How much should I pay for pest control?

How much should I pay for pest control?  I’m sitting at my desk thinking of things to write about to keep readers engaged and imagined a customer asking me this question.

I regularly write about experiences that I’ve had in the field and take pictures of pest issues.  I’ve answered the above question about termite control, but never about a regular pest control service.  In particular on going quarterly service.  Here goes.

How much should I pay for pest control

I have the answer, but it’s only for pest control services in Connecticut and specific to our

Carpenter ants are a pest issue that homeowners need an affordable solution to
Carpenter ant climbing a wall

company.  However, before I give the answer I need to fix terminology.  Pest control is a very broad term.  Are we talking about ants, termites, mice?  Each one of those services has a different objective and the costs associated with each are different.

The cost of exterminating

If you type the title of this article into Google or Yahoo you’ll find that Home Advisor and other similar service companies give you guesstimate prices for your zip code.  These prices don’t mean much to me as an industry insider.

Here are the costs that actually go into delivering a pest control service.  I will use our quarterly service program as a guide.

  1. Technician pay
  2. Health benefits
  3. 401K contribution match
  4. Gas for full size pickup that technicians take home nightly
  5. Rodent repellent for winter service (surprisingly expensive)
  6. Product to control ants interior and exterior
  7. Rodent control bait stations, traps, solid baits and exclusion material
  8. Liability insurance, auto insurance, umbrella insurance
  9. Uniforms
  10. Non re-usable safety equipment per job
  11. Truck maintenance
  12. Tools such as sprayers, hand dusters and other equipment we use.
  13. Company phone, routing programs, scheduling programs

I did this very quickly to answer the question how much should I pay for pest control?  Our average regular residential customer pays approximately $115 per quarter (4x per year).

The quarterly pest control service offered at Envirocare Pest Control includes pests such as ants, mice, wasps, spiders and 15 insect pests that are a problem in our area.  It specifically excludes termites, wildlife, ladder work and other special services.

We also include free termite inspections, free re-service for problems between services and reminder calls.

How long does a pest service take?

One thing that people fail to understand about pest control is that the service rate is not an hourly rate.  Your price doesn’t go up or down if we have to come back, we spend 15 minutes or 2 hours.

I think this is difficult for people to understand as electricians, plumbers and other trades charge per hour.  After almost 30 years in the field I’ve never heard of an hourly pest control technician charge.  The reason is if an electrician wires a homes chances are the wires are fixed for years.  If we treat a home for ants around the exterior and the ants comeback after the product wears off we have to come back.  This is common an not the homeowners fault or the pest control companies.  Would you want to pay more for this situation, I wouldn’t.

The truth about exterminating services in Connecticut

An exterminating service as with other service businesses has a low barrier to entry.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Pest control owners and workers work very hard at keeping homes pest free.  There is no set rate that most companies charge.  It varies company to company.  Cheap is no good as there has to be corners being cut and being the most expensive isn’t sustainable.

I once heard a story about a boat yard.  It has many lessons in it about service, service costs and experience in your chosen field.

There was a docked ship with a broken propeller.  Maintenance staff tried for days to fix it with no progress.  Finally management called in a specialist.  He looked at the problem, thought about it for 5 minutes and got a hammer and tapped in just the right area.  The propeller was working and the ship was put back in service.

The specialist sent a bill and management thought it was too much.  They complained he was there for 5 minutes how could it cost this much. They demanded an itemized list before they would even consider paying.

The specialist happily sent the following:

  1. 5 minutes on site
  2. 35 years learning where and how to hit a propeller in just the right spot to fix it

Not all companies are created equal.  Choose one based on consumer reviews, referrals and if they have the experience to address your set of issues.

Envirocare Pest Control is a full service CT pest control and exterminating service we cover towns like Waterbury, Southbury, Newtown, Ridgefield, Fairfield and New Haven.