Flea control is not the money maker it was decades ago, but it remains a consistent source of revenue for pest management companies.
“There isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t do flea services,” said Kerry Lindsey, general manager of Terminix Service Company’s Northshore branch in Slidell, La.
On average, flea control generated 4.5 percent of total company revenue or about $20,900 per company last year, according to the PCT 2021 State of the Flea Control Market survey, which was sponsored by Zoëcon/Central Life Sciences and conducted by Readex, an independent research company.
Because the service accounts for a small share of revenue, pest management professionals had mixed feelings about its importance to the business. Most (42 percent) were ambivalent — finding flea control neither important nor unimportant — but in follow-up interviews they said it is key to developing long-term customers.
Not offering flea control means potential (and possibly existing) customers will go elsewhere for it. “If you don’t offer it they’ll find somebody else and then the next time they have ants or bees or mice, who are they going to call? They’re going to call the company that took care of the fleas,” said Tony DeJesus, vice president of Big Blue Bug Solutions, which is based in Providence, R.I. and serves six states in New England.
For Dan Ledbetter, owner of Eagle Pest Control “The Ant King of Brevard” in Rockledge, Fla., the reason for offering flea control is quite simple: “I’m a professional pest control operator.” Fleas cause problems for customers; controlling them is a part of the job, he explained.
Over the past three years, the percentage of revenue generated from flea control services at companies stayed the same, reported 57 percent of PMPs.
Thirty-four percent of PMPs said the market share lost to on-pet flea control products has begun to return to the professional pest management industry; 30 percent said it has not; and 36 percent did not believe the industry lost share to such products.