SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. — Target Specialty Products announced in July its continued expansion in North America with the acquisition of Residex, the largest privately owned specialty chemical distribution business in the United States, for $30 million. As a result of the acquisition, Residex joins forces with Rentokil’s distribution arm, Target Specialty Products, which doubles its market reach, expanding its footprint to the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast.

Founded in 1946, Residex was the distribution arm of New Jersey-based Western Pest Services. When Rollins acquired Western Pest Services in 2004, Residex President Chris Donaghy orchestrated a management buy-out. In 2010, Residex merged with Turfgrass, a distributor serving the golf and turf industry. Today, Residex, based in Novi, Mich., provides pest control and turf & ornamental (T&O) products to the eastern half of the U.S. from 25 warehouse locations across 14 states. Adding Residex to the strength of Target’s existing products business (based in California and with locations primarily on the West Coast, mid-Atlantic and central U.S.) establishes a fully national market footprint and also provides entry into the Canadian products market.

“We have a proactive approach to acquisitions and we identified Residex as a well-run company with a distribution footprint that complemented Target’s existing market reach,” Todd Ferguson, head of Target Specialty Products, said in a press release. “We believe Residex is a great business run by a strong team, so joining our like-minded companies makes perfect sense to further our commitment to providing best-in-class products that will increase both shareholder and customer value.”

Todd Griebe, former CEO and owner of Residex, will join Target Specialty Products as national director of the company’s exclusive Turf Fuel Business. In a press release, Griebe commented: “Residex was not actively looking to sell, but the more we spoke with Target and got to know their management team, the more interested we became. Combining the reach and expertise of Residex with Target’s complementary capabilities will create the second largest products business of this type in the U.S., which will help drive value for our clients while improving customer service.”

The acquisition helps Target fill out its coverage area throughout the eastern U.S., John Myers, CEO of Rentokil North America, told PCT. Although Target Specialty Products already has an eastern U.S. presence, “there were gaps,” Myers said. “We think the Residex acquisition will really reduce our costs because there will be less freight for our business; and we think we’ll be able to provide better service to our customers because we’ll be more local than in the past.”

Because of this “infilling of geography” Myers said he does not anticipate office closures as a result of the merger. Residex also appealed to Target because of its mix of pest control and golf/T&O products. When Rentokil acquired Western Exterminator in 2013, included in that deal was Western’s distribution arm Target Specialty Products. Like Residex, Target does significant golf/T&O product sales — about a 50/50 split between pest control product sales and golf/T&O product sales, Myers said.

While Myers said it is too early to discuss the new management structure of the combined distributors, he did say Griebe will remain with the company and be relied upon for his expertise in the T&O/golf market. Myers added that in the immediate future Residex and Target Specialty Products will continue to operate as separate brands, but that Residex likely will be rebranded as Target Specialty Products in the future. — Brad Harbison

Univar ES Acquires Wildlife Management Supplies

AUSTIN, Texas — Univar Environmental Sciences, a business unit of Univar USA Inc., announced today it has acquired the assets of Wildlife Management Supplies (WMS) from Rollins Wildlife Services. The acquisition of WMS, a wildlife control retailer in the U.S. since 1989, expands the scope of wildlife control products available for distribution by Univar to a broad base of governmental and professional customers across the U.S.

“Wildlife control represents an increasingly important and complementary field within the pest management industry,” said Trace McEuen, vice president, Environmental Sciences, Americas. “Some of the nation’s most successful pest management companies attribute a significant portion of their organic business growth to the rising demand for wildlife control. This acquisition gives us the capability to completely service new and existing wildlife control customers with the hardware and consumables they need to drive even more business in this fast-growing field.”

In addition to traps and exclusion devices, wildlife control companies rely on an array of consumable products for each job, such as hardware cloth, caulk and cleaning materials. Univar Environmental Sciences will serve its U.S. customers with wildlife control products supplied from its distribution hub in Cincinnati, Ohio. The business has hired an industry specialist who will provide vital support to the company’s existing sales and customer service staff.

