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How to Start A Pest Control Business

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From bed bugs and termites to cockroaches and rats, pests can be a problem wherever you go. And with climate change potentially accelerating pest populations, it’s no surprise that the U.S. pest control market is expected to exceed $28 billion by 2026. Many consumers will do whatever it takes to prevent or get rid of infestations, which is why starting a pest control business could be a lucrative opportunity for you.

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A home-based pest control business has the potential to provide you with a healthy income, but going the freelance route takes commitment and marketing know-how. Many of those who run their own pest control businesses get their start working for an established pest control services company. But once you have gathered sufficient knowledge and experience in the industry, there is no reason you should hold back from starting something of your own. However, running an already established company is something else. You will need to have some more information to start your own business. And if you don’t know where to start, you have reached the right place.

In this blog, we have laid out 8 simple steps to start your pest control business. Just follow them and you are ready to make some handsome profit. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Every company needs a unique pest control business name to stand out from competitors and tell customers a little about who they are. When starting a pest control business, choose a brand name that’s creative and compelling while also hinting at what services you provide. For example, you may want to include the phrase “pest control” or “exterminator” in your name.

Once you’ve brainstormed at least one name, see if it’s legally available. No two businesses that offer similar services can hold the same name if the name is trademarked or if they’re in the same state. A good start to check whether the name is available is the US Patent and Trademark Office database. The website of your state agency that deals with business, such as the Department of Commerce or Secretary of State could also come in handy. You must also check social media to make sure the name is available so that you can use the same name as your brand on social networking sites as well as your domain name.

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2. Choose A Business Structure

The next step to starting pest control business is choosing a legal structure for your business. For example, you can operate as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC), or a corporation. Your taxes, liabilities, and level of required paperwork will be dependent on the legal structure you choose.

3. Register Your Pest Control Business with the State

Once you know your ideal business name and business structure, you can register your business and legally form your company. You can get the paperwork from your state agency’s website or office, or simply complete the registration process online. The registration fees vary from state to state, but it is usually no more than $200.

In addition to registering your business, don’t forget to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) with the IRS if you’ll be hiring employees or operating as a corporation or partnership.

4. Get the Paperwork Done

Along with your registration, you will need some more official documentation to kickstart your pest control company. First and foremost, you will need to obtain a general business licence from your state. In case you don’t know how to get pest control liecense, look up your State Secretary website. 

You might also require some permits from your county and local authority since you will be handling commercial-grade pesticides and chemicals. Furthermore, you need a professional license for yourself to perform pest control. In case you are hiring employees to do the job for you, make sure they have the necessary licenses as well. 

Other than the licences and permits, you must sort out the financial aspects of the business as well. Start with your tax ID. Once you have that, open a separate business account and a credit card. Even if it weren’t required, it’s good practice. Separating your business and personal finances is a good way to keep your books properly balanced and file taxes quickly. It’ll also help you access loans, business credit cards, and other forms of financing if you need them. Don’t forget to buy pest control business insurance too.

5. Create a Finance Plan

Starting a business is not a cost-free venture, Even if you are running on a tight budget or trying to secure funding for your pest control business, you will need some budget to kickstart things. Therefore, you should make a financial plan beforehand. Making a financial plan requires you to decide the cost of pest control service. Once you do that, start with making a list of all your startup costs, which may include the following:

  • General tools
  • Special equipment
  • Pest control truck setup
  • Registration fees
  • Liability insurance
  • First aid kits
  • Workers’ comp
  • Contractor payments
  • Employee wages
  • Rent or lease fees

Last but not least, you must also keep aside a substantial amount of your budget for marketing. After all, if you want to bring in customers, you need to promote your brand both online and offline.

6. Set Up a Strong Online Presence

This brings us to the next step of your strategy– digital marketing. To build a successful business in today’s time you cannot but invest in digital marketing. To get your first leads and customers, you need to show up where they’re searching for pest control companies like yours. There are several ways you can promote your brand, and more often than not, you cannot choose between them. It is better to mark your territory by covering all the bases.   

  • Claim your domain name and create a professional website.
  • Claim your business page and enlist your pest control company leading sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, etc.
  • Create business pages/profiles on social networking sites and post regularly
  • Engage in SEO activities for your website

7. Buy Tools

Now that you have taken care of the legal and financial aspects of your business, set up a marketing strategy, and built a brand, you can expect work orders to come your way. But before you hit the road, you need to arrange the most important resource for your business– tools for pest control. The basics include:

  • UV Flashlight
  • Foamer
  • Sprayer
  • Baiting Tools
  • Duster
  • Gloves
  • Rodent/ Animal Traps
  • Inspection Mirrors
  • Infrared Temperature Sensors
  • Ultrasonic Pest Repellents
  • Vacuum With HEPA Filtration
  • Respirator
  • Other Safety Equipment

8. Buy Pest Control Management Software

In addition to pest control tools, there is another tool that has become mandatory to run a pest control business in today’s digital environment. As expected, it is a digital tool. Known as pest control field service software or pest control business management software, it is a comprehensive tool that helps you track client and business information, manage work orders, as well as automate and standardize your overall business processes. These pest control software solutions can practically enable you to take care of all your operations, including

  • Scheduling and dispatching
  • Budget tracking
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Creating estimates
  • Managing repeat work orders
  • Sharing customer information with field technicians

Additionally, pest control software also provides several tools specific to the pest control business. For instance, federal and state regulations require precise tracking of pesticide use, which pest control software can handle automatically.

