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Exterminator/Pest Control Expert

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? Yes

THE BRIEF

Roaches and spiders and mice, oh my! When your abode is overrun with these and other pests, who ya gonna call? An exterminator, of course, And these pest control experts are always in demand. For would be entrepreneurs in this field, the good news is that extensive training and education are not needed. A high school diploma will suffice and a state license, obtained after on-the-job training. Usually, workers have an apprenticeship and take an exam, followed by a background check. A good driving record may also be required. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for pest control workers in 2018 was $35,610 -- which of course does not reflect what the owners of a pest control worker can make (see comments below)

ASK THE PROS

How much money can you make?

"If you really put your foot onj the medal, you can make a few million dollars. There are always bugs; they were here before us and they'll be here after us" -- Todd Pemberton, president and CEO, Bugs Are Gone Exterminating, Brooklyn, NY, in business 30 years. Has owned the company 19 years.

What are the startup costs?

"Capital-wise, I would say $5,000 to $6,000, total" -- Todd Pemberton

What kind of experience do you need to ahve?

"I would say the first thing you're going to need is passion, passion to help people -- heavy on customer service. Then you need to get a license. For training, there are pest control schools; you've got to do a 30-hour course in New York. You need to be licensed in whatever state you're starting your pest control business in. In New York it's the Department of Environmental Conservation. Then your legal business: You need a bank account, website, email. I would say your biggest cost is probably going to be your pest control software, because you're going to need something that is going to allow you to dispatch -- to have somewhere to house the information about customers and the information needed for the state, as far as chemical usage" -- Todd Pemberton

What's the most important thing to know about this business?

"[The importance of having] insurance. You've got to have insurance. Insurance, your software -- and you're really good" -- Todd Pemberton

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