Local woman is licensed to find the bugs in your home, and wayward spouses, too
ROBINSON, Texas (KWTX) - Helen Walker hates bugs and knows just how to get rid of them, and she also knows how to check up on wayward spouses.
Walker, 78, owns and operates Robinson Pest Control and is also a full-time, licensed and certified private detective.
“Friends say I kill bugs in the daytime and watch husbands at night,” she said during a recent interview.
She been in the pest control business since before there women were involved in the field, she said.
“I was the first female pest control operator in Dallas back in 1973,” Walker said.
The owner of Green Leaf Pest Control in Dallas was surprised when Walker walked in his door to apply, but told her he’d been considering how housewives might respond to a woman coming into their homes rather than a man.
He hired her because she was very confident, extremely outgoing and as an experiment, she said.
"It wasn’t long before I was the top salesperson and the number one requested operator at the shop.
“Then he started hiring more ladies and I got to train them all,” Walker said.
In 1978 she moved to Orkin Pest Control and following a couple of years there opened Quality Pest Control in Waco and operated it for almost 30 years.
Walker said she’d been living in East Texas and had just gone through a divorce when her sister, who lived in Waco, convinced her to come to Central Texas.
She moved to town and very shortly thereafter opened Quality Pest Control.
At about the same time she started up her new pest control business, she also finished her certification and became a state-licensed private investigator.
“Just something I always loved to do 'cause I’m really nosey, curious,” she said, with a definite glint in her eye.
Walker opened Girl Friday Investigations in early 1981.
Walker rocked on until early 2006 when she sold the pest control business, but she kept on investigating.
One of her favorite stories involved the abduction of a child from its mother and the subsequent recovery of the baby.
“It took a little while, but we finally tracked the father down and staked him out,” Walker said.
"Then I got the mom, we took her to where the child’s father was and waited.
“Then when he came outside with the baby to get into his car, we detained him, the mother grabbed the baby and we headed home,” Walker said.
“No one got hurt, everybody was well and safe and the child was with its mother.”
But then in 2007 “I just got bored,” she said.
“I loved the work and I really enjoyed meeting the people I met over the years, a lot of them are still customers,” she said, explaining she opened Robinson Pest Control in 2007 and operates it today.
She did well by her children, her daughter said.
Walker said she had four children.
One of her daughters died at 42 to disease, and one of her five grandchildren died in a traffic crash.
It was working that got her through the tough times, she said, but even that was hard at times.
"I just love people and working with them.
"I had to work extra hard to gain the approval of the men I was working with.
“It was that hard work and determination that got me through,” she said.
Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.