We’re calling it: 2016 is the year of the mosquito. Awareness of the pest and the diseases it carries — Zika, dengue, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, encephalitis — has never been higher. Neither has demand for its control.
Still, rolling out a new service like mosquito control comes with risk. That’s why pest management professionals (PMPs) are turning in force to the SecureChoice™ Mosquito Assurance Program from Syngenta, launched last year. The program offers a comprehensive, step-by-step approach to managing mosquitoes based on proven protocol, products and support. And if you need to retreat, Syngenta will provide the necessary products free of charge.
This was just the boost Chuck Houston needed to add on the service this spring. The district supervisor of Reliable Pest Solutions in Hannibal, Missouri, had been skeptical of mosquito control: the pests are fierce in his Mississippi River town and for years he has fielded calls from consumers unhappy with competitors’ mosquito control programs.
But then Syngenta Territory Manager Mike Weissman laid out some “really good points and a really good program” and Houston decided to give it a try. Since April, Reliable Pest Solutions’ mosquito control service has grown substantially, mainly through word-of-mouth from happy customers.
“I see this becoming part of our long-term program for residentials, perhaps as a premium add-on to our yearly general pest service,” said Houston.Here’s how it works. Unlike typical control programs that work for 21 or 30 days, the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program delivers 60 days of relief. The research-based, step-by-step integrated mosquito management protocol guides PMPs in reducing breeding sites, using larvacides, educating customers and targeting the application of Demand® CS insecticide and Archer® insect growth regulator (IGR).
“Demand CS provides fast knockdown of adult mosquitoes to provide the immediate relief that customers want,” said Nicky Gallagher, technical services manager for Professional Pest Management (PPM) at Syngenta in North America. Its proprietary iCAP™ technology — a complex polymer capsule structure that features microcaps of varying sizes — ensures the active ingredient lambda-cyhalothrin stays put, even in adverse weather, to control mosquitoes that come into the yard and land on treated surfaces.
Archer interrupts the mosquito life cycle by preventing larvae from developing into egg-laying adults. Mosquitoes can pick up the material from treated surfaces and pass it on to “basically inoculate” their own breeding sites, added Gallagher. The active ingredient, pyriproxyfen, mimics a juvenile growth hormone specific to insects and works at an extremely low rate — less than one part per million, she said.
While Demand CS stays put, the IGR moves ever-so-slightly in the environment to help control those obscure breeding sites that may not get a direct product application, such as deep into the coiled, water-holding leaves of a bromeliad plant. “Pyriproxyfen can get into these areas where mosquitoes may have already laid their eggs or will come lay their eggs; that’s a real advantage when it comes to achieving control,” said Gallagher.
“Application rates can be adjusted if a PMP wants to service accounts on a 21-day or 30-day schedule but most of our customers really like the 60-day approach because it’s a more efficient use of technician time,” said Pat Willenbrock, head of marketing for PPM at Syngenta in North America.
Best way to apply. Backpack blower-misters let PMPs apply Demand CS and Archer deep into hard-to-reach, dense foliage and to the undersides of leaves where mosquitoes rest. “The key thing is getting that chemical where the mosquitoes are,” said Houston, who targets shrubs and bushes near the house, eaves, under decks, and areas with moist, decaying leaves.
Gallagher also explained that training technicians to use the proper blower-mister setting and to pre-mix the products in a separate service container instead of directly in the equipment tank will help ensure a more uniform application.
Big savings + support. Making mosquito control even easier — and more cost-effective — is a convenient Multipak offered by Syngenta that contains two quarts of Demand CS and five pints of Archer. The Multipak helps ensure PMPs have the right amount of both products to make applications at the recommended rates and ratios, and is a better value than buying the products individually, especially if you’re just starting out in mosquito control, Gallagher added.
“If you follow the protocol as directed, we’re confident you shouldn’t have any problems with disruptive, costly callbacks,” said ElRay Roper, senior technical representative for PPM at Syngenta in North America. “If you do, Syngenta will provide the appropriate amount of product necessary for the retreat at no additional cost to the PMP.”
PMPs who take on the role of managing mosquitoes and other public health pests can expect the full support of the Syngenta sales, marketing and technical staff. “We’re there with you the whole way,” assured Willenbrock.
For information about the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program, visit www.SyngentaPMP.com/mosquito or contact your local Syngenta territory manager.