How one managing director navigated the difficulties of COVID-19

London Network for Pest Solutions (LNPS) Managing Director Paul Cooper spoke about his experiences in running a pest control company during and after COVID-19 at PestEx 2022.

The pandemic and its lockdowns have been a struggle for all businesses. For the pest control industry, it was a particular challenge because the service they provide often comes under the category of public health. Without effective pest control, there could be serious health implications, but company operations were still restricted by government guidelines. The impact of this problem can be seen in the rise in rat numbers over the last two years.

Paul’s seminar, entitled “Case Study: Post-pandemic pest management,” detailed the way LNPS successfully navigated a variety of pitfalls over the last two years. These included the minefield of furlough and the government’s initial categorisation of pest control as non-essential.

Paul: “COVID-19 was certainly a wake-up call for everyone. It seemed like the phone just stopped ringing the moment the first lockdown was announced. I soon learnt we had to be flexible. I coined the phrase, ‘Risk Aware NOT Risk Averse’. Our customers still needed us, but perhaps in different ways and everything had to be done safely.

“One change we made was to start providing a deep cleaning sanitisation service. I took the decision early on that we would not take advantage of the situation, which meant no exorbitant prices. I always wanted LNPS to be able to hold its head up after the pandemic, and we can. By doing our bit and not taking advantage, we have even managed to gain new customers.”

In 2021, LNPS was awarded a Chamber of Commerce award for COVID Response and Resilience and, after five years in operation, they celebrated a tripling of their turnover in 2022.

About LNPS

Established in 2016, LNPS is an award-winning company based in Newham, London. It provides high-quality, efficient and affordable pest control services to private and commercial customers in London, Essex, Kent and the South-east of England. They are recognised across the region as the benchmark for honesty, professionalism, passion and expertise.

About Paul Cooper

Paul started in the pest control industry in 1986. After 23 years as head of Public Health and Pest Control at Lambeth Council, he moved to Ecolab, where he was awarded the prestigious Manager of the Year award in 2014. In 2015, he joined Newham Council to set up LNPS as an independent pest control company wholly owned by the council.

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