Supplier forecast: The future looks favorable


June 25, 2020



Pest Management Professional (PMP) asked several suppliers what they’re seeing and hearing from their pest management professional (PMP) customers about how the pest control industry is weathering the effects of COVID-19 on business. Here are their predictions and analysis:


Stephanie Jensen

Stephanie Jensen

“The only certainty with COVID-19 is that we’re all facing a summer and fall that we can’t predict. The backbone of our industry, however, is resilience and agility. You see this in pest management companies adapting how they deliver services, and even their service offerings.”
— Stephanie Jensen, Director, BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions

Headshot: Joern Kraegeloh

Joern Kraegeloh

“It’s a challenging time, with so much still unknown about how and when we’ll be able to ‘get back to normal.’ But our industry is strong and resilient, and essential to the health and safety of our communities. We remain optimistic about the summer and fall: Pest pressures are constant, and so is the need for pest control. People are seeing that in real-time now.”
— Joern Kraegeloh, Head of Marketing, Bayer Pest Management and Public Health

Don McCandless, CEO, ConidioTec

Don McCandless

“Based on conversations with PMPs around the country, business vigor is all over the place. Many PMPs have commercial clients in property management who have maintained their routine services. PMPs in the Southern regions seemed to have plenty of exterior jobs, with swarming insects, ants, termites, etc. Some rural-area PMPs who weren’t hit hard by COVID-19 said it was a little slower, but not too bad. As states start to reopen, I think business will start to bounce back for everyone. The pests aren’t disappearing on their own accord, so the need will be bigger than ever.
— Don McCandless, CEO, ConidioTec

Nick Browne, Category Lead for the Sentricon System, Corteva Agriscience

Nick Browne

“Pests never stop, which is why PMPs are working tirelessly on the front lines as essential workers. We applaud and support their efforts to service customers, while simultaneously taking important safety precautions. As restrictions are lifted, regulations will vary by region. That likely will play a large role in how our industry moves forward. This is on top of year-over-year variables that impact the pest control business, such as weather and seasonal pest behavior. One thing, however, is clear: Together, we will meet these challenges and tackle them head-on.”
— Nick Browne, Sentricon Category Lead, Corteva Agriscience

Tyler Nimocks, Co-owner, Ensystex

Tyler Nimocks

As states navigate into the next reopening phase, we believe the pest control industry will continue to rebound and flourish. We look forward to working alongside our customers as they continue their future growth.”
— Tyler Nimocks, Co-owner, Ensystex

Casey Prewitt, Neogen

Casey Prewitt

“We are very fortunate to be in this industry because no matter what the world is doing, pest populations will continue to grow and provide opportunities for PMPs. This year will be a test for most businesses: Are they willing to adapt to the needs of their customers, and willing to step out of their comfort zones on services provided? The changing environment has prompted PMPs to provide new services, such as disinfecting and sanitizing, that allow us to continue protecting public health and the world’s food supply.”
— Casey Prewitt, National Sales Manager, Neogen

Lee Barrett, Divisional Vice President, Domestic/International Pest Control, Nisus Corp.

Lee Barrett

“During this pandemic, any given pest company’s success is variable. What is their percentage of commercial vs. residential business? What’s happening with regional quarantine levels and customer business closures? Have they decided to provide disinfecting services to add a revenue stream? Residentially, people are self-isolating, but as weather changes and pests become more active, the residential market may pick up as well. In fact, termite swarmers are appearing across the country, and our tech team has been fielding calls for wood-boring beetles. We expect business to rebound.
— Lee Barrett, Divisional Vice President, Domestic/International Pest Control, Nisus Corp.

Headshot: Dr. Cisse Spragins

Dr. Cisse Spragins

“To have a strong market, we need both pests and customers with the financial means to purchase. While early spring weather was favorable, April and May have been cooler than normal in the Midwest and Northeast. We are fortunate that the pest control industry weathered the 2008-2009 downturn better than many industries. And while not glamorous, our industry is, in fact, quite ‘essential.’ We’ll face challenges, but I expect, like the country as a whole, we’ll emerge stronger on the other side.
— Dr. Cisse Spragins, Founder and CEO, Rockwell Labs

Spencer Goldrich, Marketing Administrator, Sterifab

Spencer Goldrich

“Based on our many conversations with numerous distributors, we firmly believe that the demand for disinfectants and other ancillary sanitation products will remain not simply strong, but will increase as the restrictions on stay-at-home directives soften. We expect the balance of the year will continue to be as busy as the past few months.
— Spencer Goldrich, Marketing Administrator, Sterifab

Kristen Oakley, Marketing Communications Lead, Syngenta

Kristen Oakley

“During these unprecedented times, PMPs have stepped up to continue serving society in keeping our homes, restaurants, hospitals and other environments free from the interruption of pests. While the near future is unpredictable, one thing is certain: PMPs will still be needed to help protect our communities from pests.”
— Kristen Oakley, Marketing Communications Lead, Syngenta