Orthene PCO Pellets Added to PCT Distance Learning Center Label Training

CLEVELAND, Ohio — PCT’s Distance Learning Center continues to expand with the addition of a label training module for AMVAC’s Orthene PCO Pellets Insecticide. Visit https://training.pctonline.com and get started on the module. This and other label training modules are the centerpiece of PCT’s Distance Learning Center — a FREE service for the professional pest control market provided by PCT.

Created by Board Certified Entomologist and consultant Stoy Hedges, the courses use photographs, video clips and reference materials to challenge users’ knowledge, experience and problem-solving skills for a wide range of products and pest problems.

Accessible by PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone, Distance Learning Center training is presented in modules designed to take a half-hour to an hour to complete. Their brevity gives individuals the opportunity to fit this education in whenever their schedules allow — even during breaks or lunchtime. And if a user needs to stop while taking a course, no problem: He or she can close the program and pick up at the point they left off later.

Each label course is designed around reading and interpreting a specific pesticide product label, covering all aspects of the label — from trade name, target pests, hazards and first aid to areas for treatment and directions for use. As the user takes the course, he or she will be required to identify pests or treatment sites by photograph and determine whether such pests or sites are included on the label and/or interpret how that product may be used to treat the pest according to label directions.

Training is divided into sections with three to seven related questions, and upon selecting the correct answer(s), an explanation of the correct answer is provided, sometimes with a tip on where the pest professional can find the answer in the reference materials. These explanations help to improve the user’s understanding of the topic materials.

Visit https://training.pctonline.com to get started, and return frequently as new modules are being added regularly.


Agri-Turf Hosts 10th Annual Malcolm Stack Charity Golf Tournament in September

TUSTIN, Calif. — Agri-Turf Distributing announced its Malcolm Stack Charity Golf Tournament returns again this fall.

The event will take place Sept. 15, at the Tustin Ranch Golf Course in Tustin, Calif. The day is lined up with a handful of events prior to the shotgun start at 5 p.m.

“It’s a way for us as an industry to give back to the community, while contributing to an important cause — the American Cancer Society,” Lon Records, president of Agri-Turf Distributing, said.

The tournament is named after the late Malcolm Stack, a leader in the pest control industry and founder of Bell Laboratories. Stack died in 2006 from cancer. He was 70 years old. Ever since the tournament’s formation in 2006, the money raised has gone to the American Cancer Society.

“At our inaugural Malcolm Stack Charity Golf Tournament last year we raised more than $41,000,” Records said. “We hope to top that figure this year.”

The event expects about 144 golfers and rising to help achieve a goal of $50,000.

Sponsors of the tournament include: Bell Laboratories (platinum sponsor), AMVAC, Bayer, J.T. Eaton, Orange County Fair, PCT, Syngenta, Tru-Power, Wilbur-Ellis, Zoëcon/Central Life Sciences and UCI Health (University of California Irvine). — Marisa Fernandez

The 2016 Olympics: One Brazilian PMP’s Perspective

Salem
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — All eyes this summer are on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics. This beautiful location also brings with it concern as Brazil has become ground zero for mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Rentokil’s Claudio Salem, technical director, Brazil, and branch manager, Rio de Janeiro, has witnessed the country’s mosquito challenges first-hand during the last 20 years. Salem explains why mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases are so problematic in Brazil.

It starts with sanitation issues, said Salem, noting that Culex sp thrives in urban areas of Brazil where 44% of houses do not have sewage treatment. The region’s warm temperatures and rainy conditions also provide conditions conducive for mosquitoes. “It’s more than just extreme heat and rain. In the tropical area we can say that we have summer year-round with dry and wet seasons,” he told PCT.

Another problem, Salem says, is “the lack of regular water supply in at least 17% of Brazilian houses” which forces people to store water in tanks. “Sixty-three percent of the Brazilian cities do not have proper destinations for solid residues — that can easily become points of Aedes sp breeding,” he said.

How do these conditions contribute to the potential spread of mosquito-borne diseases? “One example is that 88% of the Brazilian slums (which don’t have a constant water supply as well as sewage collection) are in cities with more than 1 million people (the most important cities in Brazil) where the density can be up to 13,000 people per square-kilometer. This is likely a perfect scenario for an epidemic dispersion, don’t you think?” he said.

