How to start a pest control business in South Africa

How to start a pest control business in South Africa

Pest control is a very great business to start, you get to do what you love while helping other people. This is a guide on how to start a pest control business in South Africa.

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The primary of an exterminator is to remove pests from residential or commercial buildings. Most people are not well equipped to remove pests on their own, they seek the services of an exterminator to help them.

These pests range from smaller pests to wildlife removal, these are common pests like ants, rodents, termites, cockroaches, bees etc. This is surprisingly not a popular business in South Africa but the future is really promising. The middle class is growing and most people in the middle class can afford to hire exterminators.

There is also a wave of new businesses as more and more people opt to start their own businesses instead of looking for employment. This means that the market for pest control will continue to grow in the coming years. The barrier to entry can be high or low, it’s high when you don’t have a truck and it’s low when you do.

Get experience

Pest control is very complicated, this is not just something that you can just wake up and do. You need a lot of knowledge on how to deal with different pests. You need to know how certain pests behave and the best ways to deal with them.

Knowing how pests behave will determine your tools and chemicals, having experience also makes it easier to focus on a specific niche. Some exterminators don’t deal with wildlife like snakes or squirrels. The best way to get this experience is by working for a pest control company. Finding a job can take a long time, volunteer is to work for free if you are pressed for time.

Get a truck

This can be a huge barrier to entry for most people, you don’t need a big truck, a van will do just fine. You need a van to transport all your equipment and chemicals. It’s often best to lease it if you don’t have enough money to buy one outright.

This is one thing you can’t go around, it’s very critical for this business, it’s almost like your office. You will need your truck more than you need anything else. Buy a cheap second-hand one.

Register your business

Registering a business currently costs R125 in South Africa. This will help you to establish a professional from among other benefits. You also need to comply with all the laws regarding fumigation and pesticide management.

Get operating premises and equipment

This is a business that you can run from home, this is mainly because a lot of your clients will not need to come to your offices. You can set up offices if you are planning to hire people but there is not much need if you are planning to work alone.


The marketing for a pest control business focuses mostly on increasing brand awareness and that people find you when they need you. You can run targeted digital ads that target people who are specifically looking for exterminators. This is possible by using platforms such as Google and Facebook.

Brand awareness can be achieved by doing vehicle signage, and advertising on the local newspaper of the geographical area in which you operate. This builds trust and makes it easier for people to contact you when they need to.


This was a guide on how to start a pest control business in South Africa. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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