“Although do-it-yourself pest control is damaging in the short term, improper extermination may actually cause the spread of pests to increase, especially bed bugs,” explained Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “This will create more work, becoming a positive for the industry in the long term.”
There has been a 70 percent rise in bed bugs infestation since 2001, due to the increased travel, immigration, insecticide resistance and changes in pest control practices. Although businesses are seeing a softening in residential pest control sales – it can cost as much as $300-$600 to treat an apartment for bed bugs – some are experiencing gains in commercial pest control as well as termite control.
Firms with broad business structures are more resistant to losses, as they can generate revenue in many areas; meaning those that have the ability to provide an array of services (from termites, to cockroaches, rodents, ants, birds, etc.) to all customer bases (building construction, residential, commercial, and governments) will not observe as much of a decline as those that specialize.
“For businesses to survive the current economical climate, they must have the ability to quickly adopt new pest control technologies, minimize focus on construction sectors and manage seasonal peaks and troughs,” said van Beeck. “Word-of-mouth marketing is ever more important, so exterminators must also strive for higher quality of service at this time.”
Like many service industries, the pest control industry enjoyed consistent, stable growth through 2007 with annual real revenues expanding at a rate of 2.6 percent a year. While the sector’s sensitivity to construction has made 2008 and 2009 years to forget, stabilization in consumer budgets and employment will likely lead to another period of sustainable growth through 2014.