The Pest Management Industry

Pest management is often associated with controlling common household pests in residential settings. Depending on the type of infestation, pests can compromise a building’s structural stability and can even put property at risk for fire. However, the importance of the industry to the nation is much broader than controlling pests in the home. It plays a vital role in protecting our food supply and public health. In fact, public health officials attribute the quality of life we have today to three things: better vaccines, better sanitation and better pest control.

The size of the industry (2014):

  • 19,675 companies
  • 154,500 service technicians
  • $7.47 billion in annual billing

Public Health

  • Pests contaminate food, as well as kitchen equipment and other surfaces. Pests also infest food items and stored products including grains and dry goods.
  • Pests can spread diseases such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, Lyme disease, malaria, plague, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, hantavavirus and encephalitis.
  • 97% of allergists believe a pest-free home is an important step in preventing asthma and allergy symptoms.
  • Innovations in pest management parallel an increase in life expectancy. In 1900, life expectancy was just 49 years and in 2012 life expectancy rose to 78.8 years.
  • It would be difficult to find any segment of the food industry that could comply with federal sanitation and health regulations without an adequate pest management program.

Stinging Insects

  • Stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year.
  • More than two million Americans are allergic to stinging insects.
  • At least 50 people a year die each year after being stung by insect pests.


  • Cockroaches are known to spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella species, six types of parasitic worms and seven kinds of human pathogens.
  • The saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies of cockroaches contain allergen proteins known to trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, especially in children.
  • Up to 60% of people with asthma who live in cities are allergic to cockroaches.
  • Cockroach suppression and eradication is vital to healthcare facilities, homes and sites where food is prepared or served.


  • Termites alone attack over 4 million homes per year.
  • Termites cause an over $5 billion in property damage annually, a cost not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
  • Subterranean termites eat 24/7, making them the most destructive species of termite found in the U.S.

Bed Bugs

  • Bed bug bites can leave behind itchy, red welts, and can increase one’s risk for a secondary infection as a result of scratching.
  • 99.6% of pest professionals have treated for bed bugs in the past year. That number – which has been consistent for the past few years – is significantly higher than 15 years ago, when only 25% of pest professionals reported treating for bed bugs.
  • 1 in 5 Americans has had a bed bug infestation in his or her home, or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.
  • The top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are:
    • 95% – Apartments/condominiums
    • 93% – Single-family homes
    • 75% – Hotels/motel


  • Rodents consume or contaminate about 20% of the world’s food supply.
  • Rats transmit disease organisms such as Rat-bite Fever, Salmonella, trichinosis, murine typhus, plague and Leptospirosis.
  • Rodents have been implicated in fires across the country by chewing wires and spilling flammables.
  • Nearly 30% of American homeowners have had a rodent problem in their home.

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