Perhaps I’m being a bit premature, since there are nine more days left in the year. A lot could still happen! But I was curious about what our top stories have been these past 12 months on our website, so I asked Pest Management Professional (PMP) Digital Editor Ellen Wagner to put them into a list. Without further ado, here is that list — with just a bit of color commentary from me:
10. Cover the entry categories to get to the root of a rat problem: This is the online version of the April issue’s “Ask the Expert” column, penned by Dan Baldwin, BCE. If I had to hazard a guess, I bet it was a popular one just because readers are wondering what the heck “entry categories” are. Well, there are three of them; you probably know them once you see them; and you are just going to have to click on the link yourself to confirm what they are.
9. Study: Flies can carry coronavirus, but there’s little cause for concern: This April 28 news item reports on research showing that house flies can carry the virus under controlled laboratory conditions, but there is a very low risk of transmission. Candidly, I think the last sentence holds some promise, as we continue to deal with this pandemic eight months later: “[The medical community] could potentially screen flies for traces of the virus and use them as sentinels to detect virus in the environment.”
8. Dog fight: Court case questions PMPs’ working dog property rights: This is the online version of PMP’s April issue’s cover story. When a disgruntled employee goes to the media with a tale of woe (conveniently omitting some facts), the employer gets cast as the villain in the minds of the public. M&M Environmental Services actually reached out to the magazine to share their side of the story, in the hopes that if other pest management professionals (PMPs) find themselves in a similar situation, they could at least share some lessons learned. In November, M&M President Tim Wong, along with attorney Carmelo Torraca, reiterated some of these lessons in a presentation during the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) PestWorld 2021 event in Las Vegas, Nev.
7. Rentokil acquires three pest control companies: When we posted this Oct. 19 news item, little did we know that Rentokil was going to be front and center just two months later with (SPOILER ALERT) a game-changing acquisition.
6. Rentokil acquires EPS: See No. 7! Seriously, though, when this Jan. 8 news item posted, it turned some heads. Environmental Pest Service (EPS) was the parent company of Bug Out Service and Arrow Environmental Services, and was considered a big industry player in its own right.
5. EPA orders Amazon to stop illegal pesticide sales, again: I have to admit this is one of my favorite headlines of the year, just for its implied snarkiness. This Feb. 12 news item includes how a previous order had been issued to the online retail giant on June 6, 2020, and had been the subject of PMP’s March 2018 cover story.
4. Rentokil/Terminix deal: Executive analysis: I think this brilliant overview by PMP Financial Columnist Dan Gordon, CPA, would have ranked higher if we let the list percolate a little longer. We appreciate how Dan tries to put the big news story into “what does this mean for me” terms for readers.
3. BREAKING: Rentokil to buy Terminix in $6.7 billion deal: We are still parsing what this deal means to the industry — if it even receives approval through the many regulatory agencies that need to take a look at the specifics. For a story that’s only eight days old and counting, however, it’s impressive how much reach our coverage had online.
2. Environmental Science unit to separate from Bayer: Another big news item we posted back on Feb. 24 was Bayer’s public announcement that it plans to “divest its Environmental Science Professional business to focus on its core agricultural business.” In an exclusive interview with PMP, Environmental Science CEO Gilles Galliou predicted that not much would change until mid-2022. Indeed, it has been business as usual for the manufacturer this year, and we look forward to seeing what its next chapter holds in the new year.
1. Rentokil ends 2020 with 8 acquisitions: It took us by surprise that our No. 1 most-read online story of 2021 was a Jan. 20 mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) news item. After all, we seem to be seeing an influx of M&A news almost daily. Still, it’s understandable that readers would want to see what one of the biggest industry players had acquired in recent months. And again, it seems to be almost foreshadowing the news that took the industry by storm just 12 months later.
So there you have it: This is what captured readers’ attention in 2021 (among, of course, many other posts). We appreciate each and every one of you who continue to depend on the PMP team to give the latest and most accurate news and information through our online, print, event and other channels. We also wish you all a wonderful holiday season, and look forward to what 2022 holds.