Category Archives: Termite Pest Control

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Foresee: All you need to know before investing in Pest Control Market KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper – KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper

Posted: May 13, 2021 at 1:50 am

The global market for pest control is estimated to experience a negative impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the crisis, major manufacturers experienced several issues such as disruption in raw material supply and less production due to lockdown of industries, which restricted the demand and supply for insecticides across the globe. However, leading market participants are concentrating on product developments and advancements to gain a competitive edge in the overall industry. For example, in November 2020, Bayer, a leading insecticides manufacturer, introduced a new product called Fludora Co-Max. This product is an effective way to combat vector borne diseases and resist mosquitoes. Such product launches are expected to create a major impact on the on-going activities to sustainably and actively tackle the rising pest problems. These initiatives made by market leaders are predicted to have significant impact on the global market during this time.

Global Pest Control Market Analysis

The increasing prevalence of vector-borne diseases across the globe is estimated to fuel the market growth during the forecast time. As per Rentokil, a global leader in pest control services, more than 3.9 billion people across the 128 countries are at higher risk of contracting dengue fever and they estimated about 96 million new cases occurring per year globally. This factor is predicted to increase the demand for pest control products and is anticipated to drive the industry growth in the forecast time. In addition, rise of pest intolerance due to rising consumer awareness about health and other hygiene issues may drive the pest control market growth in the analysis timeframe. Moreover, 29% Americans experience rodent issues in commercial, residential, and agricultural sectors and this will propel the market growth during the forecast period. In China, every year, termites are the reason for about $1 billion economic losses as they cause floor damages, ceiling damages, and others similar issues. Such aspects are estimated to enhance the growth of the market in the review time.

However, increasing concerns related to toxicity of the pest control chemicals and stringent regulations imposed by the governments for the approval of these products are significant factors acting as restraints for the growth of the market in the forecast time.

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Emergence of biological pest elimination products to minimize the use of chemicals in pest control is estimated to propel the opportunities for the industry growth in the upcoming years. This growth is majorly attributed to biorational or biological pesticide products containing pheromones or living microorganisms, which are non-toxic and best alternatives for chemical products.

Global Pest Control Market, Segmentation

The global pest control market is categorized based on pest type, control type, end user, and region.

Pest Type:

The pest type segment is further categorized into rodents, insects, termites, and others. Among these, the termites pest control sub-segment is anticipated to have the fastest growth rate and surpass $9,095.4 million by 2027, with a healthy CAGR of 5.5%.

The sub-segment growth can be attributed to increasing usage of pest control products to control termites as there is rise in urbanization and termites are considered as the main reason for wood structure losses. As per U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans spend about $1 billion on termite control and related services per year to avoid property damage caused by termites. This aspect is estimated to fuel the pest control market growth in the analysis period.

Control Type:

The control segment is further categorized into biological, mechanical, chemical, and others. The biological sub-segment is anticipated to have a lucrative growth in the forecast years and is anticipated to register a revenue of $5,510.0 million during the analysis timeframe.

The sub-segment growth is projected to be due to the increasing importance of biological practices to control pests in agricultural, residential, and commercial places as biological products are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Also, International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC), an organization affiliated with the International Union of Biological Sciences, supports the research and practitioners in the biocontrol practices to identify the major restrictions to biocontrol uptake in the pest control market. This aspect is estimated to result in lucrative growth in the pest control market in the coming years.

End User:

The end user segment is further categorized into agriculture, residential, industrial, commercial, and others. The residential pest control sub-segment is predicted to have a rapid growth in the forecast time and generate a revenue of $7,974.7 million by 2027.

Increasing consumer awareness about vector-based diseases due to climate changes is creating significant importance for residential pest control. This is because pest control is necessary in residential places to avoid health issues and property damages. This aspect is estimated to accelerate the growth of the pest control market during the analysis time.


The pest control market for the Asia-Pacific region is projected to witness rapid growth and generate a revenue of $8,168.0 million by the end of 2027.

The demand for pest control services is surging in the Asia-Pacific region specifically because the rise in population has directly impacted the pest control use in agriculture sector to meet the increasing food demand. Also, increase in pest intolerance due to rising living standards of individuals in Asia-Pacific countries due to rising consumer focus on hygiene and pest free environments is estimated to fuel the growth of the market in the analysis time.

Key Players in theGlobal Pest Control Market

1 Bayer AG2 Syngenta3 Corteva4 Rollins, Inc.5 The Terminix International6 UPL7 FMC Corporation8 ADAMA Ltd9 Rentokil Initial plc10 BASF SE

Along with the company profiles of the key players in the market, the report includes the Porters five forces model that gives deep insights into the competitive environment of the market.

