Call it what you want, but 2020 was a bugger for everyone, with business shutdowns and the resulting economic impacts, along with looming uncertainty about everything from when a vaccine would emerge to who would win the presidential election.
Interestingly, most of the pest management professionals (PMPs) we surveyed and interviewed for the State of the Ant Control Market Report said 2020 was not all bad. In fact, just 35 percent of respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic was a limiting factor in growing their ant business.
“Ants are job security in this business,” says Barry Craddock, president, Craddock Pest Control, Glasgow, Ky. The service grows a little bit every year, he says. “One job gets you another job.”
“But in one place, ants can make you look amazing, and the next place you can come out looking not so good at all,” Craddock adds, echoing the sentiment of other PMPs. Variables for success include customer education and cooperation, addressing structural issues that are “open doors” for ants and selecting effective products with a long residual.
Christian Wilcox estimates that ants are an issue for about 90 percent of the accounts McCauley Services treats in its Arkansas and Oklahoma service areas. The business certainly isn’t slowing. The company took a solutions-based approach to operating in an unprecedented year by coming up with creative ways to identify ants and expanding its exclusion business, both of which are examples of solutions-focused strategies the company has implemented.
As for Craddock, “We probably had the best year ever,” he says. He attributes the increase in his ant control services to people staying at home and noticing pests more.
In keeping with the spirit of adapt, change and execute, PCT’s 2021 Ant State of the Market Report, sponsored by Syngenta and performed by Readex Research, reveals creative ways PMPs are managing ants, reducing callbacks, establishing best practices and marketing their ant service.