Anyone who works in the pest control industry must deal with pesticides, at least from time to time. Even companies that focus on trapping and removal may still need to use baits or repellent pesticides to kill or repel pests.
When using pesticides, it is very important to choose the right product for the job. Pesticides come in different formulations, with various active ingredients, and are registered for specific sites and pests. For example, treating porous surfaces such as concrete with liquid insecticides is more effective when using products with wettable powder formulation or microencapsulated technology to maintain a high surface activity. Other formulations can quickly get absorbed by the porous material, leaving very little pesticide residue on the surface to kill.
One way to find the right pesticide for a job is to search pesticide databases. Despite the availability of federal and state pesticide databases for finding the latest pesticide information, I have always found such databases not very user-friendly. Therefore, I am introducing a new pesticide search platform that I invented to make pesticide searches quick and easy: www.pomerix.com/pesticides.
How it works
When you search Pomerix’s pesticide search platform, you are not only searching for pesticide products, but you are also searching for active ingredients (AIs), approved pests, and sites/commodities in a single query. This platform searches more than 144,000 records of products and non-products (AIs, pests, sites/commodities).
As you type in your search keywords, the platform provides you with a list of possible matches. If you select a product name from the suggested matches, you will be directed to a product page on which you can find the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) product approval letter and label, the status of the product (active/canceled), the registration number, all the historical alternative names, signal word, formulation, and all the approved pests and site names. If you click on a non-product-match such as “boric acid” as an AI, you will be directed to a page with a complete list of products containing this AI. Likewise, clicking on the “Argentine ant” (as a pest) will show you a complete list of products registered for that ant species. Also, you will have the option to browse active products only or all the active and cancelled products.
Pest management professionals (PMPs) can use Pomerix’s pesticide search platform at no charge. The database is updated once a year to reflect major pesticide product regulatory updates. The platform was just recently redesigned and updated in 2023.
How it started
Insects have been my favorite group of organisms since childhood. I have always enjoyed watching ants, beetles, mantids and other insects while hiking or picnicking. This passion, however, didn’t stop me from developing computer skills. The first programming language I learned was the BASIC language, which stands for Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. We used to write codes in a simple interface called QBasics with a dark blue background. Although admittedly easier to use than the old punch card systems, you still couldn’t do much with this language without having extensive knowledge of programming and spending a ton of time on coding. Even creating a simple menu required 100 or more lines of code.
What I was interested in was to use my computer skills in entomology and pest control. However, I wasn’t sure where to start. After exploring many ideas, I realized that searching for pesticides is an area that urgently needs improvement. My idea was to use available databases to create a fast and easy-to-use search platform, and that’s how the whole project on the pesticide search platform started at Pomerix.
Dr. Siavash Taravati is founder of Pomerix Pest Solutions.