In October, PCT and Syngenta recognized eight industry professionals as 2012 Crown Leadership Award winners. What follow is a slideshow photo review of the awards ceremony, held at NPMA PestWorld 2012, in Boston
|An American Pest Management technician applies Phantom Pressurized Insecticide to the seams of a hotel room mattress.|
American Pest Management (APM), Manhattan, Kan., has adopted its own “proactive” program for bed bug control, and company officials credit this program’s success to the use of the BASF Proactive Bed Bug Treatment Protocol.
APM first put the BASF protocol to work in March 2011, treating all 65 rooms of a Manhattan, Kan.-based hotel. Prior to treatment, the 10-year hotel customer had four bed bug cases in three months. Hotel management wanted a more proactive option versus frequent curative treatments.
Following the BASF protocol, APM used non-repellent Prescription Treatment brand Phantom Pressurized Insecticide, Phantom termiticide-insecticide, and Prescription Treatment brand Alpine Dust Insecticide to eliminate and stop the spread of bed bugs. At the 12-month and final protocol-recommended inspection, no new, established bed bugs were found in the hotel.
“It’s impossible to stop new bed bugs from entering rooms, so our main goal with this project was to keep new bed bugs from establishing,” said Travis Aggson, APM vice president for operations. “We achieved that goal.”
Another benefit is the general insect control the protocol offers. Aggson said APM was getting quarterly calls from the hotel on ant and beetle activity. The regular treatments and products used help put a halt to those issues.
Other opportunities. The success seen in using the BASF Proactive Bed Bug Treatment Protocol at the Manhattan hotel has led to several other opportunities for APM. The company started working with property management companies at apartments and condominiums in January 2012. Many APM residential customers have made past investments in bed bug control.
“Customers who’ve spent a lot of money on serious control of bed bugs were receptive to the protocol — those who’ve dealt with 20 or more cases in a year,” Aggson said. “We work with one property management company that manages a 400-unit complex and spent upwards of $25,000 on bed bug treatments.”
Prior to implementing the protocol, the property management company fielded two or more bed bug calls a week. Since the treatments, APM reports that calls have stopped.
“A big part of this program is getting in units, inspecting and catching potential bed bug issues before they become established,” Aggson said. “We go in every six months for the inspection and complete the proactive treatment on units where tenants have just moved out.”
|An American Pest Management technician applies Alpine Dust Insecticide to a hotel room electrical socket.|
APM has employed the BASF Proactive Bed Bug Treatment Protocol for “road warrior” customers who previously invested in curative treatments.
“Business professionals who travel frequently are more apt to encounter bed bugs and bring them home,” Aggson said. “Some of our new business with the protocol has come from people in that situation who prefer a proactive treatment that prevents bed bug establishment over the hassle of preparing their homes for an intensive, expensive curative treatment.”
Business is booming. Aggson said 2011 was a great year for APM, with business tripling over 2010. Revenues were up again in 2012, as the company continues to grow its bed bug business. Most of the growth can be attributed to the APM ProActive program for bed bugs, based on the products and recommendations in the BASF Proactive Bed Bug Treatment Protocol, Aggson said.
“Our ProActive program is a continuous revenue source for us,” Aggson said. “A curative bed bug treatment is a one-time payment. With the APM ProActive program, we get a monthly or quarterly payment, depending on what elements of the protocol customers select.”
Proactive inspections lead to other opportunities, such as full-fledged curative treatments and general insect control programs. Aggson said his technicians also benefit because the APM ProActive program requires less time and labor than a traditional curative treatment.
Source: BASF Professional Pest Control Solutions
Editor’s note: Suppliers and PMPs, if you have a bed bug control product or service you’d like to have highlighted in an upcoming issue, please send a press release and a high-resolution photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FMC Announces Verifi Bed Bug Detector Now Available in Canada
Verifi bed bug detector, from FMC Professional Solutions, is now available to pest management professionals in Canada.
