Isn’t a party more fun when you know most of the guests? We took that truth and applied it to this year’s PMP Growth Summit. After attendees arrived and checked into their villas on Wednesday, they came together in the “Boardroom,” a space where each of our 13 Supplier Partners were allotted seven minutes to give pest management professionals (PMPs) an elevator pitch of their companies and product offerings.
When congregating at the poolside reception an hour later, everyone had plenty of conversation starters — seeking out the suppliers they wanted to know more about, and introducing themselves to fellow PMPs and comparing notes. What follow are short snapshots of what was covered during the Boardroom Presentations.
- Bird Barrier of America
- Control Solutions Inc.
- J.T. Eaton
- Kness Pest Defense
- MGK Insect Control Solutions
- Nisus Corp.
- PelGar USA
- Real Green Systems
- Zoëcon Professional Products
Ray Olschewski, ACE, is a technical specialist with the Carson, Calif.-based bird control product manufacturer. Although Bird Barrier offers a wide variety of products, Olschewski focused his presentation on one of its more unusual devices: Optical Gel.
As he showed in his PowerPoint presentation an overhead shot of a pipe hanging above a cash register at a big box home improvement store, Olschewski noted the presence of the Optical Gel’s small disks were barely noticeable. “There hasn’t really been a product before that could help situations like this,” he added.
The disks look like small white candles to the human eye, but because birds can see on an ultraviolet (UV) wavelength, it looks like a huge flame to them.
“They will come close to it and then fly away,” he said. Acknowledging that nesting birds can be particularly undeterred, Optical Gel has two other tricks up its proverbial sleeve: The citronella scent is pleasant to humans, but for birds it confuses — masking the scent of their nesting materials. In addition, if they land on or walk on the disks, the texture is similar to petroleum jelly, and the resulting mess makes it difficult for them to fly.
“Between sight, smell and touch, it will keep the birds off of any structure, in climates from -40°F to 158°F — hot and dry or cold and wet,” he said.
The Centre Hall, Pa.-based manufacturer launched its patented Aprehend biopesticide in October 2017. Bed bugs that come into contact with a barrier spray of Aprehend’s fungal spores become infected and die within three to seven days — and the spray’s residual protects surfaces for up to 90 days.
“Aprehend puts down 20 million spores per square inch on a surface, so when the bed bug crosses it, it’s just like when you go to the beach and pick up sand on your feet,” CEO Don McCandless told attendees.
“It’s an oil formulation, so there’s no waste, even after using it in the spray applicator,” McCandless added. “Once you use the 3-ounce bottle on a job, if there’s any left, you can pour the remainder back into the bottle and use it the next day on a different job.”
The product can be used alone as well as offering added protection after a heat treatment, for example. McCandless pointed out that some PMPs are using it as a preventive and proactive measure on a quarterly basis. He referred to one nursing home account where “it controlled bugs where they didn’t know they had bed bugs… It’s another tool in the toolbox.”
Control Solutions Inc. (CSI), sponsor of the PMP Growth Summit’s golf outing, is one of the fastest-growing companies in the pest management industry.
The mid-sized, U.S.-based specialty chemical manufacturer is a subsidiary of ADAMA, the sixth-largest agricultural chemical company in the world.
“Through that partnership, CSI really flourished. Our access to active ingredients has gone through the roof,” said CSI’s Marketing Director Ty Ferraro, who was on hand with President Mark Boyd and Business Director Tom Algeo. “ADAMA has more access to active ingredients than any other competitor, any other chemical supplier in the industry. That partnership has allowed us to grow.”
For the past three years, CSI has been focusing on 12 new products for the pest industry, Ferraro said as he gave an overview of the company’s 55-year history. CSI has four product families of pest control solutions: combination chemistry, pressurized solutions, encapsulated solutions and bait solutions. The newest member of CSI’s product family, bait solutions, will launch at PestWorld 2019, Ferraro said.
“You will definitely appreciate the time and money savings, efficiency and professionalism we’re going to bring to the bait segment of the pest control market,” he added.
