Predicting the Future (AKA: Pudge controls the weather)
At the beginning of every year, it seems I get a lot of questions on what’s going to be “the thing” this year for pest control. It’s really impossible to tell since I don’t control the weather or any of the other factors that will affect pests. Think of it: who would have predicted the pandemic would happen and cause so many rodent issues? That being said, I am still going to make some guesses for this coming year.
#1: mosquitoes are going to be big this year. This may be cheating a little since many parts of the world are currently experiencing avian flu outbreaks, but I think we will see higher mosquito issues and more cases of mosquito borne diseases. Climate change is resulting in more severe weather events that cause more standing water and flooding (AKA mosquito habitat). With warming temperatures, there are going to be more mosquitoes moving north and more generations per year for some species. So more areas will see mosquitoes active (AKA: biting) for longer periods of time.
#2: training will be a high priority. We know that this past year was the “Great Resignation” and many employees left their job. I’ve heard from many in the pest management industry that finding new employees has been a huge challenge. Having good training that is targeted, useful, and impactful is going to be incredibly important. It’s not just to train new employees though. Consider current folks who may need refresher training, or more in-depth information. It’s also about learning new techniques and the newest technology that can help to service accounts better. A technician who feels empowered and capable of tackling pest problems will stay longer (AKA: better retention) than a technician who’s frustrated and not solving problems.
#3: bed bugs are going to surge this year. Amazingly (to me at least), bed bug calls did not drop off as much as I would have thought during the last two years of this Covid pandemic. However, I believe that travel will significantly increase this year, both leisure and business. That increase in people moving around will mean an increase in bed bugs being transferred around. Because many people don’t know what bed bugs look like, there are also going to be a lot more calls that wind up not being bed bugs.
There you have it, my pest prognostications for the year 2022. The year 2021 was an interesting one with the pest management industry doing very well. Covid drove rodents around and people staying home saw more pest problems (they were there during daylight hours and not in an office!). Termites didn’t stop because of the pandemic and neither did any of the other urban pests. What happens this coming year will be interesting and feel free to call me out for being wrong when we hit 2023! Of course, 360 PFSC is here to help you improve your service with increased resources, better training, and maybe most importantly – taking the “technical stuff” off your plate so you can get back to running your part of the business.
Lagniappe - #4: stored product pests in residential settings.