According to the PCT 2021 State of the Flea Control Market survey, 29 percent of PMPs said they witnessed an increase in pet ownership among customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a lot of adoption and rescue going on,” said Kerry Lindsey, Terminix Service Company.

Tony DeJesus of Big Blue Bug Solutions volunteers at the local animal shelter and saw this firsthand. “People were looking for companions. They’re stuck in the house, and you need somebody to talk to,” he said.

Twenty-nine percent of PMPs agreed customers appeared more emotionally attached to their pets because of the COVID-19 pandemic; 51 percent agreed spending more time at home during the pandemic helped pet owners identify flea problems sooner.

DeJesus saw a slight uptick in flea work last year. “I think a lot of it may have been pandemic driven, that people were home and noticed things a little bit more and they bought dogs and cats that maybe they wouldn’t have bought” otherwise, he said.

The pandemic-pet phenomenon reinforced the importance of providing flea control service, agreed 39 percent of PMPs. More than one-third (34 percent) said the pandemic was an opportunity for the industry to reinforce its protectors-of-public-health messaging.