Mosquito-borne disease concerns are spurring demand for mosquito work.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Zika virus and the disease-spreading potential of mosquitoes have heightened public awareness of the importance of mosquito control. Specialty Consultants estimates that governmental agencies treated nearly 80 million acres in the U.S. to control mosquitoes in 2016, primarily those spreading diseases such as West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, as well as nuisance mosquitoes. More than 90 percent of these treated acres were sprayed with adulticides. Mosquito larvicides were applied to an estimated 5 million acres in 2016.

There are about 2,100 governmental agencies (city, county, state), including 950 mosquito abatement districts (MADs) providing mosquito abatement services in the United States, according to the latest report, A Strategic Analysis of the U.S. Mosquito Control Industry, from Specialty Consultants. Many mosquito control programs were started with seed money from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the 1990s, when West Nile virus began to spread in the United States.

More than one-third of the professional pest control industry, or an estimated 7,000 companies, offered mosquito control services. In the Southeast and South Central regions, about half of all companies offered a mosquito control service to their residential and commercial customers. Nationwide, pest control companies generated an estimated $157.7 million in service revenue, primarily (93.3%) from residential accounts.

More than 800 mosquito control franchise (e.g., Mosquito Authority, Mosquito Squad, etc.) locations were operating in the U.S. this past year. On average, they reported servicing more than 250 accounts per branch. About five percent of the lawn care companies (LCOs) surveyed provided mosquito control as part of their service. Respondents reported that on average, just over one percent of their total 2016 service revenue was from mosquito control services. “More than 4.6 million mosquito barrier treatments were performed by PCOs, LCOs, and mosquito franchise operations this past year,” said Gary Curl, founder and president of Specialty Consultants.

This study identified 17 manufacturers of 58 brands of mosquito control products. The leading suppliers, in terms of revenue, were Clarke and Valent.

There has been extraordinary attention paid to the emergence and spread of the Zika virus by Aedes spp. mosquitoes. The news media and the government have raised questions about the characterization and capacity of the mosquito control industry. This comprehensive market study delves into critical details about the government agencies, pest control and lawn care firms offering control services, and the emerging mosquito control franchise chains.

Specialty Consultants conducted in-depth interviews with more than 75 representatives of mosquito abatement districts, key state and county mosquito control agencies, contractors providing control service to municipalities, five state epidemiologists, departments of agriculture, the CDC, public health agencies, and more than 50 representatives of leading mosquito franchises, to assess the overall size and scope of these segments of the mosquito control market in the United States. These interviews were supplemented by interviews with distributor management, university researchers, government officials, and other industry experts to properly characterize the U.S. mosquito control market. Specialty Consultants conducted 1,675 structured surveys of professional pest control operators (PCOs), lawn care professionals (LCOs), golf course superintendents, and sports turf facility managers, for this study. The surveys were conducted from late October 2016 through early-February 2017.

In Memoriam: Greg Campbell


LA PORTE, Ind. — The pest control industry mourns the loss of Greg Campbell, owner of Hatfield Pest Control, La Porte, Ind., and longtime chair of the Purdue Pest Management Conference Planning Committee. Campbell passed away on May 13, at his home.

A Purdue University graduate (1973), Campbell worked for pest control companies in the Chicago area in the mid-1970s. Campbell met Dean Hatfield at an Indiana Pest Control Association meeting in South Bend, Ind., in 1979. Hatfield invited him to visit the home office of Hatfield Pest Control to look over his operation and discuss his future plans. Less than a month later, Campbell was working for Hatfield, and about a year after that Campbell bought him out, becoming owner of Hatfield Pest Control.

Campbell made many contributions to the pest control industry in Indiana, and in the Midwest. He chaired the Purdue Planning Committee from 2001 to 2016, where he was “instrumental in helping the conference stay true to its mission of promoting progressive pest management training for our industry,” according to Gary Bennett, professor and director of the Urban Pest Management Center.

In addition to serving as the conference chair, Campbell has been a member the Indiana Pesticide Review Board, which he was a part of for 10 years, representing structural applicators in categories 7A and 7B.

