to see another woman coming into their home or office.
Chris eventually worked her way up to Service Manager at Burr Pest Control. After 27 years on the job, Chris was finally ready to break out on her own. Licensed in both Wisconsin and Illinois, Chris can treat homes and businesses on each side of the border.
With new technology, insect repellents can be applied without people having to be put out of their homes or offices for hours.
Most of the stuff we use is odorless.
When Chris isn't being the "Bug Lady" she is rescuing animals and riding her Heritage Softail Classic Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. At 48 years old, Mei said she is still kicking!!!