Included as part of PCT’s Top 100 coverage is an interactive map. The map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of PCT’s Top 100 firms, all of the demographic data included on the list and live links to each of the companies’ websites. Access the map below.
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|Pictured (from left to right) are Dr. Jason Meyers, market development specialist of BASF Pest Control Solutions; David Yuknis, director of operations of McCloud Services; and Travis Chambers, sales specialist of BASF Pest Control Solutions attending the Pest Invasion conference.|
Editor’s note: April is PCT magazine’s annual ant control issue and it includes feature stories about invasive ant species, “Fast Food Junkies,” ants in the National Zoological Park and more. In the following online extra, submitted by BASF Pest Control Solutions, learn how McCloud Services uses an established ant control protocol to reduce ant callbacks and increases profits.
Ants are a mixed blessing for pest control technicians. Ants account for more new customer calls than any other pest, which boosts business. But they’re also the biggest reason behind profit-draining retreatment callbacks. Century-old McCloud Services, headquartered in Illinois, was spending $100,000 a year on ant retreatment callbacks and that’s too high a price for this — or any — large pest control company.
McCloud serves a nine-state region, so some technicians drive as far as 200 miles round trip to service a single customer. A callback can trigger a cascade of business-hindering consequences, including higher fuel costs, longer work hours, and reshuffled schedules for customers and technicians.
Why are ants so difficult to control? Depending on the species, their feeding preferences, foraging patterns, nesting choices, and colony structures vary widely, so it’s crucial that technicians carefully select the treatment strategy and products to stop the invaders the first time.
When David Yuknis, director of operations, joined the McCloud team in June 2010, he quickly saw a need to be more profitable and to improve customer confidence in the company’s ant control service. Because Yuknis was new to the industry, he decided to seek outside counsel to develop a program to properly control ant problems, minimize callbacks and establish trusted customer relationships.
Chief Operating Officer and President Chris McCloud suggested Yuknis meet with Travis Chambers, sales specialist, and Dr. Jason Meyers, market development specialist, both with BASF Pest Control Solutions. When the three met, they discovered opportunities to improve treatment protocols, product recommendations and follow-up programs.
“We needed a protocol that took advantage of distinct ant biology and social behaviors,” Yuknis said.
Chambers and Meyers worked with McCloud to customize a pocket guide that identifies infestation hot spots inside and outside of structures. The guide, based on the BASF SmartSolution for Ants, describes products that work best in specific locations, provides tips for controlling various ant species, and helps technicians identify each species both morphologically and behaviorally.
“The BASF SmartSolution for Ants is a step-by-step guide that walks technicians through a range of products that address the special challenges of ant control,” Chambers said. “It’s effective because the products are delivered in ‘layers of treatment’ both outside and inside, taking advantage of distinct ant biology and social behaviors.”
Technicians can use the guide to complement their overall integrated pest management program. The SmartSolution for Ants incorporates three treatment layers that control ants by addressing infestation symptoms and sources, which ultimately helps prevent future re-infestations.
“The SmartSolution for Ants has paid tremendous dividends by reducing ant callbacks an average of 65 percent from 2010 to 2011,” Yuknis said.
The benefits go beyond ants.
“We also dropped an average of 40 percent of returned occasional invader jobs during 2010 and 2011,” Yuknis said. “We know the savings from reduced ants and occasional invader retreats is because McCloud embraced and implemented the SmartSolution for Ants program.”
And McCloud Services gets even more in return. McCloud’s results include:
• Reduced fuel costs and maintenance on trucks.
• Less overtime for technicians.
• Improved arrival and departure for technicians moving from job to job.
• Better company reputation and superior customer satisfaction.
• Increased likelihood of technicians completing monthly schedule.
“We had a technician with 10 years of experience use the SmartSolution for Ants on his worst account for callbacks and within 16 months, the account had zero returned calls for ants,” Yukins said. “I saw the relief in this technician’s eyes. He felt accomplishment and a sense of gratification knowing his worst account for returned jobs wasn’t calling him.”
The goal of McCloud’s new program is for technicians to grab the pocket-guide whenever they hear the word “ants” during a phone conversation, face-to-face meeting, inspections, or follow-up visits.
“Our technicians walk through the pocket guide’s inspection and treatment process every time they respond to an ant job,” David Yuknis said. “It’s become habit.”
Inspection provides the information needed for precise treatment. At a minimum, technicians should identify:
• Locations of ant activity.
