Budgeting for Pest Services

When a commercial property manager, QA director or chief procurement officer needs to determine a budget for professional pest management services, the first place they need to turn is the scope of service document.

Sprague pest expert Jerry Shuck, director of sales for Sprague Pest Solutions, says commercial clients should carefully review their scope of service document to understand exactly what services are being provided and the frequency they are receiving them.

“The more clients know about the expectations of their program, the better informed they are and the easier the budgeting process will be,” says Shuck.

Understanding the role pest management providers such as Sprague play and the role the client plays is also important when budgeting.

For example, determining what duties the client’s in-house maintenance staff will be responsible for (sanitation, equipment deep cleaning, exclusion practices such as screen repairs, caulking, installing door sweeps, etc.) vs. the responsibilities of the pest management vendor can have a big impact on what a client pays.

Shuck and the Sprague team works closely with clients in reviewing the scope of service document in order for them to arrive at a realistic budget number and ensure the pest management program does what it should do for the client.

Commercial clients typically start the budgeting process in October or November and in most cases, clients with rodent and insect pest service contracts end up seeing few “surprises” with expenditures unless an unforeseen pest issue such as termites or other wood-destroying pests/organisms appear.

One service Shuck says can stretch a pest management budget is bird remediation work. Due to the complexity and labor intensive nature of installing netting and deterrents on ledges, roofs, etc. costs are higher and in most cases, should be included in capital improvement/maintenance budgets.

The mandates associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act are also impacting 2017 budgets in Shuck’s estimation since food processing clients know they will likely be adding services such a risk assessments, practice audits, customized documentation programs or bird remediation work (a point of emphasis with FSMA’s pest management mandates).

“For food processors, the additional FSMA-driven investments are a must to protect their brand and customers, and successfully pass third-party and government audits,” says Shuck.

Seeking a competitive price for pest management services is the right of any client and reputable pest management providers such as Sprague know this is part of the process. Shuck encourages commercial property managers, procurement agents and managers looking to purchase pest management services to again, carefully review their scope of services document.

He points to an example of a retail client that left Sprague for what they thought was a lower overall price but that wasn’t the case. After a relatively short period of time, the client returned and ended up spending significantly more to have the work redone by Sprague.

“Knowing the true value pest services provide to the success of your operation is important,” says Shuck. “Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when seeking a proposal on the scope of services or you could be in for a big surprise down the road.”


Commercial Properties