Terminix International Company, L.P. is one of the largest pest control companies in the world, operating in 47 states in the United States and 22 countries around the world. It is a subsidiary of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. In 1927, E. L. Bruce, owner of the E. L. Bruce Company in Memphis, Tennessee, wanted to find a way to protect the hardwood floors they manufactured from damage by termites and founded the Bruce Terminix Research Laboratory. In 1932, senior chemist Frank Lyons created the first termiticide, an insecticide specifically designed to kill termites. The company began to franchise under the name Bruce Terminix. In 1955, Terminix was the first company to offer a termite protection contract, with annual inspections and a guarantee. In 1957, franchisees began offering residential and commercial pest control services. In 1968, the E. L. Bruce Company, including Bruce Terminix, was sold to Cook Industries. The company began looking to expand its business both inside and outside of the United States and purchased a pest control company in Mexico. Terminix partnered with Sears, Roebuck and Company to offer pest control services under the Sears Termite and Pest Control name. In 1972, the company changed their name to Terminix International to highlight their expanded operations.