These and other challenges are not overnight fixes for Brazil, but when it comes to Zika and the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Salem thinks the risk is minimal because Aedes mosquitoes, the species that transmits Zika, is a manageable problem in Rio, he says. “With Aedes, this particular year had nothing different from the previous ones, except for the Zika virus event. To keep small areas like the stadiums without Aedes for three months in the winter should not be a problem or a concern.”

For this and other reasons, Salem was optimistic the 2016 Olympic games, which were just beginning at press time, would be a success. “Rio is a unique experience. Participating in an Olympic event is certainly amazing, and life is just a one-way road. So, I think it is worth it to come down here and enjoy the party. This will be in one of the cooler winters in Rio. The health authorities are doing their job. So, keep your repellent with you and enjoy the party. The real risk is low and certainly it is worth it. Rio de Janeiro people are full of energy and happiness for this event.” — Brad Harbison

Allergy Technologies Released Newest SDS for ActiveGuard Mattress Liner

AMBLER, Pa. — Allergy Technologies released its newest Safety Data Sheet last month for its ActiveGuard Mattress Liner. The company calls attention to its SDS expressing that ActiveGuard is consistent with a Category IV product by all routes of exposure and therefore no signal words or cautionary statements are required.

Joseph Latino, president of Allergy Technologies, said, “We are proud to have one of the most innocuous SDSs in the industry today. This SDS was generated by an outside expert specializing in health-related documents for pesticide manufacturers.”

ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are made from special polyester fabric that offers sustained availability of permethrin uniformly over time and kills bed bugs through contact, ActiveGuard says.

It is used by hotels, cruise lines, medical facilities, colleges, in private homes, and by PMPs.

Users can access the newest SDS on the Allergy Technologies website.

The Black Diamond team racing in the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Bed Races.

Black Diamond Races in 2016 Kentucky Derby Festival Bed Races

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Black Diamond Pest Control participated in the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Bed Races for the first time earlier this spring. This event has kicked off the famous Kentucky Derby week the last 17 years. Black Diamond spent three weeks prior to the race building its bed on wheels and decorating it as the “World’s Fastest Bed Bug Eliminators,” observing the event’s theme of “Race for the Cup.”

There were 3,000 fans and 30 teams that competed on the figure-eight course with various beds on wheels that had to follow the rigid rules and specifications of the event. Black Diamond placed third out of the 20 teams in their division, only 0.4 seconds from getting to race in the winner-takes-all final heat. “With it being our first year participating in the event, we didn’t know exactly what to expect,” said Owner/CEO Keith Duncan. “It is an extremely fun and energetic evening. We are excited to participate again next year with some experience under our belt.”

Rollins Acquires UK-Based Safeguard Pest Control

ATLANTA — Rollins purchased the stock of Safeguard Pest Control and Environmental Services Limited, operating in greater London and Southeastern England. The acquisition closed in July and is Rollins’ first company-owned operation in the United Kingdom.

Established in 1991 and headquartered in Westersham Kent, United Kingdom, Safeguard Pest Control is a long-established pest control firm in the UK, with a rich history of providing pest control, bird control, and specialist services to residential and commercial customers. Safeguard Pest Control owners Paul Butterick and Tim Sheehan will stay on to run the company’s operations.

Gary W. Rollins, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Rollins, commented, “The Safeguard acquisition is an important milestone and expands our global presence. Safeguard’s outstanding management team has established the company as an industry leader, and we share a culture of continuous improvement and ongoing investment in training and development. Further, we are pleased that Paul and Tim will remain in leadership roles and look forward to sharing best practices between the two organizations.”

Steve Jackson of Arthropodcast.

Pest Control Podcast Reaches 10,000 Downloads

BELLEVUE, Neb. — Arthropodcast, an online podcast providing “pest info on the go” reached its 10,000th download during its 50th episode on March 14.

Steve Jackson and Bryan Baird, friends who have worked in the pest control industry together for several years, became inspired to start Arthropodcast while talking on the phone as they traveled to and from inspections. “I was thinking to myself, if we would just record these phone conversations someone would find it entertaining,” Jackson said.

