When a new customer phones up for a booking, asking how much the pest control treatment will cost is a perfectly reasonable question. However, as with many general questions, the answer always beings with, “It depends….”
The price of a particular service will generally depend on the type of service (which pests are involved), the size of the property and the level of infestation.
It is important to understand that the main cost of pest control treatment is “labour”, so the longer a pest control treatment takes, the more expensive it is for the pest control company and, therefore, the higher the price. Whilst you certainly don’t want the pest manager to waste time, you certainly don’t want a rush job either. You want a thorough, safe and professional treatment. Of course, the better, more experienced pest managers will generally charge a higher rate too.
As an example, let’s have a look at the general pest control treatment – that once a year “pest spray” that most homeowners require to keep their home pest free.
Size of the property and the areas treated
At Spiderman SE, before we carry out a general pest treatment, we talk to our customers to make sure they know what we will be doing and see if they have any concerns before carrying out a risk assessment. This takes a bit of time. Then, we carry out a complete perimeter spray (targeting pest entry points) and carry out treatment indoors for the suspect or known pest hotspots. We spray the surrounding property targeting garages, verandas, sheds, outdoor furniture, play equipment and letterboxes. As you can imagine, the size of the property has a big impact on the time taken and the amount of product used, which therefore impacts the price.
Some companies charge a flat price for general pest treatments, but this should set off alarm bells. If you have a smaller house, you would be paying too much for the treatment. However, if you have a larger house, although you might think you are getting a bargain, the reality is that such companies also allow a set time for the treatment. If you’ve got a larger property, they will generally rush the job to keep the service within the required time limit. At Spiderman SE, we provide a fair price for the size of your property, as this allows us to carry out a comprehensive and professional job without rushing.
The other component included in some pest services is the treatment of the roof void and sub-floor. Some companies include this in their “standard price”, however at Spiderman SE, we view this as an add-on, as some homes don’t have sub-floors or roof voids, and even for some properties that do, it is not always necessary to treat these areas. By keeping our dusting services as an add-on, we can ensure our customers only pay for the services they actually need.
What pests are present and the level of infestation
At Spiderman SE, our general pest treatment covers all common insects and spiders. However, if you have a specific pest problem or a high level of infestation, it will often be necessary to carry out a specific pest treatment, which in many cases will be an add-on to the general pest treatment.
If you have a specific pest problem, it generally means there is a specific issue that has allowed that particular pest problem to develop. Investigating the cause of the problem and developing a solution is key to providing long-lasting control. This takes extra time. With a specific pest outbreak, it is also often necessary to use specialised products to get on top of the product quickly. Furthermore, with large infestations, more than one visit is generally required to get on top of the problem – to check the treatment is working and apply additional products as required. Typically, rodents, German cockroaches (the small ones that live indoors) and some ant infestations will require more than one visit.
Beware of marketing tactics
Many companies will publish a “special low price” - $99 specials, or sometimes even lower! If you think about it, how could they possibly do a pest control service for $99? Apart from the travel time to your job and writing up reports, there’s the time carrying out the job and the cost of the chemicals themselves. All of this excludes the costs of running the business and hopefully a little bit of profit too!
So, the bottom line is that the 99 dollar special really is too good to be true (even for a small apartment). Often these low prices are purely designed to get you to phone the company concerned and are based on the smallest of small properties. By the time they have provided a price for your property and included add-ons, the actual price is significantly higher. On the other hand, if they indeed provide a service for the super low price offered, you should probably be questioning whether they actually know what they are doing and indeed what you are getting for the money? For example, what chemicals are they using? Do they have the appropriate licences and insurance? Are you getting a guarantee?
There are ways to save
With labour being the being component of the price, combining services will get you the best value. For example, combining a general pest treatment with an annual termite inspection should give a significant saving, as the pest manager only has to come to your property once for two services (saving on travel time). The pest manager can often save some time inspecting areas of the property for termites whilst carrying out the pest treatment. The pest treatment/termite inspection combo is certainly popular with our customers.
So how do you choose and compare?
It is always best to choose a pest manager you can trust, rather than choosing the cheapest option – after all, when insecticides are being sprayed around your family and pets, you want to use someone who knows what they’re doing! However, asking them exactly what areas they will treat, what pests are covered, how long it will take and what guarantee they offer will allow you to make a fair comparison. Of course, don’t forget to check for both business and individual licenses and insurances too!