How to Start a Pest Control Business
June 01, 2023 by Service Direct

How to Start a Pest Control Business

Pest control businesses are always in high demand, and for good reason. 

Nobody wants to share their homes or businesses with insects, rodents, or other pests, and many people are willing to pay for professional help to keep these unwanted visitors at bay. In fact, there’s only so much people can do with store-bought solutions. That’s where your future pest control business comes in. 

If you're thinking of starting a pest control business, there are several factors to consider to ensure your success. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to get started. 

Is Owning a Pest Control Company Profitable?

One of the first questions that many aspiring small business owners have is whether they can expect to actually earn money in their chosen industry. Fortunately, with an industry like pest control, people will always need your services. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pest control industry is expected to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031. This growth is due to several factors, including increasing awareness of the health risks associated with pests and the growing trend toward green pest control solutions.

The average hourly wage for pest control specialists across the country is around $18.00. This, of course, will range depending on your location and experience level but it is a solid number to aim for when considering the costs of starting a pest control business. 

When you start your pest control business, you'll need to invest in equipment, such as sprayers, bait stations, and protective gear, as well as insurance and licensing fees. However, you won't need to invest in expensive inventory, as you can order pest control products on an as-needed basis.

Services Offered By Pest Control Companies

To run a successful pest control business, you'll need to offer a range of services that meet your customers' needs. It’s important that you start with a few key services, and as you gain more customers and grow your business, you’ll be able to add additional offerings.

Some of the most common services that pest control companies offer include:

  1. Inspection and identification of pests: Before you can treat a pest infestation, you'll need to identify the pest and determine the extent of the infestation. This involves conducting a thorough inspection of the affected area.

  2. Treatment of pests: Once you've identified the pest, you'll need to treat the infestation using the appropriate methods. This may involve using chemical or non-chemical solutions, depending on the type of pest and the severity of the infestation.

  3. Prevention of pests: In addition to treating existing infestations, pest control companies should also offer preventative services to keep pests from returning. This may involve sealing cracks and crevices, installing screens and barriers, or providing ongoing maintenance services.

  4. Wildlife removal: Some pest control companies also offer wildlife removal services, such as trapping and relocating animals like raccoons, squirrels, and bats.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control Services

In today’s day and age, it’s very important that you are using eco-friendly pest control solutions to not only protect the environment but also to avoid turning away any customers who want these types of services. 

Many consumers today are increasingly aware of the impact of pesticides and other chemicals on the environment and their health and are actively seeking out more sustainable options. By offering eco-friendly pest control services, you can cater to this growing market demand and appeal to environmentally-conscious customers.

What Types of Qualifications Do Pest Control Companies Need?

To legally operate a pest control business, you'll need to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications. The requirements vary depending on your state and local regulations, so it's important to research the specific requirements in your area. 

Generally speaking, the use of pesticides is regulated by a state’s Department of Agriculture, which is where you will submit applications for licenses for each one of your employees that might be spraying pesticides. 

Keep in mind that some cities require additional licenses, so you’ll want to contact your local government to ensure you have all of your bases covered before beginning. 

Some common qualifications include:

Pest Control License: 

Most states require pest control companies to obtain a license to operate. To obtain a license, you'll need to pass an exam that covers topics such as pest identification, treatment methods, and safety protocols.

General Business License:

In addition to your pest control license, you might also need to obtain a general business license. These requirements will vary depending on your county or city. 


Pest control businesses should have insurance to protect against accidents or damages that may occur during treatment. This will help ensure you are reliable in the eyes of potential customers and should give you peace of mind when operating. 

Training and Certification:

Some states require pest control technicians to complete training and certification programs to ensure that they are properly trained in safe and effective pest control practices.

While it might seem overwhelming to obtain all of these qualifications, it’s crucial that you don’t skip any steps when starting your pest control business. These certifications are essential and will help set you up for success.

Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Pest Control Company

Starting a business is no easy feat. In fact, about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 28% fail by their second year, and nearly 50% fail after five years in business. 

So while it’s understandable to make mistakes, you need to do everything you can to avoid becoming another statistic.  

Small Business Failure Rate_Start_Pest_Control_BusinessData Source

Keep in mind these common mistakes that people make when starting a pest control business, and you’ll be able to avoid them and that dreaded 5-year fallout!

Not investing in the right equipment:

To provide effective pest control services, you'll need to invest in high-quality equipment and tools. Skimping on equipment may lead to ineffective treatments or even safety hazards for your employees or customers.

Failing to get the necessary licenses and certifications:

As mentioned earlier, most states require pest control companies to obtain a license to operate. Additionally, many states require technicians to complete training and certification programs. Failing to obtain the necessary licenses and certifications can result in poor services, expensive fines, and even legal issues.

Neglecting to prioritize safety:

Pest control chemicals and treatments can be hazardous to both people and the environment. It's crucial to prioritize safety for your employees and customers by providing proper training and protective gear and following safe handling protocols.

Underestimating the importance of customer service:

Like any service-oriented business, customer service is key to building and maintaining a strong reputation. Failing to provide top-notch customer service can result in negative reviews, loss of business, and damage to your brand.

Failing to use digital marketing to reach new customers:

No matter how new your company is, it’s crucial that you execute digital marketing strategies to reach new customers. Whether you prioritize social media marketing like Facebook, use SEO tactics to grow on Google, or partner with a lead generation company, there are many avenues that you can use to promote your new business online. There’s no excuse not to use digital marketing tactics. 

Over-promising and under-delivering:

It can be tempting to promise customers that you'll completely eliminate their pest problems, but this is often unrealistic. Being honest and transparent about the limitations of pest control services can help manage customer expectations and prevent disappointment.

By avoiding these common mistakes and prioritizing customer satisfaction and safety, you can set your pest control business up for success.

Step-by-Step Guide to Start a Pest Control Business 

Now that you've given due consideration to whether starting a pest control company makes sense in your local economy, learned a little more about what you need to get started, and reviewed some common mistakes to avoid, you're ready to found your own pest control business! 

Here are 11 important steps to take when starting a pest control company:

  1. Conduct market research
  2. Build a business plan
  3. Register as a business
  4. Get pest control licensing, certification, and training
  5. Get business insurance and permits
  6. Open a business bank account
  7. Invest in quality equipment
  8. Hire pest control employees
  9. Get customers with marketing
  10. Network in the industry
  11. Run your business like a pro

Check out our detailed Step-By-Step Guide to Starting a Pest Control Business for a deeper look at what each of these steps entails.


Starting a pest control business can be a rewarding venture that offers a valuable service to customers in need. By offering effective, reliable, and safe pest control solutions, you can build a strong reputation and grow your business over time.

By following these tips and best practices, you can build a successful pest control business that provides valuable services to your customers while prioritizing safety, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. With hard work, dedication, and a commitment to excellence, you can achieve your goals and make a positive impact in your community.

How to Start a Pest Control Business

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