For many pest management professionals (PMPs), the pest control industry may seem more like a roller-coaster ride as business climbs to exciting new heights for some, and then suddenly drops at alarming speeds for others.
Inflation, rising fuel costs, inability to retain employees, and extreme weather have PMPs hanging on for the ride, Pest Management Professional’s (PMP’s) 2024 State of the Industry (SOI) survey responses show.
“PMPs may face a roller coaster ride due to the impact of inflation and fuel costs,” says Rakshit Advani, BCE, VP of Pest Management Sciences in Elmhurst, N.Y. “Rising operating costs, pricing challenges, labor issues, changing consumer behavior, and supply chain disruptions could create a complex and unpredictable environment for the industry, requiring strategic adaptation to maintain profitability and service quality.”
PMPs are buckling up for the ride, however. All U Need Pest Control’s director of operations, Kyle Selbach, says he seeks to continue the rigorous growth rate the Fort Myers, Fla.-company achieved over the past few years.
“There will be some challenges, such as those related to labor and the economy, but we have positive solutions,” he notes. “We will continue to offer the same services, as we believe we found our niche as a premier pest control provider in Florida. We are keeping our services simple and direct; less is more.”
Extreme heat in cities across the country had PMPs scrambling to serve customers during unprecedented heat waves. This summer was the Earth’s hottest since the recording of global temperatures began in 1880, revealed scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies.
Solaris Pest Solutions President Giancarlo Fernandez says the weather presents more opportunities for his Santa Clarita, Calif.-based business, as Southern California has had more rain than usual.
“The rain may be a speed bump for many, but this weather increases calls for mosquitoes, occasional invaders and rodents,” he says. “The rise in revenue has been steady.”
Another unknown next year will be the 2024 presidential election, which likely will have an impact on the economy. Although it’s too soon to predict which candidate will be the next president of the United States, PMPs are hanging on tight.
PMPs who answered our 2024 SOI survey have a more positive outlook than last year’s “slightly optimistic” viewpoint. The majority said they were “extremely optimistic” about the pest control industry.
Joe LaTour, manager of Hunts Quality Pest Control in Queensbury, N.Y., says PMPs are seeing more invasive pests, thanks to the extreme weather.
Many PMPs predict an economic slowdown in the first half of 2024.
“It’s predicted to be a cold winter and the summers are getting hotter,” LaTour adds. “Couple that with the economy slowly failing and what’s set to be the craziest and most polarizing presidential election in history, 2024 is already looking like a wild ride.”
Keep reading for more on PMP’s 2024 projections. Our exclusive 2024 State of the Industry supplement, sponsored by Bell Laboratories, includes benchmarking data, infographics and analyses that highlight key pest management industry trends.
PMPs hang on for the ride
In August and September, 208 pest management professionals (PMPs) — primarily company owners and presidents — completed our 33-question State of the Industry survey. Here is some background on their companies: