When consumers encountered problems with rodents or insects in their homes and gardens in the past, their first thought was to contact the local pest controller or garden service. But over time, with greater retail product availability, consumers have made the switch to conducting treatments at home by themselves. This allows for quicker, easier treatments and, most importantly, greater savings for consumers who don’t have to worry about labor costs. In 2019, sales for consumer pesticides and fertilizers were estimated at almost USD 6 billion, an increase of nearly a billion dollars in three years, as reported in Kline’s Consumer Pesticides and Fertilizers Market: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities.
The report divides the sales into five main markets: fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and rodenticides. Rodenticides has been the fastest-growing segment for consumers in the past three years and is forecast to have the biggest segment growth, at 3.5% annually in the next few years. Rodents such as rats and mice may be prevalent in households when they are attracted to food odors or are seeking warm shelter in the winter. Typically, household rodents are not large infestations but singular occurrences. Thus, consumers are finding it easier to set up bait stations and catch the rodent themselves rather than contracting pest control. Recent changes by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have resulted in many toxic active ingredients being removed from the rodenticides markets. Consumers have a choice for less-toxic products, and the use of bait stations prevents contamination to their pets and local wildlife, increasing confidence in purchasing these products.
The consumer lawn fertilizer market segment has been another high-growth segment in the past three years, increasing at a rate of 6.9% annually. Consumers are keen on lawn care to ensure the grass is greener and more uniform, improving the overall aesthetic of their home. In recent years, there has also been a large increase in more organic fertilizers, which are beneficial to consumers who are environmentally conscience and reduces concerns about chemical toxicity. There is also an increased prevalence of combination products, which are fertilizers mixed with pesticides—usually herbicides and insecticides. These combination products offer consumers the chance to purchase a singular product but provide extra benefits all in one, being more cost-effective. Suppliers also benefit from combination products, as these typically are sold at a higher profit margin, which can be up to 45% more.
The insecticides market segment also had a large growth rate of 5.4% over the past three years. High growth was in the insect repellent industry, which increased by 8.3% annually in the past three years. Consumers have greater access to repellent products, including citronella candles and outdoor lamps, as well as many cosmetics including lotions, sprays, and towelettes, making repellents easy to apply. Increased sales are also from the pet insecticides market, as consumers are adopting and fostering more pets for companionship, increasing demand for flea and tick control products.
The increased demand and awareness of consumer products are also driven by the large, diverse number of suppliers that have expansive product ranges in all the leading retailers. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Spectrum Brands, and S.C. Johnson all have multiple brands available in most mass merchandisers and local supermarkets. Their brands are advertised well on television and print media, allowing for better brand recognition. In recent years, the use of the Internet and social media is also increasing, with many suppliers and retailers offering consumers the option of online purchasing. This option is incredibly useful in 2020, as lockdown measures due to COVID-19 meant more consumers were homebound. Consumers staying at home are able to also spend more time caring for their plants and lawns, allowing for the expected high market growth to be sustained.