By Dan Moreland

Bed bugs are big business. In fact, service revenue derived from controlling this common pest increased by more than $100 million in 2015, bringing total revenue earned to $573 million, according to Specialty Consultants, a leading market research firm serving the structural pest control industry.

“If this trend continues, I won’t be surprised to see the industry generating $1 billion in service revenue from controlling bed bugs alone in five years,” observed Specialty Products founder and President Gary Curl.

Which explains why more than 450 pest management professionals, university educators, and members of the hospitality and multi-family housing industries recently traveled to the nation’s heartland to attend the NPMA’s Global Bed Bug Summit, sponsored by BedBug Central, ActiveGuard, Bayer and MGK.

“We were very pleased with the industry’s response to this year’s event,” said Alexis Wirtz, vice president of conventions and meetings, National Pest Management Association. “All of the educational sessions were well attended and the exhibit hall was very busy.”

The popular three-day event featured presentations by leading pest management professionals and university educators from around the country and the globe including Dr. Faith Oi, University of Florida; Dr. Susan Jones, Ohio State University; Dr. Mark Feldaufer, USDA Research Service; Dr. Rick Cooper, Cooper Pest Solutions; Dr. Dini Miller, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University; Travis Aggson, American Pest Management; Dr. Michael Siva-Jothy, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom; and Dr. Ken Haynes, University of Kentucky, just to name a few. Rich Kalik of Specialty Consultants also presented a general session on “The State of the Bed Bug Market.”

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“As the premier bed bug event in the industry, the Global Bed Bug Summit provides everything a PMP needs from a legal, technical, business and customer service perspective to gain a thorough understanding of what’s going on in the bed bug market,” Wirtz said.

“When we launched the Global Bed Bug Summit a number of years ago, we were confident it would fill an important market need, but it has become even bigger than I ever imagined,” said Phil Cooper, CEO of BedBug Central. “I think this year’s show was the best yet.”

Held every-other-year, the date and location of the 2018 Global Bed Bug Summit has not yet been determined, but regardless of what city hosts the next edition of this eagerly anticipated event, you can bet it will be well attended since bed bugs continue to be an important profit center for a growing number of PMPs.

This page and page 22 feature photos from this year’s event. Look for additional editorial coverage of the Global Bed Bug Summit in future editions of PCT magazine.

The author is publisher of PCT magazine.