Study the top pests to exploit their weaknesses


November 19, 2021

Coaches place a high value in gathering all the intel they can on a rival team before the big game. Who are the standouts? What’s their offense like? Their defense? Research, prepare and adjust your game strategy accordingly.

It’s no different for pest management professionals (PMPs): Identification of the pest and the conducive conditions are key to solving problems. And knowing which species are going from “rookies” to “superstars” in your market also is important.


Greg Holley

Greg Holley

Pest Management Professional’s (PMP’s) 2022 State of the Industry survey has long chronicled the top revenue-generating species among the most common pests. This year, carpenter ants still ranked as the top ant — and the No. 2 pest on the termite and other wood-destroying insect/organism (WDI/WDO) list. But odorous house ants outranked pavement ants this year compared to last year; fire ants and Argentine ants also swapped places.

Greg Holley, owner of Zone Pest Solutions in Buford, Ga., notes the job market recently has sparked an influx of “northern transplants” from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and California. These new homeowners are not familiar with fire ants, so his team strives to educate them.


Thanks to the pandemic curtailing travel, respondents note bed bugs are not the threat they have been in years past — but don’t count them out as hotels and other businesses reopen. Another trend our survey revealed is an “uptick” in ticks, thanks in large part to milder winters in recent years. Stewart Lenner, president of Arrow Pest Control, Morganville, N.J., says his biggest area of business growth has been in the tick/mosquito service he began offering in 2017.

“We do seven treatments a year: two granular treatments in April and October, geared toward ticks, and five monthly backpack misting treatments April through September,” he explains. “Twice a year, we go over the breeding site checklist for customers, to help us optimize treatment. We’re nearly at the point of doubling
overall revenue with this service, and it is triple the revenue of our termite control business.”


Illustration: Mike Right

Illustration: Mike Right

1. House mice (Mus musculus)
2. Norway rats(Rattus norvegicus)
3. Roof rats (Rattus rattus)
4. Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus)
5. Meadow mice (Microtus pennsylvanicus)



Illustration: Mike Right

Illustration: Mike Right

1. Carpenter (Camponotus spp.)
2. Odorous house (Tapinoma sessile)
3. Pavement (Tetramorium caespitum)
4. Fire (Solenopsis spp.)
5. Argentine (Linepithema humile)




Illustration: Mike Right

Illustration: Mike Right

1. German (Blattella germanica)
2. American (Periplaneta americana)
3. Oriental (Blatta orientalis)
4. Smoky brown (P. fuliginosa)
5. Brown-banded (Supella longipalpa)


Termites & other WDI/WDO

Illustration: Mike Right

Illustration: Mike Right

1. Eastern subterranean termites (Reticulitermes flavipes)
2. Carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.)
3. Carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.)
4. Drywood termites (Kalotermitidae)
5. Wood-decay/Xylophagous fungus

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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