Porters Five Forces Analysis for the Global Pest Control Market


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Foresee: All you need to know before investing in Pest Control Market KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper

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Signs That You Have a Termite Problem – Westside Today

Posted: at 1:50 am

There are some things in your home that you never want to see. Pests are one of them. These unwanted guests come in different shapes and sizes, but each can present its own set of problems. One of the biggest threats is the sight of termites. Not only do these insects infest your home in large numbers, but they can create unsafe conditions for you and your family. The presence of termites can make it impossible to sell your home if youre interested in putting it on the market. Termites can also lower the value of your house. Its important to recognize the clues that termites are living in your house. Being aware of these signs can tell you when its time to call for help to get rid of them.

Its Hard to Shut and Open Doors

Have you recently found that doors that once closed tightly and that once opened without any problems are now causing you fits? You may initially think that the door is simply getting old, was hung incorrectly, or has other manufacturing issues. However, the culprit here could be termites. These home invaders eat through wood, which can cause warping in the door frame. The wood frames may change shape or sag, making it more of an issue to open and shut the door. This problem will get worse over time and will not fix itself.

There Are Tunnels in Wood

Termites could be in your home for weeks, months, or even years before you realize it. Obviously, its not easy to see inside your walls, so you might have to look for evidence outside of these areas. If you have wood lying on the property near your home or wood in the house, keep an eye out for spaces where termites have made their mark. These insects enjoy making tunnels through the wood. They wont consume the entire piece but will instead eat through smaller sections, making holes. If you spot this in noticeable pieces of wood, termites have probably infiltrated your place.

You See the Termites Themselves

The signs are sometimes easy to point out. You may see the actual perpetrator itself crawling on walls or across your floor. So, its important to be able to identify these insects. Termites come in various types, but most are typically the size of ants. Termites have white, transparent wings and are about a quarter of an inch in length. They also have short, straight antennae.

You May Hear the Termites

It may be unnerving, but there could be cases where you can hear the termites chewing inside your walls or ceilings. Termites live in huge colonies. Queens can lay up to 25 eggs per minute, so the colonies can be enormous. When the insects are all together, they can make noise, as they often bang their heads into the wood when they sense danger. Also, if you pay close enough attention, you can actually hear the critters chewing the wood.

You See Sawdust on the Ground

As youre walking around your home, you may see little piles of sawdust here and there. This isnt something you should ignore or take lightly. Its a good bet that the wood inside your walls is filled with holes.

You Spot Droppings

Like any animal, termites will make their marks in the form of waste. Knowing how to spot termite droppings can help you correctly identify that these pests have decided to take up residence in your house. Many termites will not use their droppings to build their nests but will instead push them out of the holes near their nests. If you see black marks on the wall or floor, or if you notice any powdery substances in the house, it could be termite waste.

Your Walls Sound Hollow

As you start to suspect the presence of termites, you might seek further confirmation through other clues. One way you can do this is to tap on the walls where you know there is a beam of wood. As you do this, you shouldnt normally detect any hollowness. If you do hear the sound of hollowed-out wood as you tap, its probably because termites have had some meals.

Paint Problems

Some homeowners may confuse water damage and termite problems. One reason for this is how the paint on your walls looks. If you see that the paint is uneven or has started to bubble, get in touch with an exterminator. It could mean that termites are in the walls creating problems.

You should never put off a call to a professional to inspect for termites. If you have any of these signs and clues in your home, get help right away. The best pest control companies in Los Angeles, CA can tell you whether your suspicions are correct and can eliminate these destructive pests once and for all.

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Top 10 Tips for Preventing Ticks and Lyme Disease – The Wellsboro Gazette

Posted: at 1:50 am

READING, Penn., May 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- After being cooped up because of the pandemic, the last thing people want to worry about while enjoying the outdoors are pests. Unfortunately, as temperatures rise and people spend more time outside, the threat of tick bites and transmission of diseases increase.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there was a 44% increase in Lyme disease cases from the previous estimate, with more than 476,000 cases in the United States. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, which feed on the blood of humans and animals, as well as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tick Paralysis.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness and symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue and a bullseye-shaped rash. Lyme disease can have long-lasting effects if not treated quickly, such as Bell's palsy, arthritis and swelling of the joints.

This week is Tick Awareness Week, which aligns with Lyme Disease Awareness Month, to provide the opportunity to learn about prevention and protection against ticks. There are several steps to take to ensure people are properly protected to safeguard against tick-related threats.

Nancy Troyano, Board Certified Entomologist and Director of Operations Education and Training for Ehrlich Pest Control, shared her top 10 tips for preventing tick bites:

o At least 20% DEET

o Picaridin (KBR 3023 or Icaridin outside of the U.S.)

o IR3535

o Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) - not to be confused with Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil/Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

o Para-menthane-diol (PMD)

o 2-Undecanone (Essential Oil)

For more information on tick control and prevention, please visit


For nearly a century, customers have trusted Ehrlich Pest Control to protect their families, homes and businesses from pests and the health threats and damages they can cause.

