A Global Outlook on the Pest Control Industry

The pest control industry is booming given recent global outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika.
The pest control industry is booming given recent global outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika.

Over time, an increased need for hygienic and pest-free environments has increased the need and demand for pest control services. Expected to grow at a healthy rate, the international pest control services market is intended to exceed US $22 Billion by 2026. Pest control is a process for managing or exterminating various living organisms which are harmful to human beings. Pests can include bedbugs, cockroaches, termites, reptiles and other unwanted organisms. These animals are considered “pests” because they interfere in residential, commercial, agriculture and industrial processes.

Residentially and commercially, living in a cockroach-infested house makes you more vulnerable to allergies, germs, and ultimately diseases. Cockroaches eat many types of material besides food scraps (paper products, clothing items, cardboard) and can adapt to an environment quickly and adopt high endurance levels that makes it even more difficult to get rid of them. Roach killer techniques can range from chemical control to mechanical control and pest control. Chemical control can be in the shape of a killer spray that contains toxic chemicals, poison gel baits that kill entire colonies or sticky glue traps where you can find out which areas are more infested than others depending on how many dead roaches you find on the trap. Because of recent concerns of health and environmental impact from customers however, companies have been using more organic chemicals.

Agriculturally, when rodents aren’t controlled, they can come overnight and completely destroy crops, causing widespread economic repercussions on the agricultural industry. They can inflict a large number of economic damage because of their population size, diversity and feeding habits. Agricultural pests are one of the number one key factors affecting small farm production. Industrially, pests can cause serious damage to existing structure and foundations (rotting wood or other soft materials). Sometimes the damage is serious enough that a whole structure can become useless, for example termites eating on a leg of a wooden table.

Although North America and Western Europe are currently the largest markets for pest control services, Asia-Pacific has a high-growth potential. Demand for pest control services could be attributed to the fact that there is a rise in international tourism and that various pests thrive in warmer climates. Some pests are displaying unusual migration habits due to both manmade and natural factors, such as global warming. Climate change not only affects farming practices, but also affects the distributions and life cycles of pests, disease-causing organisms and crop-pollinating insects and animals. Some insects and flying creatures are also multiplying at faster rates.

China and India have enough cultivable land to grow crops, factoring in the urbanization and technological growth in agriculture. People are looking into pest control services for crop protection to prevent and avoid losses. Emerging economies within the nation also mean higher standards of living and an increase in disposable income amongst the community, resulting in the continuous demand of hygiene and cleanliness.

One of the ongoing challenges the pest control industry is facing is how expensive the services are. Some people have resorted to studying reports by themselves and learning how to DIY the methods. It is important to note that however, research have shown that there is indeed a direct correlation between cleanliness and health. Patients admitted to rooms previously occupied by infected individuals are at a higher risk of acquiring these organisms from contaminated surfaces. This means improved hand hygiene can prevent multidrug-resistant organisms which has been recognized as one of the defining factors to outbreaks. Cleaning your home can help prevent pest outbreaks and also include benefits for good mental and physical health. Firstly, not only does it help to clear your airways, it also cleans all the places rodents can potentially habituate. The Environmental Protection Agency says that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the outdoors. Indoor air means we are breathing in dust mites, pet fur residue, pollen, mold, bug skeletons, toxins from cleaning products and chemicals from our own clothing and bedding. Secondly, the act of cleaning your house actually gives you sufficient exercise, leading to a healthier and more active life.

People who were surveyed reported that they get a better night’s rest when their sheets are freshly cleaned – a prevention and elimination of potential bedbugs. People who described their living spaces as “cluttered” are proven to be more tired and stressed out compared to those who have clean and organized rooms. Cockroaches find shelter in holes or cracks around window and door frames, water pipes and baseboards. If there is a hole in the water pipe, this leakage needs to be fixed immediately because water on the ground can lure the cockroach out. Brad Fischer, the District Service Manager at Batzner Pest Control says, “The real problem tends to come from the unseen areas, like a spill underneath an oven, or crumbs not being vacuumed along the walls in a dining area.”

How The Digital Age is Globalizing Business

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The expansion of trade has existed for millennia. Academics and economists contend that globalization, which has only gained relevance as a concept in the last decade, is as old as civilization itself. The concept of exchange, the underlying basis of market dynamics, was founded in primitive human societies. Markets began to merge as trading networks expanded and access to resources was made easier. As the Mercantilist and the Industrial revolution took place, growth and productivity continued to escalate. However, the a new commercial reality sparked by the digital age has emerged , characterized by widespread, and readily accessible sharing of information. This new era has transformed the commercial landscape into one which allows for unparalleled acceleration of globalization like never before.

According to a study conducted by Mckinsey, one in three goods now crosses national borders, and more than one-third of financial investments are international transactions. Time and geographical boundaries cease to be limiting factors in today’s business environment. The tremendous technological advances in transportation have reduced the barrier of distance a main catalyst in the development of global economics over the course of history. Over time, this has also steadily decreased the cost of distribution. A second major force shaping today’s economy is the internet, which has reduced barriers to communication. Through focusing on the online market and SEO, business is now borderless. Sales, inventory, competitor’s prices and new products now no longer have to rely on physical and unpredictable means of communication. More recently, is information communication in real-time.

One great example is the Internet of Things (IoT) which gives businesses the ability to monitor and manage objects in the physical world, digitally. This has remodeled logistics and supply chains, increasing efficiency. The technology of which the IoT is founded on, is Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID). RFID is now widely used for tracking and collecting information about a product, place, time or transaction. RFID uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. Manufacturers and oil and gas companies, among others have improved their operating efficiency and reduce costs by implementing IoT technologies in their operations.

The development of information technology has also given rise to different digital platforms that makes cross-border production and exchange a lot more possible than they previously had been. In 2014, global e-commerce sales reached over US$1.3 trillion—nearly 2 percent of global GDP. About 40 percent of Amazon’s net sales in 2014 came from sales outside North America, and China’s leading e-commerce platform that includes marketplaces for business to business (B2B); business to consumer (B2C); and peer to peer (P2P) e-commerce, declared gross merchandise value of a whopping US$370 billion during the same year. These platforms allow smaller companies to participate in exporting and importing, and even compete with the largest multinationals. An MGI survey revealed that 86 percent of tech-based startups report some type of cross-border activity. Even global labor markets are being impacted by online marketplaces. Websites like freelancer.com and UpWork reduces yet another barrier in today’s unified global community by bringing jobs to talents abroad without requiring them to relocate or go through immigration.

The growth of the digital trade has thrusted us into yet another different era of knowledge economy, characterized by increase in high-technology and intangible investments, high-technology industries, more highly-skilled labor and associated productivity gains, rather than on the means on production and tangible capital (oecd.org). This has led to the emergence of new technology giants in industries where they had not previously been viewed as competitors. Consider Airbnb’s entry into the hospitality industry. The multi-platform technology platform has served over 30 million guests since its inception in 2008. Its current value of $10 billion now exceeds well-established global hotel chains such as Hyatt.

Today, over 2.3 billion people have access to the internet and this figure is expected to grow to five billion in the next few years. Some of the most valuable companies in the world have been underpinned by its existence. In developed countries, availability of the internet results in increased standards of living and job creation. The innovation of digital technology has become a key contributor to economic growth in developed countries. The potential for digital and information technologies is limitless, and will play a key role in the development of humankind’s potential.