The Importance of the Pest Management Industry

- National Pest Management Association
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hundreds of pest management professionals descended upon Washington last month to educate the nation’s leaders about the important role pest management plays in protecting public health, food and property from common household pests. Like so many other visitors to Congressional offices, they offered “leave-behinds” with facts about the industry. In honor of National Pest Management Month, I can think of no better way to illustrate the value of the work our industry professionals do every single day – in homes, hospitals, restaurants, schools, etc. – than sharing excerpts from these materials with you…                

  • Public health officials attribute the quality of life we have today to three things:  better pharmaceuticals and vaccines, better sanitation and better pest control.
  • Without pest management practices, pests could destroy more than 50 percent of our food crops. 
  • Rodents consume or contaminate about 20 percent of the world’s food supply. They carry fleas and ticks that frequently carry diseases. 
  • Rats bite more than 45,000 people each year. They can transmit disease organisms such as rat bite fever, salmonella, trichinosis, murine typhus, the plague and leptospirosis. Rats and mice are known to chew through electrical wiring causing electrical malfunctions and even fires.
  • According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, more than two million Americans are allergic to stinging insects. More than 500,000 people enter hospital emergency rooms every year suffering from insect stings.
  • It would be difficult to find any segment of the food industry that could comply with federal sanitation and health regulations without an adequate pest management program.
  • Pests destroy homes and buildings and their contents; termites alone cause over $5 billion in damage annually.
  • Pests can transmit disease-causing organisms including West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, malaria, plague, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Hantavirus and encephalitis.

Most people tend to think of pest management in terms of residential problems (ants, rodents, cockroaches, termites, etc.). And, while it’s true, the men and women in our industry protect us from the diseases and dangers of pests in home settings daily. Moreover, the importance of the industry to society as a whole is much broader with all that we do toward food and health protection. I am proud to be part of an industry that makes such a difference to the world around us. 

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