How to select a new pesticide



August 10, 2013


August 10, 2013

The next time you walk into a distributor’s office or somebody drops off a “free sample” of a pesticide for you to try, don’t accept it unless you have good answers to these questions:

  1. Where will it fit into my program and materials list?
  2. Does it fit comfortably in my company’s profile?
  3. Does it make financial sense to incorporate it?
  4. What other companies are using it and how long have they been using it? How can I contact them?
  5. Is it registered for use in my state?
  6. Are there certain types of accounts I can’t use it in, such as an organic or LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) account?
  7. What environmental warnings are on the label?
  8. What safety equipment is mandated to mix and apply it?
  9. For which target pests is it registered?
  10. How often can it be reapplied?
  11. Do any odor problems exist?
  12. Does it stain? If so, what types of surfaces?
  13. At what maximum and minimum temperatures should it be stored?
  14. To what chemical class does it belong, and what other pesticides are in that class?
  15. Do you need to purchase special equipment to apply it?
  16. Does the product have any adverse effects on particular types of pets or plants?
  17. Have you read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) that accompanies the label for any concerns?
  18. Can it be applied in a food-processing facility?
  19. Can it be applied outdoors and indoors?
  20. Is the pesticide registered in other fields of pest management, such as agriculture, public health, or turf and ornamental?
  21. What type of training is needed to use the product appropriately and effectively?
  22. Who’s the manufacturer of the product and what kind of technical support do they offer (hotline, online, in person, etc.)?
  23. What’s the residual activity?
  24. What’s the signal word on the label? Why that particular signal word?

In New York, there’s an expression:

“You have to be good to make it in N.Y.” The same should hold true for what makes your company’s list of control products. It has to be great to make your list. Once you decide to try it, have it field tested by your best people. Ask for feedback, positive and negative, and ask employees what concerns they have about the product. It could be something as simple as ‘the cap on the package should be sturdier.’ This can help the manufacturer, the industry and you. Every product should be a work in progress. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try new products — just use logic when choosing them. pmp

You can reach Frishman, an industry consultant since 1967 and president of AMF Pest Management Services, at


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