For some, bed bug calls and revenues took a bit of a hit in 2020, but confidence abounds in 2021. For starters, the percentage of PMPs that offer bed bug services continues to edge upward — now at 84 percent, compared with 82 percent in 2019 and 83 percent in 2020. Even more telling is that more than half of PMPs, 52 percent, look for their bed bug revenues to increase in 2021. Only 42 percent held that optimistic outlook in 2020.

These charts tell the story of bed bug business across the U.S. — the ups, the downs and the potential outlook.


As a percentage of overall annual revenues, bed bug work may be waning slightly, although we need to be cautious about putting too much stock in the 2020 figure since it was such an unusual year. PMPs reported that bed bug services accounted for 14 percent of their 2018 revenue, about 13 percent of 2019 revenue and about 11 percent of 2020 revenue.


PMPs say they expect bed bug revenues to rebound in the coming year, as confidence around managing the pandemic rises. More than half — 52 percent — look for an increase in bed bug revenue, and another 41 percent expect revenues to hold steady. Only 7 percent of respondents look for a decrease. While confidence still lags pre-pandemic levels, it shows marked improvement over last year’s responses, when only 42 percent of PMPs expected bed bug revenue growth.


While PMPs have been reporting some downward momentum in the number of bed bug jobs for the past several years, a larger percentage of respondents — 30 percent — said their numbers were down in 2020 more than the past two years combined. This likely reflects an aberration due to the pandemic conditions of 2020; it will be interesting to see how this number may improve once 2021 year-end tallies are in.


The bulk of bed bug revenue shifted more toward residential in 2020, as 88 percent of respondents said that single-family homes and multifamily housing represented the largest proportion of those revenues. This compares to 82 percent of respondents surveyed in 2019 and 2020, reporting on their 2018 and 2019 revenues, respectively.


The economic downturn resulting from the pandemic on the hospitality industry and other commercial segments negatively affected 44 percent of companies that participated in the PCT survey. Forty-six percent said it didn’t have an effect on these accounts, and 10 percent reported it gave their commercial business a boost.