Drivers For Purchasing Pest Control
Among homeowners or consumers in the United States, reasons for purchasing home pest control products, particularly bug sprays, include (a) fear or prevention of property damage, (b) fear or prevention of illness, (c) fear or prevention of stings and bites, and (d) fear or prevention of reputation damage.
FEAR OR PREVENTION OF PROPERTY DAMAGE
- Homeowners express concern about pests damaging their property, so it is likely that the fear or prevention of property damage is one of the reasons consumers purchase bug sprays. Homeowners' concern that pests may damage their property averages 7.72 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 represents the highest level of concern.
- The level of concern is higher among homeowners aged 25-44 (8.62) than among homeowners aged 45-64 (7.37) and homeowners aged 65 and older (6.59).
- These details are part of the results of a survey of 2,027 homeowners in the United States that was conducted by Regina Corso Consulting for the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA). Though the survey was commissioned by the PPMA, it offers insights into the pest-related concerns of homeowners.
- The property damage that termites cause each year amounts to a total of more than $5 billion.
FEAR OR PREVENTION OF ILLNESS
- Homeowners express concern about pests causing illness among household members, so it is likely that the fear or prevention of illness is one of the reasons consumers purchase bug sprays. Homeowners' concern that pests may cause illness averages 7.08 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 represents the highest level of concern.
- The level of concern is higher among homeowners aged 25-44 (8.54) than among homeowners aged 45-64 (6.45) and homeowners aged 65 and older (5.39).
- Homeowners find the following pests the biggest threats to the health of their family: mosquitoes (44%), rats and mice (42%), cockroaches (34%), ticks (30%), bed bugs (29%), stinging insects (28%), termites (25%), spiders (25%), ants (19%), and bats, squirrels, or other wildlife (15%).
- Homeowners are more concerned about Zika virus (59%), Lyme disease (58%), allergic reaction to stings (55%), and West Nile virus (53%) than about rabies (41%), asthma or allergic reaction to cockroaches (40%), and Hantavirus (40%).
- Cockroaches carry at most 33 types of bacteria and can trigger an asthma attack in children.
- Surprisingly, based on National Pest Management Association's survey of over 1,000 homeowners in the United States, only 17% of homeowners would be "most concerned about a rodent bringing diseases into the home, if they were to see one indoors." Seventy-five percent of homeowners say they would trap a rodent on their own if they saw one in their home. Rodents are associated with the following health risks: hantavirus, allergies and asthma, salmonella, tularemia, rat bite fever, plague, leptospirosis, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.
FEAR OR PREVENTION OF STINGS AND BITES
- Homeowners express concern about insect stings and bites, so it is likely that the fear or prevention of insect stings and bites is one of the reasons consumers purchase bug sprays. Homeowners' concern that members of their household may be bitten or stung by insects averages 7.01 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 represents the highest level of concern.
- The level of concern is higher among homeowners aged 25-44 (8.32) than among homeowners aged 45-64 (6.32) and homeowners aged 65 and older (5.73).
- People, for example, hate wasps and are afraid of being stung by wasps. Most people associate wasps with stinging, pain, and danger.
- Adults with children are more inclined (86% versus 73%) to worry about insect bites than adults without children. It appears keeping insects away from their children is a priority for parents or guardians.
- Manufacturers of home pest control products, such as Raid, Black Flag, and Ortho, have products designed specifically to kill or control stinging pests, so purchases of stinging pest sprays are most likely triggered by the detection of stinging pests in or just outside the home. The same can be said with pests that bite.
FEAR OR PREVENTION OF REPUTATION DAMAGE
- Homeowners express concern about being associated with a dirty home, so it is likely that the fear or prevention of reputation damage is one of the reasons consumers purchase bug sprays. Homeowners' concern that they may be associated with a dirty home averages 6.42 on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 represents the highest level of concern.
- The level of concern is higher among homeowners aged 25-44 (8.20) than among homeowners aged 45-64 (5.54) and homeowners aged 65 and older (4.63).
- Bed bugs, for example, have a strong stigma attached to them. People, even family and friends, would not want to go over to a home infested by bed bugs or where they know bed bugs have taken root, as they fear that they would pick these bugs up. People assume they would not be welcome at other people's homes if they are dealing with bed bug infestations.
- Most people wrongly believe that if someone has bed bugs, they have a dirty home. Bed bugs are not a sign of a dirty home, however, as they can infest even the cleanest of homes.
- For some reason, married people are more inclined (82% versus 75%) to express concern about pests than people who are not married. This may have something to do with the tendency of married couples to host dinner parties and holiday dinners or entertain people at their home. People, of course, would not want guests or visitors to think they have a pest-infested home.
Since the perspective of consumers or the public is needed, we looked for surveys, interviews, reviews, or testimonials that detail or touch on the drivers of bug spray purchase or the reasons consumers would purchase pest control products for use in the home. While we were unable to locate a single source that sufficiently covers these reasons, we were able to pull together helpful insights from a number of recently published surveys and articles. Pest Control Technology, Arrow Exterminators, Pest World, American Pest, ThoughtCo, and Newsweek were all consulted as the information they have recently published offers clues as to the things that could trigger consumers to purchase home pest control products. We noticed that even though surveys about consumers and their pest-related concerns, especially the one published by the PPMA, are mostly commissioned by pest management associations or pest control service providers, these surveys offer insights into the possible reasons consumers would buy home pest control products such as bug sprays or insect killers. They touch on the pest-related matters that consumers are most concerned about.
To find additional information, we examined the press coverages, filings, and publications of leading insecticide brands such as Raid, Black Flag, and Ortho. These leading players likely have first-hand knowledge of what drives people to buy pest control products for use in the home, so we thought these brands' disclosures may offer helpful insights. The only thing we learned with this strategy, however, was that with the way these brands have organized their products, consumers must already have a clear idea of the type of pest they are trying to control or eradicate. Consumers must already know the kind and scope of pest infestation they are dealing with, and they must have already detected the pests in their home. This information suggests that pest detection or the prevention of pest infestation triggers pest control product purchase.