Cockroach management revenue, opportunities on the rise

By |  October 31, 2016
Photo: © Chernova

Photo: © Chernova

Cockroaches were scurrying across Earth when dinosaurs ruled the planet. These public health pests are the ultimate survivors. They can live almost a month without food, two weeks without water, and hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. Perhaps most impressive (and alarming): They reportedly can live up to a week without their heads.

Cockroaches also are adept at exploiting accounts’ exclusion and sanitation shortcomings. Successful management of cockroach infestations demands constant communication and cooperation between pest management professionals (PMPs) and their clients.

Pest Management Professional’s (PMP’s) 2016 Cockroach Management Survey shows one-third of responding companies reap annual revenue of $100,000 or more controlling these critters. Eleven percent of pest management companies generate more than $1 million per year managing cockroaches.

Seventy-three percent of our online survey’s respondents expect their cockroach management revenue to rise in 2016. Nearly one quarter say it will soar 25 percent or more. PMPs’ projections for next year are equally as optimistic.

PMPs say increased repeat business and referrals, ever-improving control technologies and techniques, and increasing awareness of cockroach-related health issues are driving growth in both number of jobs landed and related revenue captured.

The most prevalent and problematic species include German, American and Oriental cockroaches. The top-three structure types served include single-family homes, apartments/multi-family housing and restaurants.

Quarterly inspections/treatments is the most popular service interval. Prevailing control technologies and techniques include a mix of baits, liquid pesticides, insect growth regulators, glue boards, dusts, granular pesticides, vacuuming, fumigation, sanitation and exclusion.

Not all of the numbers are up, but that’s good news. Callbacks are on the decline, with 87 percent reporting single-digit callback rates.

Most PMPs report job pricing is improving. Alan Wilson, technical director for Irmo, S.C.-based Clark’s Termite & Pest Control, underlines the importance of understanding the extensiveness of cockroach infestations before quoting jobs.

“PMPs should conduct on-site evaluations before giving definitive pricing on cockroach management jobs,” Wilson says. “Preliminary information offered by customers over the phone may be helpful, but it also may not be entirely accurate.”

For additional findings from PMP’s 2016 Cockroach Management Survey, please purview the dozen-plus survey infographics. They spotlight trends and offer benchmarking data designed to help PMPs identify and capitalize on cockroach management service opportunities.

Editorial Director and Publisher Marty Whitford can be reached at or 216-706-3766.

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