Many of us have encountered that awful situation where suddenly we discover some unwanted critters have moved into our home uninvited, whether it be:
- Birds or
And the only solution is to contact pest control specialists to take care of the problem for us.
If you’ve paid for the services of exterminators or pest control specialists, you might be wondering what the etiquette is for tipping this type of worker.
To help you there, we’ve researched what the common custom is in the US, how much you should tip (if anything), what these people earn, and much more.
Let’s dive in…
Do You Tip Pest Control? The Short Answer
In short, there is generally no need to tip pest control workers as it isn’t customary to do so and many of the big extermination companies actually ban their employees from accepting tips. However, pest control technicians generally earn below-average salaries so we advise paying a tip if you can afford it.
How Much Do Pest Control Technicians Earn – Do They Need Tips?
One of the first things that come to mind when deciding whether to tip is how much the worker earns in the first place.
We all know it’s commonplace to tip restaurant servers and pizza delivery drivers as they generally earn close to minimum wage and rely on tips to supplement their income.
But does the same apply to pest control technicians?
We’ve had a look at some of the data and according to the employment data website, Insight WorkWave, pest control workers earn on average $37,820 per year.
According to Zip Recruiter, the average annual salary in the USA is $58,563 so it’s clear to see that the average pest control technician earns quite a bit below that on the above data.
If a worker’s earnings are a main factor for you when deciding whether to tip, the data would suggest that tipping pest control guys is warranted.
Do You Tip Power Washers?
How Much Does Pest Control Cost?
The cost of pest control varies depending on a number of factors such as:
- The size of the area that needs treating
- The species involved
- Whether it’s a one-off or repeated visits
- Your location
- The number of treatments required
- The materials required (for example fumigation costs can be high)
However, the average one-time pest control cost is between $300 – $550 according to thisoldhouse.com.
If you have a recurring problem and have periodic visits, then monthly plans are usually between $40-$70 and quarterly plans $100 – $300.
Fumigation costs are a lot more and can be as high as $2000 – $8000 or $1-$4 per square foot of your home.
How Much to Tip Pest Control?
The going rate in the US is generally 10-20% of the total cost of the service or product.
If you apply this to the above, then your tip would be somewhere in the region of $30-$100 for a one-off visit.
However, given tipping isn’t really required in the pest control world, we’d probably stick to a fixed sum of, say, $10-30 depending on the size of the job and the overall cost.
Non-monetary ways of tipping
If you don’t feel like parting with your hard-earned cash, that’s unlikely to raise any eyebrows and there are of course other ways you can show your gratitude such as:
- With food or drink
- A small gift such as flowers, chocolates, or tickets to a game
- A Google review
- A written appraisal
- Verbal praise
Given that tips aren’t generally expected within this profession, pretty much anything is likely to be well received.
When to Tip and When Not To?
There will of course be times when you might feel like you definitely should tip even though you might not normally or tip more than you usually would.
- If the pest control technician has been polite, courteous, and professional
- If the job was particularly complicated (i.e. a large infestation)
- If the technician has come out during unsociable hours
- If the technician has come out during bad weather
- Around the holidays
- If the technician has gone beyond the call of duty
You might also decide not to tip, or to tip less if:
- The technician has been untidy or unprofessional
- If the technician has been rude
- If the pests remain after the job
- If you’re charged more than quoted
- If a service charge is included in the price
- If the technician confirms that he/she is not permitted to accept tips (some companies do not allow their workers to accept tips as a matter of company policy)
- If your property has been damaged
In summary, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to tipping pest control workers.
You certainly don’t need to tip them but many people do so simply because they’re happy to see the back of whatever the pest is that’s been taken care of.
However, another reason to tip a pest control technician is that they earn below the average US annual salary in most cases and it’s a fairly labor-intensive job.
If you do decide to tip, we’d suggest $10-30 but even a non-monetary tip will likely go down well.