Since its founding in Reading, PA in 1928, Ehrlich has expanded to serve across the United States, with more than 50 offices serving nearly 20 states and the District of Columbia. With its team of highly trained, local experts, Ehrlich provides proactive pest control solutions through monitoring, prevention, and maintenance. Those solutions include general pest control, rodent, termite, bed bug, mosquito, wildlife management, and TAP (thermal, acoustical, pest control)insulation services, and more. Ehrlich is part of Rentokil, the world's largest pest control company. Rentokil and its companies, including Ehrlich Pest Control, Western Exterminator and Presto-X Pest Control, provide commercial and residential pest control to customers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

For more information, visit Ehrlich at and connect on LinkedIn orFacebook.


Erin Kelly

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Dry wood Termites swarming across Southwest Florida could cost thousands of dollars in damage – Fox 4

Posted: at 1:50 am

CAPE CORAL, Fla. Mothers day is right around the corner but, Dry wood Termites are surely not the gift moms are looking for.

We like to call these Dry wood Termites the Mother's Day termites because they do typically swarm around this time of year so people commonly think of them around Mother's Day coming out, said Anna Wallace, Branch Manager with Truly Nolen Pest Control, Cape Coral.

However, the termites are swarming around Southwest Florida.

The humidity has increased which you can notice outside, and thats what actually causes the termites to swarm. When they sense that change in the weather and the higher humidity coming about, the queen termite says, alright little guys it's time to swarm and go find a new home, said Wallace.

On the other hand, the termites are looking for a new home, that could potentially be yours.

Here in Cape Coral, most houses have about a quarter acre lot and one important fact to keep in mind is that, termite colonies on an average acre in Florida you can have 3-5 termite colonies living on that acre. About 1 in 7 houses in the state of Florida will end up with termites, which of course protecting your investment is very critical. Unfortunately, when you do finally notice the damage it's usually about the $8,000 level. Keep in mind with that kind of cost involved we are in a very hot market with building and selling homes, and so when you think about the rising cost of lumber thats really important and critical to consider, said Wallace.

Anna Wallace with Truly Nolen Pest Control says it's important to start preventative measures right away.

If you see flying bugs with wings all of sudden going around your house or right outside of your house its critical that you call a professional to have it inspected and dealt with whatever may be found. So there are products that can be treated on the wood in order to prevent termites from getting into the wood and even if they do they will die from eating the treatment afterward. Call a professional, get it inspected and protect your investment in the long run, said Wallace.

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Who are the top key players in the Urban Pest Management Market? SoccerNurds – SoccerNurds

Posted: April 15, 2021 at 1:51 am

JCMRrecently broadcasted a new study in its database that highlights the in-depth market analysis with future prospects ofUrban Pest Management market.The study covers significant data which makes the research document a handy resource for managers, industry executives and other key people get ready-to-access and self analyzed study along with graphs and tables to help understand market trends, drivers and market challenges. Some of the key players mentioned in this research areIndian Pest Control Company, Terminix, LP Pest Solutions, Mitie, Brunswick Pest Control, Venus Pest Company, POC Pest, Home Paramount, Pesticon,

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COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered novel corona virus. Largely unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan (China) in December 2019, COVID-19 has moved from a regional crisis to a global pandemic in just a matter of a few weeks.

In addition, production and supply chain delays were also witnessed during the second quarter which poised a challenge to the Urban Pest Management market, since end-user industries were still not operating at their full capacity.

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What are the markets problems in Urban Pest Management?

Changing regulatory landscapes, operational barriers, and the emergence of alternative technologies are all impacting the Urban Pest Management industry.

What are the various types of Urban Pest Management Market?

Based on type, the Urban Pest Management market is divided into Mosquito, Bed Bug, Termite, Cockroaches, Other,. In 2021, the segment held the largest share.

Who are the top key players in the Urban Pest Management market?

Indian Pest Control Company, Terminix, LP Pest Solutions, Mitie, Brunswick Pest Control, Venus Pest Company, POC Pest, Home Paramount, Pesticon,

Who are the key end-users of the Urban Pest Management market?

The Urban Pest Management market is divided into Residential, Commercial, Other, other end users.

Which region is the most profitable for the Urban Pest Management market?

The emerging economies in the Asia Pacific region will be the lucrative markets for Urban Pest Management products. .

What is the current size of the Urban Pest Management market?

The current market size of global Urban Pest Management market is estimated to be USD XX in 2021.

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North America is the regions largest market forUrban Pest Management.

North America includes countries such as the US, Canada, and Mexico. North America is the second-largest consumer and producer of electricity, after Asia Pacific. The US and Canada, which are among the largest consumers in this region as well as globally, constitute the largest share of theUrban Pest Managementmarket.