In 2015, Campbell sold Hatfield Pest Control to daughter Carrie Campbell.

Trump’s Proposed Lower Corporate Tax Rate Good News for PCOs

FAIRFAX, Va. — The pest control industry has joined other industries in the fight to lower the corporate tax rate.

At March’s National Pest Management Association Legislative Day, attendees discussed this issue with their congressional representatives. The movement to lower the corporate tax gained traction in the summer of 2016 after Republicans published “A Better Way for Tax Reform,” a plan to drop the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

The most recent development occurred in April when President Donald Trump announced his proposed tax plan, which NPMA Vice President of Public Policy Andrew Bray interprets as lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 to 15 percent, and lowering “pass through” entity tax rates to as low as 15 percent. (An S corp is an example of a “pass through” entity.) At press time, details of President Trump’s tax plan were sparse, but Bray said NPMA is monitoring the situation closely and “this is a welcome development in lowering business tax rates for NPMA members.”

Pest Control Industry Mourns Loss of Albert ‘Bud’ Snyder

EUTAWVILLE, S.C. — Albert E. “Bud” Snyder, longtime pest control industry professional, died on April 26. He was 91. A WWII Navy veteran, Snyder graduated from Penn State University in 1951 with BS degrees in education and entomology. After stints with Truly Nolen, Orkin and Terminix, Snyder and wife Lil purchased Walterboro, S.C.-based Palmetto Exterminators in 1976. They operated the business until 1999, when they retired. Synder was a two-term president of the South Carolina Pest Control Association and was inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame in 1992. He was a 1993 PCT/Syngenta Crown Leadership Award honoree.

He is survived by his wife, Lillian “Lil” Snyder; sons, Bruce (Nan Gelhard) Snyder of Akron, Ohio, Barry (Barbara) Snyder of Birdsboro, Pa., Brett (Susan) Snyder of Gap, Pa., Lance (Tara) Snyder of Charleston, S.C., and Bert (Katherine) Snyder of Hollywood, S.C.; sister, Gay Richards of Alburtis, Pa.; and grandchildren, John Albert, Christina, Hudson, Carly, Braxton, Brent, and Asa; and many nieces and nephews.

NPMA P3 Steering Committee Continues Industry Dialogue

FAIRFAX, Va. — In May, 20 industry leaders met to discuss current and future trends, their impact on the pest management industry, and how the National Pest Management Association can proactively respond to the industry’s emerging needs.

“Strategic planning and goal setting is important for any organization,” said NPMA CEO Dominique Stumpf. “The coming years present many potential changes and challenges and efforts such as those of the P3 Steering Committee help articulate priorities and focus key efforts.”

During this two-day meeting sponsored by BASF and Forshaw, participants advanced the discussion that began in May 2016 during the P3 Strategic Planning Summit by focusing on trends in such areas as technology, science, consumer outreach, public health, environment and legislation.

“Through regular review and analysis by our steering committee, we are assured that we remain in a proactive position to support our industry,” said Stumpf.

The P3 Steering Committee is chaired by Scott Steckel of Varment Guard Environmental Services in Columbus, Ohio, and comprised of 20 industry leaders from across the country who represent all segments of the industry.

Learn more at


Arrow Announces the E. Raymond Crim III Scholarship Program

Atlanta, Ga. — Atlanta-based Arrow Exterminators is proud to announce the establishment of the E. Raymond Crim III Scholarship Program. Arrow Exterminators will fund this $5,000 scholarship annually and preference will be given to applicants with military service and to individuals whose families serve in the pest control industry. This scholarship is designed complement existing scholarships within the industry.

Crim started his career in an unlikely place, Vietnam, where he proudly served his country as a member of the armed forces with the Preventive Medicine Unit — Mosquito Control and Research Division. His role during the war served as his introduction to the pest control industry where he set a great example of leadership and integrity in the business. On Jan. 4, 2016, Crim officially retired from Arrow Exterminators after 25 years of service to the firm and 44 years of service to the industry.

