Winning team has competitive spirit, passion for pest control


April 19, 2023


An example of Nicole Gorman’s butterfly shadowbox displays. PHOTO: NICOLE GORMAN

What do Gordon Ramsey, Habitat for Humanity, a Waffle House, armed robbery, scarecrows and butterflies have in common? If you said the new breakfast menu at Hell’s Kitchen, Las Vegas, Nev., you’d be wrong. If you said Evans Pest & Termite Control in Locust Grove, Ga., you’d be shockingly right, and you should probably go buy a lottery ticket.

In this month’s edition of “Start-up Stories,” we are going to visit with second-generation pest management professional (PMP) Nicole Gorman.

Nicole is known as the “Butterfly Lady of Henry County” (I just made that up, but maybe it will stick). She loves butterflies and actually raises them for release. Her passion for lepidopterology has led her to creating some incredible shadowbox displays out of deceased Rhopalocera.

“I recently donated my artwork to my clients at Habitat for Humanity,” the mother of one daughter and two stepsons told me recently. “My husband, Tim Ivey, is also involved. He teaches new homeowners about pest control.”

Specifically, he coaches them on termite awareness and rodent control.

Small family business

Nicole Gorman

Nicole Gorman

The Evans Pest & Termite Control story begins in 1991 when Nicole’s father, Thomas Gorman, purchased the company. The Navy Veteran intentionally kept it small, enjoying being a solo operator. Nicole joined her dad in 2005, helping him with the office work. Tim joined the family business in 2008 after a career in construction and at Waffle House. In fact, Waffle House is where Tim and Nicole met in 2002: She was a server, and he was a short-order cook. Nicole gave up the foodservice industry after an attempted armed robbery. No one was hurt, but it was enough for her to consider getting into pest control full-time. The two lovebirds married in 2011.

Tim Ivey

Tim Ivey

Tim loves his second career. “He is very passionate about pest control,” Nicole says. “One customer even left a review that Tim is the ‘Gordon Ramsey of pest control.’”

The husband-and-wife team has been cooking up great pest control in the Atlanta area ever since they took over the business from Thomas last year. “I love the industry,” Nicole says. “I grew up in pest control, and I would love to leave a legacy for our kids.”

They are well on their way, cracking $300,000 in revenue in 2021, and nearly hitting $350,00 in 2022. They hope to surpass $400,000 in 2023.

Setting new goals

Evans Pest & Termite Control serves the Atlanta area, and currently has three technicians. Despite turning over the business to his daughter, Thomas still offers advice from time to time, but prefers to stay out of the office so he can enjoy retirement.

“I would love to see our company reach 15 employees by 2025,” Nicole says, adding she also would like to see their commercial division grow. Currently, they offer quarterly residential pest control, as well as termite and mosquito services.

I’ve been helping Nicole and Tim get better at finding money with their current clients. At my suggestion, Nicole emailed a letter to all clients in January, informing them that the company provides mosquito treatments. Within one week, they presold eight recurring mosquito packages for more than $4,000. Nicole and Tim also are considering adding termite baiting to bump up their recurring revenue.

Another business area that needs some TLC is scheduling. Currently, Nicole sets up most of the routes manually each month. To save time, she will either need to let computer software organize the routes, or she will need to get clients to stick to the same day and time each quarter. She is very aware of this issue, and is working hard to fix it.

One area in which the Evans Pest & Termite Control team is already very strong is their presence in the local community. Since 2010, Locust Grove has held a scarecrow contest. Many of the businesses in the quaint city of 5,000 decorate scarecrows and parade them up and down Main Street. The company has won nearly every year, and annually wins the “Most Creative” category. Just like her butterflies, Nicole loves her scarecrows. “I am very competitive,” she admits with a laugh. “Every year, our display gets bigger and bigger.”

“Bigger and bigger” is exactly what I think will happen to Evans Pest & Termite Control this year as Nicole and Tim navigate the waters of growing a five-person operation into a profitable business with several employees.

S.W.O.T. Analysis: Evans Pest & Termite Control


  • Customer service
  • Longevity in the market
  • Industry knowledge (over 75 years combined)
  • Passion for the business
  • Community involvement


  • No structured training
  • Uncomfortable with change
  • Not a household name
  • Not experienced at finding recurring revenue
  • Current prices might be too high for market


  • Utilize other treatment methods
  • Improve IPM practices
  • Create training manual
  • Network with industry experts
  • Network with other service businesses in their market


  • Competitors charge less for services
  • Turnover, due to a lack of training
  • Older equipment
  • Rising chemical costs

About the Author

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Schopen is owner of RV There Yet Pest Consulting and my email is

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