PCT’s annual survey sheds light on the state of the tick control market and how pest management professionals are marketing, selling, treating and protecting customers (and pets) from this pest.
Breaking news: The weather is warming up across the country. (Well, that’s not the “news.”) “And with warmer weather there are more ticks — and now we have the blacklegged tick in Nebraska, which is one that carries the bacteria that causes Lyme disease,” reports Carl Braun, owner of Quality Pest Control in Omaha.
This local media story triggered a slew of social media posts. “My service manager said his Facebook was blowing up with people asking about ticks,” Braun says. Demand for tick services is steadily increasing in his neck of the woods, especially among pet owners. “Now we are being more intentional about suggesting the service because we see a great opportunity to do more of it,” Braun says. “It starts with education, and ticks are second only to mosquitoes as a [pest] public health concern.”
Braun visited a neighboring doggy day care business to speak to the owners about tick prevention. “My wife and I are also in a dog club, so networking — it’s a good way to spread the word,” he says.
Tick pressure depends on the region, weather, geographic factors like wooded areas or overgrown grasses, and animal populations like deer, rodents and possums. PCT’s 2022 State of the Tick Control Market report surveyed pest management professionals across the country. Twenty-six percent of respondents say tick service is a more significant part of their overall business, and 45 percent notice no change. And 41 percent rated clients’ awareness of ticks as a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 (not at all aware) to 5 (very aware).
Jay Groat says news reports do trigger calls. “In upstate New York, we are getting a couple of newer ticks, and people see it on the news,” says the owner of Bug Bee Gone in Delmar, N.Y. Specifically, he cites the Lone Star tick. “There is a greater awareness in general,” he says.
Meanwhile, Gary Rottler’s tick business was up 42 percent last year, and year to date he’s seeing an increase of 36 percent. “We’ve had a resurgence of ticks, I think, and with COVID, more people are hunkered down and staying home or spending time in their yards,” says the owner of Rottler Pest Solutions in St. Louis, Mo. “Our tick business has definitely increased, and we piggyback it with our mosquito service.”
But an uptick in customer interest and pest pressure isn’t across the board. “I have seen a decline, believe it or not,” says David Navarro Jr., who runs David’s Pest Control in McAllen, Texas, with his father. He thinks one reason why is because more pet owners are giving their fur buddies flea/tick preventive pills. “Some take that step and forgo the professional service,” he says.
From driving public awareness to marketing, sales and treatment, this PCT report provides an overview of the tick control landscape.