[Industry Outlook] Five Pest Trends of 2015

Features - Market Watch

January 27, 2015
PCT Magazine

Steritech has compiled a list of five pest trends and concerns for 2015 based on a variety of factors including changing climates and shifting weather patterns.

As climates change and weather patterns shift, insect and rodent pests continue to adapt — and that could spell big trouble for businesses in North America. The Steritech Group, a leading provider of commercial pest prevention services in the U.S. and Canada, offers these predictions on five pest trends for 2015.

1. Bed Bug Incidents in Non-Traditional Locations

The bed bug issue is not going away in North America — in fact, these biting pests are expanding their presence into areas where they’ve not traditionally been found. Vice President of Technical Services for Steritech’s Pest Prevention Business and Board Certified Entomologist Judy Black reports that Steritech has seen a 16.1 percent increase in bed bug business outside of hotels in the last 12 months. These pests can appear anywhere that people frequent, she says. “Health-care facilities, retail stores, movie theaters, food plant and warehouse locker rooms, public transportation and libraries around the U.S. and Canada have reported issues with bed bugs,” Black explains.

2. Proliferating Roof Rats

Once largely an issue on coastlines and the Southeastern U.S., the roof rat, sometimes called the black rat or ship rat, is proliferating throughout the United States. This rodent is being encountered more frequently in land-locked areas. Roof rats become problematic for businesses when they infest wall and ceiling voids.

3. Invasive Ant Species

An increasing number of non-native ant species have been discovered in the United States over the past several years, and these pests are gaining ground in many areas. These invasive ants are pushing out both native and other troublesome ants, such as fire ants. Watch for species such as Asian needle ants, tawny crazy ants and rover ants to become established in more areas. Some of these species are found in large numbers, creating a significant annoyance factor, as well as making them difficult to eliminate.

4. Expanding Reach of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

In the past five years, the brown marmorated stink bug has exploded as a nuisance pest in the Eastern U.S. Black reports that the pest will continue to push westward in 2015, becoming a larger issue for businesses and homeowners alike. “While the brown marmorated stink bug is largely a nuisance pest for structures, it can be a damaging agricultural pest,” she says.

5. Rethinking Lighting Design for Pest Prevention

The general move toward more modern, environmentally efficient lighting can play a role in making a facility attractive to pests, says Black, such as in the use of exterior lighting at a business. Attracting pests toward a facility makes it much more likely that they will gain entry into buildings through gaps, cracks and even doors. That doesn’t mean customers can’t use lights such as LED lights, Black explains.

However, they need to be sure to select lights that “emit a spectrum that does not increase pest attraction,” she says. “Research shows that LED light emissions less than 550 nanometers may be more attractive to pests than those with higher wavelengths.”