This year seems to have flown by, and it seems like I just wrote the roundup for 2021. But that’s not the case. I once again asked Pest Management Professional (PMP) Digital Editor Ellen Wagner to put our top stories of this year into a list. The results are below, with a bit of color commentary from me:
10. Bayer’s Environmental Science Professional to become Envu: This long-awaited development became reality just days before the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) PestWorld event in Boston, Mass., in November. The timing allowed the new company to answer questions from customers in-person on the show floor, and reassure them that the people and products were going to remain the same — that the new status only means it will be able to do more research and bring new technologies to market that much faster.
9. Rate your rat knowledge: Our monthly “Tech Test” feature has long been a hit with readers, and evidently, our January 2022 edition on rodents struck a particular chord. Check out all of our “Tech Test” features to-date here.
8. The patron saints of PMPs, pests: What started as a lark for St. Patrick’s Day actually ended up being a deep dive on which Catholic saints are tied to aspects of pest management. It’s personally one of my favorite stories of the year.
7. Do spiders dream? This interesting study found that not only do jumping spiders dream, but while “asleep,” they can distinguish between what is a gentle breeze vs. a vibration on the web from the intruder.
6. Is the ERC an IRS audit waiting to happen? Our financial columnist, Dan Gordon, CPA, explains the risk if you took advantage of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
5. IN MEMORIAM: Gene White, BCE: The industry lost a good man in September, an entomologist and talented photographer who was the life of any party, a knowledgeable colleague, an engaging presenter, a loyal friend and by all accounts an amazing husband, father and grandfather. We were lucky enough to have Gene attend the PMP Growth Summit in March, and interviewed him (as we did all attendees) for some pearls of wisdom. A video compilation of his responses is here.
4. Cedarwood oil found to repel ticks: In the study, the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in particular was just as repelled by the oil as it was by DEET. It will be interesting to see if new products emerge for the professional pest control market that makes use of this repellent feature.
3. Rentokil/Terminix merger expected to close Oct. 12: It’s no surprise that what many consider to be the biggest industry story of 2022 made our Top 10. In fact, I’m just a bit taken aback it ranks No. 3, not No. 1. I suppose that’s because it was a long time in coming, having been first announced in December 2021.
2. EPA seeks public comment on proposed rodenticide updates: This is a story that just broke last month, although again, we’ve been reporting on the steps that led the EPA to this point for a while. It wouldn’t surprise me if this becomes the top story of 2023; I hope that the industry is ready to fight to ensure that professional use is kept intact and not burdened with extraneous restrictions.
1. Study: Bed bugs produce large amounts of histamine: This story set records for clicks (and comments from a lot of consumers). We’d rather be the media outlet of choice for pest management professionals, but having a study confirm an allergic reaction ability from Cimex lectularius seemed to strike a nerve with the public, too. Again, time will tell what the results of this story will have on how PMPs treat for bed bugs in the months and years to come.