According to the PCT 2021 State of the Termite Control Market survey, 66 percent of PMPs said customers became aware of termite issues sooner than in the past because they were spending more time at home due to the pandemic. In fact, 44 percent of PMPs said calls for termite service increased in 2020 compared to a year ago.
“You’ve got a number of people who were staying home and so they noticed more problems than they normally would have,” said David Moore, technical services manager at Lynchburg, Va.-based Dodson Bros. Exterminating, which saw termite revenue increase almost 10 percent in 2020.
When it comes to noticing swarms, timing is everything. Swarming occurs for a short period and if the homeowner isn’t there to witness it or doesn’t find left-behind evidence, such as wings, they may not know it even happened. This past termite season, more people were present when swarms occurred, said PMPs.
In addition, more people used the forced at-home time to do home renovations, which exposed termite activity.
“We had a lot of people doing remodeling and that also generated a lot of business for us,” said Jim Swayne, president, Safer Home Services, Clearwater, Fla. Termite work accounted for about 30 percent of the company’s revenue in 2020.
According to the PCT survey, 30 percent of PMPs said customers added onto homes, which required new termite treatments be performed around these structures.