2033: Dr. Frishman’s Predictions for the Future of Pest Management

|  September 10, 2013

Pest management services will continue to expand to include other related and unrelated services. Other things I see taking hold in the industry include:

  • More accountability for exactly where technicians are throughout their work days.
  • Nano camera and environmental recordings of what’s going on in wall voids and subterranean soil — with results wired to your zPhone (the iPhone will be passé by 2033).
  • Before new tenants, homeowners and residents check into lodging facilities, they’ll receive verification the structures are free of pests, mold and chemically hazardous materials. Hopefully, our industry will perform these services.
  • The percentage of female pest management professionals (PMPs) will be equal to, if not greater than, males for residential and commercial accounts.
  • Ants will remain PMPs’ Enemy No. 1.
  • Cockroaches will continue to thrive.
  • Mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other ectoparasitic species will present expanding obstacles and opportunities.
  • More PMPs will offer wildlife management services in urban areas — perhaps before more nuisance wildlife experts branch into structural insect control.
  • Exotic invasive species will continue to flourish and open business opportunities. The trifecta of global travel, transportation of live plants and climatic change will drive this.
  • More small (one- to four-person) companies will launch at the local level. This isn’t a bad thing because the strength of our future lies in the opportunity and success of the small-business person. Large pest management companies grossing more than $5 million annually will continue to grow and merge. And more distributors will merge, while new suppliers emerge.
  • More training will be conducted online as travel time and costs will make face-to-face education less attractive.
  • Just as there are termite specialists, there will be rodent-proofing experts.

New global predictions

  • An increase of human population, and decrease of the percentage of persons living in rural areas globally, will trigger changes in marketing and routing strategies.
  • Changes in construction and city planning will incorporate the concept of more green areas. Skyscrapers will have huge greenery on their roofs and exterior vertical areas. This will require additional pest management services. PMPs in megacities who offer limited services will have to diversify to capitalize on this opportunity.
  • Because much food production will move indoors into high-rise skyscrapers, PMPs will face a new group of clients and multi-level control scenarios.

What won’t change
The honesty, integrity and communication between the technician and customer will remain, although it might become more difficult for large companies to maintain lasting relationships with customers and their employees. Speak to the service department of a national car-rental company, for example, and be prepared to speak with someone who’s too often disconnected from the issues at hand.

I’ve often said, “What is the norm today is history tomorrow, and what is extreme today can become the norm tomorrow.” Couple this with the ongoing pace of technology, and you can better understand why changes will accelerate. Change itself isn’t necessarily good. It must be analyzed before it’s implemented. Science must balance the zealous marketing and sales, or related changes won’t benefit the public or pest management companies.

I encouraged my son-in-law to enter this field, and he hasn’t been disappointed. If asked, I wouldn’t hesitate to encourage my grandchildren to do the same. Perhaps the biggest satisfaction I feel is the respect the public gives us compared to 50 years ago. It’s a respect that has been earned, and because of this, the future looks bright. — A.M.F. pmp

You can reach Dr. Frishman, an industry consultant since 1967 and president of AMF Pest Management Services, at mypmp@northcoastmedia.net

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