With bed bugs affecting so many homes and businesses, many pest control companies have expanded their operations to accommodate the increase in service calls. In addition to that, many companies have emerged that perform bed bug only services. Starting a bed bug remediation business can be extremely lucrative, provided a solid business plan is executed. In this article, we will explore fundamental steps to setting up “shop”.
The first step in the process is extremely important, and could potentially stop the process in its tracks. You should research to determine if a license is required to perform heat treatments. A number of states (roughly half) require a license even if you don’t plan on applying a pesticide. Even you plan to apply pesticides at any point, a commercial pest control license will definitely be required. Your state may also have an experience requirement, requesting proof you have worked for a period of time underneath a licensed commercial applicator before being allowed to take a licensure test. Most states regulate the pest control operators through the department of agriculture. It is imperative you perform this research before making any major investments.
Once you have gained insight into the licensing requirements, the next item to consider is insurance coverage. Since bed bug services, especially heat treatments, incorporate mechanical devices, there is a tendency for insurance to rate companies higher as a result. The number of carriers are limited for companies that only provide bed bug heat treatment services, but obtaining insurance is more than possible. Most representatives from the carriers will want to know about whether or not you have been trained, and the safety of your equipment.
As mentioned in the previous section on insurance, insurance carriers will inquire about one’s experience or training in bed bug service work; especially when it comes to heat treatments. They have a vested interest in determining if the applicant has formal knowledge or education in safely operating equipment and using it in a controlled manner in a high-temperature environment. Lack of any formal training and/or experience could be a potential barrier to obtaining insurance.
In general, proper training can set an individual up for success in both the short-term and long-term. It can arm you with important knowledge of the bug such as feeding habits, or life cycles. Proper training can also help prevent from making costly mistakes such as damaging items with heat. Training can also show you how to reduce costs, while optimizing your project to save time on a job.
Having a marketing plan of some form whether simple or complex, creates a vehicle to drive opportunities to your business. There are many forms of marketing one can use; including networking, home shows, and Google Ads to name a few. Some approaches have longer periods of time before you realize a return on your spend, such as SEO(Search Engine Optimization) vs. Google Ads, which can be more expensive in the long-run, but can generate quick revenue for a fledgling business.
Choosing the right equipment involves knowing what markets you want to service. If you’re going to service small apartments, electric heaters may be the most viable option. If you’re going to focus on single-family residences, gas heaters may be a better fit as they heat larger spaces with typically less of an investment. A common mistake is to purchase equipment without thought given to how and what you’re going to transport it with. Some packages can fit in the back of a van, and others will require a trailer or box truck.
Regardless of which approach that you choose, Thermal Flow Technologies can assist you. We have started and operated successful bed bug treatment businesses, and have reliable vendors that we can refer for financing, insurance, and marketing. Our wide variety of packages and onsite training will make sure that you start off on the right foot.