Evan Parenti, product marketing manager of the Philadelphia, Pa.-based FMC Professional Solutions unit, had to unexpectedly give the presentation by himself because National Sales Manager Tom Wharton’s flight was delayed. He focused on two new initiatives:
1. FMC’s “Performance Under Pressure” group consists of the recently relaunched Dragnet SFR Termiticide/Insecticide, Talstar P Professional Insecticide, and the soon-to-be-launched Scion Insecticide featuring UVX technology. Parenti noted the three products really run the gamut for PMPs. For monthly or one-time service for termites, ants, bed bugs and more, Dragnet rises to the occasion. Talstar P, a mosquito control heavyweight, works well for bi-monthly or 45-day treatment for a host of labeled pests. And when Scion hits the market as expected in late June, it can offer residual against a broad range of pests — including mosquitoes — in high heat, humidity and other tough environments.
2. Launching in May, Parenti said, FMC’s new portfolio-wide end-user rewards program is “something I’m particularly excited about, because it’s one of my personal projects. Honestly it’s very easy and quick to get in… you’ll purchase FMC products and you’ll automatically start accruing rebate dollars that, at the end of the six-month period, results in a check from FMC based upon your purchases.”
Parenti noted that proceeds from the rebate program also will help support the PestVets program.
“There aren’t too many win-wins in this world, but if you can go about your everyday job and do some good just by [using products],” he concluded, “then I think that’s a way to win.”
Dale Baker is third-generation owner-operator and VP of sales for the Twinsburg, Ohio-based manufacturer. He’s also the current president of industry fraternity Pi Chi Omega, for which he made a case for joining during his humorous, yet informative presentation.
Baker explained how his grandfather, PMP Hall of Famer Stan Baker (Class of 1999), bought the company in 1949 from Jasper T. Eaton, who had founded it 17 years prior. The elder Baker took the company to new heights by introducing two concepts to the industry: The paraffin Bait Block in 1962, and the Stik-Em glue trap in 1979.
After listing a multitude of product offerings, Dale Baker went to the “new and exciting stuff,” which included:
- The Puffy D Bulb Insecticide Duster
- The 20-Foot Pro Line Pole
- The Super Strongbox, which Baker noted is a redevelopment of an industry standby that J.T. Eaton offered in decades past. It is available with
or without a paver.
- Rodent Rock 2G and the Repeater Rock, both of which are available with or without pavers.
- Jawz Depot trap covers to hide mouse and rat traps from the public.
Baker concluded his presentation by noting that he, Southeast Sales Manager Joe Smith (in attendance) and National Sales Manager James Rodriguez, ACE, were all ready to help PMPs learn more and implement J.T. Eaton tools. He also briefly explained the company’s 2 percent rebate program for qualifying purchases.
Nature-Cide, sponsor of the BBQ dinner held on day two of the PMP Growth Summit, offers green pesticides and insecticides made with plant-based essential oils.
The company makes the fastest-growing 25(b)-exempt, all-natural product on the planet, according to Founder and COO Matthew Mills.
Licensed integrated pest management (IPM) specialists developed the products specifically for the pest control industry. They were created with more than 10 years of research and development, eight years of extensive field-testing, and several third-party laboratory efficacy tests.
Products include Pest Management X2 Concentrate, Nature-Cide Granular, All-Purpose Concentrate and Insecticidal Dust. The label covers a variety of pests, including cockroaches, bed bugs, fleas, ticks and ants. PMPs can solve pest problems without evacuating or halting a customer’s business operations.
Nature-Cide products are registered in states where required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They are compliant with and approved by state governments for use on cannabis cultivation in multiple states.
“If you’re not in cannabis cultivation, you’re missing a big opportunity,” Mills said. “We’re servicing multiple cultivations every month; all of you can, too.”
Nick Fugate, International and Midwest sales manager for the Albia, Iowa-based manufacturer, noted Kness products are marketed worldwide but made in the USA.
“Everything is hand-tested before it ever leaves our plant, and comes with a one-year warranty,” he continued. “We have a less than 1 percent return rate, and that’s actually closer to a 0.2 percent return rate.