Secondary Research:

This research study made extensive use of secondary sources, directories, and databases such as Hoovers, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Factiva, and OneSource to identify and collect information useful for a technical, market-oriented, and commercial study of the global portable generator market. Other secondary sources included company annual reports, press releases, and investor presentations, white papers, certified publications, articles by recognized authors, manufacturer associations, trade directories, and databases.


Various sources from both the supply and demand sides were interviewed during the primary research process to obtain qualitative and quantitative information for this report. Primary sources included industry experts from the core and related industries, as well as preferred suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, technology developers, researchers, and organizations from all segments of the value chain of this industry. To obtain and verify critical qualitative and quantitative information, in-depth interviews were conducted with a variety of primary respondents, including key industry participants, subject-matter experts, C-level executives of key market players, and industry consultants.

Estimation of Market Size

The total size of the Urban Pest Management market was estimated and validated using both top-down and bottom-up approaches. These methods were also widely used to estimate the size of various market sub segments. The following research methodologies were used to estimate market size:

Extensive secondary research was used to identify the industrys key players.

The revenues generated by the markets leading players in molecular diagnostics have been determined through primary and secondary research.

All percentage shares, splits, and breakdowns were calculated using secondary sources and confirmed using primary sources.

TABLE OF CONTENTS OF Urban Pest Management Market Report


1.1 study objectives1.2 definition1.3 inclusions & exclusions

1.4 market scope1.5 years considered1.6 currency1.7 limitations1.8 stakeholders1.9 summary of changes

2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY2.1 research data

2.2 market breakdown and data triangulation2.3 scope2.4 impact of covid-19 on industry2.5 market size estimation3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


4.1 attractive opportunities in Urban Pest Management market4.2 Urban Pest Management market, by region4.3 Urban Pest Management market in North America, by end user & country4.4 Urban Pest Management market, by application4.5 Urban Pest Management market, by end user5 MARKET OVERVIEW5.1 introduction5.2 covid-19 health assessment5.3 road to recovery

5.4 covid-19 economic assessment5.5 market dynamics

5.6 trends5.7 market map5.8 average pricing of Urban Pest Management5.9 trade statistics5.8 value chain analysis5.9 technology analysis5.10 tariff and regulatory landscape

5.11 Urban Pest Management: patent analysis5.14 porters five forces analysis6 Urban Pest Management MARKET, BY APPLICATION

6.1 Introduction6.2 Emergency6.3 Prime/Continuous

7 Urban Pest Management MARKET, BY END USER7.1 Introduction7.2 Residential7.3 Commercial7.4 Industrial8 GEOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS

8.1 Introduction8.2 North America8.3 Asia Pacific8.4 Europe8.5 Middle East & Africa8.6 South America9 COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE9.1 Key Players Strategies9.2 Market Share Analysis Of Top Five Players9.3 Market Evaluation Framework9.4 Revenue Analysis Of Top Five Market Players9.5 Company Evaluation Quadrant9.6 Competitive Leadership Mapping Of Start-Ups9.7 Competitive Scenario10 COMPANY PROFILES10.1 Major Players10.2 Startup/Sme Players11 APPENDIX11.1 Insights Of Industry Experts11.2 Discussion Guide11.3 Knowledge Store11.4 Available Customizations11.5 Related Reports11.6 Author Details

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Five Ways You Could Be Attracting Termites to Your Home – PR Web

Posted: March 11, 2021 at 5:43 am

With spring around the corner, now is the time of year when termites begin to swarm, said Court Parker, Chief Executive Officer at Bug Busters, Inc.

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (PRWEB) March 10, 2021

This March, Bug Busters, Inc. and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are working to spread public awareness during Termite Awareness Week, March 7- 13, 2021 about the extensive damage these pests can cause to homes. Recognized by Chases Calendar of Events, this annual observance is the perfect time to highlight the estimated $5 billion in property damage termites cause in the U.S. each yeardamage that is typically not covered by homeowners insurance. To help prevent an infestation before it begins, Bug Busters, Inc. is sharing some of the ways homeowners could be attracting termites to their homes and how to stop them before its too late.

With spring around the corner, now is the time of year when termites begin to swarm, said Court Parker, Chief Executive Officer at Bug Busters, Inc. Although there are only a few species of termites homeowners need to be concerned about in the U.S., each of them has the ability to overtake your property and cause costly damage. When it comes to preventing a termite infestation, its important to know what actions you can take to ensure youre not attracting them to your home in the first place.

