starting in pest control

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jameszell24, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. jameszell24

    jameszell24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Im about to start my own lawncare and was also wanting to provide a pest control also. I was wondering if I could apply pesticide with a good backpack sprayer or if I needed to get a reel sprayer, or what all I needed thanks!
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,039

    Hello James. Are you asking about spraying pesticides on lawns or structures? Assuming you mean lawns, the answer depends on how many you expect to have and what kind of minimum and maximum size lawn you will be handling. My own opinion is that you will have a very hard time doing too many if all you use is a backpack sprayer - even a good one.

    For most folks here the decision would be whether to get a skid spray or a ride on, although a few do use backpacks only. You should probably consider a 100-200 gallon skid sprayer, 2-300 feet of hose, and a spray gun. It will depend somewhat on how you plan to apply fertilizer: granular with a spreader or sprayed.

    Good luck.
  3. jameszell24

    jameszell24 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I mostly want to spray houses for pest because not to many people in our area want there turf sprayed.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    If you're going to go into structural, you're PROBABLY going to want to research it first - extensively. There's more to it than I think I'll get a backpack and start sprayin' bugs in peoples' houses. First off,'s going to take alot more than "a" backpack sprayer.
    I don't know how the laws in your state are, but here in Michigan, you have to learn, train, and test for your certification(s), then work for a licensed company for a certain amount of time (in our state, it's 2 years) before you can even apply for a license. This is all for good reason.
  5. PestPro

    PestPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    First things need to work for a company for one year in MO. before you can even think about starting your own Pest Control company. IF it was that easy everyone would be doing it.
  6. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    You need to check with what ever state, county or municipal license issuing authority the type of work you want to do falls under.
    Each state is different regarding training, time on the job (experience), insurance criteria, etc.
    All of that said, I use a 50 gallon skid sprayer with 300' of 1/2" hose (some of my houses are quite large > 8,000sqft) for exterior exclusion/blanket treatments and a stainless steel Chapin one gallon for interior work.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Under strict interpretation of Florida Law, a Lawn & Ornamental License can not treat for Fire Ants in the yard because they are not a pest of Turf Grass or Ornamental Plants. However because they are such a problem, the State allows L&O License to treat for Fire Ants and tests for Fire Ant knowledge on the L&O certification test now. Fleas & Ticks, Bees and other insects that are not pests of Plants in the yard and are a different story. You must have a structural or Pest Control Licenses. Rodents and Birds also fall under the structural License and certification.


    While there are many new products for controlling Ants and Roaches that make it child's play. There are still many Insects, Rodents and Birds that are not so easy to control. Bed Bugs are the hardest and are making a strong come back because of modern Ants and Roach insecticide that doesn't target them. One sure fire method being used for controlling Bed Bugs is raising the room temperature to 120 degrees F. Special heating equipment must be used.

    By the time you get the training and License to do Structural Pest Control, You will want to give up yard work. Structural Pest Control has about a 95% profit margin. Inventory of Supplies is 1/20 of L & O. Tree Huggers even use your services, so no BS to deal with. However Marketing against the Big Boys can be expensive.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  8. PestPro

    PestPro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 114

    James....if you have to ask all the questions here, and not do some of the leg work yourself. This board just like the Pest Control boards are here to help you with business questions. And not so much as HOW do I get started. Do some serious research. Just my input, by your post , you are not ready to try Pest Control, putting a toxic chemical inside of someone home, with pets, kids, carpet, hard wood floors, Fleas, Bed Bugs, German cockroaches, Water bugs (aka cockroaches). Come back and tell me how you would treat for all of those above bugs. How much insurance you will need? How often you have to get RE-Cerf. Just some food for thought.
  9. CMU07

    CMU07 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I agree Pest Pro, that's why there are barriers for entry into this specific market.
    James, as others have stated, this is not something you jump into with no experience. Pest control is something that can potentially threaten others lives if proper precautions aren't followed. You can't go to Home Depot and buy Max Defense and expect it to be the answer, not that this was your plan.
    And Ric, I think that the wall cavities need to reach at least 120 not just the room. I haven't used that method yet, that type of equipment is a bit hidering on the wallet. I had a flare up with one of my clients (apt complex) and was able to resolve it chemically. It was trying!
  10. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Ric, haven't spoken with you for awhile - the old bones alright these days?
    I am seriously considering phasing out all of my turf work to include irrigation and concentrate on the pest control. My knees just can't take the strain of working in ditches any longer.

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