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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Pest Control Industry Trends and their Effect on Real Estate

The pest control industry in the United States creates $14 billion in annual revenues and has experienced yearly growth of 4.99% from 2011 to 2016. In the coming years, numerous pest control industry trends are already being perceived, as more cities and towns implement new living arrangements. The industry has a widespread impact on all housing industries, including real estate.

The main driver of profit in the industry has been bed bug removal. According to a report from the Steritech Group, in 2014 to 2015, bed bug infestations in U.S. hotels rose by over 16%, and nearly all pest control experts have had to deal with at least one bed bug infestation in the past year.

In the 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky discovered that beg bug infestations in the U.S. go on at a high rate. Nearly 99.% of survey respondents were treated for bed past over the last year. That number is much higher than 15 years ago, when only 25% of people surveyed reported bed bug problems. Back then, only 25% of pest control experts reported requests for bed bug treatments.

Almost 95% of all bed bug removals were requested from apartment or condominiums, many of which was prior to real estate auctions and screenings. Also, single homes are more common for bed bug infestations than hotels or even motels.

It is not just homes and hotels that have bed bug problems, they can also be found in other areas of high density such as nursing homes, college dorms, daycare centers, hospitals and offices. Around 68% of pest control experts surveyed have said that bed bugs remain their most challenging problem to treat.

However, when it comes to generating revenue in the pest control industry, solving the bed bug problem may be second to none. Firstly, they are quite hard to remove completely. They are hidden pests that can travel on public transportation or simply stay in a hotel and get moved to become a home invader.

Messy homes and clutter was cited by the survey as the largest customer challenge in removing bed bugs, followed by customers simply not following the advice given by the pest control professional. This usually leads to re-infestation.

Although bed bugs are not seasonal creatures, pest control experts report that calls for their removal increases in the summer time. This has probably more to do with the travelling behavior of people in warm months. It makes them more likely to bring back unwanted visitors.

In any case, bed bugs will continue to be an important source of revenue for the pest control industry in the coming years.

The worldwide pest control market is forecasted to grow at a healthy rate from 2016 to 2020. Factors that are contributing towards the growth of the pest control industry are the increased population rate and increased economic activity. An increase in the rates of urbanization, climate change and an increase in disposable income are also contributing factors to the increase in the pest control market.

Thanks to the bed bug epidemic, rising demand and service prices have resulted in unusually high profit margins for most pest control companies. As a result, households and businesses are more than willing to spend on pest control services to get rid of the bed bug problem. Also, increased housing sales will be driving industry demand.

Over the next five years, consumer and business spending will increase demand for regular pest inspections. With their increased income, customers and businesses would be less likely to purchase low-cost household products from home and garden stores.

In 2017, for every dollar spent on wages, the pest control industry is expected to need an estimated $0.03 in capital investment. Investment involves vehicles, sound wave equipment, vacuum steam cleaners, offices and storage space. Other investments include installing GPS navigation and tracking systems in vehicles to save on gasoline costs by reducing the amount of miles driven.

However, despite bed bugs and other factors contributing to an increased market growth, the pest control industry also faces several challenges. Strict industry regulations and problems in managing the staff of pest control service companies can hinder growth. There is also a high cost for customers to procure these services.

The pest control industry is still looking towards the future, despite the challenges it faces. Among new exiting developments is the introduction of new biocides, the use of smart technology, like route optimization and computer software puts progress in the hands of the pest control companies.

The competition is still stiff in the global pest control market. It is usually dominated by the big key players such as Rentokill, Rollins Inc, and Ecolab. The key success factors in the pest control industry would be the ability to accommodate environmental requirements, a qualified work force and maintaining a good reputation.

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