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Company Backgrounder

Family owned for over 50 years

Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators, is the second largest family-owned pest and termite control company in the United States and has been family owned for over 50 years by the Thomas family.

James S. (Starkey) Thomas Sr. and his wife Imogene (Jean) founded Arrow in 1964 during Atlanta's housing boom. The tenacious couple immediately set their sights on providing termite protection services to the new construction market, and quickly experienced a level of business growth that would lead Arrow to become the largest privately held pest and termite control company in Georgia.

James (Joe) Thomas Jr., the Thomas' oldest son, joined the company in 1972 and along with his brother Barry, has led the company for the past 35 years. Under Joe's direction, the 1980s and 1990s were a time of rapid growth for Arrow both internally and through the acquisitions of several pest control companies in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.

During these early acquisition years, Arrow's business strategy was to create a seamless transition into the Arrow family for the owners, employees and customers of the companies Arrow was acquiring. This philosophy of inclusion has carried on for the past 25 years, with more than 100 successful acquisitions to date.

The 21st century at Arrow has been synonymous with the third generation of Thomas family leadership. Emily Thomas Kendrick (eldest daughter of Joe) followed in the family footsteps, joining the company in 1998 after graduating from Vanderbilt University.

Emily has worked tirelessly, learning many aspects of the business first hand, and in 2002 was named COO. In 2008, she took the helm of Arrow as President and COO and in 2010 was named the company's President & Chief Executive Officer.

Today, Arrow's vision of becoming the largest privately held pest control company in the nation is clearly within reach. The company continues to expand both organically and through acquisitions, with revenues exceeding $400 million. The Thomas family remains actively engaged and completely dedicated to fulfilling the dreams that Starkey and Jean Thomas had when they began the journey over 50 years ago.

The Arrow Difference

Arrow utilizes Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, as part of its unique and industry-leading STEPS® Total Protection System. Widely accepted as the most environmentally-friendly and sustainable approach to pest control today, IPM is a straightforward 3-step process:

  1. Inspection to pinpoint pest issues
  2. Identify not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem
  3. Treat in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and help prevent any future recurrence


Arrow's STEPS Total Protection System is about more than just how to control pests and termites. It's about how to help provide a healthier planet and healthier communities through running more sustainable offices and operations, supporting local charities and being active members of the communities where Arrow employees work and live.

Arrow's mission is to protect the health and property of our customers in the most environmentally responsible manner. Our passion ensures that we always go Beyond the Call to solve problems and support our local communities. In both residential and commercial situations, Arrow specializes in Pest Control, Termite Protection, Mosquito Prevention and Control, Fire Ant Control, Wildlife Control and Exclusion Services, Handyman Services, Insulation Services, New Construction Treatments, Lawn Services and providing documentation for Real Estate Transactions.

Arrow boasts a modern fleet of more than 3,150 vehicles, 176 service centers and revenues that exceed $400 million. Featuring QualityPro accreditation by the National Pest Management Association, the company offers innovative and environmentally responsible services to protect the health, homes and businesses of customers in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

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