Watching the pest lineups change over time


June 17, 2019



The PMP team is in a reflective mood this issue, with “A Look Back” examining exactly when ants overtook termites as the top pest in modern memory for the pest control industry. Spoiler alert: We pinpoint it to 1998, for those who want to know before they read more.

I also reread our March 2005 cover story, the first deep-dive article we wrote on bed bugs when the pest’s resurgence hit. Back then, an entire generation of technicians had never seen the bug — based on a conflation of reasons I go into in this month’s cover story, which you can read here.

Today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a technician who hasn’t dealt with bed bugs.

Our industry’s response to what was then essentially a bed bug crisis has been such that it’s no longer a wring-our-hands situation, but rather, one that calls for a methodical approach, patience and communication with the customer. When these three factors are working in concert, callbacks are a low risk.

As “A Look Back” concludes, it will be interesting to see what the next wave of prolific pest will entail. Is tick control going to be the focus of training workshops in the coming years? Mosquitoes? Why are German cockroaches suddenly so prevalent again? Drop me an email if you want to chime in. I look forward to tackling what the next top pests will be — with you.


About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at or 330-321-9754.

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