My mentor and I were having a conversation the other day about pest control and pricing. Both of us have worked in the field and have a great understanding of how field operations work as well as knowledge of management and their operation in the industry. My mentors’ main question was, how do we educate and convey information to the general public on pricing for their pest services. One of our Core Values in Big E’s Pest & WildLife Management is Education. I feel one of the best ways to educate is to use the internet to our advantage. Not only can we educate our current customers, but we can educate the general public.
In order to understand your pricing, you need to have general knowledge of business. Every business needs to make a profit to be successful. If a business is successful, the business can expand, in turn producing a healthy economy as the business will need to employ people to complete the jobs it has created with its success.
Every pest control company has to purchase pesticides, be it through a distributor or the pesticide manufacture directly, all companies must purchase the chemicals it plans to apply. The company then determines how much of the chemical is needed to complete the service and places the cost of the chemical usage in the pricing. Your pest control provider may use multiple chemicals for your services. The cost of each chemical needs to be passed on to you in order for the company to break even.
You must also factor in to pricing an hourly rate as well as operation costs such as service vehicle, advertising, vehicle maintenance, office staff, license fees and other business expenses.
The above is just basic business logic. Below is the nitty gritty.
Now it is time to learn about a pest control service.
Do you know what takes place during your pest control service? If you had a camera, or were able to be home during your service, it may surprise you what takes place. Have you ever asked your tech what his day consist of? How many stops he has? When his day starts? Ends? Lunch? Weekends?
Back in my day, I would run between 16-21 stops per day. Depending on the company I was working for my day would start with being at the office between 6:00am or being at my first stop no latter than 8:00am. Most companies say they can complete a service within 20 minutes. That is service being complete and service vehicle in the drive gear in 20 minutes, 25 max. Add an interior service to your general treatment, you are now looking at 30-45 minutes. My days averaged of getting off between 6-8:00pm. Most hourly techs are making between $10-15 an hour. Any more than that and they are probably production based and they are averaging about 23 paying customers a day, not including reservices.
Our average, every day service; a general treatment if you will, was to inspect the property, sweep the eaves (roof over hangs), granulate the grass and flower beds, treat the foundation and 3 feet from the foundation with a power sprayer hose, dust the weep holes of the home and treat the interior upon request.
This treatment sounds great, doesn’t it? That because it is. This is a premium service if this is completed. Imagine getting this done every other month, every 3 months, heck, every month; talk about minimal to no pests.
Now think about what you pay every service for your pest control service and think; Is this worth it? Am I really getting what I am paying for to still have the same issue, treatment after treatment, year after year?
Now picture a company that does just that, doesn’t run more than 8 services a day, pays their employees their worth, working in this Texas weather. A $200.00+ service for 60+ minute service sounds pretty good? That price that you think is outrageous, may just be doing a much better service and spraying more than water, if that cheap price is spraying anything at all. I am sure there are stories of techs just sitting in their vehicle completing paperwork, tagging the door and moving on.
I remember growing up hearing the saying: You get what you pay for.