Last year was the second termite season of the pandemic, and it proved another moneymaker for most pest control companies.
“The term I would use to describe it is excellent,” said Jaime Vasquez, owner of Matador Pest Control in Port St. Lucie, Fla., speaking of his termite control earnings in 2021. “The calls came in,” he said.
Troy Hook was “excited” by the growth in termite revenue at Green Flash Pest and Termite Control in Vista, California. They went from nearly $1 million in 2020 to $1.6 million last year, with just three termite inspectors. “I have a great crew,” said Hook, the company’s termite service manager.
According to the PCT 2022 State of the Termite Control Market survey, 56 percent of pest control professionals said the percentage of revenue from termite control services at their location has increased somewhat or significantly over the past three years. The survey was sponsored by BASF and compiled by Readex Research, an independent research company.
Nearly half (49 percent) of PMPs said termite-related service calls increased significantly or slightly compared to 2020, and 34 percent said termite control is more important to the company’s bottom line today than in the last five years.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a positive effect on termite control, 26 percent of PMPs reported, and 71 percent agreed customers were becoming aware of termite problems earlier because they were spending more time at home.
“It seems like people have been more at home and noticing termite problems, and we’re getting a lot more calls for post-type treatments,” agreed Bill Trott, owner of Bill’s Pest & Termite Control in Phoenix, Ariz.
On average, termite work accounted for 25.2 percent of the company’s total sales last year, or about $353,000, up from $337,000 in 2020.
The red-hot real estate market helped, PMPs reported in follow-up interviews. Bill’s Pest & Termite Control saw a 30 percent increase in sales last year linked to termite inspections required by the lender to refinance.
National Exterminating of Newport News, Virginia wrote about 50 termite/moisture letters per week. It encouraged real estate agents to schedule pre-sale inspections before homes come on the market so that fungal, termite or moisture problems can be addressed early to avoid delays in closing.
However, the company has had trouble sourcing some products, most notably polyfoil for moisture barriers in crawl spaces. “I didn’t go out, but I had to do big shopping; I really had to plan to make sure we didn’t run out and there were some very close decisions,” said National general manager Scott Monds.
Chemical products were not as readily available for pickup for Black Diamond Pest Control of Louisville, Kentucky as in the past. “We’ve had to adapt and stock more to deal with the supply chain issues,” said Termite Manager Brandon Tarant.
About the poll
The 2022 PCT State of the Termite Control Market survey was sponsored by BASF and compiled by Readex Research, a private research company in Stillwater, Minnesota. A sample of 2,742 pest control company owners, executives and technical directors was systematically selected from the PCT database. The data was collected from 159 respondents – a response rate of 6 percent – via an online survey from October 29 to November 9, 2021. Thirty respondents indicated that their companies do not provide termite control services and were excluded from the survey. The margin of error for percentages based on the remaining 129 respondents is plus or minus 8.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. Charts may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.