The Verifi bed bug detector is discreet, affordable and effective, FMC reports. The new device allows PMPs to provide their customers with ongoing bed bug service, while generating a valuable recurring revenue stream, the manufacturer says. The detector is small, requires no power source and is easily installed on walls or behind furniture.
FMC’s bed bug detection technology features three attractants in a patent-pending combination to lure bed bugs for up to 90 days at a time. They are:
It is important to note that Verifi is not a control product, FMC says. It is designed to detect only. Canadian PMPs wishing to purchase the Verifi bed bug detector should contact their local FMC distributor.
For more information and to view a video about Verifi, visit www.verifibedbug.com.
Nuvan Prostrips Prove Helpful When Treating Sensitive Electronic Equipment
Nuvan Prostrips from Amvac Chemical Corporation are labeled for the control of bed bugs and bed bug eggs, providing another treatment alternative for infestations in sensitive electronic equipment. The product utilizes controlled release technology to slowly diffuse a deep, penetrating vapor in enclosed spaces. Containing dichlorvos (DDVP), Nuvan Prostrips go to work immediately with a clean, odorless vapor that leaves no messy residue, according to the manufacturer. They are available in 16-gram and 65-gram sizes.
Nuvan Prostrips can be used to control crawling bed bug nymphs and adults exposed to product vapors for 48 hours. In difficult-to-treat areas, a minimum treatment time of 72 hours is recommended by the manufacturer. Strips may be used to control bed bugs that have entered various items in infested structures including, but not limited to: computers, printers, appliances, footwear, artwork, plush toys, clocks, radios, telephones, mattresses, box springs, books, lamps, furniture and other items.
The label states: “Place infested items in a suitable plastic bag, poly sheeting, container or room that is closed to contain the strip treatment. Plastic bags or poly sheeting should be at least 2 millimeters thick. The closed volume for treatment should not exceed the volume to be treated for the size of the strip used. Take care to avoid direct contact of the strip with the surface of items being treated. Seal items in the containment for a minimum of 48 hours to kill bed bug nymphs and adults. To kill any bed bug eggs, if suspected to be present, seal items in the treated space for seven days. Seal plastic bags and poly sheeting with as much air space around the treated article as is practical as this will enhance the exposure to the product vapors. Proper seal can be attained by any appropriate manner such as the use of tape, twist ties or other means. Professionals should test for adequate seal by testing for the escape of air from the sealed bag. Identify sealed treatment by a label indicating a pesticide treatment is in process that should not be disturbed by unauthorized persons. The label should include the date, pest professional or company responsible and contact telephone number. When treatment is completed, remove treated items from the treatment in a well-ventilated area and air out for a period of no less than two hours.”
For additional information about Nuvan Prostrips and their use in bed bug control programs, visit www.amvac-chemical.com.
BedBug Central Hosts Boot Camp Roadshow
More than 100 pest control professionals registered for BedBug Central’s Boot Camp Roadshow in Kansas City, Mo., July 30-31. Attendees for the two-day event traveled from as far away as Texas and Michigan to learn from leaders in bed bug control to learn the latest techniques for controlling bed bugs.
Jeffrey White, BedBug Central technical director, opened the seminar with information on the biology and behavior of bed bugs. The theme of the presentation was to use bed bugs’ behavior against them. The information focused on actionable information. A foundational element of his approach was to classify the severity of bed bug infestations into low, medium and high. He reviewed methods for controlling bed bugs in single-family homes, apartment buildings and office buildings. White said elimination of bed bugs was possible for most cases. In fact, he explained that bed bugs were easy to control provided the infestation was in the low category and the client was cooperative.
|Danny White presents “The Business of Bed Bugs” at the Roadshow.|
Jeffrey White’s younger brother Danny White, also a speaker, has years of experience as a bed bug account representative. He gave attendees an inside look at the business operations of a bed bug business. He detailed everything from guarantees to how to avoid legal traps that expose pest control companies to unnecessary liabilities. Using an Excel spreadsheet, Danny showed how an exact price quote could be provided for clients and how attendees could develop their own pricing system.
