IGI Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Powered by Liphatech has long had a record for being an effective method of rodent control. The technology was patented by Inert Gas Injector and in August 2016 received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for “fumigation of storage, transport, [and] containment storage pest control.” A short time later, it received a label amendment adding burrowing rodents. The full IGI CO2 system features the exclusive The Eliminator Injection Device for which to distribute the gas into rodent burrows. At press time, it is registered in every state but Maine.
In September 2021, Liphatech acquired IGI and was able to take the ICI CO2 system to the next level. As a result of the acquisition, Liphatech’s John Murphy, who has been with the Milwaukee, Wis.-based rodenticide manufacturer since 2007 in sales and technical support positions, was given the title of CO2 development and implementation manager. It’s a post he has taken to heart. If a pest management professional (PMP) is interested in learning more, Murphy is happy to provide an in-person, hands-on demonstration.
Murphy also is a fixture at many industry conferences, seminars and trade shows, demonstrating how easy the IGI CO2 system is to implement for burrowing rodents such as rats, ground squirrels, pocket gophers and moles where they live.
“Everyone has an idea of how they ‘think’ it will work, but most people tend to assume it’s complicated,” he explains. “When they learn it’s as easy as using the device to treat each hole, they soon become comfortable with it and want to implement it with their companies.”
One common misconception, Murphy says, is that some people may equate using carbon dioxide with freezing. The IGI CO2 system uses a low rate of pressure at a regulated amount. “You’re
not going to get frost or snow out of the device,” he points out. “It is a non-flammable, non-visible and odorless gas that disperses into rodent burrows, asphyxiating burrow occupants.”
More than a rodenticide
Nearly two years in, Liphatech also is expanding the product’s playing field. While treating rodent burrows will likely remain the IGI CO2 system’s most common use, Murphy is working with commodity fumigation companies and pest control firms to demonstrate how useful IGI CO2 is for fumigating silos and truckloads of grain, coffee and more. In June, for example, he was a speaker at Insect Limited’s 14th Stored Product Pest Control Conference in West Lafayette, Ind. (Editor’s Note: See p. 88 for coverage of that event.)
Liphatech has teamed with its IGI CO2 distributor, Cardinal Professional Products, to promote using the fumigant with the GrainPro Cocoon series of enclosures. Billed as a clean and easy treatment for product pallets that takes less than 24 hours (depending on pest, volume, etc.), this method appeals to many commercial clients particularly because of its organic nature. IGI CO2 is verified to comply with U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards (7 CFR Part 205).
“Products that are considered organic are still considered organic after fumigation with IGI CO2,” Murphy says. “This is a great selling point for commodity accounts, as well as sensitive accounts like schools and hospitals.”
A versatile tool
Murphy says research is underway for Liphatech to uncover even more uses for the IGI CO2 system. In the meantime, he is spreading the word about how to use the product, especially how to use it efficiently and effectively.
“I’ve had technical managers call me out to troubleshoot, and when I get there, I’ll see three burrow holes. ‘We treated this one and this one,’ they’ll tell me, having skipped the middle one because they assumed it was all the same tunnel,” he says. “Never assume! We’ll put monitors in the holes and soon find out this middle hole was its own route. They treat it and get success.
“It really works,” he concludes. For more information, visit Liphatech.com/IGICO2.
Protecting an underserved population
In addition to training and working with pest control and commodity fumigation companies on the use of IGI Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Powered by Liphatech, John Murphy has demonstrated the product’s usefulness in a particularly underserved market: homeless camps. He has eradicated rodents using the IGI CO2 System in homeless camps from Los Angeles, Calif., to Seattle, Wash., as well as in Philadelphia, Pa., and Washington, D.C.
“I learned a lot about how these environments are different, and how this product is perfect for eradicating rodents there,” he says. “I gain their trust first, so they know I’ll work with them to take care of the problem.”
Many residents in these camps have mental health issues, drug addictions or both. Others are there just to live a quiet life off-grid. Many of them keep dogs as pets, and Murphy points out the combination of these factors means rodenticides just aren’t the best choice. Using a controlled amount of IGI CO2 per label instructions, however, is a good choice to use around humans and pets.
“When I work with municipalities that are interested in the system, it can take months to get it discussed with civic leaders, put on the budget, pass it in the budget and so on,” Murphy explains. “Sometimes, simply going to the homeless camp and ridding it of rodents — that gets their attention and speeds up the process.”
Treating public areas like a local soccer field is another easy way to demonstrate the product’s use, he notes, if treating a homeless camp isn’t feasible. But the camps are a win-win for all involved: city leaders, camp residents, and even local property owners who are at risk of overflow rodent populations.
“If a pest control company is willing to go into that world, the IGI CO2 system is the way to go,” Murphy advises.