Rodents: A Bigger Source of Company Revenue

Sponsored Content - 2021 State of the Rodent Control Market, Sponsored by Bell Laboratories, Inc.

December 13, 2021

Rodent control has become a greater source of income for pest control companies.

Last year, it accounted for 20.3 percent of overall revenue on average at company locations, according to the 2021 PCT State of the Rodent Control Market survey. That’s an increase from the 14.6 percent average reported in 2014, the first year the PCT survey was conducted.

As such, rodent control has taken on more significance at businesses over the past five years, said 57 percent of pest management professionals, up from 44 percent who responded this way seven years ago. While rodent control was performed on residential (91 percent) and commercial (78 percent) properties, 67 percent of PMPs said residential rodent control generated the most income at their locations.

Calls from homeowners in Huntington Beach, Calif., kept Seashore Pest Control hopping. “The incidence of rats is increasing dramatically in my area,” said President John Etheridge, who was working in the field alongside his 17 employees to keep up with demand for rodent control service.

“I hate to say we’re losing the battle but the phone calls of, ‘I have a new rat problem,’ have increased fivefold in the last three years,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic had an extremely or somewhat positive impact on rodent control work, reported 43 percent of survey respondents.

People noticed rodent activity more because they spent more time at home working and attending school. They also left all kinds of food in commercial kitchens, work break rooms, office desks and dormitories when stay-at-home mandates were enforced.

“That gave rodents a lot of opportunity to exploit what was left behind,” said Marty Overline, president of Aardvark Pest Management in Philadelphia. He spent considerable time throwing out abandoned food items at commercial accounts to help deter mouse infestations.

Nearly half of PMPs (48 percent) said rodent populations were more visible in their service areas because access to traditional food sources was reduced by the pandemic.



The Future: Outlook is Strong

According to the 2021 PCT State of the Rodent Control Market survey, 57 percent of PMPs expected revenue from rodent control services to increase in 2021 compared to last year.

Barry Weprin, Weprin Pest Control, said the potential for rodent control is “unlimited.” Rat pressure in his Houston market is “really high,” and he performs twice-monthly rat control service for some customers. “You’re never going to run out of rodent control work,” said Weprin, who’s been providing the service for 35 years.

The housing market is hot as well, and as long as new construction disturbs habitat, rodents will seek new shelter in structures. “I think you’re always going to have the opportunity to deal with rodent movement,” said Nate Nunnally, Custom West Pest Control.

Looking ahead, PMPs said technology will help improve rodent control programs, such as by reducing labor costs (42 percent), clarifying documentation (41 percent), providing training benefits (38 percent) and helping to differentiate their service (37 percent).

Ashley Roden, a regional entomologist at Sprague Pest Solutions, Tacoma, Wash., would like to see new products and active ingredients introduced to control rodents. “We need more products, more options. I always welcome other options,” she said.