But the seminar wasn’t all lecture. On day one, attendees saw demonstrations on the use of heat to treat bed bugs. Dan Bradbury of Quest heated a conference side room so that attendees could experience the effectiveness of electric heating units. Corey Westrum, owner of Insect Inferno, showcased his propane-heated trailer that fills the niche between heating structures and chemical treatments. He explained how the trailer provided a cost-effective way to treat furniture and other movable items.
On day two, Jeffrey White demonstrated how to handle commonly infested furniture. He showed how to properly steam items to ensure effective killing of bed bugs. Perhaps more importantly, he provided ample warnings about how not to use steam. Chemical treatment was discussed also, particularly how to use liquid residuals in combination with dusts like diatomaceous earth to eliminate bed bugs. — Stephen M. Vantassel
Allergy Technologies Hosts “Evening on the Island”
Pest management professionals from across the country gathered at Allergy Technologies’ “Evening on the Island” event during PestWorld 2012 in October to discuss industry news in a social atmosphere. About 150 PMPs attended the event.
The event was hosted by Allergy Technologies, manufacturer of ActiveGuard Mattress Liners.
“PMPs attending PestWorld have a diverse variety of evening activities available to them, but we wanted to host a ‘party’ in the truest sense of the word so that industry professionals could gather and relax,” said Joseph Latino, chief operating officer. “For that reason the event was designed as a social gathering with no product or sales pitches. We’ve heard from many PMPs since who have thanked us for hosting such a unique event.”
The room was transformed into a tropical motif, complete with rattan furniture, uplighting of tropical trees in ActiveGuard’s blue and fresh tropical arrangements throughout. In keeping with the Boston locale, Allergy Technologies provided a full raw bar, lobster rolls and other fresh fish.
|Cryonite Now Available at Bug Off Pest Control Center
Silvandersson Sweden AB has selected Bug Off Pest Control Center to distribute its Cryonite System. Introduced in 2008, Cryonite is a “green” option that makes use of carbon dioxide to freeze insects to death. It is a unique, non-toxic and easy-to-use technology that eliminates all life stages of crawling and flying insects like roaches, bed bugs, stored product pests and wasps, Silvandersson Sweden AB says. Cryonite can be used almost anywhere: food establishments, hotels, hospitals and schools. It can be used directly on furniture, bedding and even electronic equipment.
For more information visit www.bugoffpccenter.com.
This event followed Allergy Technologies’ nationwide promotion “Take the ActiveGuard Challenge,” in which PMPs who purchased ActiveGuard Mattress Liners were given a chance to win a new iPad with every order. The promotion ran from July through September.
ActiveGuard is the only standalone proactive strategy for preventing a potential bed bug infestation, the firm said. According to Allergy Technologies, these liners kill bed bugs within 72 hours, and kill bed bugs and dust mites continuously for up to two years.
For additional information, visit www.allergytechnologies.com.
BedBug Central’s Holiday Charity Provides National Relief from Bed Bugs
BedBug Central once again partnered with bedbugFREE pest management firms across the country to donate bed bug treatment and services to those in need as part of its “Taking the Bite Out of the Holidays” program, created by research entomologist Jeff White of BedBug Central.
The program began in 2009 with seven companies donating more than $40,000 in bed bug treatment services to those in need. In 2010, the amount of participating companies nearly quadrupled. In 2010, 27 companies donated more than $300,000 worth of services across the nation for the annual holiday charity event.
White said he created the charity after seeing first-hand how difficult it can be for non-profits and individuals in need to obtain effective bed bug services.
“The holiday season is a time of giving and we know firsthand how difficult and expensive bed bugs can be to eliminate,” says White. “Therefore we want to help in any way we can and provide some relief to those in need and let them focus on enjoying the holidays with family and friends. If we have accomplished this than we have succeeded at our goal.”
