Running A Pest Control Business In 2020: Debunking The ‘Insect Armageddon’ Theory | Pestmaster Franchise


Running A Pest Control Business In 2020: Debunking The ‘Insect Armageddon’ Theory

Running A Pest Control Business In 2020: Debunking The ‘Insect Armageddon’ Theory

Running a pest control business in 2020 makes sense (and dollars!). Today’s post debunks the “Insect Armageddon” theory with new research by the International Pest Control association, then highlights 4 factors driving service demand to new heights in 2020.

What Is The “Insect Armageddon” Theory?

For many Americans, the “Insect Armageddon” theory first came to light in a 2018 article published by the New York Times. Therein, Sune Boye Riis, a high school science and math teacher, bemoaned the apparent decline in insect activity near his home north of Copenhagen in 2016.

Riis’ experiences prompted research by the Natural History Museum of Denmark, which involved a joint effort of the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, and North Carolina State University, to quantify the disorienting sense that bug populations were decreasing. During their literature review, Riis and his fellows researchers uncovered another study published by an obscure German entomological society, which claimed that German nature reserves had lost 75% of its flying insects over 27 years. This soon became the sixth-most-discussed scientific paper of 2017, with headlines around the world warning of an “insect Armageddon.”

Understandably, this figure is concerning to investors eyeing pest control businesses in 2020 and beyond. If the insect populations decrease, demand for flying insect-related vector health controls and treatments drop along with it. And while the Pestmaster model is resilient, thanks to our broad scope of services and animal controls, not all brands can say the same.

Pest Control Business Research Shows No Sign Of Declining Insect Service Calls Or Populations

Though it produced plenty of clickbait media coverage and general “investment anxiety,” the Insect Armageddon theory doesn’t hold water, according to a new study by the International Pest Control association.

According to a new IPC report published February 2020, researchers who set out to test the widespread theory “found no evidence for insect Armageddon.” Instead, they found that flying insect populations experienced peaks and troughs over a 50-year period. Focusing on the “biomass” (i.e. combined weight) of flying moth populations, researchers revealed that “there is around twice the combined weight of moths in the present day compared with the 1960s.”

“Our study does not support the narrative that insects are vanishing en masse before our eyes,” writes lead author Dr. Callum Macgregor from the Department of Biology. “There has been a net increase in biomass over the last 50 years.”

These findings fly in the face of “Insect Armageddon” proponents, and highlight the enduring value of flying insect controls, particularly since pesticides were not believed to contribute to the “trough” periods.

Running A Pest Control Business In 2020: Resilient Demand For Essential Service Supports Big ROI

With the “Insect Armageddon” panic put to rest, the Pestmaster opportunity is more valuable than ever. Here’s a few of the factors underpinning our resilient demand in 2020:

  • The pest control industry is included as part of America’s essential critical infrastructure designation, which ensures our franchise owners’ business continuity, even in the event of a “second wave” of COVID-19 resulting in further lockdowns and mandated business closures
  • Pest control populations continue to increase across the board, driving up demand for the majority of treatments and vector health controls (read more on the Pestmaster Pest Control Facts and Figures page)
  • COVID-19 is increasing the demand for vector health controls and general quality-of-life controls as more Americans shelter-in-place
  • New development and construction is creating huge demand for termite treatments nationwide

Learn More About Running A Pest Control Business With Pestmaster

Call 800-525-8866 or take a virtual tour of Pestmaster to learn more about starting a Pestmaster pest control business.



Pestmaster is both an innovative and environmentally sensitive pest management services provider. With a unique, progressive, and extremely successful franchise business model, Pestmaster professionals provide state of the art, scientifically-based integrated pest management solutions for the most challenging pestiferous problems. Pestmaster, a 21st century organization that is leading the way in the fast growing pest management industry.

Dr. Stuart Mitchell | BCE

I’ve been in the industry for years and I can’t tell you just how valuable the Pestmaster franchise opportunity really is. I have much greater access to identifying and getting potent government contracts with the help and assistance from the corporate office. We would not be nearly as successful as we are today, had we not purchased a Pestmaster Franchise.

Wayne Holliday & Tommy Houk | Pestmaster of Lake City & Gainesville, FL

Pestmaster® has been the best investment I’ve ever made in my life!

Barrett Alley | Pestmaster of Kingston, NY

We had options, but if we hadn’t decided on a Pestmaster franchise, we could not have gone from just one to several employees in less than one year of purchasing the franchise. Without the franchise, we would not have known about the high-dollar pest control services opportunities such as West Point Academy and we would certainly not have become the successful contract bidder that we are today.

Paul Alley | Pestmaster of Kingston, NY

I owned my own small pest control business for six years before I decided to buy a national brand franchise. The amount of business I was able to produce in those six years was doubled in just my first year with Pestmaster. Joining the Pestmaster brand was an excellent choice for me and for the future of my business.

Chris Nelson | Pestmaster of Salt Lake City, UT

I knew I was ready to start a business and looked for a long time but could not find my value-added proposition What could I do better than anyone else to distinguish me from the others in any industry? I have always been a technical person, so I was not confident in my ability to start a brand and market it. I also didn’t want to start from zero without help and support in my new adventure. For these reasons I looked into franchising opportunities and quickly found Pestmaster. They provided the value-added proposition, branding, marketing and support that I was looking for. The business model works and the people in the PFN will help you succeed.

Jerome Snyder | Pestmaster of Central New York

The Pestmaster Franchise Network has enabled me to secure government contracts and group pricing with several vendors. The training from our entomologist and combined experience is incredibly valuable. It is a great network of knowledge, experience, and Camaraderie.”

Justin Kendall | Pestmaster of Virginia Beach, Virginia
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