Experts share emerging pest issues to look out for


February 28, 2020



We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial advisory board members to share some emerging pest issues that pest management professionals (PMPs) should be on the look out for and what might keep them busy this year. Here are some of their responses — including a few extra that didn’t make it into our February 2020 print edition. Share some of the pest issues you’ve noticed in your area in the comments below or email us at

PMP’s Regular Contributors

Judy Black, BCE: “While the answer to this question dramatically depends on the part of the country you are in, if you’re in south Florida, you are bound to have several. Tawny crazy ants (Nylanderia fulva), ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum) and white-footed ants (Technomyrmex albipes) are going to continue to be a problem. Asian termites (Coptotermes gestroi) are one to keep an eye on as well.”

Greg Baumann: “Stink bugs — and not just the brown marmorated species — are expanding and continuing to be more of a challenge, based upon reports from the field. The key is to start preventive services early and not wait until peak populations are established.”

Bobby Jenkins: “In Texas, we have seen quite an upswing in flea and tick populations. Both pests represent an opportunity for PMPs to offer services to their customers, as they are tied to health for pets and families.”

Pete Schopen: “It’s hard to say because each year is very different. We had lots of stink bugs in 2019, but their numbers were down from 2018. Yellowjackets also were down in 2019. So, depending on the weather, we are looking for stink bugs and yellowjackets to rebound in 2020.”

Mark Sheperdigian, BCE: “For PMPs across the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, it’s the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula). It’s a colorful little bug — and it is a bug, not a fly — that causes a lot of damage to a wide variety of crops. In addition, they will cover a backyard with sticky goo until the cold weather ends their season.”

PMP’s Editorial Advisory Board

Stuart Aust: “Stink bugs are a growing and escalating pest issue. With milder winters in various parts of the country, we are seeing more and more stink bug occurrences, even in the winter.”

Ryan Bradbury: “Air travel is at an all-time high, and bed bugs are on the rise. The industry is still slow to have a proper resolve that satisfies the client and the PMP, due to high labor costs. New technologies are becoming available, however, that will improve this dramatically.”

Michael Broder: “Cockroaches: Gel baits remain an amazing tool, but we can no longer rely on quick applications to eliminate every infestation. We have to relearn old-school inspections to identify all breeding sites.”

Paul Hardy: “Drain flies have been a growing problem during the 60 years I have been in the pest control business. For years, they were just accepted in most residential situations. Today’s customers have no tolerance for small bugs flying around, especially at meals. Now, they have become one of my most frequent calls as a consultant, because drain flies cause cancellations.”

Dr. Faith Oi: “With mild winters in many parts of the U.S., ticks can be a problem inside and outside, depending on the species. Classes of acaricides are limited. They are significant vectors of pathogens — new and old.”

Kurt Scherzinger: “Mosquito and tick services seemed to be on the rise over the past few years. I do not see it slowing this year.”


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