Cross Country Pest Control recently celebrated its 20th anniversary of serving Ellis County from the corner of Elm and Madison streets.


The company started in an office at KBEC radio station in 1999/2000, gaining recognition as the radio plugged the company name in sessions.


In about 2005-06, Cross Country Pest Control moved into its own building.


"I started it on my own. I’ve mainly just tried to market in Ellis Country. My main focus originally was Waxahachie and we have a lot of family ties through my wife’s family. Her grandfather was a dentist here. We had a lot of hometown relations. It’s all basically word of mouth," said Lance Hunt, owner of the company.


Since celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the company has grown in popularity, reaching 12,000 active customers. Hunt says the number of clients has quadrupled since 2010.


Working in Waxahachie for many years, Hunt contributes his success to the referrals from word of mouth.


"We just tried to focus on keeping our relationships healthy and doing the best job we could possibly do and not focus on marketing and getting more customers. So in comparison to other companies, we’ve grown slow," Hunt said. "If you grow slowly based on the foundation of word of mouth, you retain these customers for years. We’ve had some of these customers for many years. We actually have some of them since our very first start here and you think about that in a small town and how many people they’ve told in that link of time."


Hunt grew up in Ennis, graduating from Palmer High School, allowing him the opportunity to have many connections in Ennis.


"The word of mouth is the biggest thing and even when they move from Waxahachie and move to Dallas, those people that they move around will start calling us. We’ll start doing theirs and then their neighbors will start calling," said office worker, Taylor Aguayo.


The Cross Country team is made up of eight members, six active in the field and two office members. The company ranges from working in houses to apartments and office buildings.


The company also occasionally works outside of Ellis County, having gone as far as Rockwall Country.


"I just can’t rave enough about this small-town atmosphere and how much support that you get from our community," Hunt said. "It has been awesome to see over the years the support and that they’ve stuck to the locals. It’s nice to have a foundation built on this community and local support. We have relationships with Red Oak, Ennis, Midlothian, Waxahachie and even the small towns in the middle."


The company has residential customers that each have quarterly sessions.


"We’re based so much on our residential, quarterly customers. It’s just neat over the years the relationships you build with all of these people you get to meet. You get to know them and you get to know their kids and you see these kids grow up because you’ve sprayed their house so many times," Hunt said.


Additionally, once the COVID-19 pandemic hit the county, the company began offering sanitation and sterilization services.


"We just go into houses mainly, it’s been mainly the apartments when someone moves out. We go in and just do a floor-to-ceiling sanitizing of everything. Then they can move in without any fears or anything," Heath Whitley said.


They have added a few more customers from this additional service.


"At the end of the day, there’s so many doors that have been opened over the years, that were 100 percent a God thing. I don’t like to take any credit really for how this company has been blessed over the years. Heath’s been with me for a long time. He’s been a huge player in the success. At the same time we’ve never really had any major struggles. We just always have moved forward. We’ve just been blessed and He’s shown us favor through this process. None of us are getting rich by any means but it provides us all with good jobs and a cool working environment," Hunt said. "And just putting our customers first and taking care of them and going above and beyond just to make sure they’re taken care of and they appreciate good customer service."


The business is located on 306 S. Elm St., Waxahachie. To schedule an appointment call (972) 935-9883 or visit www.elliscountypestcontrol.com/ .