How to start a pest control business in South Africa

Learn everything you need to know about starting a pest control business.

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Do you want your own pest control business?

What is pest control? It is an important service to remove pests from areas or places that harm people or interfere with their lives. Pests could be animals like rats or insect pests like termites, cockroaches, bedbugs and other bugs. Pest control businesses are strictly run by following South African government regulations. 

We had a chat with Dawn, the owner of Crown Pest Control, about her business to get her thoughts to help those wanting to start their own businesses.

Read Dawn’s interesting first-hand experiences with her pest control business.

How did you end up starting your business?

“In 2007 we needed a professional company to treat our property for ants, and the closest company that could assist at that stage was Vanderbijlpark.  I, therefore, decided to offer a Pest Control in the Henley On Klip and Meyerton areas.”

What personal qualities do you need to start your own business?

“Discipline, integrity, dedication, hard work and honesty.”

What did you need to do to start your business?

“I attended Pest Control Courses in Pretoria, prior to commencing the business.”

What challenges have you experienced starting your business?

“After completing the required courses I had to do on-the-job training for at least 12 months before ultimately obtaining my Pest Control License – and it was very difficult to obtain qualified and licensed Pest Control Officials to be of assistance, and it was a costly exercise as I had to pay off all on job training offered.”

What challenges do you currently experience running your business?

“It is not as busy as I would like it to be, which is obviously due to local economic reasons.”

Why did you choose to have a pest control business?

“To cover the need/gap in the Henley On Klip and Meyerton area.”

What are the benefits of having a business?

“You can arrange your own working hours."

Are there disadvantages of owning a business compared to a full-time job? 

“Yes. No sick leave or leave for holidays, if you don’t do the job, no one else will, and without doing the job, there is no or limited income.”

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to own a pest control business?

“Start off as a trainee at a Pest Control Company, then after at least six months attend the required courses and thereafter complete another six months on the job training – at least in this scenario, you get paid whilst learning.”

How did you fund your business at the start? 

“I had no formal funding.  I owned a bakkie at the time, and I basically had to borrow my training fees and initial equipment fees from my husband – which I paid back over a 12 month period, and ever since I have been taking care of all my own expenses, new equipment, stock, etc.”

What makes South Africa great for starting a business?

“If you are prepared to work hard, the world is your oyster.”

 Is it worth it to have your own small business?

“Yes, it is, but you have to keep your business small and keep it in the family. The minute you grow and expand, you are required or are forced to offer employment to people who may not have the required experience and loyalty.”

Dawn gave us some interesting insights into starting and running her business. Do you still have questions? Read on to know more about pest control.

Learn more about starting a pest control business

Where are these pests? Pests occur in residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural areas and mess up our daily activities.

Do you see yourself as a pest control operator?

Like anything in life, you must have a liking for what you want to do. First, you need to research this small business and see if you are up to its requirements. After thorough research on the topic, why wait if you see yourself running such a business successfully?

What training do you need?

You need to understand how pests live and control them effectively using specific internationally established methods. In addition, you would need to learn how to handle hazardous chemicals, as prescribed by law. It’s best to work first for a pest control business to gain experience. Find out from South African Pest Control Association (SAPCA) if there are any training courses they offer.

Register with organisations

You have to register with the Department of Agriculture as a pest control operator by law. 

Also, you should join SAPSA. Being a member of this organisation gives you the backing you need when negotiating a business deal. You also have a good chance of getting referrals from other colleagues in the same industry. Make sure you don’t need to register with a local municipality.

Pest control equipment and products

The scope is huge, so you need to decide which direction of pest control you will embrace. Will you specialise in fumigation? You need to know the specific equipment and chemical products used with each specialisation. You have to understand what you are doing at all times because some pesticides can be hazardous.

Does this sound like the right line of work for you?

Read more about how to start a business in South Africa for more info.

Make it happen with Yoco

Are you a Yoco merchant? You can get a flexible advance for your small business with Yoco Capital if you qualify. Yoco provides entrepreneurs like you free use of the Yoco Portal, a free business management software. You can also use the convenient Yoco app.

And how will you receive all the payments from your clients? Yoco provides a range of fantastic card machines

Are you feeling inspired? Take your time, plan and start the business, grow your business and become a household name. See how Yoco has worked with many other small businesses.

Source: How to Start a Pest Control Business in South Africa

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