start a business

How to Start a Pest Control Business: Starting Your Own Pest Control Company

June 2, 2023
Time to Read: 
12 minutes

Pest control’s a big business, mainly because there will always be a demand for pest control services. As residential and commercial construction continues to grow, so will the need for pest control. That means there’s no time like the present to start a pest control business. Whether you plan to focus on stinging insect elimination or rodent control, starting your own pest control business is a solid business venture. 

Once you’ve got your business off the ground, you’ll need to keep it running smoothly. Successfully managing must-do admin tasks means handling a lot of moving parts on a daily basis, so it’s vital to choose an effective way to help you manage the day-to-day. That’s why we created VIIZR: field software powered by Ford Pro™ and the Salesforce platform, built for small trade businesses like pest control companies. Access VIIZR’s web-based platform from anywhere and manage pest control jobs from start to finish. Create estimates, track job progress, schedule pest control services, invoice completed jobs and more. 

But first things first: let’s get your pest control company set up. As you prepare to launch your new venture, begin by asking yourself a few important questions. Let’s take a step-by-step look at the steps involved in setting up a profitable pest control business.

Getting your new business off the ground

It’s a major decision to start a pest control service, and the competition for business can be hot. The most important element of a successful business is to provide outstanding customer service along with excellent pest control service. But whether you choose to focus on commercial pest control, wildlife rescue or residential pests, you’ll need to cut through a lot of red tape before you can start taking care of customers. Taking a serious, realistic, responsible approach from the start builds a strong foundation for a successful business. 

Start thinking about the type of pest control company you’d like to run. Define your focus further by asking yourself additional questions:

  • Are you interested in focusing on commercial or residential services?
  • What kind of pests are found in your local area? 
  • Are you interested in focusing on one type of pest in particular?

When considered alongside your personal goals for starting a business, your answers to these questions will help to further shape your business plan, refine your advertising strategy and hone your overall approach to setting up your own pest control business.

It’s also well worth your time to investigate field software solutions from the beginning, even if you’re a one-person show. If you want your startup to operate as smoothly as it can, small business software built for the trades helps. Instead of wasting time taking care of tedious back-office tasks like invoicing, creating new quotes or making notes on your clients, you can spend more time building your business. 

Know the answers to the most frequently asked questions about pest control

Pest control is a very personal experience for your clients, and more often than not, they’ll have a lot of questions. Professional pest techs should always be prepared to give clients factual and thoughtful answers to these and other common questions: 

  • How long does it take pest control to work? 
  • Is professional pest control a necessity?
  • How are pests getting into my home? 
  • Is pest control safe for kids and pets?
  • How long should the effects of pest control services last? 
  • What products does your company use? 
  • How fast can you get here?

Running a pest control company doesn’t just involve showing up and spraying insecticide around — your customers might be fearful, embarrassed or stressed about their unwelcome visitors. When you and your team are able to give knowledgeable answers to common questions, you’ll instill a sense of confidence in even the most nervous client.

Create a business plan for your pest control business

Setting up shop as a new pest control business is a complex process. That’s why you need to have a strong business plan in place before you start performing pest control services. A business plan is a written record that defines your business’s goals and how you’ll measure your business’s success. While your own business plan will be tailored to your individual situation, the majority of business plans include information like:

  • The name, address, owner or agent and other additional information about your business
  • The names, titles and responsibilities of the leadership team
  • The goals, purpose, unique selling proposition and mission of your company
  • A personalized advertising strategy and marketing plan
  • Financial plans and projections
  • An itemized list of startup costs and future operating expenses

If you have any questions remaining when you are finished with your business plan, take the time to go back and find solutions. Your business plan is a vital part of your new company, helping you grow your business, get in front of problems and take full advantage of any opportunities that come your way. 

Starting a successful pest control business: step-by-step

Because there are so many different directions in which you can take your new pest control business, use your business plan to direct your efforts while you complete the steps necessary to get yourself up and running. Let’s take a closer look at these steps:  

  1. License and register your new pest control business

One of the first steps you’ll need to take to open up a new pest control business is to get licensed. In general, both you and your business will have to go through the licensing process. 

First, you’ll need to go through specialized training and pass a test to obtain your pesticide applicator license. Then, you can apply for your pest control business license. Many states require you to provide workers’ compensation insurance, meet certain financial requirements and pay applicable fees and surcharges.   

