Preferred Shares
Preferred Shares Podcast
The Rat Man: Otto Orkin and the Birth of the Modern Pest Control Industry

The Rat Man: Otto Orkin and the Birth of the Modern Pest Control Industry

Welcome to Episode 5 of the Preferred Shares Podcast.

Lawrence Hamtil, of Fortune Financial Advisors, and Douglas Ott, of Andvari Associates, were the primary researchers for this episode.

In this episode

  • Immigrating to the Unites States

  • Pest control on the family farm

  • Experimentation with poisons

  • Winning early clients

  • Lucky breaks

  • Family squabbles

  • The first leveraged buyout

  • Rapid, sustained growth

  • Reflections on seemingly unstoppable industry dynamics

Orkin ad, The City Builder - a publication of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, 1926
Orkin Exterminators Office, Raleigh, North Carolina, late 1950s

Episode resources

Additional reading

Along with the resources above relating to episode 3, below are some pieces we’ve written independently that we think you’d like:

Peter Lynch’s Blossoms in the Desert, Lawrence Hamtil, 9/20/2018

British American Tobacco: Identity Crisis, Devin LaSarre, 12/10/2023

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You can also follow Preferred Shares, Devin, Doug, and Lawrence on Twitter.



All opinions expressed by Preferred Shares hosts and guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinions of their respective employers. This podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. None of the information contained in the podcast or this web site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

Clients of Andvari and Fortune Financial may maintain positions in the securities discussed in this podcast. Furthermore, from time to time, the Hosts may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Podcast and may trade for their own accounts based on the information presented. The Hosts may also take positions inconsistent with the views expressed in its messages on the Podcast.