Connecting with and educating the Wichita community means the world to a company like Patton Termite & Pest Control, Inc. For the past four years, the locally-owned, family business has participated in the annual Party for the Planet as part of Meritrust Earth Day at the Sedgwick County Zoo.

This year, Patton Termite & Pest Control was one of 23 local organizations to take part in the special environmental fair which gave people of all ages the opportunity to learn how to care for and protect their planet. They also received information regarding recycling and conservation.

More than 7,000 people attended this year’s celebration including students, teachers, parents and regular zoo visitors. Activities were geared toward third through fifth grade children and included interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. This year, Patton Termite & Pest Control was able to talk to more than 2,000 children and explain the importance of taking care of planet Earth.

Patton Termite & Pest Control Service Manager and Associate Certified Entomologist Gerry Marsh said the company was honored to be able to educate visitors in green pest control. “Our children are the future. From a pest control standpoint, there are responsible and sustainable ways to control pests and I think it’s important to educate children about this,” he said.

As the official exterminator for the Sedgwick County Zoo, Marsh said it was critical that Patton Termite & Pest Control Service was able to share environmental awareness with the community. “The philosophy at Patton Pest is to eliminate pests using the least toxic and invasive means possible. That means using exclusion and environmental alterations to control pests before relying on chemical measures,” Marsh said.

“I have been doing all the pest control for the Zoo the last four years and am intimately familiar with the rewards and challenges of working in this environment,” he added.

Marsh believes it’s important for Patton Termite & Pest Control to contribute to and play an active part in the community’s future, especially when it benefits Sedgwick County Zoo visitors.  “We are closely tied to the community and have a sense of responsibility to educating the public about the importance of pest control,” he said.

Marsh said his favorite part of the Party for the Planet is giving back to the community and talking with the youth. “We always say that there is no better bug detective than the kids,” he said. “They are so enthusiastic and eager to learn!”