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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.


“Val” Key

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.

Chris Key

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.

Mark Maxwell

1990 – 2016

Tyler Bennett

2016 – Present