According to respondents to Pest Management Professional’s 2023 State of the Industry (SOI) survey, the top industry services by volume are still ants, rodents, cockroaches, fleas, ticks and spiders.
Drill down to the top revenue-producers, though, and you’ll find that for the first time in years, bed bugs have fallen out of the Top 5. They dropped to No. 7, replaced by spiders (No. 5) and mosquitoes (No. 6).
What gives? First, fewer companies are offering bed bug services, preferring to outsource what can be a long process. Second, wet weather for much of the country in 2022 has translated to more insects overall, aka spider food. It has led to a noticeable increase in mosquitoes specifically.
Bed bugs are still a vital industry service, of course. They still make the list of Top 5 Profit Producers, albeit at No. 5 vs. No. 4 last year.
Matthews, N.C.-based Crown Pest Control specializes in crawlspace encapsulation and mold remediation in addition to its regular industry offerings. President George Bryce cross-trains his technicians on this service, but admits it’s hard to find individuals who are comfortable working in enclosed spaces. Still, he says, it is a good return on investment, and separates the company from its competition.
“It’s a tougher gig, but after you do a few of them, you get the hang of it,” he says.
Pete Fargo, CEO of Noble Pest Services, Acworth, Ga., is pleased with how gutter cleaning is going for his company. While he will outsource three-story-and-above residences, as the liability and equipment become too complex, for single and two-story buildings, gutter service is welcomed by customers, and helps greatly in Noble’s pest-proofing approach.
“Clogged gutters are essentially ecosystems for cockroaches, ants, rodents — just about every pest,” Fargo says. “We put customers on a quarterly maintenance program if they have a lot of foliage near the structure; semi-annual if they don’t.
“I named my company Noble Pest Services because I knew I wanted add-on services, I just wasn’t sure which ones,” he adds. “We’re focusing on pest prevention, and gutter service is an ideal fit.”