Homeowners can keep their property protected from termites by doing their best to avoid the following:

1. Stacking firewood near the home. Firewood is especially attractive to termites, and having it too close to the home can attract them inside. Be sure to store firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five feet off of the ground. 2. Improper drainage. Termites love water and clogged gutters offer the perfect opportunity to collect moisture. Divert rainwater away from the foundation of your home using down-spout extenders and be sure to regularly clear your gutters of leaves and debris. 3. Excess mulch. Although mulch can provide a beautiful touch to your yard, it serves as a meal for termites and also retains water. Minimize the use of mulch and be sure to keep it at least 15 inches from the foundation of the home. 4. Trees growing near the home. Tree limbs and leaves can provide a pathway to your home for termites seeking a new colony location. 5. Excess wood throughout the yard. Any rotting wood material is an easy meal for termites, so be sure to remove any logs or tree stumps from your property.

For more information about termites, or to contact a licensed pest control professional, please visit


About Bug Busters, Inc.Bug Busters, Inc. has been serving the Southeast since 1984. With branch offices in Georgia and Tennessee, they offer environmentally-friendly pest control solutions to protect customers' homes, businesses, families, and pets-

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Weathering the storm of termite season in Midland –

Posted: at 5:43 am

MIDLAND, Texas Treating termites is a part of homeownership that is less than picture perfect.

"We were having our kitchen cabinets replaced, and during the removal of the kitchen cabinets, that's when we found the termites," Devyn Daley, a Midland homeowner said. "They were under our pantry cabinet."

Daley and her husband found termites in their home last month.

Since then, they've been focused on damage control.

"It was actually a little gross because they look like little maggots," Daley said. "So it was like oh, we need to get these removed now. How can I remove them?"

And yes, even the Texas winter storm didn't keep these pesky bugs away from their dinner.

"As this house shows, they were inside a wall and it had been 9 degrees, 0 degrees outside, they're still active," John Hufford, owner of Hufford's Pest Control said.

Local pest control companies tell me it's the humidity and moisture that draws these West Texas subterranean termites to the surface and into homes, doing lots of damage.

"I've seen houses that the ceiling is falling in because the termites came, and they got in the walls and they ate the studs all the way up to the roof line," Hufford said.

Although pest control can treat for termites after they're already in your home, there are things you can do to prevent these wood-craving bugs from getting what they want most in the first place.

Check for water leaks inside your home and pay attention to anything that looks damp or irregular.

"Go out and turn your water meter, check it and turn everything off in the house and make sure the meter is not running," Hufford said.

Make sure water sprinklers aren't right up against the house.

Termites can't be transported through firewood because they need moisture. However, if you have firewood near your lawn, make sure it's away from the house and away from your sprinklers, as well as off the ground.

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Allied Pest Control Memphis

Posted: at 5:43 am

About Allied

Allied Termite and Pest Control has provided pest control and removal services to Memphis and surrounding Mid-South areas like Germantown, Collierville and Olive Branch for over 35 years. We utilize EPA registered materials to ensure your familys safety. Allied exterminators are state certified and perform both residential and commercial pest control. Additionally, Allied can help with wildlife removal and rodent control.

Our executive team is unique in that we come from civil engineering and environmental health science backgrounds. This gives us a different perspective when it comes to approaching pest problems. Our combined knowledge helps us ensure that your home or business is structurally sound while understanding the health risks and behaviors associated with various types of infestations.

Allied knows that pests, rodents and wildlife make it difficult to enjoy your home and conduct business, which is why our exterminators are focused on quality and customer service. Allieds certified technicians are trained to identify invasive species, such as wasps, cockroaches, termites and ants, exterminate them and then build a protection plan to help prevent future issues.

Memphis and north Mississippi are home to a variety of pests and troublesome wildlife, which is why hiring a knowledgeable pest management company is crucial. Allied Termite and Pest Control can conduct home pest inspections, commercial pest inspections, termite inspections for new homes and more.

To take advantage of our certified staff, contact us to get a quote for all your pest control needs.

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Five Termite Species All Homeowners Should Be Aware Of – Business Wire

Posted: at 5:43 am

FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the U.S., which is not typically covered by homeowners insurance. With online engagement across America on the topic of finding termites in the basement or foundation of the home up 28% over the last three years,* the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is using Termite Awareness Week, March 7-13, 2021an annual observance recognized by Chases Calendar of Eventsas an opportunity to educate homeowners about the threats termites pose.

To an untrained eye, termite damage can easily go unnoticed, said Cindy Mannes, senior vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. Known as silent destroyers for their ability to chew through wood undetected, homeowners should have their property professionally inspected for termites once a year to prevent infestations from silently forming and the costly damage that can result.

While there are over 2,000 species of termites, NPMA is sharing information about the following five species found throughout the U.S.:

Termites are not DIY pests, added Mannes. If you believe you have an infestation, be sure to contact a pest control professional immediately.

*Online engagement findings are a result of research conducted by Advanced Symbolics Inc.

