Franchise Spotlight: Pest Control

From climate change to rising housing density, trends are driving growing demand for pest control service and franchises in particular are flourishing.

If what they say that you’re never more than six feet away from a rat is exaggerated, then it’s still true that rodents and other pests are a significant and growing problem.

Pest control franchises deal with more than just mice and rats: wasps, bedbugs and dust mites, mammals and birds.

Specialist services include timber treatment and disinfectant/fumigation services, and they can also treat vehicles and outdoor sites as well as building interiors.

Sector overview

  • Most pest control franchises are van - and often home-based. These franchises offer low overheads and quick scalability to multi-van/territory operations
  • Multiple factors fuel growing demand, including climate change and councils outsourcing pest control to private operators
  • Only 669 UK businesses generate annual industry revenue of £463.5m, growing 3.2% annually between 14-19, according to IBISWorld
  • With public health at stake, franchising offers reassurance of training, support and pedigree

There are several reasons for an increase in demand for pest control services which has now made this a lucrative and profitable industry to become a part of:

Most councils are outsourcing pest control services to private operators as there has recently been steep budgetary cuts. The change to fortnightly bin collection has also exacerbated problems with ants and maggots.

As there has been continuing growth in international travel, this has promoted the spread of bedbugs and other alien species.

The UK’s high housing density is only going to increase further, which is making it easier for pests to migrate between sites. Second-hand furniture can transfer infestations between homes too.

Rising global temperatures are creating more favourable conditions for bedbugs and rodents, but heat isn’t the only climatic factor; wet weather drives rodents indoors.

Businesses cannot afford to be complacent about health and hygiene standards as it can obviously carry severe penalties.

From hotels, restaurants and fast-food joints to schools, factories and housing associations, this applies to wide range of sectors aside from domestic customers too.

Is a pest control franchise for me?

Experience in pest control isn’t necessarily needed as comprehensive training is generally provided.

Personal qualities like drive, determination and an entrepreneurial mindset are typically sought for instead. As a service-based business, people and communication skills will be expected too.

You will also need a driving licence and a willingness to spend a considerable part of each working day driving between sites.

Jobs can be one-off contracts or regular maintenance visits, with regular secure income often coming from sectors particularly vulnerable to pests.

You can increase your earning potential further by building a multi-van operation.

The structure of pest control franchises

With public health at stake, you cannot afford to provide a substandard service. A franchise – so long as you choose a reputable operator – is a reassuring route into the sector for several reasons.

  • You also typically get branded uniforms, a liveried fan, a dedicated web presence, and email address, plus brochures, letterheads and business cards.
  • Pest problems come in many varieties – of species and sites – and franchisees can offer a breadth of treatments that small independents simply lack the resources to match.
  • Comprehensive training – in business management as well as pest control itself – and ongoing support equips you to protect health, food, and property in an efficient and environmentally responsible manner.
  • Operating manuals are provided to help you adhere to tried-and-tested processes.
  • The franchisor tends to assist with marketing and may provide pre-screened appointments to kick-start business in your exclusive territory. Not only does this give you a head-start on independent start-ups, but it liberates you to focus on providing a friendly, efficient service.
  • A reputable franchisor will keep you abreast of changes in methods and regulations and armed with the latest products – often at low prices thanks to their bulk-buying power.

Successful pest control operators tend to attract substantial local support/patronage, are adept at adapting services to client needs and have a strong track record in eliminating pests. Buy a pest control franchise and – as long as you do your due diligence – you’ll inherit a reputation for all three of these qualities. 



Joshua Antoniou

About the author

Joshua Antoniou is now Global Account Executive having started at Dynamis in the Customer Service department. He also writes for BusinessesForSale.com & FranchiseSale.com.