Analysing search terms can provide interesting information on the state of the market and the behaviour of customers. We’ve looked at one of the more common search terms: ‘How to get rid of… [insert pest]’. Which pest was the subject of the highest number of searches?

One way to estimate which pests are causing the most problems for homeowners is to look at the number of online searches being carried out for pest relevant search terms. One of the most common search terms is ‘How to get rid of…’, inserting the pest of concern to complete the sentence.

Granted this type of search is more likely to be carried out by a homeowner wanting to do their own pest control, but it certainly provides an indication of pest prevalence – useful information in understanding your local market.

Looking at the searches carried out over the last 12 months we can look at which are the key pests in Australia and to see if there are any differences in the patterns between states.

The top ‘How to get rid of …’ searches in Australia were:

  1. Ants
  2. Cockroaches
  3. Flies / Fleas / Mice
  4. Mosquitoes / Silverfish / Possums.

Ants is the number one search of this type in Australia by a long way, a pattern that is also replicated across each individual state. The second most common pest nationally is the cockroach, with flies, fleas and mice filling out positions three to five, with not much to split between them. Mosquitoes, silverfish and possums are the next most commonly searched pests.

Whereas ants and cockroaches dominate the searches in individual states and fleas also appear in the top five in every state, there are some difference in the ’minor’ placings. Interestingly mosquitoes only feature in the New South Wales top five, whereas the other states all feature mice. Silverfish have increased prevalence in the southern states and Western Australia, possums appear more of a concern in Victoria and the ACT, and wasps increase in importance in Tasmania, presumably due to the presence of the European wasp.

Other pests that were included in the analysis but didn’t feature in the top 5 pests in any state were carpet beetles, clothes moths, millipedes, pantry moths, rats and spiders.

Perhaps it is a bit of a surprise that termites do not feature in the most common ‘How to get rid of’ pests for any state, apart from the Northern Territory? However, when carrying out an analysis such as this it is also important to consider the motivation behind the search. In this case, someone typing in ‘How to get rid of…’ is arguably more likely to be someone looking for a DIY solution rather than the services of a professional pest control company.

So it’s perhaps a good thing that ‘How to get rid of termites’ does not feature so strongly. For termite professionals, it is perhaps comforting to know that if you added the search terms ‘termite treatment’ and ‘termite inspection’ together, it would be up there competing with ants as the top search term in this analysis.

Top pests in NSW

  1. Ants
  2. Cockroaches
  3. Flies / Mosquitoes / Fleas

Top Pests in VIC

  1. Ants
  2. Cockroaches / Mice
  3. Possums / Fleas / Silverfish

Top Pests in QLD

  1. Ants
  2. Cockroaches
  3. Flies
  4. Fleas / Mice

Top Pests in WA

  1. Ants
  2. Cockroaches / Fleas
  3. Flies / Mice / Silverfish

Top Pests in SA

  1. Ants
  2. Flies
  3. Cockroaches / Mice
  4. Silverfish / Fleas / Possums

Top Pests in TAS

  1. Ants
  2. Fleas / Mice
  3. Flies / Silverfish / Wasps

Top Pest in ACT

  1. Ants
  2. Cockroaches
  3. Possums

Top Pests in the NT

  1. Ants / Cockroaches
  2. Flies / Termites

Phil Ridley, Director, Bug Doctor Media

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