The System III, manufactured by BASF, is pairing its system applicator and the company’s Prescription Treatment® (PT®) brand products, which “enhances the use of our formulations by making them more efficient to use and offers PMPs the ability to apply product with greater precision,” explained Dave Biegacki, product manager, urban pest control, BASF. “You’re armed with a can of product on your belt, the trigger in your hand, and a flashlight in the other hand.”
Using proprietary components, the aerosol pressure is maintained by the system so that flow rate remains consistent from the first spray to the last. Kurt Scherzinger, vice president of operations, Scherzinger Termite & Pest Control, Cincinnati, has seen this first hand. “It doesn’t matter if the can is 100 percent or two percent full, the System III allows you to get every drop out of the can compared to using the can by itself, because of the way the system is designed.”
PMPs experiencing the benefits. All types of companies are seeing the benefits of the System III. “We’ve been using the system for more than 25 years and have more than 2,000 systems in the field,” said Jay Yarsinske, quality assurance supervisor, Terminix Service, Columbia, S.C.
Wade Wilson, commercial pest control manager and technical manager, Turner Pest Control, Jacksonville, Fla., shared that his team has been using 12 units for about five months and are “looking to incorporate another 30 by the end of the year.”
The System III is an additional tool in a PMP’s arsenal, said Scherzinger. “It hasn’t really replaced any equipment, but it’s taken us away from being ‘baseboard spray jockeys.’”
A complete system. There are more than a half dozen aerosol insecticide products exclusive to the System III for treating a range of crawling and flying pests including bed bugs, cockroaches, flies and more. Biegacki said the products can be used independently of the System III, but “to get the most out of the product, it should be used with the System.”
At Manhattan, Kan.-based American Pest Management, the company’s technical team likes that the PT brands offer a variety of insecticides and active ingredients, which help reduce the chances of resistance and aversion.
“We continue to look toward adding products compatible with the System III,” said Biegacki. “Whether they’re enhanced current formulations or new active ingredients, there’s always innovation in the pipeline.”
Precise treatments. Although effective for both precise treatment and fogging, its greatest advantage is for Crack & Crevice treatments, PCOs say. Gerry Marsh, general manager, Patton Termite and Pest Control, Wichita, Kan., said they “use the system pretty much 100 percent of the time for treating cracks and crevices.”
Wilson said Turner is using a thermal fogging machine a lot less for cracks and crevices now that it started using the System III. “The company has reduced the use of a thermal fogger from about 40 percent of the time to four percent, and is using the System III for treating cracks and crevices about 96 percent of the time,” he said.
PMPs tend to use the System III to treat for the same pests, with bed bugs and cockroaches topping the list, and ants and occasional invaders, among others, trailing closely behind.
More consistent flow rate. The System III was designed to improve all aspects of treatment. “PMPs are able to treat more efficiently with one or two products — such as a contact and a residual — that are immediately available without carrying two tanks. It improves product efficiency by using less product and applying it precisely where it’s needed and most effective,” said Biegacki.
One ounce of insecticide is equivalent to 28, one-second bursts. “It’s a metered system that applies a specific dosage every time you press down on the applicator. You know you’re getting the correct amount every time,” said American Pest Management Vice President Travis Aggson. This accuracy allows PMPs to accurately record how much chemical has been applied.
Less waste = cost savings. Aerosols can be inefficient. A new can typically delivers more product per squeeze at first, because it’s under maximum pressure. Toward the end of the can, as pressure decreases, less product is delivered. The System III provides consistent application, which optimizes flow rate by 37 to 67 percent, depending on the aerosol product used. “You’re getting more seconds per can, making more efficient use of the product and saving money,” said Biegacki.
Said Yarsinske, “When we started using the System III, we saw a dramatic reduction of product being wasted. The system allows us to utilize all of the product in every can, which results in less waste and less product ordered. This dramatically reduces chemical costs and raises profits.”
Aggson said if you used the aerosol can alone, you might leave anywhere from a half-ounce to an ounce in the can, but “because we’re able to use the entire can, we’re probably saving about $6 on every case of product.” He added that the System III also saves money by reducing over-application.
Wilson said he noticed the savings right away. “The system saves us chemicals. We’re using about 60 percent less product using the system compared to applying product using an aerosol can. For bed bug jobs, we were using two to two-and-a-half cans of product. Now we’re using only one can. We’re spending about one-third of what we used to. Our monthly savings using the System III averages around $320 to 380 per month.”
Prior to Terminix Service using the System III, Yarsinske said a lot of product was being wasted. “Technicians would often have to apply aerosols in tight areas — such as underneath and in cabinetry — by holding the can horizontally or upside down, which caused excess propellant to be dispersed. One-quarter to one-third of a can of product can be wasted when the propellant is depleted before the product. We know, because every technician has to return product cans and we were able to determine how much product remained.”
Treating difficult spaces. The System III allows PMPs to be more agile and mobile to get their job done more easily.
“It gives our techs the ability to treat in all directions. Using a regular aerosol, they can treat upside down if the can is full. But with the system, the can sits vertically on their waist, so it allows them to treat until the can is empty,” said Marsh.
There are a lot of difficult-to-reach places in commercial kitchens, for example, such as under dishwashers, tables, and prep tables, and around deep sinks. The System III makes those areas easier to reach. Said Wilson, “I can get my hand up under the sink using the system actuator and straw —an area I can’t reach using a can. I can also see better, because the can isn’t obstructing my view.”
The belt. The belt that accompanies the System III allows pest management professionals to carry two or more aerosol cans of PT brand insecticide, keeping them at the ready. An attached pouch can be used to carry replacement parts for the System III.
“Our PMPs like that the belt gives them the ability to enter a customer’s home with everything they’ll need to solve any problems they encounter, without having to go back and forth from their service vehicle, which is time consuming,” said Yarsinske.
Also, with the belt, PMPs aren’t “fumbling with a compressed air sprayer, one or two cans of aerosol, and bait. It reduces multiple trips to the vehicle or having to carry a lot of products,” said Aggson. PMPs may attach other treatment necessities to their belt, including gel bait and a flashlight.
Minimal, easy maintenance. Yarsinske recommended that as technicians begin using the System III, “be sure to educate and train them on which products can be applied through the system and how to perform routine maintenance in the field. Like any other piece of pest control equipment, it will require maintenance and minor repairs from time to time. We love that any repair or maintenance on the System III takes five minutes or less!”
BASF provides all replacement parts for the System III at no cost.
Ease of use, application control, efficiencies, and cost savings are all reasons why pest management professionals will want to consider adding the System III to their toolboxes.