Back in 2016, Reliable Pest Solutions added backyard mosquito control to its service offering by using the SecureChoiceSM Mosquito Assurance Program from Syngenta.
The program was just the push District Service Supervisor Chuck Houston needed. It provided the Hannibal, Missouri-based company with a proven protocol and a guarantee: If the program failed to control mosquitoes as promised, Syngenta would provide product free of charge to perform a re-treat.
Four years later, the mosquito business at Reliable Pest Solutions continues to grow, both as a stand-alone service and as an add-on to the company’s premier, year-round pest control service. “It’s definitely been worth our while,” says Houston.
Many customers who sign up for the mosquito-only service – they’re often referred by neighbors happy with the program – eventually become pest control customers.
And when customers add mosquito control onto their year-round pest control service, technicians can save time, often performing both services at once. “It’s helped us eliminate one trip around the house,” explains Houston.
More Choices, More Support
A lot has happened since Syngenta launched the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program in 2014.
Not only has the company introduced additional assurance programs to help pest management professionals (PMPs) confidently control fleas, ticks, scorpions, spiders, fire ants and cockroaches, but it’s developed a deep bench of virtual and hands-on learning tools to help support participants’ success:
Online Learning Modules – These tutorials explore specific pests, various control protocols, best application practices, insights on products and more. To access the free learning modules, visit SyngentaPMP.com/SecureChoice and create a free SyngentaPMP.com account if you don’t already have one. Short videos and webinars are also available as training resources that can be a quick refresher for technicians.
Application Academies – The academies combine classroom and hands-on learning on how best to use and calibrate different makes and models of equipment, from outdoor mist blowers for mosquito control to the tools needed to control cockroaches in commercial kitchens. Attendees learn best practices founded in research and how to demonstrate proficiency with each piece of equipment.
“The industry has gotten away from demonstrating and teaching application and calibration, especially onsite. We saw the need for that,” says Dave McCormick, territory manager for Professional Pest Management (PPM) at Syngenta, North America, and an organizer of the academies.
The mulch bed demonstration – where attendees apply water at different dilution rates to a mulch bed lined with water-sensitive paper that turns blue when wet – is a favorite of Marshall Gaster, market manager for PPM at Syngenta, North America. Participants who apply the commonly used 1-gallon per 1,000-square-feet dilution rate (versus the 4-gallon rate recommended for mulch) find the paper under the mulch – where the ants would be – is not blue.
“It’s just so eye opening for everybody. It shows how a proper application can mean the difference between going back to that house probably a week later,” says Gaster.
Employees can earn continuing education credits for attending application academies, which can be customized for a company’s specific business needs. Syngenta is developing virtual components and outdoor-only academies to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. To learn more, contact your local Syngenta territory manager.
“The learning modules and application academies are ‘a total A-to-Z’ road map for using our products in the best way possible,” says McCormick.
SecureChoice assurance programs promise control of specific pests, a commitment Syngenta does not take lightly.
That’s why the Syngenta technical services team worked with university researchers and PMPs to research and test protocols and application methods in the field. This process can take years to complete with the findings used to further improve the programs.
“Each SecureChoice assurance program has been extremely well-planned and well-researched before being released to customers,” says Nicky Gallagher, technical services manager for PPM at Syngenta, North America.
As such, PMPs can feel confident using the programs to introduce new services or enhance existing ones to control pervasive and challenging public health pests. In many ways, the hard work has been done for PMPs, which Houston found with the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program. “It’s been a solid program that’s just been so easy to do. It works,” he says.
That confidence spreads to clients, as well. “There’s peace of mind for customers knowing you’re using something that is tested and proven,” says Gaster.
While the guarantee is important, Houston says it was the Syngenta customer service that really drove him to embrace the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program.
He says Syngenta Territory Manager Mike Weissman “does great by us,” providing training, answering questions, helping with issues and periodically checking in to see how things are going.
“That definitely goes a long way; when you’re walking into a new program that you can be assured that you’re going to get backed by Syngenta,” says Houston.