Pesticides are substances that are meant to control pests. The term pesticide includes all of the following: herbicide, insecticides, nematicide, molluscicide, piscicide, avicide, rodenticide, bactericide, insect repellent, animal repellent, antimicrobial, and fungicide.

The pesticide business involves the supply of raw materials, manufacture and trade in (import, distribution, wholesale, retail) and also the application of pesticides (pest control and fumigation) which is a service business we looked at before. So in other words you can supply the client with the pesticide to apply themselves or you can do it for them, whether once off or on a regular basis.

Market Need
Pests plague everybody: residential, commercial and industrial businesses and farmers.

This is a business in which you need to drill down deep into your target market, it’s not just enough to say you are going to target the agriculture market because they have a hell of a lot of pests there. Same for consumer, where people who live in the city may have different pests to people who live in rural areas. Then you have to drill down further to the pesticide, product and the delivery system. For example, for cockroaches, there are spray, gel, glue traps, bait stations, chalk, powder etc. Not every delivery system is going to work for every client.

Popular Markets
Each target market will have its most problematic pest where there is the most demand for pesticide but also the most competitive. You have to decide if you want to target that market or find a smaller niche to compete in. If you decide to target a popular market, then you need to get your strategy right, whether you will compete on price (low-cost) or you going to have a premium product (and be able to communicate the need for the premium product).

Probably the biggest consumer market is the cockroach, bedbug and mosquito, mice market.

When targeting commercial you look at the industry and the pest threat they face. Right off the bat, the industry with the biggest need for pesticide is the food industry and related (stores etc.).

When it comes to residential vs commercial you will notice sometimes they will face the same threat but there are different products on the local market to deal with it. Take for example cockroach gel, there are small brands that target consumers, but there are also billion-dollar companies such as Bayer (Maxforce) and BASF (Goliath) that mainly target the B2B market.

The agriculture market is probably the biggest market where there are too many pests to mention but don’t discount the home gardener as they face many threats from pests as well.

Then there are niche markets, doggy parlours may need something for fleas etc.

Product development
If you are going to manufacture a product you need to familiarise yourself completely with the various insecticides, pesticides that are used for that particular pest and the concentration of it. There is often repackaging involved in this industry, where the pesticides are bought in bulk from an industrial supplier and repackaged and rebranded into smaller packages, which is the better option for small businesses.

You also need to study how different pests react to different pesticides, there are lots of studies that can be found on the internet where the effigy of various chemicals was tested.

Another thing to be aware of is that often the same type of product will use different chemicals from different brands. For example cockroach gel, Bayer Maxforce uses Imidacloprid, whereas Kwik Kill uses Cipronil and Ultrakill RoachForce uses Hydramethylnon.