June 6th is recognized as World Pest Day, a global event that was created to help increase knowledge and awareness regarding the vital service that professional pest control firms perform day in and day out to ensure public health and safety, quality of life, and peace of mind.
Ensuring a Safe, Pest and Disease-Free Environment
Recognition of World Pest Day started in 2017, when three international pest management associations — The Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA), the Federation of Asian and Oceania Pest Managers’ Association (FAOPMA) and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) — came together in an international campaign to increase knowledge and awareness of the critical role that the professional pest management industry has in safeguarding public health and ensuring a safe, pest and disease-free environment.
More than Household Bugs and Pests
Today in the U.S, the pest control industry is responsible for nearly $9 billion in annual billings, consisting of approximately 20,000 companies that employ over 143,000 service technicians.1 Pest control encompasses far more than controlling common ants, termites or bugs in a residential setting. In the context of pest control, the term “pest” can refer to any undesired plant, vegetation, weed, fungi, microbe, animal or insect.
The fact is, the importance of the industry to the nation is much broader than simply controlling annoying household pests. Pest control plays a vital role in protecting our food supply and public health. Indeed, without an acceptable pest management program, nearly every segment of the U.S. food industry would struggle to be in compliance with governmental sanitation & health regulations.
According to Dominique Stumpf, CEO at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), “Public health officials attribute the good quality of life we have today to three things, one of them being better pest control. Pests are much more than just a household nuisance, capable of transmitting sometimes fatal diseases and causing significant property damage if left unchecked. We strongly encourage homeowners to work with qualified pest control professionals to prevent and protect against pests.”
The Growing Threat of Vector-Borne Diseases
According to the Center for Disease Control, vector-borne diseases, or VBDs (those that are transmitted to humans through insect bites) caused by disease-infected ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas have tripled in the U.S. in recent years. Climate Nexus cites a number of contributing factors in this dramatic increase. Rising global temperatures can extend the season and geographic range of certain insects that carry diseases. As median temperatures increase, mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can migrate into new regions and higher areas of elevation. As an example, in some areas of the U.S, warmer temperatures are extending the season for Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
Additionally, more rainfall, flooding and higher humidity results in more breeding areas for disease-carrying insects, as well as accelerating the breeding cycle, as eggs are able to hatch faster in warmer temperatures.
With this growing threat in the U.S. from life-threatening vector-borne diseases such as malaria, West Nile, Zika and Lyme disease, pest control professionals are increasingly on the front lines of protecting public health and safety.
Facts and Figures
Here are some interesting facts about public health control and pest control:
- One in five Americans have had a bed bug infestation in their home or know someone who has encountered bed bugs either at home or in a hotel. 2
- Nearly 100% of pest professionals have treated for bed bugs in the past year. Fifteen years ago, only 25% of pest professionals reported treating for bed bugs. 3
- Each year, termites alone cause more than $5 billion in property damage. 4
- Some termites can chew through asphalt, plaster, lead, and mortar.
- Cockroaches are known to spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella, six types of parasitic worms and seven kinds of human pathogens.
- Mosquito season has grown 76% in major U.S. cities since the 1980's due to increases in hot and humid weather conditions.5
- About 68% of California will have increased probability of West Nile virus by 2050.6
Protecting the Protectors
All Risks, Ltd. is proud to take care of those who protect all of us with our Pest Control Insurance Program. This exclusive program provides coverage for pest control companies of all sizes and types, and features proprietary forms written specifically for pest control operations. Highlights of the program include:
- Competitive quoting of GL, PL, Umbrella, Auto, Property, Workers’ Compensation, and Inland Marine
- Full Limit Pollution with clean-up costs
- Termite Treatment & Inspection coverage
- Transportation Pollution Liability available
119th edition of “A Strategic Analysis of the U.S. Structural Pest Control Industry,” an annual market report created by Specialty Consultants, Jacksonville, Fla.
2NPMA 2018 Fact Sheet
3NPMA 2018 Fact Sheet
4NPMA 2018 Fact Sheet
5Climate Central, “More Mosquito Days Increasing Zika Risk in U.S.” https://www.climatecentral.org/news/more-mosquito-days-increasing-zika-risk-in-us-20553
6Climate Nexus, “Climate Risk and Spread of Vector Borne Diseases” https://climatenexus.org/climate-issues/health/climate-change-and-vector-borne-diseases/