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How to Start a Pest Control Business

How to Start a Pest Control Business

For those looking for a small business opportunity with plenty of expansion potential, learning how to start a pest control business is a great option. Pest problems, from ants and termites to mice, rats and spiders, bees and wasps, bats and racoons are quite common. People are scared and untrained to handle these critters making this a very necessary business.

When you start a pest control business, you will be using the most current pest control methods to service your customers and rid their homes or businesses of pests. While you should use the most effective elimination methods for that particular pest, no method lasts permanently or always works the first time, so repeat business will be a big part of your success.

What You’ll Need to Succeed

In addition to a standard business license, some states and local governments require further licensing and certification to start a pest control business. Be sure to check with your local agencies to learn what is required where you live. Additionally, it is critical that you have good liability insurance and medical coverage plus no fear of bugs, snakes or critters. While you will be utilizing safe methods and products to run your business, accidents can happen, medical insurance can save your life and an adequate liability policy can save your business.

As you learn how to start a pest control business, you will find that you have two primary options to get started: you can start from scratch and build your own business or you can purchase a pest control franchise. The advantage of pest control franchise opportunities is that they offer an established name and reputation. Most franchise companies also provide a certain level of training and support during your start up phase and beyond.

The cost of starting a pest control business will partially dictate your decision. Pest control franchise opportunities can be fairly expensive so you have to weigh the costs and benefits along with your current budget.

Other costs that come with starting a pest control business will vary to some extent, depending on how you decide to operate. Many people who learn how to start a pest control business begin as a one person shop and expand as they realize success. On the other hand, if you have the capital to hire employees and conduct some extensive marketing, you might be able to see some substantial income fairly quickly.

When evaluating any pest control business opportunity, research your local market and scope out the competition. Find out what services they provide and how much they charge for their services. You don’t need to be the lowest priced pest control business in town but you want to specialize in a certain type of pest in your community like bats, scorpions or “green ways” and learning the habits, places they hide, how they enter your property to  eliminate the pest. You will also need ways to dispose of the pest or trap and release. You will need a vehicle, lettered or with a magnetic sign to advertise. You will also need a supplier for your chemicals and a place to safely store and dispense them. A professional appearance, business cards, quotation forms and invoices will make a great impression to clients that this person will get the job done quickly and cleanly.

One of the most important things you can do to help your new pest control business succeed is to follow up with every customer. Some pests may require a seasonal or quarterly check. Teach clients how pests enter and live in their homes or businesses. Show them how to stop this by closing holes and crevices, putting away tempting food items. Find out if your methods of pest control worked and if they have seen any of the pests you tried to eradicate. This will demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction and will make them more likely to call you the next time they need pest control services. Even better, they will refer to their family and friends.

Once you learn the basics of how to start a pest control business, you will be eliminating your customers’ pests but that’s the thing about critters, there will always be more to create repeat business and new customers. You’ll be expanding your business before you know it!