Arrow says it is pleased to establish and fund the scholarship to honor Crim and his integral work to the industry and his country. The scholarship is open to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate college with at least two semesters completed and in good academic standing. The applicants must submit an essay describing their professional goals and how they plan to use their studies to contribute to their field.

Joe Thomas, owner and chairman of the board, Arrow Exterminators, stated, “At Arrow Exterminators we have always believed in giving back to the industry that has given so much to us. We are thrilled to continue to support the industry and to honor our good friend Ray Crim with the establishment of the E. Raymond Crim III Scholarship Program. Ray’s love and dedication to the pest control industry as well as the men and women of the U.S. military are an integral part of who he is and so this scholarship seemed to be the perfect fit.” Learn more and download the form.

Arguments Heard in Montgomery County Lawn Care Ban Case

WASHINGTON — RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) along with six local businesses and seven residents, presented oral arguments on May 19, in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Md., asking the court to declare a law banning almost all lawn care product use on private property as illegal because it is preempted by state law.

The lawsuit arises from the October 2015 adoption of Bill 52-14 which prohibits the use of widely available lawn and garden products on private and county property by residents and professionals. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, for private property, improperly banning the use of hundreds of state-licensed lawn care products on private property throughout the county, according to RISE. “Maryland law comprehensively and uniformly regulates the registration, sale, and use of pesticides across the state. The pesticide uses the ban would prohibit were already reviewed, licensed and approved for use by state regulators,” said Aaron Hobbs, RISE president.

Hobbs added, “Today we were joined by more than 30 RISE members, county business owners and residents as we made our case that Montgomery County’s lawn care ban is preempted by state law. Those 30 people represented the hundreds of people that have been engaged with us on this issue for nearly four years — a true testament to the power of grass-roots engagement and its impact. Now we await the court’s decision.”

This is a developing story and PCT will have updates as they become available.

Native North American Mosquito Can Transmit Zika, New Study Finds

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — As reported by the Entomological Society of America, a new study from researchers at the University of North Dakota found that Aedes vexans, a mosquito species indigenous to North America, has the capability to transmit Zika. This is the first native North American mosquito species shown to be able to transmit the virus. The results are published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

To test the capability of the species to become infected with the virus, the researchers used mosquitoes collected from North Dakota and Minnesota and fed them blood containing Zika virus. Some (about 3 percent) developed infections. Then, infected mosquitoes were tested to see if they could transmit the virus. Surprisingly, Ae. vexans had a higher transmission rate than Aedes aegypti, which was tested alongside Ae. vexans in the study and is the primary vector of Zika.

“Because of its wide geographic distribution, often extreme abundance, and aggressive human biting activity, Ae. vexans could serve as a potential vector for Zika virus in northern latitudes where the conventional vectors, Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, cannot survive,” the researchers wrote.

The researchers added that while the mosquito might be capable of transmitting the virus, it doesn’t necessarily mean an outbreak of Zika in northern latitudes is close at hand or even likely.

Pest Prevention Presentation Available for
PCOs to Present to Community Groups

St. Louis, Mo. – Compelling Communications is offering a Pest Prevention Presentation Kit designed as a tool for PCOs to use in making presentations to community groups like Chambers of Commerce, BNI, PTAs and others.

“We’ve had requests for presentation materials like these by PCOs, so we are pleased to offer this comprehensive presentation kit,” said June Van Klaveren, owner of Compelling Communications.

The 15-20 minute presentation focuses on steps a homeowner can take to remove the three life requirements of pests: food, shelter and water. Shown in vivid photographs, the 21-screen PowerPoint file is ready to customize with the company’s name, logo, phone number and website. The kit includes: Public speaking tips; detailed script with prop suggestions; PowerPoint file; and promotional information to be sent to the event coordinator.

For more information visit,, call 636/394-4148 or email

DNA Analysis Results of Invasive Conehead Termites Confirm Human Transport

Conehead termite soldiers walking on a glove.
Barbara Thorne

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. — As highlighted in PCT’s February 2017 issue, invasive conehead termites (Nasutitermes corniger) were found in Pompano Beach, Fla., in January 2016, at a site 13 miles from the first known conehead infestation in Dania Beach, Fla. (discovered in 2001).

