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Rapid urbanisation powers pest control business

Saif Uddin | October 30, 2017 00:00:00

The number of pest control operators is gradually increasing due to the menace of pests and rodents even as health hazards remain a concern, insiders have said.

Rapid urbanisation, uncleanliness and dampness in households are major reasons for the infestation of insects in establishments, thereby creating a scope for the pest control business, according to the insiders.

More than 100 pest control operators are providing pest control services for households, offices, financial institutions and industrial units in the capital. The number of operators was 25-30 a decade ago.

Pest control business started in the city in early 90s, which has been booming in the last several years and services are being expanded to other parts of the country as well, they added.

Various pest control operators often place advertisements on roadside walls in different areas of the city like Green Road, Farmgate, Paltan, Dhanmondi and Mirpur, showing the names of their companies and phone numbers.

Proprietor of Rajdhani Pest Control Md Liton Miah said he had been providing pest control services in the city since 2003 when his company was set up.

"Professional pest control services to homes and offices are still unfamiliar with many city dwellers, although it is a multibillion dollar global business," he said.

At present, more than 100 operators are doing business while 15-20 are doing it on a large scale having operations in other districts, said Liton Miah who was an employee before starting up his own business.

Most of the businesses employ four to five staff members to execute their business, he said, adding that city establishments are usually invaded by insects like cockroach, termite, bedbug, lizard and rodent.

"We apply chemicals to avert insects. Some industrial clients need measures for preventing snakes too," he added.

Sources said apart from households, financial institutions, hospitals and shopping malls, government and NGO offices often hire pest control service providers.

Pricing for per thousand square feet area ranges from Tk 1,500 to Tk 2,500 depending on types of insects, establishments' location and chemicals used. Some companies also offer 6-12 month warranty for service they provide.

Nila Khan, a resident of city's Panthapath area, said she hired such an operator to prevent cockroach, which made her family's day-to-day life very difficult.

"We faced trouble due to ubiquitous cockroach in my flat. Even those little creatures invaded our foods," she said, adding that the family got rid of those insects after they took the help of a pest control business.

When asked, she replied that she didn't bother about health concern. "I am happy that creepy insects are out of my home now."

Sources said many companies applied agricultural chemicals at home without realising its negative impact on human body.

Abdul Momin, owner of Urban Pest Control Ltd, has been doing pest control business for the last several years. He claimed that they do business paying attention to health issues.

"We are equipped with all precautionary measures including masks, gloves and goggles while spraying repellents or put insecticides to the places," he said. "We also suggest that clients stay at safer place while chemical is being applied."

Sources said that the chemicals are imported from several countries, mostly the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Japan and China.

Shefali Begum, a zoology professor at Dhaka University, said improper use of chemical elements put negative impact on human body.

Those who apply insect-repelling chemicals at households, they hardly know about its negative impact on human body in the long term, she said.

"All insecticides have negative impacts either directly or indirectly. People may contract several diseases including asthma, nerve poison and dermatological problem following long exposure to those," she said.

She also suggested taking precautionary measures such as using masks and gloves while applying insecticides.

"Everyone should keep their houses clean and eliminate extra goods aiming to reduce the number of insects," she said. Integrated Pest Management (IPM), biological, mechanical and microbial control could be alternative to chemical use, she added.

According to a report by the US-based Allied Market Research, the global pest control market was valued at $ 15.98 billion.

It will reach approximately $ 23.18 billion by 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4 per cent during the forecast period.

Different segments in this market, in particular, the agriculture segment is anticipated to expand at the highest CAGR during the period forecast.

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