“We’ve been around for 95 years, so we know what we’re doing in most aspects,” Fugate deadpanned before noting Kness also listens closely to customer feedback. As a result, he said, innovations like its proprietary electronic monitoring system are constantly being researched and developed. A focus on solar-powered products currently is in the pipeline, he said.
Fugate concluded his presentation noting Kness’ industry support extends to its online presence, too: “If you need a [Safety Data Sheet] or sell sheet, you can download and print any materials directly from our website.” He said this helps not only for technician training and documentation, but can be of use to customers who are interested in learning more about the products used during a service call.
Three members of the team of MGK were on hand for the event — Western Region Sales Manager Andy Sturgis, Eastern Region Senior Sales Representative Brian Cooney, and Senior Marketing Manager Brian Krelitz. Cooney led the Boardroom Presentation, delving into the Minneapolis, Minn.-based manufacturer’s beginnings in 1902 as McLaughlin Gormley King, a drug and spice importer and miller. The business enjoyed steady growth until the end of World War I, and then slowly transitioned from household spices to pyrethrum-based insecticide. By 1939, it was selling pyrethrin for bed bug and mosquito control in 30 countries, including the United States. Today, it continues to sell the chemical compound to a variety of manufacturers, and produces its own products, too.
“We became known as the ‘Pyrethrin People,’” Cooney quipped. “We’re the only company that reprised pyrethrum in the United States. We’ve invested around the world, where we actually own the land. We employ the people to take chrysanthemum plants and refine it there, send it to Minneapolis and then we refine it again.”
MGK has more than two dozen products in professional pest control, agricultural, lawn/landscape, vector and mosquito misting markets, Cooney said. From just one pest control industry product — NyGuard — in 2003, today its offerings also include such product lines as Bedlam, CrossFire, Evergreen, OneGuard, Onslaught, Pyrocide, Shockwave, Vendetta and more.
Casey Prewitt is national sales manager of Neogen’s Professional Pest Management division. He quipped to attendees during his presentation that “if you’ve learned anything today, it’s that Neogen and SureKill go together.” SureKill is the Lansing, Mich.-based farm-to-table manufacturer’s professional pest solutions brand and encompasses aerosol, dust, liquid and dry formulation insecticides; rodenticide blocks and place packs; and a 1-quart Liquid Pro Applicator.
Prewitt and fellow Summit partner attendee Jenna DePaull, the division’s East Coast sales representative, are based in Lexington, Ky. — where both the Professional Pest Control Division and the Animal Safety headquarters reside.
The products are made from one of four Neogen-owned U.S. manufacturing sites, Prewitt said:
- Chem-Tech in Pleasantville, Iowa, produces insecticide.
- PrimaTech in Kenansville, N.C., manufactures plastic instruments.
- Hacco in Randolph, Wis., manufactures rodenticide, cleaner and disinfectant.
- Ideal Instruments in Lansing, Mich., manufactures metal instruments.
Prewitt concluded the presentation asking attendees to consider three inter-related sides of a triangle: Rodent Control, Disease Control and Insect Control. “‘Biosecurity’ is not a word you hear in our market every day, but we consider it to be essential,” he said. “Rodents, disease and insects are three aspects of food safety” PMPs can help reduce the risk of greatly.
Charlene Mertz, along with Lee Barrett, VP of Pest Control, had the distinction of being the very first Boardroom Presenter. The Southeast Area Manager of Rockford, Tenn.-based Nisus handled the task with aplomb, setting the tone for what attendees were to experience throughout the day’s presentations.
Mertz explained how Nisus carries a complete line of products for wood preservation, pest control, odor control, and sanitation and disinfection. Its mission is to provide quality products with the lowest possible impact on the environment. Bud Dietrich invented flagship product Bora-Care in 1987 as a wood preservative for log homes. In 1989, the product hit the professional pest control market as a tool to control termites and other labeled wood-destroying organisms (WDO). Other products under Nisus’ guidance were soon to follow.
