Irwin Levy and Esperanza Léon, hosts of "Our Hamptons" podcast.
Irwin Levy and
Photo © Richard Lewin

Irwin Levy Enjoying Life After Pest Control as a Podcast Host

Levy, longtime owner of Aladdin Pest Control (N.Y.), has found success in his next pursuit, serving as co-host, along with Esperanza Léon, on “Our Hamptons” podcast, which explores the history of South Fork, Long Island.

September 10, 2022

In January 2021, Irwin Levy exited the pest control industry after selling Aladdin Pest Control (to Terminix), a business he had spent 45 years growing into a leading pest control provider throughout Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) and Queens County.

Levy has found success in his next pursuit, serving as co-host, along with Esperanza Léon, of “Our Hamptons” podcast, which explores the history of South Fork, Long Island..

As profiled in Behind the Hedges, Levy was a regular client at Léon’s art gallery and the two struck up a friendship, which led to the podcast. Every two weeks, Levy and Esperenza record/launch podcasts on history and preservation topics related to East Hampton. For example, their premier episode in May was a profile of the Amagansett neighborhood of Poseyville, home to numerous baymen, and now undergoing major development.

Download the podcasts by searching “Our Hamptons” and listen anywhere you get your podcasts, or from this link.

PCT caught up with Levy for a look back at his time spent in pest control and to learn more about his new pursuits.

Brad Harbison: How have you stayed connected with the pest control industry?
Irwin Levy:
I still have my consulting agreement doing M&A for Terminix.

BH: What do you miss most about the pest control industry?
IL: Relationships! Those 
I shared with my clients, and the industry suppliers and sales representatives — the overall camaraderie. You didn't ask, but I'll tell you what I don't miss: the 12-hour work days!

BH: What have you learned about podcasting through this experience? What makes a good podcast?
IL: I'll answer this in reverse. I think what makes a good podcast is subjective: 2+2 is always 4. But podcasting is more like an art form. I don't think there is a correct or incorrect way of doing it. You find a niche that works for the message you try to get out. With Our Hamptons, we focus on the history, preservation and sense of place on eastern Long Island. Our particular style is having a conversation interesting enough that you want to eavesdrop on it. I've learned that a podcast entails much research, production and social media. Mostly, you have to have an effective a platform to get a message out. We've actually had like-minded organizations reach out to us, wanting to tell our audience their particular story. We even get fan mail suggesting episodes. It's fun!

BH: What skills from running a service-based business help you connect with the subjects you interview?IL: This is an easy one. People skills. Sure, being an owner/operator of a pest control business I dealt with virtually every issue this industry could throw at you. But it always reverts back to one undeniable fact you could be the best technician (or dentist, or attorney, or anything else) but if the client doesn't like you, none of that matters. 

BH: What advice would you give to pest control industry colleagues who have recently retired or are contemplating retirement?
IL: Have a plan (and golf isn't one)! The Wall Street Journal recently had a story on how people spend more time planning a vacation than the rest of their lives. For me, I read a lot from Ken Dychtwald, one of the world's foremost authorities on what he terms life's third age. I wanted to feel like I was still in the "game." Between the Our Hamptons podcast, community involvement on two East Hampton town advisory boards, serving as president of the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, I have that. All the while, I have time for hobbies such as bike riding, guitar, horticulture, and yes, reading a book in the middle of the day. Because all of the above still doesn't add up to 60+ hours of living, eating and sleeping the running of your business!