Flying insect dynamic duo


September 12, 2021

Second-generation President and CEO Steve Frisch is flanked by his sons Jonathan, VP of sales and marketing, left; and Jeffrey, VP of operations.

Second-generation President and CEO Steve Frisch is flanked by his sons Jonathan, VP of sales and marketing, left; and Jeffrey, VP of operations. PHOTO: AP&G CATCHMASTER

The Difficulty

In early 2020, when the coronavirus started ramping up in the United States, New Jersey was among the hardest-hit states.

“On Day 1, we had a COVID case,” reports Jonathan Frisch, VP of sales and marketing for Bayonne, N.J.-based AP&G Co., Inc., home of the Catchmaster brand. “We immediately shut down for two days, sanitized and disinfected our entire facility, and established protocols to try to keep everyone safe. Still, despite our caution and care, we later lost an employee due to COVID.”

The Opportunity

“Despite the commercial business being somewhat stagnant last year, we had been in talks for acquiring the Vector line of insect traps from BASF,” Frisch says. “Ultimately, we took a leap of faith that things would settle down and business would resume, and so far it’s really paid off for Catchmaster and our customers.”

Investing in ILTs

Frisch notes that he and his team were thrilled to add the Vector line to the Catchmaster portfolio. “The Vector brand is iconic in the pest control industry. Combining innovative Vector ILTs with trusted Catchmaster glue boards allows us to further our goal of providing ‘Intelligent Pest Management’ solutions to PMPs.”

Catchmaster’s Vector ILT solutions include:

Vector Plasma — Equipped with two 36-watt bulbs, this premium product is designed to deliver rapid fly control in production and storage areas of large commercial facilities, commercial kitchens and back-of-house restaurant areas. Sleek and lightweight, the ILT features the fastest catch in the Vector ILT family and dual glue boards for maximum catch area. Vector Plasma is available in two models: one with a grilled cover for quick, easy inspection (pictured); and the other with a screened cover to hide glue boards.

Vector Plasma One — The smallest, most-versatile Vector ILT, this device fits into more space and is value-priced to allow multiple units to be placed in small kitchens, bars, delis, storage areas, trash rooms and other hot spots.

“After acquiring the Vector line, we offered PMPs an immediate price reduction on our ILTs,” Frisch explains. “Out of the gate, reception was strong, and it hasn’t let up. Vector customers are excited to be working with Catchmaster, knowing our ILTs will be focused on quality and value. This acquisition gives us a ‘dynamic duo’ to control flying insects: glue boards and ILTs.”

Investing in the 3 Ps

Catchmaster continues to invest in the 3 Ps: products, people and production.

Chris Ernst, Catchmaster’s director of brand strategy, says the company’s innovation stems from PMP feedback.

“All of our innovations are customer-driven,” says Ernst. “Ed Dolshun, our VP of business development and technical director, constantly leverages his relationships in the field to identify unmet marketplace needs.

“For instance, Ed’s field feedback suggested we make our Ovi-Catch Mosquito Trap, which we launched in 2015, more discreet,” Ernst adds. “We listened to PMPs and launched our Ovi-Planter Mosquito Trap in March. Now we’re shipping out those traps the day we receive them.”
Dr. Stan Cope, Catchmaster’s VP of technical products and services, explains how Catchmaster’s Ovi-Planter targets female mosquitoes, using their breeding habits against them. Capturing just one female mosquito can eliminate up to 1,000 potential future mosquitoes. Ovi-Planter features a discreet design, and is a non-toxic option safe for children and pets.

“Ed created our first Ovi-Planter prototypes,” Dr. Cope reports. “Our Ovi-Planters are equally efficacious as our Ovi-Catch Mosquito Traps, and they’re more discreet and decorative.”

Other Catchmaster launches this year include:

  • Vector 15 — a compact, low-cost ILT featuring one 15-watt bulb.
  • Vector 30 — a high-quality ILT featuring two 15-watt bulbs.
  • Vector Optima — an ILT with one 15-watt bulb and a glue board behind a cover so trapped insects are hidden.

Catchmaster plans to unveil more Vector ILTs that are equally as easy to mount and maintain, including some featuring light-emitting diode (LED) and other technologies.

“The more Vector ILTs in the field. the bigger the opportunity for Catchmaster glue boards,” Ernst says. “These flying insect technologies go hand-in-hand for us and PMPs.”

In addition to new ILT products, the company will be adding glue-based solutions like a new insect monitoring device that is not a traditional glue board.

Behind many of Catchmaster’s new products are its new people. Following are just a few of the company’s key roster additions the past five years: Elissa Kaplan, director of enterprise planning; Chris Phillips, BCE, northeast regional sales manager; Dr. Cope and Ernst.

“Since 2016, when we moved from Brooklyn (N.Y.) to Bayonne, we have grown from 100 to 230 employees,” Frisch adds.

When Catchmaster moved from two Brooklyn buildings comprising 100,000 sq. ft. to a 185,000 sq. ft. facility in Bayonne, it enabled the company to continue its double-digit annual revenue growth.

“Demand for our customer-driven intelligent pest management solutions is off the charts,” Frisch concludes. “We’re already looking at adding 100,000 square feet for more manufacturing and warehousing space over the next few years.”

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