Together, co-hosts Jackson and Baird have more than 30 years of experience in the pest control industry. From working as servicve technicians to starting their own pest control businesses, they have acquired a unique perspective of almost every level in the industry and apply their knowledge in all of their 30-minute weekly podcasts.

David Ticknor, a sales inspector for 855bugs.com and a frequent listener of Arthropodcast, said, “It’s informative and entertaining.” Ticknor has enjoyed hearing the way Arthropodcast communicates industry-related news.

Jackson and Baird hope to support others in the pest management industry by making them laugh and allowing them to take away useful information they can relate to and implement in their own businesses and lives.

“I like knowing that we can do something that will entertain somebody or give them a tip that helps them with a particular problem,” Jackson said.

Now, only a year since their podcast began, they have already reached their 10,000th download. “It’s exciting” said Jackson, “knowing we hit the 50 episode milestone is a good feeling.”

Jackson and Baird want to shine a light on the pest control industry. Their goal is to inform other industry professionals about current industry topics and tips in an entertaining way. “This is a great industry that has a lot of potential for growing and learning,” said Baird, “We enjoy what we do and we are happy and thankful that people like to listen to us.”

Pest Invasion 2016 Addresses Key Food Safety Topics and Industry BMPs

SOUTH ELGIN, Ill. — McCloud Services, a leading pest management company headquartered in South Elgin, Ill., hosted its annual Pest Invasion premier food industry pest management seminar on April 26, at the Drury Lane Convention Center in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

The seminar was attended by more than 300 pest management, environmental health, and food safety professionals, and featured a variety of leading speakers. As one of the few pest management seminars with a focus entirely on the food industry segment, McCloud Services announced some key takeaways from the successful event.

The central theme of Pest Invasion 2016 revolved around food safety. Experts presented information on exclusion and sanitation, important components of a food safety program and pest management. Speakers addressed rodents and cockroaches as vectors of disease and threats to food safety.

Speakers included Rod Wheeler of The Global Defense Institute; Matt Frye of the New York State IPM Program at Cornell University; Hal King of Public Health Innovations; Joe Barile of Bayer; and Robert Brackett of Illinois Institute of Technology. Panel members included Wheeler, Frye, Barile, Dave Colbert of Global Materials Technologies, and Ray Olschewski of Bird Barrier America.

Key takeaways from the conference include:

  • In his talk “Food Defense Roadmap of the Future,” Wheeler discussed people as being one of the biggest risks to food safety and the people who produce food. Site vulnerability, cyber security, and product theft all put the food supply at risk.
  • Frye discussed the importance of assessing the size of a rat infestation (there are typically eight rats for each burrow hole); how dynamic a rat’s environment is (a playground that sees constant action as opposed to a static crawlspace); and the population’s food preference (which is actually determined by what the mother ate).
  • Colbert discussed pest-proofing in grocery stores and identified some of the markets that are lacking good pest-proofing but need this essential service, such as museums, schools, and medical facilities.
  • Olschewski focused his segment on using exclusion for urban bird control.
  • In “Active Managerial Control: Implementing Food Safety Management Systems in a Food Retail Business,” King focused on the need for systematic procedures in protecting consumers from foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants.
  • German and American cockroaches took center-stage in Barile’s talk, “Domestic and Peridomestic Cockroach Species of the United States and Their Control.” Cockroach numbers are increasing, he said, but chemical availability is decreasing due to regulatory registration requirements. Pest management professionals need to be more aggressive in their monitoring and diagnostics and “think small.”
  • Brackett emphasized the need for a food safety culture in his presentation, “The Role of Sanitation in Preventative Food Safety Programs.” The lack of a food safety culture leads to red flags for auditing bodies, resulting in them checking and scrutinizing the facility more often than they may have otherwise. The culture is the result of food safety behavior based off of shared values held by all employees of the company. Employees of a company with a food safety culture actively try to find food safety issues, as opposed to avoiding them or running into them when they become a problem. A lack of sanitation preventative controls results in pathogens transferred from cross-contamination, exposure to pathogens in the environment, or food allergen cross-contamination.

Visit Pest Invasion 2016 for a more detailed recap.