About the National Pest Management Association

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit or follow @PestWorld on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

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Birth control for roof rats could slow the spread of destructive pests – The Arizona Republic

Posted: at 5:43 am

Filled with mesquite trees, bushes and other natural vegetation, John Snodgrass' backyard is like a jungle. It's also the perfect home for rats.

About two years ago, Snodgrass started noticing a few rats in the backyard of his north Phoenix home alongside the usual squirrels and rabbits. He didn't think it was a big deal, but he also didn't realize how quickly the rats would multiply.

"We were sitting out on our patio one evening and they started coming out of the trees above us," Snodgrass said. "There were probably at least 50 of them, and those were just the ones we could see."

Soon, the bark on his mesquite trees was gone and whole branches were dying. Snodgrass decided it was time to take action, but, as an animal lover, he didn't want to kill the rats.

"They're cute and they're just trying to make a living like all of us," he said. "The only problem is that they proliferate so quickly."

Snodgrass found a nonlethal solution: rat birth control. The product was called ContraPest and is made by Arizona company SenesTech.It is a liquid substance that renders both male and female rats infertile for anywhere from two to six months, said Ken Siegel, the company's CEO.

In general, rats can have around seven to eight babies per litter and can have five to six litters a year, said Dawn Gouge, a University of Arizona professor and specialist in community pest management.

If each of those babies starts having their own offspring within a few months, the number of total rats can balloon; a pair of breeding rats can be responsible for hundreds of baby ratsin one year.

Using ContraPest instead of rodenticides could also help stop toxic effects on other animals that eat rats, such as owls, Gouge said, and prevent pets or children from ingesting rat poison.

"It's got to be an awful lot safer than an awful lot of the regularly used products," she said.

A SenesTech employee packages bottles of ContraPest, a liquid substance that makes rats infertile if they eat it. The company hopes the product can help keep rat populations under control.(Photo: Amanda Morris/The Republic)

The ContraPest formula was developed by two scientists who had studied and worked at Northern Arizona University,Loretta Mayer and Cheryl Dyer. Mayer originallyused the formula to study postmenopausal health while she was working on her doctorate at the University of Arizona.

According to Siegel, ContraPest has two active ingredients: triptolide and 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide, or VCD. Triptolide is a naturally occurring chemical found in the thunder god vine, a traditional medicinal plant, and Siegel said it stops the release of mature eggs in female rats. It also deforms sperm produced by male rats, he said. VCD is a chemical that stops ovulation in female rats.

"So essentially what happens is neither sex is then capable of reproducing," Siegel said.

Siegel said ContraPest is over 90% effective against pregnancy and wears off after about 100 days in rats. Because of that, the product needs to be used continuously and refilled once a month so rats will continue to eat it.

In addition to the active chemical ingredients, Siegel said the product, a liquid that rats can drink to fulfill their water needs, is high in fat and is sweet to make it taste better.

"Even in the presence of very tasty grain, they're going to opt for ContraPest just to satisfy their needs for water. So we haven't had a problem with getting the rats to actually drink it," Siegel said. "Plus, it's very sweet."

Rat birth control can help limit roof rat population. Arizona Republic

That tasty meal comes at a price, higher than other rat population control methods, according to Naturzone Pest Control owner Bill Stewart. He said it costs about $60 per month on top of his conventional services, which only cost $50 to $60 a month, so the use of ContraPest can double the cost of services for his customers.

Online, SenesTech sells the product directly to customers for about $80 and sells one tube of replacement product for about $30. Each bait station is designed to hold two tubes at once.

Unlike native rat species, which tend to live out in the desert, roof rats are an invasive species that like to live in and around homes, Gouge said, and can chew through wiring and drywall or spread disease.

Though roof rats have been around Arizona for over a decade, Gouge said their population has exploded over the past five years and isn't being well monitored or kept in check. That means there's no way of knowing the exact size of the population in the state.

"There's very few people doing research," she said. "Unfortunately, we're really not looking and monitoring in any way. Pest management professionals will give us reports, and that's really useful, but rats are tricky to identify."

Several pest management companies that spoke with The Arizona Republic said they have noticed increasing calls about roof rats in the past decade and have seen increased calls since the pandemic began.

James Will, managing supervisor for Maricopa County Vector Control, said his department has received increased calls this year. After seeing just 172 calls about rats in 2018 and 159 in 2019, the department received 403 complaints in 2020.

It's unclear why there was a drop in complaints in 2018 and 2019, and the number of complaints doesn't reflect the size of the rat population, but Will believes the department received more calls in 2020 because people have been home more often to spot rats in their yards.

Will said the department initially received complaints about roof rats in the Arcadia area of Phoenix, but now calls come in from all over the county, including west Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Mesa and Chandler.

"They've slowly spread over the last 10, 12 years to most spots within the county," Will said.

