Starting Your Own Ornamental Pest Control Business

The ornamental pest control business

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Garden flowers

If you have a love for working outdoors and giving mother nature a helping hand then ornamental pest control is the right job for you. I have spent some 20 plus years in the field of landscape and gardening and have worked in many different areas which include

landscape design and installation, landscape maintenance, nurseryman, interior plant scape design and installation, interior plant maintenance, irrigation, and so on, but one area that I really loved was working as a plant pest technician.

For me, it was a joy to learn the many aspects that relate to this field. The requirements for this field are as followed.Costway home garden

Job knowledge

1.Knowing plant names and basic care of a plant.

2. Having knowledge of plant nutrients and how these nutrients benefit plants.

3. Knowing the names of host insects and how to identify them. Host insects are insects that attack or feed on plants of their choice, for example, mealy bugs may feed on croton plants but not on the Indian rubber plant. Indian rubber plants have their own host (pest) insects.

4. Having a knowledge of these host insects, such as knowing their life cycle along with their feeding habits and when they are most active. Here are some insects that you may find in your garden.

5. Knowing which measures to take to decrease their population.

6. Identifying and treating plant disease.

7. Having knowledge of chemicals.

8. Knowing how to apply chemicals and the proper time to apply them.

9. Having a knowledge of different turf types, you have the option of limiting the amount of turf that you want to work with. So if you are interested in specializing in 3 or 5 turf types your knowledge or specialty would only be with these ones and not have to learn all of the other types because dealing with turf is vast.

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Garden lawn

10. Gaining knowledge of turf insects and what control measures to take.

11. Being knowledgeable about turf disease.

12. Having knowledge of fertilizers and their use and how to apply fertilizers for the best result.

Starting your own ornamental pest control business


My training in this area came from

  • Certification courses
  • On the job training
  • Reading materials
  • Fieldwork


You can gain knowledge from these last three steps that I have listed, but step one is of great importance because to operate a business in this field you need to be certified and have a license according to law.

Business operation

1.Pest control license.

2. Business License.

3. You will need insurance.

Also, check with your state to ensure you are following all of the rules and regulations that pertain to this business.

4. A truck, van, or jeep, If a car is all that you have, you can start with that then as your business grows you can invest in one of these other vehicles.

5. Handheld or back sprayers for small jobs.

6. Tank spray for big jobs. If you don’t have one of your own you can either rent one or use a fertilizer spreader and instead of using liquid chemicals, you can use dry chemicals. As your business grows you can invest in a tank sprayer.

7. Chemical suits that you can purchase from your garden center.

8. Rubber gloves for hand safety.

9. Respiratory to protect your lungs.

10.Goggles to protect your eyes.

11. Rubber boots.

12. Storage place to keep chemicals, make sure that the storage area is well ventilated and properly secured from children and pets, or if you can rent a building then that would be better. But if not make sure that children and pets do not have any access to chemicals, safety first.

13. Notepad to record findings and tasks for that day.

14. Ware a uniform to look professional.

Starting your own ornamental pest control business

When you are done work for that day, make sure and take a good shower.

Chemical suits can be disposed of, place suits in the garbage after use, place garbage bags in tightly secured garbage containers, wash all other equipment off such as goggles, rubber gloves, respiratory, and boots with warm water and soap.

Dispose of empty containers in the proper manner, follow as directed on the label.


Salary depends on your knowledge of the job and what is agreed upon in the contract. You can be expected to earn anywhere from $28.000- $80.000 per year and more. Based on the amount of work you can bring in.

The final word

Ornamental Pest control is wonderful as you work on the great outdoors giving nature a helping hand. So if you feel this is for you then give it a try, this field is very rewarding as you doctor plants keeping time healthy and alive.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

8 thoughts on “Starting Your Own Ornamental Pest Control Business”

  1. Norman,
    You outline the pest control business in great detail. I have a friend Jim who does this for a living. He is working on a bed and breakfast that is to open next week. We do not have the tropical plants in our area like you do. I like the idea of you list of things that you will need for this type of work, at lot of items to purchase before you can think about making any money. What type of certification courses would you say are needed for this field of work.

    • Hello my friend it is so good to see you, ornamental pest control is such and awesome field, Some of the places that offer this course are Iowa state university, Florida department of agriculture and consumer service, PennState Extension and so on. You can also check with the colleges in your area, they may also have a program there. Hope this helps, thanks again and have a good day.

  2. Wow, at first I thought yeah this is something right up my alley, something that would be fun. There is a lot of information you need to know. And I know one thing, I am a long ways from being that knowledgeable. I guess that is why I can come to your website and get all the information I need for plants, pest, plant care, etc. You truly have a wealth of information to share!

    • Hello my friend, it is always my pleasure to help you,it is not that hard it is just a matter of applying yourself and from there you are well on your way. It is persons like yourself that keeps me inspired, thanks again for those kind words, all the best to you and have a good day.

  3. Very interesting article on starting a Plant pest control business. I did not realize that you could make that much money doing this.
    My son does landscaping and gardening and this could be an addition to his business I think. The winter months are the slow months though.
    Do you have this kind of business in the winter months?

    • Hello it is so nice to meet you, pest control can be and additional that can bring in that extra and I know that most of us can use that little extra. Yes even in the winter, it may slow down just a little but business is good. Were I am from is also a little warmer.

      What your son can do is find out how this type business operates in the area where y’all are from and he can decide from there. Hope this helps, all the best too you and have a good day.

  4. Hi Norman!
    Upon browsing on your site, I enjoyed reading some fo what you have to offer. Especially interesting is the link of Depression to healthy eating and how to combat it -something I am passionate about as well. I am looking to get into gardeing this summer- Do you have any tips on what the easiest herbs to start with are? I really love tomatoes and would like to learn the best way to grow them.

    • Hello Gina it is so good to meet you and thanks for those kind words. when it comes to herbs you can start with chives, basil, mint and garlic. The best way to grow tomatoes. Choose and area that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight per day and make sure and space plants about a foot or two apart for proper air circulation.

      Rotate crops to discourage disease from attacking crops, bury the stems, young new roots will sprout rather quickly on stems which means you can expect a greater or increase of tomatoes, water you tomatoes one a week. Give them a good soaking. Hope this helps, all the best to you and all the best to you with your gardening.


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