In order to reach as many needy individuals and charities as possible, BedBug Central enlists the help of its bedbugFREE network, a network of like-minded companies that agree with the philosophies and treatment methods of Bed Bug Central.
BedBug Central President and CEO Phil Cooper said he is thrilled that “Taking the Bite Out of the Holidays” is expanding each year and aiding more individuals in need.
“There is no better feeling than helping those in need,” says Cooper. “We are extremely thankful for the support of our bedbugFREE members and their generous donations of products, services and time during the holiday season.”
To learn more, visit www.bedbugcentral.com.
Bed Bug Body Guard Inspection Suit Introduced by Mattress Safe
Mattress Safe recently introduced the Bed Bug Body Guard inspection suit. Designed as a full body suit made of a breathable, soft and durable fabric, Mattress Safe’s new inspection suit provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional disposable inspection suits, the firm says. The new Bed Bug Body Guard inspection suit by Mattress Safe provides technicians in the field protection from these pests during a treatment as well as a method to detect and aid preventing bed bugs from traveling home with the technician. Mattress Safe also supplies a LaundrySafe encasement for washing and storage, which is included with each Bed Bug Body Guard inspection suit.
Visit www.mattresssafe.com to learn more.
CIRKIL Products Released Nationwide at NPMA PestWorld
Terramera, a firm developing biopharma products for pest management, in October launched its CIRKIL product line at PestWorld 2012 in Boston. The company’s flagship product is CIRKIL for bed bug control. CIRKIL is available in concentrate form (CIRKIL CX) or in a ready-to-use spray (CIRKIL RTU). Both product types work against all stages of a bed bug’s life cycle including eggs, the firm says.
CIRKIL is the first EPA-registered biopesticide proven to effectively control bed bugs and the first pesticide known to kill bed bug eggs as a residual treatment, Terramera reports.
CIRKIL can be used against all stages of the bed bug life cycle and as a residual treatment. CIRKIL is a biopharma product with the active ingredient naturally derived from neem oil, making the application safe in all settings, the firm says. This means less labor and time application requirements since rooms do not need to be cleared of personal items such as clothing and linens before applying CIRKIL, the manufacturer reports.
Terramera is a Vancouver-based company founded in 2009 with the mission to provide safe and innovative pest management products for every person and family.
For more information, visit www.terramera.com.
KPCA Members Lend a Hand to Homeless Shelter
As part of its Bed Bug Boot Camp and Bed Bug Charity Day, the Kansas Pest Control Association (KPCA) sent 16 representatives to provide bed bug services to the Forest Avenue Family Shelter in Kansas City. The members attended a two-day course in the treatment of bed bugs and spent a third day implementing the techniques learned.
KPCA chose to assist the Forest Avenue Family Shelter after interviewing its director, Janice Hardin. The shelter had been trying to treat its bed bug issue for several months with limited success. “You absolutely do not know how much I have been praying for help with the bed bugs. Any improvement is worth millions,” Hardin said. The shelter is associated with Great Commission Ministries, USA (GCM-USA) and seeks to meet the spiritual and physical needs of Kansas City’s homeless through soup, soap and salvation, the group says. The shelter houses homeless women and women with children. Services include shelter, meals, life skills classes and case management.
“The shelter has done all they can to solve this infestation on their own, however bed bugs are a challenge especially in a home of this size and at this level of infestation,” said board member and participant Travis Aggson of American Pest Management. “We are honored to be able to provide our knowledge and expertise to solve this bed bug infestation.” Altogether, 13 pest management professionals from three companies, two suppliers and a distributor participated in the event. Donated services included installation of insect interceptors, heat treatment of facilities and infested furniture, chemical treatments and public health educational seminars. In addition, Winfield Pest Solutions donated more than 200 Bed Bug ClimbUp Interceptor devices and 22 Mattress Safe twin mattress encasements; Pest Control Supplies, 26 mattress encasements; Univar, four mattress encasements and bed bug monitors; BASF, all treatment materials; and BedBug Central, a commercial steamer and heating unit for use when new families check in.
