We asked Pest Management Professional’s columnists and editorial advisory board members to share what will be the biggest pest control industry topics in 2022. Here are some of the experts’ responses from our December 2021 print edition.
Please take a minute to answer our latest one-question poll on this topic and let us know how you promote disinfecting and sanitizing services: Reader poll: Industry topics for 2022.
PMP’s Editorial Advisory Board and Regular Contributors
Greg Baumann: “Rising overhead, thanks to fuel prices and foreign and domestic supply chain issues, will increase materials and supplies costs significantly.”
Judy Black: “Supply chain issues: If the product you normally use is out of stock, what is the replacement product? Or will you need to change your process as well?”
Dan Gordon: “Mergers and acquisitions. Valuations are at an all-time high. While valuations may ultimately pull in, it’s not likely for the first quarter of 2022, so the mergers and acquisitions frenzy will march on.”
Dennis Jenkins: “Employment. We are all growing and did so through the pandemic, but keeping up with that in employment will be our No. 1 challenge.”
Jerry Schappert, ACE: “How to grow and expand with a shrinking employee pool. Will automation somehow play a role? Will tweaking service schedules help?”
Pete Schopen: “Door-to-door sales and marketing. Some of the fastest-growing companies are door-to-door. They can be tough to compete with.”
Dr. Hamilton Allen: “Pesticide policy and legislation. Two of the more pressing topics will be preemption surrounding pesticide applications, and new state minimum standards for applicator certification.”
Foster Brusca: “Finding and retaining new employees. There is a true labor shortage, and the pest control industry is no different. As companies grow, they need to hire good, honest and reliable people who are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Once they do find a good candidate, the next challenge becomes retaining them. The younger generation is always looking for the next best thing, and they tend to leave a company if it is not providing opportunities to grow, flexibility and purpose.”
Doug Foster: “There will be a lot coming at our industry in 2022 — pollinator protection, increased taxes, continued supply chain issues — but finding and training good, competent people is going to be one of the biggest issues we will face for a while. Besides increasing pay, we will need to find ways to keep our work rewarding, fun, stimulating and flexible.”
Paul Hardy: “Finding good, qualified employees, and inflation. Both are hurting our quality of service across the board. I foresee larger companies experiencing the greatest problems.”
Dr. Faith Oi: “Hiring. Developing and maintaining a well-trained work force always has been a priority for the industry, but hiring, making time to train new hires, and employee retention seem to be at tipping point — with an uncertain endpoint.”
Kurt Scherzinger, ACE: “How to automate more office processes. With a labor shortage, we will have to get creative using our systems to do some of the tasks that were done manually in the past.”