A pest control business can be a lucrative business with relatively low startup costs, especially if you already have the necessary skills to qualify for a state license. According to “Entrepreneur” magazine, pest control businesses can generate over $75,000 a year in profits and have startup costs ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
Licensing requirements vary by state, but they generally include both training and an examination. Because pest control businesses use chemicals, which if not handled carefully can be dangerous, most states also require a background check. Licensing costs are different for each state. For instance, in Texas, applicants for a commercial pest control applicator license must pay a $180 nonrefundable filing fee, as of 2011. In North Carolina, operators must pay $275.
States also require pest control companies to carry liability insurance before they start business. In North Carolina, the minimum insurance a pest control business must carry is $100,000 in property damage and $300,000 in bodily injury.
You will need a small truck or van to store and transport your equipment and chemicals. The cost of a van will depend on what model and year you decide to buy. As of 2011, a brand-new Dodge Ram 1500 will cost you over $20,000, while a reliable second-hand truck will only cost you a fraction of that.
Equipment and Chemicals
The cost of buying equipment and chemicals for your pest control business will depend on the type of equipment you use and the pest control methods you opt for. The basic equipment of a pest control business includes vacuums, bait guns, foamers, sprayers, fogging equipment and safety equipment. To illustrate, a professional 1-gallon sprayer can cost around $250 and a 1-gallon foamer around $180, while respirators and safety uniforms cost around $100. If cash is tight when you start your business, save money and buy second-hand equipment.