Making Moves

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People are moving to warm locations, which has been a boon for pest management companies serving those areas. Here’s what that might mean in the long term.

July 1, 2022

If it seems like everyone’s moving to the South or Southwest, you’re right.

Last year, 20 percent more Americans moved than in 2020, according to the most recent United States Migration Report from North American Van Lines, a moving services company. People mostly left the coasts and the Midwest for the Carolinas, Tennessee, Florida, Arizona and Texas, said the company.

The population of the South grew 38.3 percent in 2020, reports the Census Bureau, and 10 of the top 15 fastest-growing cities with populations of 50,000 or more are located in the South.

That’s good news for pest control companies serving these markets.

In fact, 50 PCT Top 100 companies were headquartered in the South in 2020, compared to 43 in 2002, the first year the list was compiled. Over that period, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee each gained three Top 100 companies.

Warming temperatures, however, may be contributing to extreme weather events — flooding rains, tornadoes, hurricanes and rising sea levels — in these markets.

Eventually, people may move away from areas highly impacted by heat and heat-related weather events to areas of the country that are more resilient to climate. This may drive “America’s next great migrations,” wrote Parag Khanna, founder of FutureMap, and Susan Joy Hassol of Climate Communication, in Scientific American magazine.

In 2020 and 2021, the U.S. experienced 42 weather disasters that cost $1 billion or more, the most since 1980 when record keeping began, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).