PSA for pest techs; The making of a paycheck

pestcemetery facebook logo following is a posting from the closed Facebook group of It is a stark look at the true cost of what goes into making sure the owners bank account actually has the money in it so your paycheck doesn’t bounce.

Although not complete, (there are even more hidden costs that the writer did not include-scary), nor is it the exact “numbers amount” you might see in your area. It is representative percentage wise and with a little tweaking the same daunting scenario can be played out in any region or business across the country.

Also of importance; It is not a slam on employees, techs or any supportive staff that make up any company. Just a statement of fact, a cold splash of water for that entrepreneur who wakes up every day and looks him or herself in the mirror asking that daily question, “how can I grow my company?”  You can’t grow if you don’t know- so. In the spirit of helping all pest control endeavors I present (with permission) this small peak of an owners challenges and the clear cut costs associated with employees. Also included, is a small smattering of the comments quoted in the thread so you can see what other owners thoughts are. Your comments are appreciated too. Comment below;

What? You’re not in the group? Tsk Tsk. It’s only the fastest growing, most active and diversified group of its kind on the web. I’m sure you just haven’t seen it yet in your surfing, here’s a link so you can request to join.

In the meantime as promised, here’s the conversation. Keep in mind that the numbers are not important as to how high or low they are. The percentages are good from what I can see. This writer lives in a rural area and the average daily route consists of about 140 driving miles so to compare to a big city route will seem to skew your thoughts.

Things that I see people never think about, yet complain about stuff all the time.

You cost more than your wage. Your wage times 1.25 is roughly what you cost in payroll and unemployment.

You have uniforms, a vehicle, supplies, a lot more than most people.

Truck payment -$350
Truck Ins – $150
Liability Ins per person -$200
Cellphone – $65
Software account – $50
Pens, paper, paper clips, envelopes $20
Chemical $225
Fuel $300
Workman’s Comp $150

Yup, that’s about right. It costs me about 29 dollars just to get the tech to the door, and then they do the wrong house, or customer cancels

If you make $2000 a month and run an $8000 route
You cost $4060


We have office costs
Advertisement, ink, paper, pens, staple, envelopes, markers, various office supplies
Licensing costs
Franchise taxes(all businesses pay this or something similar)
Cleaning supplies
Office staff salaries (x1.25 for real amount)

This could be around $5000 a month with one office staff.

“Owners make enough money that they can afford to pay their techs more than industry average. It actually increases productivity and makes more money for the owner, but most owners don’t understand this philosophy.”

So lets say an office has 3 techs
At a conservative cost of $4500 (sales commissions added in) each running mediocre routes of $8000
Thats $24,000 in revenue

The cost to operate is roughly $18,500
Thats a $6500 profit
The owner then pays an extra 15% in taxes above normal plus pays both the employee and the owners part so taxes, SS, Medicare, are about 30-40% after its all said and done


$6500 x.7 is $4550 bring home
Thats for all the stress
Restless nights
Financial Liability
Treatment liability
And 100 hours a week of work.

“Well done on that breakdown, employees see what is sold and what they get paid they don’t see what it cost the owner for ten years of busting their ass 80 hours a week, risking it all so they can have a job. Owners make what they make on the volume it’s called profit employees make what they make it’s called wages. Any time you feel like being an owner ride a week with me a week you will change your mind with a quickness.”

So next time you get in complain mode about your check or job,
remember, you could be the owner instead.

Appreciate what you have, the grass is not greener on the other side.

About The Bug Doctor

Jerry Schappert is a certified pest control operator and Associate Certified Entomologist with over two and a half decades of experience from birds to termites and everything in between. He started as a route technician and worked his way up to commercial/national accounts representative. Always learning in his craft he is familiar with rural pest services and big city control techniques. Jerry has owned and operated a successful pest control company since 1993 in Ocala,Florida. While his knowledge and practical application has benefitted his community Jerry wanted to impart his wisdom on a broader scale to help many more. was born from that idea in 2007 and has been well received. It is the goal of this site to inform you with his keen insights and safely guide you through your pest control treatment needs.

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