It’s almost impossible to remember what the world was like — including the pest management industry — 20 years ago. 2000 was pre-9/11, pre-iPhone and pre-COVID-19. But one thing is for sure — when PCT published the first Top 100, our industry looked a lot different than it does today. Read on to see more about how today’s industry compares to 2000’s, and how PMPs are reacting and adapting.
BONUS! Visit the May issue at www.pctonline.com to view an interactive map of all Top 100 companies, including links to their websites.
Both the highest and lowest companies on the Top 100 have grown over the past 20 years.
In 2000, #100 had service revenue of $2.6 million; in 10 years the firm that occupied that spot grew to $4.8 million, which is almost a 100 percent increase. But for the past 10 years or so, #100 has consistently come in around $5.5 million.
The highest company on the list has more than doubled its revenues too. The first #1 in 2000 generated $900 million in revenue, while 2020’s #1 is more than $2 billion.
In another 20 years, who knows how high #1 and #100 will be?
#1 vs. #100 Over the Years
|Year||#1 Company’s Revenue||#100 Company’s Revenue|
Utah: Companies, Population Moving Up
This year, there are five companies from Utah on the Top 100 (Aptive Environmental, Provo; Fox Pest Control, Logan; Greenix Pest Control, Orem; Edge, Orem; and Ardent, Highland). This is the first year Greenix appears on the list.
For the first 11 years of the list, there were no Utah companies on the Top 100. The first was Alterra (Provo) in 2013, which came in at $11.8 million. Until 2016, Alterra was the only one. (The firm was sold to Terminix in 2015.) On 2017’s list, Aptive Environmental and Edge showed up. 2019 was the first appearance of Ardent, and Fox Pest Control came onto 2020’s list.
The reasons for growth here are many. In addition to company executives being robust marketers, the state is a hotbed of growth. In a preview of 2020 U.S. Census results, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that estimates show Utah’s population increased by 485,994 people (2.5 times the size of Salt Lake City) since 2010. “That’s up by 17.6%, far above the average growth rate nationally of 6.7%,” the paper reported late last year. — Jodi Dorsch
The Big Get Bigger
It’s no secret that in any industry, the big get bigger. In fact, research from a 2019 Harvard Business Review article showed that from the mid-1990s on, the size difference between large and small firms increased continuously and rapidly. “We find that large corporations are more and more likely to maintain their dominant positions, while small corporations are less and less likely to become big and profitable. And part of the reason for this growing corporate divide between big and small firms is the growing R&D expenditures of large firms,” the authors wrote.
Over the past 20 years, the percentage of the industry’s revenue generated by the Top 100 has grown a lot. In the chart here, we compare the industry’s revenue as reported by Specialty Consultants. For the Top 100 figures (blue), we added the revenue of all of the companies on the list each year.
It’s important to note that Specialty Consultants does not include Canadian revenue in its figures nor does it include “other” services like landscaping or handyman work. The Top 100 does include those numbers. As such, it’s a bit of an “apples to oranges” comparison. But we do know that this year's Top 100 accounts for a far greater percentage of the industry's revenue than was the case in 2000.
What Happened to 2001’s Numbers?
In the chart above you’ll see the PCT Top 100 list jumps from 2000 to 2002. So what happened to 2001?
Well, like at the start of many new undertakings, you’re not always quite sure what you’re doing on Day 1. Our timing was all off that first year. Since we had never compiled a Top 100 before, we had no idea how long it would take to secure companies’ revenues. We first solicited Top 100 revenues via a form in the September 2001 issue of PCT. We asked readers to report their 2000 revenues (2001 wasn’t over yet so they couldn’t report those numbers). Then we reported on 2000 revenues in the January 2002 issue.
That data was a year old at that point, but hey, it was the first time we took on this big project. The following year, in 2003, we got on the schedule we are now: Ask for revenue figures in January through March (for the previous year, of course) and run the Top 100 List in the May issue. So, the figures reported in 2002 were from FY 2000; from 2003 to present the figures are previous year revenues. — Jodi Dorsch
Top 100 Timeline
Familiar Faces, Different Places
As we worked on this 20th anniversary Top 100 issue, we flipped through a lot of old issues of PCT magazine.
While the original Top 100 “Top 10” looks very different compared to this year’s Top 10, it also looks strikingly familiar. Take for instance Rollins/Orkin, Terminix, Ecolab and Termnix Service (Columbia, S.C.). Those four companies were all in the inaugural Top 10 and are on this year’s list as well. But upon closer inspection, all of the inaugural companies in the top 10 are still on this year’s Top 10. (Except Truly Nolen, which comes in this year at #11, just one spot out of contention for this table.)
You see, Orkin, Centex Pest Management, Western Pest Services (Parsippany, N.J.) and Clark Pest Control (Lodi, Calif.) are all part of the Rollins family of companies today. J.C. Ehrlich and Western Exterminator (Anaheim, Calif.) are legacy companies of Rentokil. As for the other five “new” companies? Massey Services came onto the Top 10 in 2011; Arrow Exterminators in 2007; Aptive Environmental in 2017; Anticimex in 2018; and Cook’s Pest Control in 2004. — Jodi Dorsch