Things You Should Know Before Writing A Pest Control Estimate
One thing everyone can agree on—when a property has unwanted pests, everyone wants them gone as fast as possible.
This is where you come in, a pest control expert. Without you, homes and businesses would be overwhelmed with the burden of eliminating bugs, rodents, and vermin from their property.
With a varied job that often involves multiple treatments, it is extremely important to have a good grasp on estimating costs before submitting a proposal for pest control services to ensure happy clients and high profit margins.
This article will walk you through all the necessary elements that need to be on your next pest control estimate to help your business growth increase while your clients’ problems decrease.
Exterminators usually charge by the type of extermination they’re doing. Sometimes they will use a base price or have set prices for standard services, like spiders, roaches, and ants.
For problems like termites and rodents, prices will be higher because more advanced treatments are needed.
Here are some pest control pricing figures from to get you started:
- Ants: $250+
- Carpenter Ants: $500 for initial spray
- Termites: $1000 for initial spray
- Bed Bugs: $200-$400 per room
- Cockroaches: $300 for initial treatment
Keep in mind these prices do not include physical labor or repairs. This could add hundreds more to the estimate if you need to add in hourly labor or the reconstruction of the property.
Obviously, the worse the problem is, the higher the price will be. The figures above are average costs, so doing a thorough pest control walkthrough is important in assessing how big of a job you have.
Also remember when you’re writing your estimate that you will likely be coming back for more than one visit. If you’re using walkthrough, bidding and proposal software like Route, you can easily make note of this in the estimator by customizing the service frequency.
The frequency of the visits affects the price. The initial visit is almost always the highest cost.
Monthly visits are less expensive. Bi-monthly visits are a bit more expensive, and quarterly visits are the most expensive interim treatment.
Based on your knowledge of the problem, you should be able to recommend the right contract for your client.
Another price factor is the size of the space. Pest control companies don’t measure anything by square footage, but logic dictates that the bigger the space, the more expensive treatment will be.
A final thing to consider is your standard service area. This is the area that you operate in without charging a travel fee; any travel costs are recuperated by your base fee.
However, if you are one of the only pest control companies nearby, you might get calls outside your service area. Decide on what your fee is for these types of calls. It will likely vary by job.
Supplies And Equipment
As an exterminator, your number one supply is the chemicals or methods you are using for extermination. This will be included in your price and billed to your client.
You can break down your supply and equipment costs in Route. There are handy drop-down menus to assist you. In this same section, you can also determine if these are one-time or recurring costs. In the case of pest control, they are probably recurring. Many other bidding tools provide a similar feature.
If you are doing a job like termite fumigation and you have to open up the walls of the property, your tools and construction costs should be accounted for.
Some other common supplies are traps, flashlights, sprayers, face masks or respirators, and eye protection.
The protective clothing is not a recurring charge, but traps would be. Breaking down your supply costs will help you keep track of your expenses and it will also make your relationship with your client more transparent.
Supplies and equipment also come with a markup. Route will add this in for you at a default of 8%, but you can adjust this number to whatever you feel is fair.
There are many things to consider when marking up your supplies, especially as a small business when every penny really counts. Markup is calculated as a percentage of the cost of acquiring the product.
One of the last things to account for on your estimate is your labor. You need to know how much help you will need and about how long a job is going to take.
To properly assess your labor, you first need to find your _production rate, _or the average time it takes you to do different jobs.
Finding your production rate is simple but it takes time. You need to time yourself over the course of several different jobs several times and find the average of each one.
Don’t average all your jobs together—average them by each service. You’ll want to know your production rate for treating cockroaches, your production rate for fumigating termites, your production rate for treating bed bugs, etc.
Once you’ve found these averages, compare it to national averages by looking up production rate charts online and see where you fall. You don’t want to be too far under or over the national or regional average.
Use the figures you find to determine if you need to bring more than one person to the jobsite and how long you’ll be there.
Pest control is an industry where your client will be immediately ready for you to start the job. Having a quick estimate to present to them is key in landing the bid fast.
Exterminators usually charge by the type of service they are doing with the prices being affected by the type of pest, the severity of the problem, and the size of the space.
Some standard services often have a fixed price, but problems that require advanced types of treatment are more expensive.
The chemicals you use are the biggest supply cost you will incur. This will be a recurring charge on your estimate since you will likely be doing more than one treatment.
You will also be using things like gloves, goggles, and face protection, which can be accounted for in your estimate, as well. Reusable supplies will be one-time charges.
When assessing your labor, first find your production rate, or the average time it takes you to do one kind of job. This will help you determine how many people are needed and how long it will take you.
Refer back to this article as you write more pest control estimates and with time and practice, you’ll see your client base and profit margins growing faster than ever before.