The Carl Strom / Western Exterminator Company Scholarship in Urban Entomology


Entomology Dept D01048


Graduate or Undergraduate Student Support

History and Purpose:

This fund was established in May 1998 by Western Exterminator Company a company founded in 1921 in the name of the company's founder, Carl Strom.


The Carl Strom/Western Exterminator Company Scholarship in Urban Entomology was established in 1998 by Robert Strom in honor of his father, Carl. Since this time, it has served a vital role in the mission of the Department of Entomology of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences by providing an ongoing stream of scholarship assistance to outstanding graduate and undergraduate students specializing in the field of urban entomology.

Western Exterminator Company was started in 1921 by Carl Strom, a Swedish immigrant who came to the United States during World War I. Upon his arrival at Ellis Island, officials let young Carl know that if he joined the U.S. Army, he would be granted citizenship. Sounding like a good idea, he signed up and was immediately shipped off to Europe. Returning to America after the war, he traveled with his new citizenship and eventually landed in southern California, having gained experience in pest control along the way. With a dream of providing excellent service at a fair price, he started Western Exterminator Company with just his passion and $25 in chemicals.

Since then, Western Exterminator Company has grown to be one of the oldest (88 years) and one of the largest family owned termite and pest control companies in the nation. It is ranked as a top company in the industry with 1,000 employees in offices throughout California, Arizona, and Nevada. The company business is 60 percent residential and 40 percent commercial pest control.

Founder Strom thought of the business as a family. His brother-in-law, Ray Lovejoy, became a partner in the late 1920s. And, although the family brought on outside managers throughout the decades, descendents of Strom and Lovejoy still own the majority of the company and sit on the board — including Carl’s son, Robert “Bob” Strom; Ray’s son, Richard Lovejoy; Carl’s grandson, Christopher Strom; and Carl’s

grand nephew, Tom Anderson. Carl Strom led the company until he died in a plane crash in 1961; Carl’s wife, Daisy, served as president until she died in 1992.

In 1973, Western Exterminator Company moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to Anaheim and expanded beyond the family for the first time. Roy Ashton, now vice chair of the board, was named general manager and later went on to serve as president. And in 2000, the family appointed Michael Katz as president.

General Purpose

The Carl Strom/Western Exterminator Company Scholarship in Urban Entomology is a competitive scholarship open to graduate and undergraduate students in urban entomology.

Selection and Guidelines:

Candidates must:
- Have research emphasis that benefits the structural pest control industry of California.
- Submit a one-page proposal of research interest and its relevance to the structural pest control industry.

Two employees of Western Exterminator will serve on the scholarship committee.

Request for Information: