According to the 2022 PCT State of the Ant Control Market survey, 56 percent of PMPs expected the percentage of revenue generated from ant control services to increase in 2022.

“I feel like we are going to continue to increase this segment of our services,” said Shawn Rich, CEO of Etown Exterminating in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.

The COVID-19 pandemic helped: People stayed home and noticed ant issues while stimulus money helped pay for service, even enticing do-it-yourself stalwarts to sign up. “It’s allowed us to sell to new customers that normally would never call a pest management company,” said Rich.

More than a quarter (27 percent) of PMPs said the pandemic had a positive impact on ant control revenue while 48 percent said it had no impact. Twenty- three percent said the pandemic limited their ability to grow their ant business, down from 35 percent who felt this way in 2021.

Other ant business challenges cited by pest management professionals were low-price competitors (37 percent) and the lack of qualified labor, a concern that jumped to 31 percent from 17 percent in 2021.

Finding qualified technicians was especially difficult for United Pest Solutions in Seattle, Washington. “We’re growing and we need to hire people. Trying to find people out there has been a real tough run,” said Ron Wikstrom, the company’s director of operations.

Rich asked employees for referrals and actively networked in public since he had little luck with more traditional recruiting methods.

He said an additional challenge was getting service vehicles. “We’re waiting two, three months to get a truck in. And you’re paying a premium for them, too,” said Rich.