Celebrating 10 years in business this May, San Diego-based Payne Pest Management has made a name for itself serving a wide variety of accounts throughout Southern California.

The company was founded in 2006 by Willie Payne, a longtime sales supervisor in the pest control industry, and his wife Kathleen. The Paynes, along with vice president Abbas Rad, carried the company through its early years.

Today, Payne Pest Management has grown to employ 50 people with offices in San Diego, Irvine and Los Angeles.

In 2007, Jason Payne, son of Willie and Kathleen Payne, joined the company after a successful stint in pharmaceutical sales. Now serving as president, Jason Payne credits the company’s success to its people. “When we started this business word got out that we treated our employees well and paid them competitively. As a result, I think we’ve been able to attract the cream of the crop,” said Payne. “Almost all of our employees are still with us. They like that we are flexible and give them the responsibility of managing their daily schedules and routes.”

Photo from Payne’s video shoot for Chevrolet.
These quality, long-tenured employees have allowed Payne Pest Management to service “a little bit of everything,” said Jason Payne. “You name it. We do HOAs, condominiums, military housing, public utilities. We have the experience to do everything and be a one-stop shop.”

Payne Pest Management utilizes traditional Web and radio advertising, but word-of-mouth referrals has been the company’s biggest sales driver, said Payne.

Payne Pest Management also received great free advertising thanks to its participation in a Chevrolet Fleet and Commercial advertising campaign. How did this opportunity come about? When Payne Pest Management was founded in 2006, the company struggled securing lines of credit. One company that supported Payne from the beginning was Chevrolet Fleet and Commercial and the Paynes’ representative, sales specialist Walter McGrath. “Walt was tremendous. He really fought for us,” said Payne.

Top: Aerial view of Payne Pest Management’s fumigation of the Marina Pacifica HOA (19.5 million cubic feet). Left:

Throughout the past 10 years, Payne Pest Management has repaid Chevy for this early support by choosing it as its exclusive dealer.

McGrath relayed this story to General Motors (the parent company of Chevrolet) ad executives, who then approached Payne about becoming a part of automaker’s “Stories From the Road,” a web video/print advertising campaign. In the video, Jason Payne is interviewed while driving throughout Los Angeles and at the 20th Century Fox studios in Hollywood (which is serviced by Payne Pest Management) about pest control, operating a fleet of vehicles and his relationship with Chevy (view the video online at http://bit.ly/1V7dKY9).

Payne said the production crew consisted of about 45 people, including execs from Detroit and the film crew from Los Angeles. He estimates Payne Pest Management received $500,000 worth of free advertising by being involved in the campaign.

And Payne Pest Management still owns the first Chevy service vehicle it purchased in 2006, which now has more than 200,000 miles on it. — Brad Harbison