How covid-19 is shaping long-term changes in the pest control industry.

This week our attention is switched to the other side of the globe as Steve Broadbent, based in Australia, is Daniel’s latest guest.

Steve Broadbent is the regional director for Enystex, a manufacturer and distributor of professional products located on the outskirts of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Steve’s responsibilities cover the supply of the company’s products to Africa, the Middle East, Asia and also Australia.

Asked how the business has responded to the Covid-19 challenge, Steve says it has brought both fresh challenges and also opportunities. As a company, business has been very varied, but overall there has been an increase in business, with the exception of the very hard hit countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia. Much of the increase has come via a change in markets and also via government subsidies – a somewhat artificial situation which is hard to predict for the future. He admits he can’t see Australia’s boarders and international travel returning until a proven vaccine is available.

There has been a switch in markets for the company in territories such as Europe and South Africa where the disinfection and purification business has risen. Coincidentally, in South East Asia there has been a rise in dengue fever so an increase in demand for mosquito control products, especially in Hong Kong where business has doubled.

Pest control remains an essential industry and Steve congratulates the Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association (AEPMA) for all the effort it has put into ensuring its recognition – even in the State of Victoria, which is currently in total lockdown, pest control is exempted.

Pest control protects people’s health and their property, as Steve explains using termites as an example. He details how the pest control companies who have done the best are those who have demonstrated flexibility adapting their pricing models and range of services on offer, including the introduction of hygiene and disinfection services – a model Steve sees as continuing into the future.

To support this, in Australia AEPMA has produced a Code of Best Practice for disinfection which is linked to the supply of pest control services. This is now available on the AEPMA website. As to the future, good digital communication remains essential not only within his own company but also with customers.