The county doesn't routinely track roof rats and doesn't implement widespread control strategies. Instead, Will said the department is in charge of accepting complaints, documenting areas of spread and providing information on identifying roof rats.

"We try not to compete with local businesses because if we go out and do it, we're taking money from a prospective pest control company that does this for a job," Will explained.

Both the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Maricopa County Vector Control said they do not conduct disease surveillance or track rat populations, but Gouge said roof rats can spread salmonella to humans, could spread disease through bites and can contaminate water.

Instead of a coordinated county-wide effort, tackling roof rat problems is largely up to individual pest management companies and individual homeowners or neighborhoods. But traditional methods don't have 100% success.

Greg Peterson is the founder of The Urban Farm, an organization that helps people plant their own gardens, and has battled rats at his 3-acre farm in central Phoenix. Since he is an organic farmer, he has avoided using rodenticides that could affect other living creatures or plants around the farm, and instead relies more on snap traps and traps that electrocute the rats.

"What I've found is that rats are smart," Peterson said. "I'll catch one or two or three of them in snap traps, and then they get smart and they don't go into the snap traps anymore."

Mick Fetty, owner of Avant-Garde Pest Management, holds a juvenile roof rat killed by a traditional snap trap in Arcadia, which he calls "ground zero" for roof rats. The roof rat population in Arizona has grown and spread in the past decade, according to Maricopa County Vector Control.(Photo: Amanda Morris/The Republic)

He said he's had moderate luck with conventional methods but that the rats have the upper hand.

Gouge isn't surprised by the inability to get rid of rats. By killing rats, she said people are "reducing the demand on the resources in that location," leaving more food and water for the survivors, which then produce more offspring and refill the void. She believes rats are likely here to stay, despite best efforts.

"We're not likely to win this one," she said.

She thinks ContraPest could make a difference.

"The thought that you could leave the rat population in place and stop baby rats from being produced is actually a really sound idea because you're not just simply harvesting rats constantly, you're actually controlling, drastically reducing the population over time," she said.

SenesTech technical sales representative Ryan McMillan demonstrates how to install ContraPest, a liquid substance that tastes good for rats and makes rats infertile if they eat it. The company hopes the product can help keep rat populations under control.(Photo: Amanda Morris/The Republic)

An Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson said the use of lethal rodenticides has resulted in incidents of secondary and unintended poisonings of other animals, including endangered species. Since 2008, he said the EPA has required rodenticides to be put into a tamper-proof bait station to prevent other animals or children from eating or coming into contact with the poison.

By contrast, the spokesperson said ContraPest is not lethal and is unlikely to affect predators or scavengers that eat rats because rats have a fast metabolism that will quickly eliminate the active ingredients in the substance from their bodies.

"It will not, therefore, kill up the food chain, and it will not inadvertently kill pets and other non-target animals," the spokesperson wrote in an email. "There are no concerns about off-target or environmental impacts of ContraPest when used as directed on the label."

ContraPest is sold for use inside a gray bait station box, and the product is emptied into tiny feeding trays. The box has a small opening that is just big enough for a rat to squeeze through and has stairs that rats can climb to access the feeding tray with the liquid product inside. This prevents other larger animals from eating the product.

SenesTech has not fully tested the effects of eating the product on other animal species, according to Siegel, but he said the concentration of the contraceptive chemicals is so small that it's unlikely to affect larger animals.

Mick Fetty has been using ContraPest for his business, Avant-Garde Pest Management, for several years and said he has seen good results.

At the height of citrus season, Fetty walked into a backyard in Arcadia, which he calls "ground zero" for roof rats, and checked two bait stations. As he opened the lid, he exclaimed, "They got every last drop!"

Mick Fetty, owner of Avant-Garde Pest Management, inspects a ContraPest bait station in a customer's yard in Arcadia. ContraPest is a liquid that makes rats infertile after they eat it.(Photo: Amanda Morris/The Republic)

He replaced the liquid in the containers to refill the bait stations and inspected the yard for other signs of roof rats. Around his feet were half-eaten tangerines. Nearby, a snap trap had killed a potential culprit: a juvenile long-tailed roof rat with shaggy fur.

Sometimes, Fetty uses the contraceptive product by itself but said it works best when integrated with other pest control methods, such as the snap traps. He first started using the product in 2017 for two other customers in Arcadia who had long-term problems with roof rats.

"Everything we did, we just didn't seem to be making any progress," he recalled.

ContraPest helped get rid of the problem, he said, adding that in almost every place he's used ContraPest, his customers' rat problems have disappeared.

"I'm going to probably work myself out of a job," Fetty joked.

According to EPA regulations, Fetty must install the product either indoors or within 1 foot of an external perimeter such as a wall. It is currently only approved for use against Norway rats or roof rats, but not pack rats. According to Stewart of Naturzone Pest Control, that limits the application of ContraPest.