The event’s success prompted KPCA to continue Bed Bug Charity Day as an annual event, with the hope of further expanding the number of participants and impact. “We’re very excited about the participation and impact we have had on the shelter,” said Kyle Litton, KPCA president and owner of General Pest Control.
The 16 participants were Travis Aggson, Robert McElwain, Joey Hoke and Mike Dent of American Pest Management; Chris Augustine, Robert Croom, Brian Wood, Joseph Ruckert, Jim Ingalls and Chuck Stover of Augustine Exterminators; Kyle Litton, Tim Nation, Marcus Koehn and Paul Wilson of General Pest Control; Jason Meyers of BASF; Jack Watkins of Rhodes Chemical; and Robert DiJoseph of BedBug Central. For more information on KPCA, visit www.kansaspest.com.
Daimer Releases Steam Cleaner to Kill Bed Bugs
Daimer Industries offering its KleenJet Mega 1000CVP ATIS, which the firm says is certified as a pesticide device according to the EPA.
The Mega 1000CVP ATIS is a professional steam cleaner targeted to those professionals involved with pest control, as well others in the hospitality industry, the firm says. Every 1000CVP ATIS commercial steam cleaner machine’s label contains an EPA number.
Daimer’s patented technologies help PMPs kill bed bugs with high temperature vapor steam flow while an extraction system removes the carcasses from the surface. “Daimer is proud to offer the cleaning industry’s only certified pesticide steam vac device, which has even been proven to kill deadly bacteria,” said spokesman Matthew Baratta.
The KleenJet Mega 1000CVP ATIS steam cleaner is the upgraded version of the company’s 1000CV model. The machine’s pressure is up to 105 psi with the emission of low-moisture vapor containing 5 percent water. The machine generates temperatures up to 356°F.
The 1000CVP’s “dry” vapor flow ensures successful bed bug control, Daimer says, while providing for drier mattresses and other surfaces after application.
To learn more, visit www.daimer.com/steam-cleaners/kleenjet-1000cvp.htm.
Protect-A-Bed, Mattress Direct Donate to ‘Homes For Our Troops’
In August, Mattress Direct and Protect-A-Bed donated $4,000 to Home for Our Troops, a national non-profit organization dedicated to assisting injured veterans and their immediate families.
|(L to R): Dan Robinson, Protect-A-Bed; Jeff Argrave, Homes For Our Troops; Ty Hingle and Lee Burns, Mattress Direct.|
To coincide with Independence Day, Protect-A-Bed and Mattress Direct encouraged Facebook fans to show support for veterans. From June 30 through July 15, fans showed support by “liking” various Facebook pages, photos and messages. The donation helped fund the organization’s mission to build specially adapted homes for service members who have been severely injured in combat since Sept. 11, 2001.
Recently, Homes for Our Troops has helped build homes for four injured service members in Louisiana. According to Veterans Affairs reports, nearly half of all veterans from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom who live in Louisiana have sought medical care from Veterans Affairs facilities.
“We have been able to build over 100 homes across the country only through the generosity and patriotism of organizations like Protect-A-Bed and Mattress Direct, that have stepped up to do their part in aiding our severely injured veterans,” said Kenneth Preston, president, Homes for Our Troops.
