The old adage that “change is the only constant in life” is especially true when it comes to pest control. The most successful PMPs don’t simply rely on what previously worked, but instead continually refine their operations to provide their customers with innovative pest management solutions.
This ability to pivot and adapt has perhaps never been more important than in 2020, when COVID-19 drastically altered the way PMPs do business. PMPs reinvented their business models, in some cases breaking into different lines of work to generate new revenue streams.
They also changed their service protocols to meet the demands of pest control in the age of COVID-19. With many homes and businesses completely shuttered or drastically limiting access, PMPs chose — or in some cases were forced — to offer “exterior only” pest management treatments.
Helping PMPs with this shift is BASF, manufacturer of a complete portfolio of products, many of which are ideal for “exterior only” pest management programs. “Being able to use these products from the exterior without the need to enter inside the structure helped us service our customers without jeopardizing our technicians’ and customers’ health due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Mohammed El-Damir, technical and training director for Adam’s Pest Control, Medina, Minn.
Here’s a look at BASF products that are outstanding for exterior treatments, and how some PMPs are using them as part of their exterior only programs.
FENDONA CS. Featuring an advanced encapsulation and the active ingredient alpha-cypermethrin, Fendona CS is the centerpiece of many PMPs’ exterior pest management programs. PMPs love that it holds up in extreme conditions for extended periods of time.
“The Fendona micromesh formulation really adheres to surfaces. It just lasts longer,” said Kyle Franklin, sales specialist for North Carolina and Virginia, BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions.
One PMP who has observed the long-lasting performance of Fendona CS is Eric Broadway, president of Remedy Pest Control, Charlotte, N.C. “We are in an area that receives a lot of rainfall and experiences windy conditions, and Fendona CS holds up well because of the way it is [formulated],” Broadway said. “It has a long residual, provides broad coverage and seems to work very fast. Our technicians like it because they aren’t getting callbacks, so they are more productive.”
Remedy has been focused on growing its commercial business, and an important account is an auto dealership the company recently took over, Broadway said. “I felt comfortable leading with Fendona CS because of the track record we had with it and, so far, it has really met our and our client’s objective of keeping the facility pest-free.”
When COVID-19 hit and Remedy was relegated to exterior treatments, Broadway was concerned because it happened in spring when pest pressure is highest in his company’s service areas.
“Between my technicians doing really good IPM work and using Fendona CS we were able to provide excellent perimeter treatments. We also received really good feedback from our clients during this time,” Broadway said.
PHANTOM TERMITICIDE/INSECTICIDE. Another BASF product with long-lasting residual that has become an important tool in PMPs’ exterior only programs is Phantom termiticide/insecticide.
Phantom, featuring the active ingredient chlorfenapyr, can be applied indoors and outdoors and is widely used by PMPs for the control of ants, cockroaches, house flies and other perimeter pests.
One of the reasons Phantom is a popular choice outdoors is because it is effective on both porous and non-porous surfaces. And because it is non-repellent, PMPs don’t have to worry about pests traveling from treated areas into non-treated areas.
Many innovative PMPs use Phantom as part of a combination treatment strategy, applying Phantom for initial visits, then following up with a rotation of products.
TERMIDOR SC. Featuring the active ingredient fipronil, Termidor SC is a non- repellent, non-detectable termiticide/ insecticide for the control of termites, nuisance ants and other perimeter pests. The product works using Transfer Effect technology; pests freely cross through treatment areas then become donors of the treatment when they return to the colony, resulting in complete colony elimination.
While many PMPs are familiar with Termidor SC as a termiticide, “It is used extensively for ants and a broad range of other general pests on the outside of structures,” said Travis Chambers, senior sales representative, BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions.
At American Pest Management, Manhattan, Kan., Travis Aggson, the company’s executive vice president and A.C.E., said they use a lot of Termidor SC during their spring season (March, April and May). “We started using Termidor SC in conjunction with a granule bait four years ago. Immediately after the switch we noticed a difference in our ant recalls. Recalls dropped 50% in the first year.”
El-Damir said Adam’s Pest Control uses Termidor SC for ant control. “Because of its efficacy we have no or few callbacks for ants.”
ALPINE WSG. PMPs have come to appreciate the power and flexibility of Alpine WSG (Water Soluble Granule), featuring the non-repellent active ingredient dinotefuran. Its label allows PMPs the flexibility to use the product both inside and outside.
“Our original statement when we introduced Alpine WSG still stands today: It’s a product that can be used from the attic to the curb,” said Chambers.
Indoors, El-Damir likes to use Alpine WSG for tough roach infestations because of its non-repellency, which gives him confidence that roaches won’t spread to other areas. “Similarly, with indoor-nesting ants Alpine WSG’s formulation helps by leaving behind residual effects on porous surfaces, which helps dealing with springtails invading from the outdoors.” Outdoors, El-Damir likes that Alpine WSG can be used to treat walls over impervious surfaces such as concrete patios and driveways. “This is important for dealing with fall invading insects in areas where pyrethroids are restricted.”
Aggson said American Pest will use Alpine WSG to get a quick pest knockdown or when a versatile label is needed. “We love it for flies, cockroaches and bed bugs,” he said.
In addition to its effectiveness on these pests, Aggson likes the product because “the material mixes very easily, has no odor, and the mixture is clear.” He added that American Pest technicians love the fact that it leaves no residue in their compressed air sprayers or backpack sprayers.
Chambers added that a trend he has noticed among his clients — especially in 2020 — has been the use of Termidor SC and Alpine WSG in tandem. “You can treat on the structure outside with Termidor SC and you can use Alpine WSG away from the structure where needed. This type of treatment has proven to be successful in the year of COVID-19.”
LOOKING AHEAD. BASF’s extensive product portfolio has given PMPs the tools to offer innovative pest control programs. And the need for outside-the-box solutions (e.g., exterior only programs) was perhaps never more apparent than 2020. With BASF’s pest control solutions PMPs have the tools to navigate the challenges of today (operating amid COVID-19) and help them grow their businesses in an exciting future.