History

Where it All Began

Herbert Moss, a German immigrant and refugee from World War II, started Total Exterminating Company, Inc. in Indianapolis in the spring of 1948. Herb’s grandfather, Robert Moses, introduced the pest control business to the family in the late 1800's by controlling rats for large feudal estates in East Prussia. Around 1900, Robert son Maximillian ( Herb’s father) started Kamerjagerci, a pest control company in Berlin. Herbert and his brother Eric join their father in 1926. When political conditions in Germany worsened in the late 1930’s, Herb left his homeland to the only country that would take immigrants – China. He settled in Shanghai and started up a pest control company. After a few short years, the Japanese captured Shanghai and Herb’s family was thrown in a concentration camp. When the family was freed by the Americans at the end of the war, they immigrated to the United States and made their home in Indianapolis where he formed Total Exterminating Company in 1948.

After working 32 years, Herb decided it was time to retire and in 1970 sold the company to Patrick Miles. Patrick was a long time customer who ran a small grocery store in downtown Indianapolis. Pat ran Total Exterminating with as much enthusiasm as Herb had, and kept it a one-man business until he was joined by one of his sons, Dan, in 1977. When Pat was forced to retire in 1988 after becoming ill, he turned the business over to Dan. Dan currently runs Total Exterminating with the help of his brother-in-law, Vince, and his wife Darcy.