Up until recently, trying to keep ahead of pests was challenging and without drawing on historical business data, virtually impossible to predict. However, there is an alternative, Google Trends.
Accessed through your browser, this is a fantastic way to look at pest trends over the last decade. The information is fascinating and gives some really clear insight into what pests are becoming important to people and in which area of the globe. Google Trends tracks what people are searching for in Google, essentially and it shows some really surprising things about pests.
Take fleas for example: they have been really popular (or unpopular!) every August for the last ten years.
It’s like clockwork. Return from your vacation and your pets’ fleas will start to bother you.
Bed bugs are another interesting pest to look at. 2011 was their ‘breakout year.’ While they have kept their popularity up, 2011 seems to have been the year they terrified people most. “Bed bug” was searched for far more often than “bedbug,” incidentally.
Termites are always popular in the spring time but it seems people are less worried than they were 10 years ago. Has the move from blanket treatments to a baiting control strategy put the public’s fears at rest or are the treatments turning the tide and reducing termite populations permanently?
Just a word of caution though, you have to be careful (Justin Bieber “flies” back to Canada can put a real spike in your search, for example), but it’s a useful tool to know which pests are bubbling up in the public consciousness.
However, the experts at Ehrlich and the Rentokil family of pest control companies are always prepared to fix and prevent any pest problem you are encountering. To find out more about how Ehrlich can help your home or business, contact your local office.
by Matt Green, Ph.D. Entomologist – Service & Science at Rentokil Initial