"The thing is with roof rats they tend to be a little more difficult to control in terms of where to place the station because they like to be on fence lines and up on things," Stewart said. "They like to be off the ground."

He has been using ContraPest at his company for the past four or five months, but said that so far, it's hard to tell if it has made a difference. He said his company has been so aggressive with killing rats through conventional methods that it can be hard to see the effects of the contraceptive product.

"I wish I could put it throughout a whole neighborhood by itself and see what happens," he said.

Mick Fetty, owner of Avant-Garde Pest Management, installs ContraPest in a customer's yard in Arcadia to help control the roof rat population in the area.(Photo: Amanda Morris/The Republic)

Instead of using the product by itself, Stewart said he uses it alongside other conventional methods like snap traps, and the product gives his customers an alternative choice to rodenticides.

"We're always looking for an extra edge, especially when they're as hard to control as rats are," he said.

His business isn't the only one getting more rat pest control calls in recent years. Don Callaway, owner of Arizona Organic Pest and Termite Control, has been working in pest control for 25 years and said while he once never had to deal with rat pest control, the number of customers calling in the past two years has tripled.

As the owner of an organic business, Callaway uses snap traps and bait traps and is intrigued by the idea of a rat birth control product that allows customers to avoid pesticides, but was skeptical of the product working by itself.

He said he believes the product could be a good long-term solution for larger commercial facilities or areas, but less effective in residential settings.

"I really don't think that treating one house in a neighborhood, putting out some birth control, is going to have that big of an impact for anybody," Callaway said.

Mick Fetty, owner of Avant-Garde Pest Management, inspects a ContraPest bait station in a customer's yard in Arcadia. ContraPest is a liquid that makes rats infertile after they eat it.(Photo: Amanda Morris/The Republic)

He said if neighbors don't also participate, the product may not work, and that because the product takes a long time to show results, it may not satisfy customer demands.

Will, of the county's Vector Control, agreed.

"It's going to be slow. A lot of times, the public, they don't like slow," Will said. "They call you up to get rid of the problem now."

To combat his rat issue, Snodgrass used ContraPest for about a year and said within six months, the rats were gone.

"I'd say we went a good year before we even started seeing any rats again, but they came back," Snodgrass said.

This time, the rats have gotten into his house, garage and attic. In his garage, the rats use a big gap in the drywall from a recent plumbing leak.

"Sometimes, we hear them in the walls at night," Snodgrass said.

He started using ContraPest through Avant-Garde Pest Management a second time about five months ago and saidthe population is starting to thin out again. He plans to continue to use the product for a full year.

"It's pricey, it's around a thousand bucks a year," he said. "It's worth it in the fact that I don't want to kill animals. That's what makes it worth it."

While the EPA originally approved ContraPest in 2016 as a restricted use pesticide that had to be applied or supervised by a certified pesticide applicator, an EPA spokesperson said the product is now approved as a general-use pesticide in 47 states, meaning customers can buy it directly. In California, New York and Connecticut, the product remains under restricted use, according to the EPA spokesperson.

While SenesTech sells ContraPest directly to homeowners, Siegel said their main customers are city agencies and the agriculture and food production industry, especially for grain, which rats love. Siegel said rats are known for eating and contaminating a significant amount of food.

Half-eaten tangerines in an Arcadia backyard are signs of a local roof rat population. The roof rat population in Arizona has grown and spread in the past decade, according to Maricopa County Vector Control.(Photo: Amanda Morris/The Republic)

"So as the product begins to gain traction, and as we begin to gain scale ... over the long run, this could affect things like world hunger, which is exciting," Siegel said.

Glenn Wright, a University of Arizona horticulturist and citrus expert, said the product is not really needed on Arizona's citrus farms. While roof rats love to feed on citrus in people's yards, Wright said they generally stick to residential areas and prefer to live in or around homes and haven't been an issue on citrus farms.

"Out in the orchard, there are a lot of things that can eat rats ... cats and coyotes and birds and hawks," he said. "So I haven't heard of any growers that have issues with rats in years."

In addition to working with customers in agriculture, SenesTech has worked with cities like New York and Washington, D.C., on efforts to install the product and reduce rat populations. Since California has banned the use of some common rodenticides, Siegel said the company hopes to work with the state to provide an alternative solution.

He added that SenesTech wants to get the product registered and approved in Asia and may look toward Europe next. The company is also hoping to market a similar product for mice.

As the company expands its business, it recently moved its headquarters from Flagstaff to Phoenix and expects to add more jobs to the area.

Amanda Morris covers all things bioscience, which includes health care, technology, new research and the environment. Send her tips, story ideas, or dog memes at and follow her on Twitter @amandamomorris for the latest bioscience updates.

Independent coverage of bioscience in Arizona is supported by a grant from the Flinn Foundation.

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