More than 3,000 pest management professionals — including a record number of international representatives — traveled to Boston, Oct. 17-20, for PestWorld 2012. Attendees learned about the latest industry-related products on the exhibit floor, heard from nationally renowned speakers and networked with one another. What follows is a photo review of PestWorld 2012; for additional photos visit the “online extras” section on www.pctonline.com.
|Left: This year’s Opening General Session, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, included a moving presentation by Kyle Maynard, a quadruple amputee with a long list of personal accomplishments. Middle top: PestWorld attendees let loose on the final night of the convention at the “A Night on Beacon Hill” reception, sponsored by BASF. The event was held in Beacon Hill, a sophisticated neighborhood in Boston. Right: Cheerleaders were on hand for the Opening Ceremony Pep Rally sponsored by Bayer. Middle bottom: Steritech’s Judy Black with the Fenway Park infield as a backdrop at a reception sponsored by Bayer.|
|Top left: Political pundit Paul Begala (pictured) represented the Democratic party while Michael Murphy, a Republican strategist, represented the GOP for a political debate that was part of a general session sponsored by FMC Professional Solutions. Top middle: PestWorld attendees were educated on the latest industry trends, new product developments and management issues. Top right: Dr. Brian Forschler, University of Georgia, led an educational session in which he explored the complexities of termite colonies.
Bottom left: Dr. Michael Potter, University of Kentucky, led an educational session titled “Managing Mystery Bugs.” Bottom middle: Marillian Missitti, president of the New England Pest Management Association, welcomed attendees to PestWorld. Bottom right: The exhibit floor provided attendees with opportunities to network with one another and learn about the latest products from industry suppliers.
Included in this month’s issue is PCT’s Technician of the Year Awards supplement (page 19), sponsored by BASF Pest Control Solutions. In addition to recognizing three standout technicians in the residential, commercial and termite categories, the supplement is an annual celebration of the industry’s frontline professionals. Our hope is that other technicians who read the profiles might pick up a few tricks of the trade.
We’re proud to recognize this year’s winners: Colby McCarty, ABC Home & Commercial Services (residential category); Javier Rodriguez, Massey Services (commercial category); and David Hicks, Bug Out Service (termite category).
In the 16 years since PCT launched this program we’ve observed numerous common threads among our winners — both past and present — that we think are important to note. These include:
Paying close attention to detail. PCT’s Technicians of the Year are skilled problem-solvers and tacticians. Commercial technicians, for example, excel at providing pest control in sensitive accounts, many of which are audited (e.g., food-processing facilities). This year’s Commercial Technician of the Year, Rodriguez, recognizes that all auditors conduct their audits slightly differently, so his service protocols are tailored to meet and exceed each of these auditors’ expectations. Similarly, we’ve seen numerous examples of Termite Technicians of the Year who have made an art out of termite inspections, in many cases discovering termites in accounts where others have failed.
Taking on tasks outside their job description. Our Technicians of the Year do more than just excel at the technical and communication skills involved in being a service technician; they actually seek out opportunities to “wow” customers. For example, many of PCT’s Residential Technicians of the Year who have elderly customers will do small things like bring in the newspaper, change a light bulb or help move a piece of furniture.
Embracing new technology. PCT’s Technicians of the Year often are the first people their companies turn to when new technology is introduced — whether it is equipment or products. These technicians are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and find out if these new introductions can help them do their jobs better. For example, this year’s Termite Technician of the Year, Hicks, not only is the company’s “tool guy,” but he is so mechanically inclined that he designs and makes modifications to equipment.
Excelling at the role of mentor. Smart pest control companies have recognized the value of using veteran technicians in mentoring roles. PCT’s Technicians of the Year embrace this role. We’ve seen examples of our Technicians of the Year working overtime to help newer technicians at a challenging account or stepping out of their comfort zone to lead training meetings.
The above examples have something else in common: they are all self-initiated. PCT’s Technicians of the Year — as well as many standout service professionals in this industry — recognize that these “above and beyond” actions not only are in the best interests of their companies, but they help make for a more fulfilling job experience. As PCT Residential Technician of the Year McCarty noted, “It’s infinitely rewarding knowing that you’ve helped people rid their homes of rodents or insects. Seeing their faces light up because you’ve made their homes safe again is a daily reminder of the importance of the work we do.” In many ways, it goes back to the old adage that “your job is what you make of it.”
The author is Internet editor and managing editor of PCT magazine.