Thinking about investing in a pest control franchise? Considering that somewhere around 45% of businesses fail within their first five years (and only about 35% will last ten years), investing in a pest control franchise presents fewer risks than starting and running your own pest control business. Sure, you could play the odds, but why not invest in a business that’s already beat them? 

When you’re starting a pest control business from scratch, you have to figure out your path to profitability. But with pest control franchises, that path has already been proven over and over by tens— maybe even hundreds—of franchise businesses. That’s why growing a pest control franchise is more like following a proven formula. So the question isn’t whether or not to franchise, but rather which pest control franchise is right for you? The good news is that you’re in the right place. Here are five of the top pest control franchises to consider. 

Five pest control franchises to consider. 

1. Mosquito Joe

Founded: 2010

Franchising since: 2012

Initial investment: from $90,600

Royalty Fees: 7-10%

Mosquito Joe is a highly awarded pest control franchise with a strong brand and an even stronger reputation. The company provides franchisees with best-in-class software solutions to ease the burden of accounting, marketing, scheduling, and training. They also provide franchisees with marketing support, including promotional materials, marketing strategies, and customized campaigns. Customers of all franchise units have access to the corporate call center for support, saving the franchisee valuable time and money they would otherwise spend fielding and managing support calls from customers. Further, all new franchisees receive thorough initial training, which is then supplemented with ongoing training as you work to grow your business. 

One potential downside of Mosquito Joe is that they haven’t been around as long as some of the others, so they don’t have as much of a proven history. Additionally, the initial investment required is higher than some of the others on this list. That said, the investment with Mosquito Joe as a pest control franchise means you’ll be connected to a strong brand with a lot of support on your journey.   

2. Not1Bug

Founded: 2003

Franchising since: 2003

Initial investment: from $15,000

Royalty Fees: 7%

Not1Bug is a family-owned pest management company that offers commercial, industrial, and residential pest solutions for bed bugs, rodents, vegetation, termites, and more. The company gives franchisees the option to save on overhead by operating a home-based business, eliminating some of the risk and burden of investing in a retail location. Additionally, their website provides a simple four-step process on how to become a franchisee. The initial investment to become a franchisee starts at $15,000, which is much lower than some of the other options out there. Their royalty fees are right on par with the average for the industry. Some of the other benefits provided by Not1Bug are discounts on supplies, services, and equipment, state-of-the-art scheduling and accounting software, and large protected territories. 

One potential downside of starting a Not1Bug pest control franchise is that they may not provide the same level of support to franchisees as some of the more costly options on the list. But for those who are looking to dedicate more of their own time than money initially, Not1Bug might be the right way to go. 

3. Critter Control

Founded: 1983

Franchising since: 1987

Franchise units: 84

Initial investment: from $63,530

Royalty Fees: 6%

Founded in Atlanta in 1983, Critter Control is a nationwide company focused on the humane removal of nuisance wildlife, including bats, raccoons, birds, and more. One significant advantage of franchising with Critter Control is their financing options, which can provide up to 90% financing. They offer annual gross revenue projections for franchisees on their website, ranging from about $250,000 up to $1 million. According to the website, the average annual gross revenue in a midsize market is nearly $600,000. Critter Control was recently named the Top Franchises Satisfaction and Top Franchises Home-Based Satisfaction Awards from Franchise Business Review. Some of the other benefits of franchising with Critter control include training and support, PR and promotions, and ongoing support. 

One potential downside of investing in a Critter Control franchise is that wildlife nuisance can sometimes require more training and a skill set that differs from other pest control services. Bats, racoons, and birds differ greatly from mosquitos and other insects, which could make hiring and training technicians a bit more of a challenge. 

4. Lawn Doctor

Founded: 1967

Franchising since: 1967

Initial investment: from $101,840

Royalty Fees: 10%

Lawn Doctor is a solid option for those interested in providing services beyond pest control. While Lawn Doctor offers mosquito control, they focus on targeting lawn and landscape services, a $78 billion per year industry. Their website provides helpful information regarding the ideal candidate, average earning potential, and initial investment costs. An obvious benefit of franchising with Lawn Doctor is their impressive history, with over 50 years in the business with 600 locations across the nation. Entrepreneur Magazine has named Lawn Doctor to the Franchise 500 for 40 years straight. Their website provides helpful information regarding the ideal candidate, average earning potential, and initial investment costs. The other benefits of franchising with Lawn Doctor include customer management tools, 80% average customer retention rates, and average profit margins of 84%. 

One obvious drawback of franchising with Lawn Doctor is that their royalty fees and initial investment requirement are slightly higher than others on this list. While these costs likely come with a lot of valuable benefits, this may be a larger investment than many are willing to make upfront. 

5. Pestmaster Services

Founded: 1979

Franchising since: 1991

Initial investment: from $36,400

Royalty Fees: 4-7%

Founded in California in 1979, Pestmaster Services is a trusted pest control franchise with the tagline, “Pest management with environmentality.” One of the apparent advantages of franchising with Pestmaster is their lower investment costs and royalty fees. Another benefit that makes them stand out from the others is that they seem to truly understand the importance of competing online. They assist franchisees in building and maintaining an 8-page subdomain site, optimized and regularly updated for SEO purposes. Additionally, the Pestmaster blog contains a wealth of information for both franchisees and customers. Some of the other benefits of franchising with Pestmaster include a complete and thorough breakdown of start-up costs, a long track record of success, and discounts on equipment and supplies and services.

One downside of owning a Pestmaster franchise is that they likely provide less than others in terms of support from their corporate business. Sure, the low initial investment and royalty fees are attractive but don’t forget what that means in terms of the kind of support you get in building your business. Again, if you’re hoping to save some money upfront while putting in a little more of your own time and effort, Pestmaster might be the best option for you. 

Conclusion: Why pest control franchises make sense and what else you should consider.

Whatever you end up doing, this article hopefully gets you one step closer to deciding which pest control franchise is right for you. One thing’s for sure—you’re investing in a fast-growing industry. As of 2019, the pest control market was valued at $20.5 billion and growing, and any of the five pest control franchises listed above would be a great way for you to start earning your share of the $20.5 billion. 

Once you get your pest control franchise up and running, Podium will be here to help you compete and win both online and around the corner. You can start texting your customers on Podium for free. For example, use Podium Reviews to send review invites via text. After a service, make the payment process easier by getting paid via text with Podium Payments. Podium will make everything you do to grow your pest control franchise as easy as sending a text. 

Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer Wilson Strategic Home Services Account Executive

Jennifer Wilson is a home services professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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