Why We're Increasing Our Prices
You are probably reading this because you just got a letter that our pest control prices are going up. I know you probably didn’t like reading that. Well, we didn’t like sending it either. We have done a lot to try to honor our loyal customers. We have maintained your price for as long as we feasibly could.
When we started, in 1997, we had a sort of one price fits most pricing model. Those of you who started Bi-monthly service with us before 2007 are probably paying $69 every two months. Those of you who started after that but before 2014 are likely to be paying $74. If you started sometime between 2014 and 2018 you are probably paying $79.
In 2018 we changed our pricing model and began to price new services based on lot and house size to better reflect the time, effort, and chemical needed to maintain control of the bugs on your property. We have had two price increases since 2018, but only for new customers.
Throughout this time we have tried our best to honor you who have remained loyal, and we want to truly thank you. We still need to raise your price, but we are not raising your price to our current rate. Instead we have decided to reduce the discount you have been receiving, keeping half of your discount (rounded up) in place. This is our way of saying thank you for your loyalty.
Those of you who have grown with us remember a time when I, Greg, was the only technician servicing your account. I’d see you six times a year. As we grew, I began serving in other roles within the company.
This means we have had to find, hire, and train quality people to treat your property. Finding these gems has not been easy as they need to be able to both pass a federal background check and pass a comprehensive 3-hour state test on insects. Add to that they must be willing to work in a dirty job with some disgusting insects on some very hot days and cope with traffic in Southern California! That is a lot to ask of anyone.
To keep these hard-working technicians, we must pay them well. As labor costs have increased here in California, we increased our wages to be more competitive.
We also spend money to keep them well trained. We send our technicians to some of the best classes available, like ones at UC Riverside. UCR is one of the three best entomology research institutions in the country. This year one of our techs is going to the Rodent Academy thru UCI, one of the major rodent research institutions in the world. We want each of our technicians to not just know the basics of their job but to excel at their job, and all of this is more expensive.
There are some other obvious reasons this increase has become necessary. Fuel costs have gone up and are not seemingly getting a lot better. Our cost to maintain and repair our fleet of vehicles has also increased. We aggressively shop for good deals, but prices are going up everywhere and we are feeling the impact.
Cutting Edge Treatment Options
Over the past 15 years we have been vigilantly looking for and incorporating new pest control technologies and chemistries to better control your insects. We started as more of a simple pest control company that used just a couple of different chemicals. We have spent the time to learn and understand this part of our industry.
We now know which chemical and style of treatment is best for each type of insect commonly found in our area. All the new chemistries and technologies we are currently using to treat your property are more expensive than the older ones.
That said, we don’t just use newer technology because they are new. We test to ensure they are better. When we prove they are better, then we fully incorporate them. All of this has meant our cost to treat each home has increased. It also means we must buy and store more variations of chemicals to be better able to respond to whatever insect you are having trouble with.
Invasive Insects & New Restrictions
We also have had to adapt our treatments to new emerging insects as well as new restrictions from the State. These two pressures have pushed on us many changes. First, we have expanded our treatment areas to all parts of your yard that we are legally allowed to treat. Further, when Rover Ants emerged these past two years as a significant pest in SoCal, we decided to add them to your service plan as a covered insect. We did this even though they are much harder to treat than other ants.
Recently California reduced our ability to use our primary ant chemical. We have struggled the past few years to find suitable ways to maintain our quality of service and follow these new laws. We continue to work on this, and all of this is costly.
With all these changes, our technicians have had to spend more time on properties getting control of ants with whatever chemical is still legally available. Some of our competitors have adapted by reducing the areas they treat and limiting it to just a few feet around your home. That saved them money but reduced their effectiveness. Our method does cost us more, but we believe it is better for you in the end, and having satisfied customers is important to us and to our techs.
If you’ve read this far, thank you for taking the time. As you can see, there are a lot of factors that have led us to increasing prices. We believe we have added a lot of value to your service over the past 15 years and we intend to continue adding value. For that to happen we will need to adjust our prices on a more regular basis.
Honestly, we waited too long this time, but this doesn’t mean we intend to nickel and dime you now. We don’t like companies that do that either. Our hope is that, going forward, we will assess your pricing annually and only adjust it when it is necessary. This should help to keep PacWest Exterminators able to serve you for years to come.
Greg & the PacWest Team