Super-low interest rates made for a popping real estate market across much of the country. People refinanced homes or moved because they could now work remotely due to the pandemic. Often transactions required wood- destroying insect or wood-destroying organism (WDI/WDO) inspections.

“With termite inspections comes termite work,” pointed out Weldon Hurt, owner of Pest Patrol in Abilene, Texas. His WDIs were up 40 percent in 2020. New Yorkers and Californians were active buyers in his community. “The real estate market is so good in our area; I mean it’s just been phenomenal,” he said.

Even in markets without heavy termite pressure, home inspectors often recommended treatment, said Frank Illnick, owner of PermaKill Exterminating in Flanders, N.J. He benefited from this as more people moved into his rural community. “A lot of people are selling and buying out here; getting away from the city, I imagine,” he said.

Even the commercial real estate market delivered. “We had a good year,” said Diedrich Schweers, president of SWAT Mosquito & Pest Control in McClellanville, S.C. The company specializes in termite pretreatments for large commercial construction projects; Schweers recently pre-treated soil for a 685,000-square-foot warehouse.