Pest Control Contracts: Everything You Need to Know
Pest control contracts serve to define the relationship between two parties. 3 min read
Pest control contracts serve to define the relationship between two parties. The contract can also clarify what steps will be taken if things do not go according to the terms of the contract. An agreement ensures both the company and the customer know what is expected, what is covered, what happens if something goes wrong, and what the limitations may be.
Information Contained in Pest Control Contracts
Scope of Work
The contract must make it clear to the customer about what the end result will be for your services. Make sure the contract clarifies the difference between controlling pests and eradicating them completely.
It's important to identify clearly what services your company will and will not cover. This can be specific such as covering termite treatment, or that you do or don't specialize in general pests such as carpenter ants and wasp nests.
Specify in the service contract how often your company will return to provide free treatments for stubborn issues. Stipulate what the time frame will be, such as once per quarter. Doing so lets the customer know you are committed to resolving any issues, but it may take more time than he or she expects.
Uncertainty about work availability is a concern for any company, and the lack of it can increase the costs involved with your business.
When you provide a customer a contract, he or she is assured of:
- Better service
- Better pricing
- Knowing the work will be completed.
These three things build a positive base that helps support retention of loyal customers.
A contract with periodic visits should stipulate if the visits will be monthly, semi-monthly (every two months), or quarterly (every three months).
The contract needs to clarify what will happen if things don't work out and it needs to be canceled. Set a figure for the cancellation fee that is reasonable. If it's too high, you may lose the customer.
If a cancellation fee is not included in the contract, then there is no agreement with the customer and your company will incur any losses.
Before drafting a contract, be sure to check with your state about any specific terms of language that must be present in your contract. Failure to do so can result in fines.
Benefits of a Pest Control Contract
An initial visit for an assessment, finding any nests, and identifying entry points on average costs the customer around $180 to $185. In the contract, this fee would also include an agreement for periodic visits.
For a one-time visit for pest control services without a contract, the cost can range between $300 to $550. The cost is higher because there is no return visit, and so it is costlier. The fee would include the same services as for someone with a contract, minus the scheduled periodic visits.
The cost for your services can increase based on the size of the property and the level of infestation. For example, this is the breakdown of a typical 1,500-square-foot home:
- Monthly: The average fee is $40 to $45
- Semi-monthly: Averages $50 to $60
- Quarterly: Averages $100 to $300.
It is at your discretion how much you will charge for anything over the base square footage. Factors that come into play include what type of pest you will be dealing with and how badly the home is damaged.
Because eradicating pests is a valuable service to home and business owners, having a pest control contract is beneficial to both the company and the customer.
For a business, one-time service customers provide low residual or recurring value while contracts have the opposite effect. It is next to impossible to grow your business substantially and consistently if it relies on sporadic or one-time customers.
An advantage of a pest control contract is that it keeps pests away permanently, making the investment well worth the cost. As a business, it is not to your advantage for the main goal to be forcing customers into a service or a contract they do not want.
If you plan to sell your pest control business, having a customer base under contract improves the value of your business.
If you need help with pest control contracts, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.