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AMERICA TO CELEBRATE PROTECTORS OF FOOD, HEALTH, PROPERTY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

 20th Anniversary of National Pest Control Month in June
 `The Year of the Rattus'
 DUNN LORING, Va., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- All across the United States, the more than 100,000 men and women who protect our food, health, property and the environment through pest control every day will be honored during the 20th Anniversary year of the National Pest Control Month in June.
 The 20th anniversary theme, "The Year of the Rattus," focuses attention on one of America's most destructive pests, and the need for effective pest control.
 It is estimated that there is at least on rat per person in the country. And each rat can damage food and materials upwards to $1,000 a year. There are more than 45,000 reported rat bites to people each year, many of them are to children less than six years of age. Experts estimate that 25 percent of all fires of unknown origins may have been caused by rats gnawing on the insulation of electrical wiring. And, rats transmit the disease organisms of rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, trichinosis, murine typhus, the plague and leptospirosis.
 National Pest Control Month is part of a nationwide effort to inform Americans to the importance of effective pest management for the protection of society's food, health, property and the environment.
 Pest management plays a major role in allowing us to live healthier, more prosperous and comfortable lives. The pest control industry with approximately 14,250 firms does an estimated $3.8 billion a year in sales. Nationally they employ over 66,600 service technicians and 33,000 office and sales personnel. These firms annually service more than 12 million dwellings, 288,000 retail food establishments, 480,000 commercial restaurants and kitchens, and 66,000 hotels and motels nationwide.
 In addition, the industry's importance to the nation as a whole is considerably broader. It would be difficult to find any segment of the food industry, for example, which could comply with federal regulations for sanitation without an adequate pest management program. Without proper pest management practices, over 50 percent of our food crops would be destroyed by pests. This translates to $2 per ear of corn if effective pest control practices were not used. Although the industry's total revenue is just 1/10 of 1 percent of the nation's Gross National Product (GNP), the industry positively effects certain industries (agriculture, food processing, travel) that contribute 40 percent to our GNP.
 -0- 5/28/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: A pest control month media information booklet is available contact MPCA for copy./
 /CONTACT: Joel Paul of the National Pest Control Association, 703-573-8330/


CO: National Pest Control Association ST: Virginia IN: SU:

TW -- DCFNS2 -- 3248 05/28/93 07:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 28, 1993
Words:451
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