By Lanier Laney
WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Dan and Louise Hodges are the owners of Greenbug, Inc., founded in 2009.
WHERE BORN AND RAISED?
Dan was born in Newnan, Ga., and raised in Belmont, N.C. Louise was born in Atlanta, Ga., and was raised in Charlotte, N.C., and Littleton, Colorado.
WHERE DID YOU MEET YOUR MATE?
Says Louise, “Dan and I met at Clemson University.”
Says Dan, “We were married at Fripp in 1985 by Rev. Frank Sells in a memorable ceremony that involved sunglasses.”
PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE
The Hodges were owners of Arterra Landscape & Design in Charlotte, N.C., for more than 20 years.
“At Arterra, we were a landscape design/construction firm that created wonderful outdoor spaces including fireplaces, patios, ponds, lighting, etc., using a mixture of stone and brick, as well as plants,” said Dan.
HOW DID YOU END UP IN BEAUFORT?
Louise recalls, “When my parents, Ellen and Bernie Wilhelm, moved to Fripp in 1984, we fell in love with the area. This was the only beach our girls knew as we’d vacation here all the time. We figured we’d eventually retire here, but when we were debating a renovation on our home in Charlotte, one of our girls asked, ‘Why don’t we just move to Beaufort?’ So we did!” The Hodges currently live on Lady’s Island.
ABOUT THE FAMILY
Louise said, “Both of our daughters went to Beaufort High, and our youngest spent her middle school years at Beaufort Academy. Our daughter Hunter is a sophomore at Clemson University, and our daughter Ellen is a junior studying Drama at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville.”
Adds Dan, “We did not expect to have an empty nest so early, but we certainly appreciate the opportunities our daughters have been given living in Beaufort!”
WHAT LED TO CURRENT OCCUPATION?
Says Louise, “We moved to Beaufort in 2008 with grand plans to landscape the second home market. Well, the economy went poof! After years of creating outside spaces, we realized people in Beaufort didn’t spend as much time in their yards as they did in Charlotte — because of the bugs! We looked into options to deal with bugs and immediately realized many are toxic and dangerous. Surely, there must be a safe pest control option, and boom — the obvious answer was cedar. Cedar chests and closets never have bugs, so we just had to create our own formulas. And Greenbug was born!”
HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN YOUR PARTICULAR LINE OF WORK?
“Once we created our Greenbug formulas, we became increasingly aware that cumulative exposure to synthetic chemicals is dangerous and that Greenbug works on many pests. If there is a bug you don’t want, Greenbug works and it is safe! Not just mosquitoes and no-see-ems but also mole crickets, head lice, bed bugs, and roaches. Every day gives us the opportunity to help people dealing with bugs that they don’t want,” Dan says.
Per Louise: “After we’d gotten our Greenbug products for people, pets, indoors and outdoors on the market, I was staring at our irrigation system thinking it was the perfect way to distribute Greenbug for outdoors. So after years in research and development, the Greenbug Injector System was born that integrates with an existing sprinkler system so that everywhere water is directed becomes safely pest free. The Greenbug Injector System creates an inhospitable barrier around an entire property to keep all bad pests out but lets nature in. You’ll still have butterflies, honey bees and birds but no fleas, ticks, fire ants, mosquitoes or no-see-ems.”
WHAT ARE YOUR BUSINESS ROLES?
Says Dan, “At Greenbug, Louise does a great job of public speaking, social media work and talking directly to customers, whereas I am the customer service/follow up to what she gets started.”
On the operations side, Dan does all bottling, labeling and order fulfillment.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TO WORKING WITH YOUR SPOUSE?
“We’ve worked together since 1990,” said Louise. “We learned a long time ago that the secret to working together is to have very distinct and separate job responsibilities and are careful not to overstep boundaries.”
WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND YOUR WORK?
Says Louise, “Greenbug works and it safely creates pest free lives. What more could you want from pest control products?”
According to Dan, “Our philosophy is to offer safe, effective alternatives to controlling pests.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GREENBUG AND ITS SUCCESS WITH CUSTOMERS?
Says Louise, “Greenbug has an almost perfect track record (one customer said it didn’t work out of 20,000 products sold) so we are very confident that Greenbug does the job. We now have about 30 Greenbug Injector Systems in operation and have had incredible results. Our customers rave about it getting rid of whatever pest drives them nuts — whether it is moles in the yard going after grubs, no-see-ems that create huge welts, or Palmetto bugs that sneak into the house. Whatever the pest eradication goal, Greenbug gets it done!”
Dan describes this anecdote: “One customer had a Greenbug Injector System installed and several weeks later, his mother, who is a bug magnet, came to visit. Even though the bugs had always been terrible there, she chose to brave the bites as she loved to garden in his beautiful yard.
She did not know about the Greenbug Injector System but came in after a while demanding to know, ‘What have you done?!’
Confused, he asked what she meant.
‘I’ve been outside for over an hour and not had one bug bite,’ she said. ‘What have you done?!’
After explaining the Greenbug Injector System and a having good laugh, they got her a supply to take home with her.”
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEAUFORT OR BEAUFORTONIANS?
Louise says, “Beaufort is a beautiful, friendly place and, for the most part, provides exceptional weather!”
Dan adds, “It offers a diverse group of some of the most interesting people.”
ANY UNUSUAL HOBBY THAT PEOPLE WOULD NOT EXPECT?
Louise says, “Dan is a drummer, currently playing with the local band The Bull Grapes.”
ANYTHING SURPRISING YOUR WORK?
“I am surprised that many people think natural products won’t work,” said Louise. “We’ve had university testing showing 100 percent effectiveness plus there are centuries of man using cedar for pest control. Natural cedar does work!”
WHAT ARE PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Dan says, “In addition to growing our website sales and retail presence, we want to establish a network of landscape and irrigation professionals to install and maintain the Greenbug Injector Systems locally, then regionally, then nationally and beyond.”
Find out more about all natual Greenbug, Inc., by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 843-338-3506 or 843-271-6755, or go online to www.greenbugallnatural.com.