FAQs

Answer: In 2019, the global market for pest control business was estimated at $19.73 billion exhibiting a steady CAGR of 6.31% for the period of 2020-2027. This means that the market will reach $31.94 billion by 2027. Therefore, it can be said that there is huge potential in the industry in terms of profitability. Currently, the revenue is around $14.2 billion with profit floating around $1.5 billion. There are currently 24,966 pest control companies operating in the United States. In addition, profit margins range from 7.0% to 20.0% depending on how successful the business is. Success is a result of several factors, especially when there are roughly 25,000 companies competing in this space.

Exterminators made a median salary of $37,820 in 2020. The best-paid 25 per cent made $48,570 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 per cent made $30,450. Therefore, one can say it is a well-paying job compared to many other service sectors. For example, janitors make only $31,410 in the USA, while wait staff and garbage collectors make $27,470 and $41,620 respectively. Having said that, pest control can be a stressful industry to work in for a couple of reasons. The work is highly seasonal, which can make work-life balance difficult to achieve. On the other hand, schedules can be highly demanding during the busy season. So, if you are up for a hectic schedule and looking for a career as a service technician, pest control could be a good fit for you.

The average profit margin for a pest control company ranges from 7.0% to 20.0% in the USA. However, it depends on the service quality and the growing competition in your area.

Exterminators have to use a wide array of tools to carry out pest control services. Depending on how large the company is and how specilized the services are, the nature of tools varies from one business to another. However, there are some basic tools that may be found in every pest control business’s inventory, such as:

  • UV Flashlight
  • Foamer
  • Termite Baiting Tools
  • Duster
  • Gloves
  • Backpack Sprayers
  • Spray Hose
  • Bee Control Gear with Hood
  • Bed Bug Steamers
  • Granulators
  • Rodent/ Animal Traps
  • Inspection Mirrors
  • Infrared Temperature Sensors
  • Ultrasonic Pest Repellents
  • Vacuum With HEPA Filtration
  • Respirator
  • Other Safety Equipment

Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids are the two most common chemicals used by pest control companies. Sometimes, they also use Permethrin. These chemicals mimic organic and natural pesticides found in varieties of chrysanthemums. In addition, they also use chemicals like Fipronil, Piperonyl Butoxide, Boric Acid, Carbamates, etc. However, pest control businesses must use chemicals that are approved and prescribed by federal regulations, for several common pest control chemicals may contain carcinogens and other poisonous elements that can affect our health as well as the environment.

Starting any business has its own challenge. One must be prepared to take risks and handle unforeseen circumstances at all times to be successful. However, once you successfully start your own business, the rewards trump all the challenges. The pest control business is no different. All you need is a strong vision, an effective strategy to execute the vision, and the courage to take on the challenge head-on. The legal and financial requirements are fairly simple, as you can see from the blog. And securing funds is not very difficult either. You just have to go through the right process.

Pest control requires using various types of chemicals. So, it is normal to think that it impacts the environment in a negative way. Although it is true to some extent, it is not entirely bad. Using excessive chemicals can contaminate water, soil, and vegetation. Insecticides used for eliminating weeds or bugs can also affect other organisms, including fish, birds, non-target plants, and beneficial insects, which in turn affect the ecosystem. In addition, synthetic chemicals can pose major health hazards, for they often contain carcinogens and other harmful elements. Having said that, not all types of pest control are bad for the environment. Most pest control companies are now using eco-friendly, organic pesticides, whereas federal and state governments regulate chemical usage in the industry as well.

The most common methods of pest control are threefold–

  • Biological: Biological pest control is the prevention and management of pests using other natural mechanisms such as parasitism, predation, herbivory, etc.
  • Mechanical: Mechanical pest control is the management and control of pests using physical means such as fences, barriers or electronic wires. It includes also weeding and change of temperature to control pests. 
  • Chemical: This is the most common form of pest control. The method uses chemicals such as pesticides to prevent and eliminate pests.

Final Words

As a business, pest control service can be a very profitable idea no matter where in the U.S. you live. To turn your idea into a successful business, however, you need to know how to meet legal requirements, keep your finances in check, and build a solid online presence over time. But more importantly, you need to find the right competitive edge to sustain in the cutthroat competition. This is why leveraging technology is so important today.


The current market is overflowing with various digital tools for small businesses. But if you want something efficient that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket, go for Field Promax pest control business software. It is specifically designed for pest control businesses, catering to all their automation needs. It provides a wide range of features and capabilities to take care of entire business operations, including work order management, scheduling, dispatching, monitoring, asset tracking, time tracking, invoicing, estimating, recurrent order management, and so on. It is even integrated with QuickBooks.

For more information, contact Field Promax.

Joy Gomez

My world is made up of codes. It is the central element that drives my universe. I am a self-taught, process-driven programmer with a creative bent of mind. Since I was an engineering student, I dreamt of creating something unique. To satiate my creative appetite, I took to coding. Blessed with abundant support and generous scholarships from my employers, I simultaneously worked full-time and pursued my dream. My passion and high productivity helped me in my journey as well. Finally, I created Field Promax to follow my drive of coding and streamlining processes; and do more of what I know best—coding.