@ mathisa | AdobeStock

Ant control generates steady income for pest control companies. Last year, it produced 22.2 percent of total company revenue on average, more so than any other pest service, according to the PCT 2020 State of the Ant Control Market survey, which was sponsored by Syngenta and compiled by Readex, an independent research firm.

Over the past five years ant services were a more significant part of the business for 48 percent of pest management professionals.

Ants are “the number one issue” why customers call, said Charles Fyfe, owner of Envirocare Pest Control, Gardiner, Maine. A strong economy and housing market were contributing factors. “It is very much economy driven” whether people delay ant control, try it themselves or hire a professional, he explained.

The number of ant infestations increased for 42 percent of PMPs over the past year; more than half (52 percent) reported the same level of ant activity in their markets.

Weather played a role in some regions. Two years of heavy rain in Galena, Ill., for instance, caused more people to call Exact Pest Solutions with ant problems. “If it’s extremely dry or extremely wet, we get ant calls,” said Tom Saccomanno, a co-owner of the company.

Others said the populations of species like the odorous house ant and bigheaded ant exploded in size in their markets, leading to a greater number of service calls.

Most pest management companies (97 percent) offer ant control services.