According to PCT’s first-ever State of the Tick Control Market survey, 76 percent of pest management companies offer tick control services.
But companies operating in the Northeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions are more likely to see demand for the service — and higher revenues as a result — because Lyme disease-carrying ticks are concentrated there.
At Connecticut Tick Control in Norwalk, founded in 1999, “that’s all we do,” said President David Whitman. “We started out with one truck in one state; we have over 30 trucks now and we’re in five states,” he said of entities operated by him and brother Richard Whitman.
Mark Constantino, owner of Arkadia — Eco Pest Control in Randolph, N.J., said, “Tick control has quickly become our largest revenue stream within the past three years.” Last year the service increased 42 percent generating $293,000, or about 35 percent of the company’s total revenue, he said.
Ticks signal the end of the slow winter season for A-Action Pest Control in Antioch, Ill. “Ticks definitely contribute to an influx of phone calls in the early spring,” said Adam Ring, vice president of field operations. The company’s yard pest program, which includes tick control, grew 45 percent to nearly $150,000 in revenue in 2019. “We’re looking to grow again for 2020,” he said.
For most companies, however, tick control generated less than $5,000 in revenue last year, reported 62 percent of pest management professionals in the survey. Thirty nine percent said its significance to the business did not change over the past five years, while 38 percent said tick control became more important.
Among PMPs who don’t offer tick control, 32 percent said the niche service was not worth their time and effort; 20 percent said ticks were not a problem in their markets.
Competition from tick-focused franchises kept Phoenix Pest and Wildlife Control in Danville, Ind., from expanding this business segment, which accounts for about 5 percent of total revenue. “Once they get a majority of the neighborhood it’s hard to make it worth your time,” explained Cassi Magnus, a co-owner of the company. Still, there’s value in offering the service. “We like to be a one-stop shop for people,” said Magnus.
Keller’s Pest Control in Bradenton, Fla., offers tick control even though revenue “is fairly insignificant,” said President Rodney O’Quinn. “One of the things about ticks is that when people see them, they panic,” he said. By providing the service he can allay customer fears and also capture “whatever little business there is.”