Tony Schultz, Business Manager, Zoëcon Professional Products

Tony Schultz

“As we all look to turn the next page toward our new normal, which will include visiting our favorite restaurants and bars, think a step ahead for your customers and yourselves. Empty restaurants and bars have provided a great opportunity to have everything thoroughly cleaned. PMPs should work alongside their clients to educate them on the necessary steps they should be taking to keep their cleanliness high and their infestations low.”
— Tony Schultz, Business Manager, Zoëcon Professional Products


Patrick Lynch

Patrick Lynch, ACE

“The arrival of COVID-19 places the responsibility on all of us to maintain a safe social distance whenever possible. PMPs must face this added responsibility while continuing to provide their customers superior protection from spiking rodent populations. New rodent monitoring technologies will allow technicians to deliver effective contactless rodent control service, efficiently and affordably. PMPs can gather information from bait stations and confirm whether a rodent has been caught in a trap, at a safe distance, protecting the customer and mitigating exposure. Rodent populations will continue to thrive, and new rodent monitoring technologies allow technicians to properly service accounts, while protecting public health.”
— Patrick Lynch, ACE, Senior Vice President of Sales, Bell Laboratories

Dale Baker, J.T. Eaton

Dale Baker

Because we had a mild winter and wet spring, we are expecting heavy pest activity for summer and fall. While most restaurants only have been open for take-out, kitchens still need to be serviced. And the longer they are closed, the more service they will require when they reopen. The pest control industry is comprised of resourceful and tenacious individuals. Whether it’s the industry that calls to us, or being part of this industry forces us to be this way, we adapt to change and continue to be the guardians for hygiene and the well-being of the world.”
— Dale Baker, Vice President of Sales, J.T. Eaton

Ken Siegel, President, SenesTech

Ken Siegel

“Social distancing and stay-at-home directives across the United States have kept rats safe from human encounters; however, this has resulted in an increase in daytime sightings of rats, as their normal food sources have been limited. With the anticipated population boom expected when the economy resumes full business, paired with the natural breeding cycle of rats starting in the spring, we really need to consider what the numbers might look like if the rat population in absence of aggressive pest management is left unattended. During the pandemic, pest management has remained essential to ultimately mitigate a surge in the rate of rat reproduction — and will become even more critical as the country reopens.
— Ken Siegel, President, SenesTech


John Culotta

John Culotta

“Each state will incorporate different economic reopening strategies and guidelines. This will have varying impacts on pest control firms from a geographical standpoint. Because of the wet spring and above-normal temperatures over the winter, we potentially will see a surge in rodent activity over the summer. In addition, these conditions are well-suited for a very active mosquito season.
— John Culotta, PCOpro Program Manager, Brownyard Group

Chip Hughes, President and CEO,

Chip Hughes

“I have had the opportunity to talk with several of our clients since the onset of COVID-19. Some companies have a ‘batten down the hatches’ attitude, whereas others see this as an opportunity to expand their service menus to include sanitizing and disinfecting services. Once the smoke clears, PMPs will see a rapid increase in demand for their services, due to the fact that businesses were closed for a long period. Also, people had to spend more time at home, preparing meals and bringing more goods into their homes, thus creating higher pest pressures. With things a bit slower right now, this is a good time to do some spring cleaning in your business — like making sure your company and employees are in compliance with regulatory rules and laws.”
— Chip Hughes, President and CEO,

Patrick McKittrick

Patrick McKittrick

“Consumer buying behavior has certainly changed, as stay-at-home orders have been in place for many states, and social distancing has become the norm. The one area that has seen a significant increase is digital marketing and purchasing of pest control services online. Over the past few weeks, we have seen a dramatic increase in online searches for pest control services compared to last year. Additionally — seemingly overnight — the adoption of online purchases for everything from groceries to food delivery has skyrocketed, and pest control services are no exception. We saw twice as many online purchases of pest control services in April than in any prior month. More consumers are selecting services, scheduling and paying for them, all online.
— Patrick McKittrick, CEO, PestRoutes

David Riordan, Chief Client Officer, Lytx

David Riordan

“We are beginning to see mileage data trend toward pre-pandemic levels, including in pest management. Our focus continues to be supporting the organizations and employees providing essential services to our communities by helping our clients use technology to stay safe and improve service time, quality and efficiency.”
— David Riordan, Chief Client Officer, Lytx


Frank MacDonald

We are hearing reports of swarmers across the country, and rodent work seems to be on a significant uptick in the Northeast — and we haven’t even reached peak season for general pests. I believe the opportunity is there for a strong season, especially as accounts like bars and restaurants will need to get back under control. Our fingers are crossed that a strong third quarter will help offset some of the losses experienced by some businesses in recent months.”
— Frank MacDonald, President, Select Insurance Agency

Ka Tsu, Director of Sales and Marketing, ServicePro

Ka Tsu

“As we look toward the summer season, we are prepared to help PMPs manage their operations remotely through technology. Social distancing presents novel challenges for pest control businesses. Here at ServicePro, we look forward to helping them adapt operations to be able to provide essential services remotely. Software technology will play an important role in the upcoming months, and we are glad to be providing PMPs with the tools they need to run every stage of their business seamlessly and safely. We hear from our customers that mobilizing remote operations increases their clients’ trust in the safety of their services.”
— Ka Tsu, Director of Sales and Marketing, ServicePro


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