From Difficult Times Come New Beginnings

from difficult times comeKevin Lewis
Home Pest Control, LLC
Gilbert, AZ

Helping one’s neighbors describes exactly how Kevin Lewis found himself in the pest management business. Working in insurance and coming off a divorce, Kevin found himself as a single father of three, and living next door to another single father, Paul, who happened to own a small pest control business. With shared interests, they became fast friends. Unfortunately, Paul became ill and was unable to stay on top of his business without help. Kevin and some other friends stepped in to help, earning their licenses and hitting the road as technicians when Paul wasn’t able to do so himself.

As Paul’s health worsened, Kevin increased his role in the company, helping with structuring routes and providing new business ideas. Ultimately, Paul passed away, and after some conversations with his family, Kevin offered to buy the business, despite the fact Paul didn’t actually have any contracts with his clients. Instead, he brought a level of service that caused them to stick around for years, often decades. Kevin wanted to make sure he had those same relationships with his clients, stating “It’s more than a business, it’s a relationship with my customers, and a vital service for my community.”

Kevin has a love of networking and talking to people. That’s where he learned more about the potential to take on new clients who needed more than just routine spraying each month. Through his contacts in construction, he learned that termite prevention and treatment were two critical needs in his region, for both current and prospective clients.

Knowing that he needed to expand his technical knowledge to take on termites, Kevin discovered the many educational resources offered through the Arizona Pest Professionals Organization (AZPPO), a state affiliate of NPMA.

He started with AZPPO’s Termite Academy. Before he knew it, he had contacts for inspectors, entomologists and several of the volunteer leaders at AZPPO—all of whom were more than willing to help him out. Kevin acknowledges the generosity of AZPPO’s leaders, from Cody Smith, owner of Dynamic Pest Control, as well as AZPPO’s president, who met him on-site at a project and provided critical advice in how to handle a termite problem, to Darren Hunsaker of All Clear Pest Control, and vice president of AZPPO, who offered to share an auger when a client job required tools Kevin did not yet have for his business.

Kevin acknowledges that the short-sighted may wonder why individuals who might ultimately be considered competitors would be so willing to share their knowledge, time and resources. But it’s clear that he and his colleagues in AZPPO, and across NPMA, understand that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Going back to that same saying about helping one’s neighbor, it’s the strength in numbers that brings strength to the industry.

What does the future hold for Kevin and Home Pest Control? He’s on a continued path of growth, both in his business and his professional knowledge. While keeping up with all things pest control through AZPPO and NPMA, he’s also looking to add to his team, with a goal of bringing on two technicians in the near future. Kevin can then keep his focus on expanding his commercial work, termite control and what he does best—marketing his business through his numerous connections and client referrals.