According to respondents to Pest Management Professional’s 2024 State of the Industry survey, the top industry services by volume are still ants, rodents, cockroaches and spiders, although stinging insects knocked fleas and ticks off the list this year. In fact, that category slipped in at No. 8, after occasional invaders and flies.
Bed bugs, which used to make the Top 5 as recently as the 2022 survey, have dropped to No. 11 on the list — sandwiched between termites and other wood-destroying insects and organisms (WDI/WDO) and mosquito management.
As far as top revenue- and profit-generating services, ants still rule both lists, followed closely behind by rodents. Cockroach service brings more revenue than termites and WDI/WDO, but it is not as profitable.
Out-of-the box services offered by some of our survey-takers include moisture control, handyman services and pond management.
Chad Highley, ACE, owner of Environmental Pest Control in Lawton, Okla., says the key to staying on the ride, as it were, is to diversify your services. In addition to the regular general pest offerings, he offers sanitization, lawn care and house cleaning, which comes in handy when taking care of some pest control accounts. In 2024, he plans to offer insulation services.
“Some areas are more resistant to various economic issues than others, but you have to ride the wave you are on,” he explains. “Just be aware of other waves that are better. Be ready to switch. Diversify as much as possible.”
As his company name implies, Benjamin Hunt, owner of ProTech Pest Control & Insulation in Everett, Wash., is already offering insulation services. In fact, for 2023, it was his fifth-highest revenue segment. For 2024, Hunt plans to offer mosquito management. His recession-proof strategies include buying in bulk, educating clients, and giving quotes on general pest control services over the phone, saving windshield time.
“We plan to add employees, expand our fleet, increase our pay rates and increase our budget for online and billboard ads,” he adds. “We’re also building employee loyalty with profit sharing, good pay and an ‘old school’ atmosphere.”