In fact, among the products Mertz introduced during her presentation were iSTRIKE for carpenter bees and other WDO; Nibor-D for the control of small flies, cockroaches, ants, fleas and more; Bac-A-Zap and Foam Fresh, both of which eliminate organic odors and remove grease buildup in drains; Fireback, a low-odor contact aerosol with residual labeled for bed bugs and 28 other pests; and DominAnt, a liquid ant bait that can be used indoors and out with no signal word on its label.
Andrej Branc, Americas Business Manager for the Bethlehem, Pa.-based American offices of PelGar, explained how he came to join the European company: “They bought AB Bait Co. in 2016, and were nice enough to give me a job!”
Teasing aside, Branc explained how PelGar now markets his formulations — Brigand Soft Bait and Brigand Wax Blocks, which is cast, not extruded. Noting that Brigand SB is the only lard-based bait on the market, he quipped, “We’ve basically taken soft bait, wrapped it in bacon and said, ‘eat this, please.’”
PelGar, which has been in business since 1995, is a leading UK-based manufacturer. It holds more than 400 global registrations in 70 countries.
“We’re very much about new products, new formulations, new ways of doing things, and finding modern solutions to pest problems,” he said. “We have our own research labs for both insecticide and rodenticide, as well as a secondary research facility in the Czech Republic.”
PelGar even has its own “rodent farm” in England, where researchers can study rodent behavior and test new formulations and ideas:
“We have a captive population of about 300 Norway rats, 50 black rats, and 600 house mice.”
Branc also showcased RodentStop, a non-toxic, animal-friendly barrier paste to seal cracks, holes and gnawed openings made from expandable polystyrene (EPS) beads and metal fibers. Later in his presentation, he hinted at a contact gel bait that is ingested while the rodent is grooming. Currently available overseas, it’s something the U.S. market “will be hearing about in the coming years.”
Founded in 1984, software solutions supplier Real Green Systems has more than 2,900 service companies using its products in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. It also became a Sentricon partner this year.
Beth Berry, Real Green’s VP of Business Solutions and Software, told attendees she and Account Representative Brian Wareck have been a Partner at the Summit all three years. She added, “It’s one of the most meaningful events we do, because we get to know you one-on-one, and you get to know us one-on-one. It’s kind of like ‘speed dating,’ I guess, but we learn a lot.”
Berry is a pest and lawn care industry veteran, having been in both industries since 1983. She joined Real Green in 2009 after the company she worked for, a Real Green customer, decided it had gotten too big for “this little company in Michigan” to continue doing its system software applications. After sinking $2 million into a different software program, they realized what they had in Real Green was still better. She applied at Real Green soon after, because “that was a pretty good endorsement.
“We have technicians who leave companies that use our product and go somewhere else, and we get leads from them because the technicians say it’s too hard to do their job without [our product],” she added.
Real Green’s business management software features modules on service, routing, measuring, mobile communication, payment processing and referrals. The company also offers company branding, print marketing, lists, direct mail, inbound marketing and a management dashboard with customer assistance.
“Real Green is very proud of the fact that we have 35 programmers that all sit in Detroit, Mich., as does all of our tech support. We get rave reviews [for customer responsiveness],” Berry said.
More than five decades ago, Dr. Carl Djerassi and his team of researchers discovered a group of molecules that interfered with the development and reproduction of insects — what we know today as insect growth regulators, or IGRs. He founded Zoëcon in 1968 to use this technology for pest control.
Tony Schultz, business manager of the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company, explained that he and Florida Regional Sales Manager Bill Bars were on hand at the Summit as stewards of Zoëcon’s more than 50 industry products, including its flagship brand, Gentrol. He noted Zoëcon’s parent company, Central Life Sciences (CLS), serves a variety of markets under the motto “Science That Matters.”
After a brief video for attendees that explored CLS’ contributions to public health and pest control worldwide, Schultz noted that “everything we do has been built upon our IGR brand.”
He added, “We’re also in military bases across the world, protecting folks from infestations. One of our big focuses for this year is preventing pest problems, which is one of the great things about IGRs.”