When unwanted pests infest our homes or yards, we look to pest control professionals to rid us of the nuisance. They apply chemical solutions and toxic gases and set traps to kill or remove unwanted infestations of bugs, rodents, wildlife, and other vermin.
The good news for those wanting to enter the industry, and the less-good news for the rest of us, is that the demand for these vermin busters is only expected to grow in the coming years.
Rather than starting a business from scratch, many would-be pest control pros are considering buying a pest control franchise business for the training and support they'll receive setting up their business, help with marketing and advertising, and access to state-of-the-art technology to support franchisees.
What Pest Control Franchises Do
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics describes the pest control worker's job: "[They] must travel to a client's home or business. Workers often kneel, bend, and crawl into tight spaces to inspect sites. Because there are health risks associated with pesticide use, workers are trained in pesticide safety and, if required by the product label, sometimes wear protective gear, including respirators, gloves, and goggles. Working evenings and weekends is common."
Pest control services to homeowners can include:
- Insect extermination and control
- Extermination of bed bugs and mosquitos
- Termite extermination
- Rodent containment and extermination
- Bird-proofing services
- Wildlife removal
Outlook for the Pest Control Industry
The median pay for pest control workers is $37,820 per year or $18.18 per hour. The job outlook for the industry from 2019 to 2029 is 9% growth, which is much higher than the average for jobs. The rosy outlook is not just because insects and rodents are supposed to multiply exponentially but also because new workers are needed to replace the ones retiring from the job.
That said, it's not an easy career. Pest control workers often have to work weekends and evenings and are forced to kneel, bend, and crawl in tight spaces. The use of pesticides and toxic chemicals requires proper protective equipment — such as respirators, gloves, and goggles — and the training to handle these dangerous substances.
To get a job usually requires a high school diploma, about three months of on-the-job training, and licensing in some states.
Benefits of Owning a Pest Control Franchise
Not only can you make good money running a pest control business but you can make really good money, like the North Dakota mother who turned experience selling perfume into a $10 million pest control business run out of her home.
Besides being your own boss and running your own successful business, the benefits of operating a pest control franchise include:
- You can run it from your home: Basic booking, administration, marketing, and equipment prep can be done from your home.
- It requires minimal equipment: You can get up and running with minimal equipment, including monitors, a backpack spray unit, uniforms, and bait stations and chemicals, which will take up only a little room stored in your home. For your driveway, you'll need any late-model (white) service truck or pickup truck, preferably branded with a vehicle wrap with your phone number and website so you can pick up business as you drive.
- Employees are optional: Many people choose to run the business and do the work themselves so they don't need the expense and managerial headache of hiring employees, unless they want to grow into a pest control empire.
Cost of a Pest Control Franchise
Compared to many other franchises, the costs associated with a pest control franchise aren't usually steep. For example, Pestmaster Services, which was founded in Bishop, California, in 1979 and has since become a national brand. It reveals that your initial costs for franchising would be between $30,000 and $85,000, including the franchise fee. You can save further money if you are a military veteran ($5,000), a qualified disabled military veteran ($7,000), an existing pest control business ($12,500), or a Pestmaster franchise expanding into new territory ($21,250).
In return for their fees, franchisees also receive:
- Brand recognition of an established name
- Buying discounts for materials, equipment, and vehicles
- Top-tier training program and ongoing coaching
- A fast startup process (three to six weeks)
Pest Control Franchise Opportunities Worth Considering
When looking for a pest control franchise opportunity, you need to balance the franchise fees you will be paying against the services you'll receive in return, whether it is help with financing, training, and ongoing support, and/or the reputation of the franchisor in the industry and how well they treat franchisors. Some franchisors worth considering include:
Mosquito Joe provides mosquito, tick, and flea control treatment to residential and commercial customers. It promises that "when you own a Mosquito Joe franchise, you have a nationally recognized brand, continual support, and best-in-class systems. Find success and a satisfying lifestyle in the great outdoors."
An initial investment in the franchise starts at around $63,000, with a $42,500 franchise fee. Royalty fees range from 7% to 9%.
In return for your investment, you get brand recognition and:
- Marketing support
- Call center support
- Innovative software for customer recruitment, marketing, scheduling, accounting, and training
- Initial training at MoJo Headquarters in Virginia Beach and then ongoing training
Founded in 1967, Lawn Doctor boasts being a real force in pest management with 568 franchise units nationally. Besides a minimum liquidity of $60,000, applicants should:
- Have business ownership, management, or operations experience
- Enjoy setting benchmarks and achieving goals
- Value building a business by delivering "wow" service to customers
- Understand the basics of sales and marketing
Investment fees start at roughly $102,000, with royalty fees of 10%. Franchise types fall into single territory, multi-territory, and empire builder categories. Using the pest control company's streamlined operating system and brand recognition, franchise owners have seen an average profit margin of 84%, providing home services that include:
- Lawn care
- Tree and shrub care
- Mosquito control
- Lawn and perimeter pest control
- Core aeration
Besides offering 76 to 81 hours of classroom training, the franchisor provides a home-based business model, in-house financing for qualified candidates of up to $60,000, and discounts of $10,000 to qualified candidates who are military veterans, minorities, or first responders.
Black Diamond Pest Control
Started in 1940, Black Diamond Pest Control is in its third generation of family ownership. It promises an established franchise system: "All of our franchisees are supplied with the latest in training, support materials, and assistance to recruit employees and customers for your service area. Franchisees also have access to our CEO's direct line, and our staff is ready to help with any situation that may arise."
Franchisees also have access to a full-time professional marketing team, website design and hosting, social media management, radio, television, print materials, and much more. The startup investment for a franchise ranges from $96,900 to $183,000, with $15,000 to $40,000 in franchise fees.
The franchise's buying power and in-house development gives franchisees access to reduced costs for:
- Technology/office equipment
- Marketing materials
They also get to use the industry's best business phone number: 877-DEAD-BUG.
The name says it all — Critter Control is all about dealing with nuisance wildlife (not including cats and dogs) that can wreak havoc on residential properties and structures. On their hit list are squirrels, raccoons, birds, moles, and dozens of other vertebrate pests, which they humanely remove from properties, repairing any damage.
Besides a low investment initially, Critter Control's advantages for outdoor pest control include a distinctive and easily recognized brand name, a top-ranked web presence, certified personnel, mentor networking business opportunities, marketing support, comprehensive training, ongoing training, and more.
The initial investment starts at $63,530 and royalty fees are 6%. Qualified veterans get a discount on the initial franchise fee.
Let Skynova Help With Your Small Business Control
As you control critters, insects, or rodents, you may need help controlling your own costs. This is where Skynova sweeps in, providing a variety of attractively priced solutions to help you get paid faster and keep track of your finances.
We have easy-to-use professional templates that can be customized with your brand to help you issue invoices, estimates, purchase orders, and receipts easily. Among our software solutions for small businesses, we have modules for business proposals, accounting, order confirmations, and more.
While you are keeping your eye on the big business of your home inspection franchise, we can help ensure that the small but important matters of running your day-to-day business don't come back to bite you.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with the appropriate accounting, legal, and business professionals to ensure that you have the most accurate advice for launching and operating your pest control business.