Results just came in from genetic analyses of conehead termites collected from Dania Beach and Pompano Beach. The research was conducted in the lab of Dr. Ed Vargo, Texas A&M University, in collaboration with Drs. Barbara Thorne (University of Maryland) and Eldridge Adams (University of Connecticut). The research objective was to determine whether one of the exotic conehead termite populations is derived from the other, or if each infestation is due to a separate, independent introduction from the termite’s broad native range (Central and South America and islands in the Caribbean).

The conclusion of the study: DNA comparisons of conehead termites from Dania Beach and Pompano Beach are entirely consistent with all coneheads in both locations being descendants from a single introduced ‘source’ colony. One of the populations resulted from human transport, or “hitchhiking,” from the other.

Transit of potentially infested wood and plant materials (wooden pallets; downed tree trunks, branches, yard waste; railroad ties; discarded wooden furniture) is known between infested properties in the two locations. The now proven risk of human transport spreading this invasive termite underscores the need for responsible waste disposal; caution when moving palettes, railroad ties, and plants from conehead-infested areas; as well as expanded outreach so professionals and residents recognize, report, and immediately treat invasive coneheads. Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, leader of the exotic conehead termite containment, control, and eradication program, continues to enhance these operational priorities. — Submitted by Dr. Barbara Thorne

Orkin Releases Top 50 Mosquito Cities List

ATLANTA – The Atlanta area tops Orkin’s list of Top 50 Mosquito Cities for the fourth year in a row. Atlanta is followed on the list by Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Twenty-one metro areas in the Southeast are included in the ranking, which is the most of any region in the United States.

“Mosquitoes are a public health threat,” said Orkin entomologist, Mark Beavers, Ph.D. “Zika virus is currently one of the most notable illnesses that can be spread by mosquitoes, and it will likely be a problem again this year, especially in areas where the type of mosquito that can carry the virus thrives.” Beavers recently participated in CDC’s 2017 Aedes Vector Control Summit, a forum dedicated to improving mosquito control methods and reducing the risk of diseases such as Zika virus.

Orkin’s Top 50 Mosquito Cities list ranks metro areas by the number of mosquito customers served from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.

  1. Atlanta
  2. Washington, D.C. (+1)
  3. Chicago (-1)
  4. New York (+1)
  5. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (+8)
  6. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  7. Houston (+5)
  8. Detroit (-4)
  9. Charlotte, N.C. (-1)
  10. Nashville, Tenn. (-3)
  11. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (+11)
  12. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla. (+11)
  13. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va. (+1)
  14. Memphis, Tenn. (-3)
  15. Mobile-Pensacola, Fla. (+11)
  16. West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce, Fla. (+15)
  17. Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (-8)
  18. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich. (-3)
  19. Boston (-9)
  20. Phoenix, Ariz.
  21. Philadelphia (+9)
  22. Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C., Asheville, N.C (-6)
  23. Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (-2)
  24. Kansas City, Mo. (+25)
  25. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (-7)
  26. St. Louis, Mo.
  27. New Orleans, La. (+16)
  28. Baltimore, Md. (+9)
  29. Los Angeles
  30. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. (-11)
  31. Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (-8)
  32. Lafayette, La. (+12)
  33. Knoxville, Tenn. (+1)
  34. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. (-17)
  35. Indianapolis, Ind. (-8)
  36. Birmingham, Ala. (+11)
  37. Austin, Texas (+11)
  38. Cincinnati, Ohio (+7)
  39. San Antonio, Texas
  40. Baton Rouge, La.
  41. Charleston, S.C. (-16)
  42. Shreveport, La.
  43. Columbia, S.C.
  44. Columbus, Ohio (-12)
  45. Bangor, Maine (-16)
  46. Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Mich. (-18)
  47. Greensboro-High Pt.-Winston-Salem, N.C. (-9)
  48. Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C. (-2)
  49. Tulsa, Okla. (-13)
  50. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Ark.

Visit to download a mosquito infographic created by Orkin.