Excellent Extermination Economics • At the broadest scale, the exterminating & pest control services industry generated approximately $11 billion in revenues during 2015, but that number includes chemical and equipment distributors, vehicle customizers and information technology. • Revenues for the industry’s structural sector were $7.466 billion for 2014, or a 3.5% increase over 2013’s $7.213 billion, which had increased 5.9% from 2012. • The industry’s target market is a household with an annual income of $75,000+; and 25%, or 8.75 million of these residences were served during 2014. Another 3.75 million were specifically treated for termites, or a target-market total of 36.3%.
Pests and Weather Patterns • Although summer is typically the industry’s primary season, the strong 2015-2016 El Niño weather pattern will likely create a wetter, warmer fall and winter and the persistence of pests that would normally be suppressed during the cold weather. • Mosquitoes could be attracted to standing water that doesn’t freeze because of the warmer temperatures. Flooding from excessive rain could cause water tables to rise, driving more rodents indoors and diluting termite-treated exterior grounds. • According to research from Western Pest Services, rodents, flies, stinging insects, ants, stink bugs, box elders and ladybugs are the top fall pests in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states and may continue to be a problem during the warmer winter.
Pest Control’s Power 10 • Although the average pest control services company has a single location, employs 9–10 people and generates approximately $930,000 in annual revenue, the top 4 companies accounted for 47.9% of all 2014 structural revenues. • Rollins, the largest US pest control services company, reported Q3 2015 revenues of $399.7 million, increasing 3.9% compared to Q3 2014. For the first 3 quarters of 2015, revenues totaled $1.123 billion, or a 5.2% increase. • Terminex, a division of ServiceMaster, increased its Q3 2015 revenues by 5%, and primarily on the strength of sales of new services; however, demand for the company’s termite services declined.
The Big Business in Bed Bugs • According to Pestworld magazine’s 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey, 64% of surveyed pest control companies said bed-bug incidences increased in their regions during the past year and only 7% said they decreased. • Summer is the height of the bed-bug season according to 66% of survey respondents; followed by fall, 15%; spring 11%; and winter, 8%. • When using insecticide-based bed bug treatments, a median of 2.6 visits were required, but only a median of 1.3 visits when heat-based treatments were used. As a share of all revenues, bed-bug treatments accounted for a median of 7.9%.
Infestation Impact • According to the Rentokil-commissioned study, The Business Impact of Pests, surveyed business owners in the US, UK, France, Australia and Italy said pest infestations led to a total decrease of $19.5 billion in revenues during 2014. • Of all US businesses in the study, 64% were most worried about pest infestations damaging their reputation. Businesses in the Southwest region were the most concerned at 74% while 75% of Western businesses feared compensation claims. • US business also reported that they experienced an average of 2.8 pest-infestations incidences during a 5-year period and 36% said their normal business operations were disrupted for more than two weeks.
Advertising Strategies • If the anticipated wetter, warmer El Niño weather pattern persists into Q1 2016, recommend that local pest control companies consider a one- or two-week flight to generate revenue from residences and businesses experiencing atypical pest problems. • Discuss the spring-season services listed in the Additional Analysis section of the Profiler with local pest control companies and help them prepare March and April TV advertising campaigns now to take advantage of these new revenue-stream opportunities. • Show pest control companies why television is also an excellent medium to reach local retail businesses, office building management companies and industrial and agricultural plants and facilities and offer a free inspection and review during Q1 2016 prior to the pest season.
Social Media Strategies • As spring approaches, pest control companies can create a social media campaign that helps home and business owners to identify signs of infestations and create separate posts for each type of pest with information about the damage it causes and the best remedies. • Referrals are critical to the growth of local pest control companies, which is why they must respond to every positive or negative comment or review and highlight the positive comments on social media, with possible follow-up video interviews with those customers. • Pestworld magazine recommends the use of Pinterest for pest control companies because the average user has a household income of more than $100,000 and Pinterest attracts mostly women specifically looking for ideas to improve their lives versus just being social.