In addition to your city and state business licenses, you’ll also need to file for federal tax status. You will receive an employer identification number (also known as an EIN) from the IRS. Your EIN is your official company identifier, and you’ll use it to open business accounts, file taxes, and more. 

  1. Insure your business

Insurance is a must when it comes to pest control businesses. You’ll be working in clients’ homes and businesses, and accidental property damage can occur — particularly when you’re working with pesticides or using heavy-duty equipment. Carrying small business insurance helps to keep you, your company, and your assets safe.

A business owner’s policy usually covers general liability insurance (for property damage and bodily harm), commercial property insurance (for damage to equipment or your place of business) and business income insurance (for continued income after unexpected disasters). Because pest control is a mobile business, you’ll also need commercial auto insurance. And if you have employees other than yourself, get workers’ compensation insurance, too. 

  1. Set up your business accounts 

This is one step where it’s wise to connect with a financial advisor. They’ll be able to help you make the best decisions when it comes to setting up a business bank account. A separate business bank account protects your personal finances and makes things easier come tax season. 

When you open your new business account, deposit at least 90 days’ worth of operating expenses. This gives you a cushion should anything go wrong — think cash flow issues like overspending, lack of a line of credit or unpaid invoices. Your financial advisor can give you additional guidance on the funds you’ll need, how to get them and how to best use them.

  1. Purchase the equipment you’ll need to start

Once all your paperwork is approved and your business accounts are set up, it’s time to purchase the items you’ll need to succeed as a pest control business owner. Don’t forget, your new equipment is tax-deductible! Here are some of the items you might need:

  • Endoscope and telescoping mirror
  • Infrared temperature sensors
  • Cages and traps
  • Pesticides and chemicals
  • Applicator tools
  • HEPA vacuum
  • Night vision cameras
  • Personal safety equipment
  • First aid kit
  • Ladders
  • Toolkits
  • Hole sealant
  • Field management software
  • A work truck

Although it seems like a lot to buy, you can keep your costs down by shopping smart. Remember, don’t overspend when it comes to purchasing equipment. Think about what you’ll really use, and don’t be swayed by fancy features you don’t need (yet).

  1. Dig into competitor and client research and put your marketing plan into action

This step will be easier if you consult your business plan. You’ll already have come up with a rough outline of your marketing plan, but this step allows you to target your customers more accurately. For example, do you specialize in termite elimination? You should be looking for neighborhoods with lots of wood-framed houses. Interested in bed bug control? Hit up hotels and short-term rental companies. Your marketing can be as specific as you want it to be. 

Knowing your competitors will also shape your marketing strategy. Are you competing against franchises? Pitch your business as locally owned and operated. Do you do something completely different than your competitors, like wildlife rescue along with pest control? Play up that aspect of your business and you’ll attract the customers who are most likely to use your service.

  1. Hire great employees

When you’re looking to hire employees, you want to hire the right people. It’s definitely worth spending your time carefully checking references and certifications. Great employees are worth their weight in gold, especially if they’re savvy when it comes to customer service. (See more on that below.)

Pest control is also a trade that requires a great deal of training, so hiring someone who’s not yet attained pest control Master status is an investment in both time and money. Be sure that your hiree is someone who’s going to stick around for the long-term. Offering benefits and practicing proactive management skills increases the chances that your employees will go the distance with you and your company.

  1. Ensure top-notch customer service

Every interaction with a client is another chance to make a great impression. From a phone call or email to saying goodbye after completing a service, each of your employees must deliver the very best in customer service. VIIZR makes this easier by providing your employees access to a customer’s history. 

Knowing a customer’s personal details and preferences makes a real difference. Imagine that you’re a repeat customer of your own pest control business. Wouldn’t it be a little irritating if you always had to give techs directions on things like where to park, the gate code, which areas need special attention…we could go on. 

With easily accessible notes on each customer, every one of your techs can provide the highest level of customer service. While it may not seem revolutionary to remember the client’s dog’s name, it adds a personal touch that sets your pest control customer service apart from the rest. 

Take advantage of pro field management tools made for pest control services

Deciding to move into the pest control field is a smart decision, as it’s a perpetually in-demand industry in which to launch a business. But after you tackle the steps required to legally open your pest control business, it’s up to you to manage everyday operations. It’s not a bad idea to get some formal sales training of your own, especially if you are running a solo operation. Learning how to sell yourself and your services is an essential skill for any business owner.

