Protecting Your Property and Health
With the help of Entomologist Dr. Bennett—then head of UT’s Entomology department and the father of a high school friend—and a set of specialty insect pins, Dayton Hylton’s career course was set. As a sophomore at Bearden High School, he got some help from Bennett on his collection of over 100 insects. Now, years later, Dayton’s Pest Control at 4647 Newcom Avenue is one of Cityview’s Best of the Best.
“I’m proud of being named the best,” Hylton says, “because we make an effort to do the best work we can. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I think sometimes awards come just because you out live everybody else, but we strive to give the best possible service every day and solve all our customers’ issues, whether they’re termites, roaches or mosquitoes.”
After earning an MS in Entomology from the University of Tennessee in 1980, Dayton began his business out of his parents’ home. Dayton’s eventually moved into a permanent office in the Bearden area where Dayton grew up. Now, for over 34 years, the company has grown and added services.
“We do radon mitigation,” Dayton said, “and we do crawl space encapsulation and put in dehumidifiers. Last year we ran into a copperhead in a crawl space. That was our first poisonous snake under a house.
“The industry talks about protecting people’s property and health. We protect from mosquitoes, roaches — you name it,” he added. “We try to treat the outside of homes to keep insects from coming in and we’re also using the safest products. They’ve gone from five percent active chemicals to just one-tenth of a percent.
“We also try to have the best-trained employees we can and we are always fine-tuning our operation by implementing new processes and improved product technologies to provide the best possible service to our customers.”
Bedbugs made an appearance here in Knoxville long after Dayton got started. “They showed up around here about 2000,” he said. “We had an elderly mother and daughter living in a house with thousands of bedbugs. We vacuumed for several hours and then did our treatment. We’re really thorough and took the mattresses off and steamed and encased them. We treated the bed frames and treated inside the walls. In spite of thousands of bedbugs, we were able to eliminate them all.
“The reason we’ve been able to keep growing our business is because we retain our customers over time. Over half our employees are college educated. By maintaining a positive, energetic corporate culture, hiring talented employees and offering them long-term careers in the pest management industry, we increase employee retention. Our customers enjoy consistency when they interface with the same staff members. Our clients have told us that one of the things they like the most about Dayton’s is that their tech calls them the day before coming to their home for their service, and they enjoy getting to know their techs personally.
“We don’t take shortcuts,” Dayton said. “By integrating technology, we give our customers the best service while keeping it personable. That’s what our business is all about.”