Who We Are
KEY Termite and Pest Control is the industry leader on the Central Coast. Founded in 1945 by Valton "Val" Key, the company has become known for honesty and integrity. Through the years and through several individual ownerships, the name KEY has remained the symbol of the original vision, "People before Profits." Many pest control companies were founded with such principles, only to put money ahead of the customer and eventually ahead of even their own employees. This improper business view leads to many poor choices. Choices such as a promise of premium service then only to provide hurried service with poor quality materials. Or, management with such high pressure on employees regarding sales numbers, that the employee resorts to outright dishonesty to meet the expectations. Here at KEY we have chosen to remain faithful to the original vision. This has lead to a habit of using the best methods and the best materials for the job at the best price we are able to offer. So, if you are looking for a Pest Control Company that strives to provide their absolute best and will stand behind their work, look no further than KEY Termite and Pest Control.
1945 - 1969
"Val" Key founded KEY Termite and Pest Control in 1945. He started the business in Bakersfield California after buying out Fred Emerson of Emerson Construction and Termite Control. A coastal branch office was later opened in Paso Robles, CA 1956. Key serviced both Kern and San Luis Obispo Counties. The San Luis Obispo County branch was taken over by Val's son Chris in 1960 when Chris moved to the Central Coast to run the branch full time. The business moved to the Atascadero location in 1963. After several years of ill health, Val passed away in February 1969. Valton Key was the owner and qualifying operator for over 24 years.
1969 - 1977
Chris Key became the owner of Key Termite and Pest Control in February 1969. Chris grew up in the pest control industry as his father, Val, was working with Fred Emerson in a construction and termite control business. Chris grew up in the family business and began working in the Paso Robles branch right out of high school. At the time, Chris was the youngest licensed field representative in the State of California. Chris moved the branch office to Atascadero in 1963. All business operations eventually moved to the Atascadero location when Chris's father became ill. Chris took over full time operation after his father's passing in 1969. Chris continues to operate the company until 1977. Chris went on to open his own construction company, Key Construction. Chris was the owner and qualifying operator for 8 years.
1977 - 1990
Mickey Maxwell became the owner of Key Termite and Pest Control in 1977. Mickey started his pest control career in the Kern County Mosquito Abatement District in the early 1960's. His passion for insect pest identification and control lead him to a career with a local Central Valley pest control company. Mickey moved to their Visalia branch as a manager in the early 1970's. As with many Central Valley families, Mickey decided to move his family to the Central Coast in 1973. Mickey soon found work in the Pest Control industry working with Chris Key of Key Termite and Pest Control. After some time Mickey proved his worth and offered to purchase the business. Unknown to most, Mickey toyed with the idea of changing the business name so as to be the first listing in the Pacific Bell Yellow Pages. We we almost became "AAA Aardvark" Termite and Pest Control with this ant eater as it's logo! Mickey Maxwell decided to keep the name KEY as it was so well known on the Central Coast. Mickey carried on the KEY tradition of honesty and integrity and was highly respected in the Real Estate community. Mickey was the owner and qualifying operator for 13 years.
1990 - 2016
Mark Maxwell became the owner of Key Termite and Pest Control in April 1990. However, Mark began his pest control training in 1965 as the son of Mickey Maxwell who was employed by a Central Valley pest control firm. Mickey brought home a deck of "Bug" flash cards with picture on one side and description of the insect on the back. This was Mark's start in the pest control industry. Mickey Maxwell took ownership of KEY in 1977. As a teenager, Mark would work summers on the structural fumigation crew for a little extra money. Mark began to work in the company full time in 1979. Initially work involved fumigation and structural repair work, but soon lead to running a full time pest control route. In 1980, Mark trained and licensed as a termite inspector, a job that would become a life long passion. Mark moved to the Los Angeles area in 1982 when he met his wife Lisa, who was from the Torrance area. After 6 years in Torrance, Mark left his General Manager position, at Andy's Termite and Pest Control, in November 1988 to become a Partner in his father's business. Mark took over ownership of the now incorporated company in the spring of 1990 at the age of 29. Combined business manager, bookkeeper and full time termite inspector, Mark worked hard to build on the original KEY reputation. Over the years KEY was named "Best in North County" and received "Affiliate of the Year" awards from San Luis Obispo, Scenic Coast, Atascadero and Paso Robles Associations of Realtors. KEY has also supported the local Women's Council of Realtors network for many years. Mark was the owner and qualifying operator for over 26 years and still works for Key Termite and Pest Control, Inc. in an advisory role.
2016 - present
Tyler Bennett has become the owner and President of Key Termite and Pest Control, Inc. as of September 1st, 2016. Tyler Bennett originally joined the KEY team February 5th 2003. Having worked as a branch manager for a large national pest control chain, decided the corporate model was not his future. Starting with KEY as a pest control technician, Tyler quickly demonstrated his leadership abilities and became the Pest Control department manager. Over time became Office Manager and then General Manager. As General Manager for many years, Tyler had proven his value and loyalty to the company and employees. Mark's confidence in Tyler's ability made it an easy transition to become the new owner of Key Termite and Pest Control. Tyler has been with Key Termite and Pest Control, Inc. for over 13 years before becoming the new owner.