Another key to success is to take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Instead of trying to manage important information using different platforms, try software that centralizes your important client information, business operations and administrative tasks. VIIZR’s intuitive platform gives you a hand with almost anything you can think of. Take a peek at some of VIIZR’s innovative tools and how they can help you create a stronger business:

Job Dashboards

With VIIZR’s Job Dashboards, you can quickly check the status of any job you’ve got going on. Keep an eye on your pest control teams’ progress without having to call up or text employees time and again. Job Dashboards give you everything you need to run your company on the go — all the details are sorted securely on our web-based platform, ensuring you’re always up to date.


Quickly draft detailed quotes that give your customers the information they need to give you the green light. Forget scrawling numbers on the back of a flyer — VIIZR lets you create professional PDF estimates in seconds. You can even add photos to illustrate the scope of the work clearly. 


When it comes to pest control, you want someone who really knows how pests work. Got someone who’s a termite specialist? Need your wildlife expert to come out and remove some raccoons? Drag-and-drop scheduling software lets you assign the right tech to the right job. And your employees will never be left in the dark — their schedules are available anytime on VIIZR’s platform.

Customer history

Whether you’re visiting a new customer for the first time or making a return visit to a regular customer, knowing their history with the company, their special requests and personal preferences and other specifics elevates the customer service experience. Access to customer information helps all of your techs interact with clients like it’s the 100th time, even if it’s your first visit. 

Work orders and change orders

VIIZR eliminates the need to call or text individual employees. Simple yet detailed work and change orders give your clients a confirmation of what they've approved and provide your employees the information they need to get the job done right. 

Maps & Routing

Every truck roll takes money out of the bank, so it’s key to provide the most efficient routing possible. With effective routing software, you can plan out your days to get pest control trucks right where they should be, on time, every time. 


VIIZR gets you paid faster with detailed, professional PDF invoices that can be sent to customers with just a few clicks. Because VIIZR’s invoicing tool works directly with our work orders and change orders, invoices are error-free — so you get paid for everything. And even better: no more chasing after unpaid invoices manually. VIIZR automatically sends payment reminders for overdue invoices.

Choosing to incorporate field service software into your pest control business operations is a smart decision and helps your company get off to a smooth start. As your client base grows, centralizing your important information can make a huge difference in the efficiency of your operations — and can save you a ton of time. 

More tips for helping your pest control service become profitable

Pest control will always be in demand, and the need for services is only increasing as more and more housing and commercial property is built. However, as a startup, it’s especially important to keep an eye on your expenses. While there will almost certainly be some unexpected expenses that pop up, there are a few ways to keep your company in the black:

  • Market yourself. Then market yourself some more. While tooting your own horn isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of a good time, it’s unavoidable if you want your pest control service to pick up clients. After all, if you’re not advertising, how will potential clients find you? They won’t — and you’ll lose out to a competitor who is active when it comes to marketing.
  • Price your services well and know what makes your company special. While it’s common for businesses to offer special rates when they first open, many businesses get stuck at the introductory price point. This makes it harder for them to turn a profit, as they’re providing expensive services for less than they’re worth. Instead, make sure your clients know that you’re providing the best service for a fair price, especially if you run a speciality service. Don’t sell yourself short!
  • Watch your spending like a hawk. Although you will need to invest in chemicals, traps, and other supplies, don’t overdo it. Get an idea of how fast you go through your supplies and order accordingly. Take a look at your other bills, too. Are there monthly fees you can cut out? Expenses you can reduce? Are you renting too much space for your business? Make sure you’re spending only what you need.

Small pest control startup admin made easy with VIIZR

As you can see, getting into the business involves a lot more than just setting up a webpage and advertising your services — going about it the right way means you’ll have to follow state and federal guidelines (and complete the training and paperwork involved). And in addition to the legal side of things, you’ll need to take care of practical tasks, like stocking up on supplies, hiring employees and most importantly, building and retaining a loyal client base. While it can be a lengthy process, the benefits can be well worth the effort.

After taking care of all the setup, it makes perfect sense to take advantage of tech that’s designed to help you run your business smoothly. Choosing VIIZR to manage your pest control company not only increases efficiency and profitability but also lets you focus on providing the best customer service possible to each and every client.

Let VIIZR help you manage time-consuming day-to-day operations. Our platform was designed for small pest control businesses like yours and makes it a snap to take care of invoicing, CRM, scheduling, project management, and more. Whether you’re running a whole fleet of pest control trucks or you’re starting off solo, VIIZR can help. Get started with our 14-day no-obligation free trial and experience all the ways VIIZR can help your new business flourish. 

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