Q: What would happen to your business model if pesticides/rodenticides continue to be restricted or outlawed across California?
A: The services provided to the customers of pest control companies would look very different. If pesticides were completely removed from the picture, pest control services would be mostly reduced to handyman work that would be unaffordable to most Californians. As pesticides have become more restricted, this shift is already occurring.
Q: Have you seen an increase in rodent activity throughout the last two years during Covid. If so, what has that looked like?
A: Yes. This is largely due to changes in human behavior. As people stayed home more often, pest activity increased around homes because that’s where most of the trash was being generated. On the reverse side, as restaurants closed and people stayed in, rodents moved away in search of food. This was also true of the shift towards working remotely.
Q: Have rodent populations shifted from their traditional locations, and if so, where were they before, and where are you seeing their greatest concentrations now?
A: In addition to higher rodent activity in neighborhoods, rats have also flocked to areas like strip malls and grocery stores that did not close during the pandemic.
Q: What are the public health concerns that can develop in the communities you serve with expanding rodent populations?
A: One of the primary health concerns is children being exposed to the Mouse Urinary Protein (MUP), which is linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses. As mouse activity increases in schools and homes, the exposure to this protein becomes more prevalent, increasing the illnesses associated with this exposure. Hantavirus is transmitted by exposure to deer mice and their urine. You can learn more about illness caused by rodent infestations at the CDC website.