More than half (51 percent) of PMPs expect revenue from tick control services to increase in 2020, found the PCT 2020 State of the Tick Control Market survey.
“We’ve gotten more calls than we have in the past about (tick control) and a lot more clients are adding that on,” said Cassi Magnus, Phoenix Pest and Wildlife Control.
A-Action Pest Control expected revenue from its yard treatment program to increase by 30 percent. “We’re forecasting a strong year in all areas of pest control but ticks especially coming out of the gate,” said Adam Ring.
By early April, John Vollmer of Tick Ranger already had gained 900 new customers and he had yet to advertise his service for this season. His biggest challenge: finding enough staff to do the work. “That would be our hurdle,” he said.
The mild winter will boost tick populations this year. “They’ve already started; they’re already bad,” reported Sherry Tallent, A & A Pest Control, Cuba, Mo., in early April.
“Once the temperatures get up and over 45 (degrees), especially if you’ve got bright sunshine, the ticks are going to be active,” explained Vollmer.
Customers are noticing the ticks because they’re spending more time in the yard due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Kids are playing outdoors because they’re not in school; people are gardening since they’re furloughed and can’t leave the property.
“The phone’s been ringing off the hook. People want to protect their yards even more so because they’re home and they’re actually seeing these ticks. They want us there yesterday,” said David Whitman, Connecticut Tick Control.
Vollmer, who expected his business to grow to 9,500 customers in 2020, agreed: “They’re all on virus alert. People don’t want the coronavirus and then have Lyme.”