• Ant species.
• Nest locations, if possible.
• Conditions conducive to ant activity.
“Attacking ant problems using the three-layered approach has been a success,” Yuknis said. “It combines the right products with the right situation and results in excellent control.”
Layer 1: Exterior On Structure
Termidor termiticide/insecticide is the core product of the SmartSolution for Ants and provides the most effective outdoor, low-dose control of ants available. A Termidor treatment creates a zone of nonrepellent protection around the home. Ants passing through the treated zones pick up Termidor on their bodies and transfer the active ingredient to nest mates through routine social contact. The Transfer Effect™ enables Termidor to control ants that never make direct contact with a treated surface. Because most of the colony members are in the nest rather than foraging, this is a crucial component of the success of Termidor in preventing callbacks. They only need contact other ants that have been exposed to Termidor. Termidor can be applied to the exterior of structures twice annually and is a powerful “first layer” of control, providing an extremely effective base for the other BASF products.
Layer 2: Exterior Off Structure
Treating away from the structure (including trees, landscaping beds and grounds) reduces the pest pressure around the building, aiding control and helping to prevent new colonies from invading. Prescription Treatment® brand Advance ant baits and Prescription Treatment® brand Cy-Kick® CS provide a “second layer” for thorough ant control.
Cy-Kick CS features SmartCap Technology, which delivers residual control technicians can rely on, even on the toughest outdoor surfaces, such as concrete and mulch.
Advance ant baits take advantage of ants’ food-sharing habits (trophallaxis). Ants recruit nest mates to help collect food, carry it back to the nest, and distribute it throughout the colony. This social interaction allows the active ingredient in the bait to spread through the colony using the ants’ own behavior and biology. Advance ant baits are designed to be extremely attractive for quick acceptance by ants. The baits are available in granular, gel, and liquid formulations to treat a wide variety of ants.
Layer 3: Inside Structure
The SmartSolution for Ants includes a flexible range of nonrepellent indoor ant control products and application methods that complement the exterior Termidor treatments.
Like Termidor, Phantom termiticide-insecticide utilizes advanced nonrepellent technology to eliminate ant populations within days. Phantom is labeled for use indoors and outdoors. Technicians have found that Phantom successfully controls difficult ant species.
Prescription Treatment brand Alpine products offer many options for immediate-need interior and exterior areas. All Alpine formulations (Foam, Dust, Gel Bait, and Pressurized Insecticide) contain the nonrepellent active ingredient dinotefuran, granted reduced-risk status for public health use by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We highly recommend incorporating the SmartSolution for Ants into a treatment protocol to reduce callbacks,” Yuknis said. “Travis Chambers and Jason Meyers were tremendous and went above and beyond to make this program work for us. They took the time to educate our technicians on what this program could do for them. And they welcomed me into the industry as a new partner and were helpful in the process of teaching best pest management techniques.”
A Termidor termiticide/insecticide application can only be performed by a licensed pest control professional.
Users must always read and follow label directions.
*All Alpine formulations contain the active ingredient dinotefuran, a nonrepellent to the pest control industry that the EPA has granted reduced-risk status for public health use.
|NPMA’s Jim Fredericks spoke as part of a panel discussion on the new pyrethroid labels. Also pictured are EPA’s Rick Keigwin and NPMA’s Bob Rosenberg. Not pictured is Clark Pest Control’s Darren Van Steenwyck.|
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Pest Management Association celebrated 25 years of Legislative Day in February, and while the issues have changed throughout years, the need to raise Capitol Hill awareness of issues impacting the pest control industry is as strong as ever.
Bob Rosenberg, senior vice president, NPMA, said he likens today’s political climate in Washington to that of 1996 when a flurry of legislation made its way through Congress. The Congress of 1996 had developed a reputation as a “do-nothing Congress” with little to show for itself. Many of these congressional members (about 470) were facing re-election and did not want to return to their constituents with that type of reputation. So, in the course of two weeks that Congress passed the Health Care Affordability Act; a Medicare bill; the Safe Drinking Water Act; and the Food Quality Protection Act.
“We’re in precisely the kind of climate where things can happen and they can happen fast,” said Rosenberg.
Attendees of the 2012 edition of NPMA Legislative Day headed to Capitol Hill in February to make their collective voices heard on the following issues.
|Past winners of the FMC Legislative Day Award were recognized at this year’s event, including those in attendance (from left to right): Judy Dold, Norm Goldenberg, Lonnie Alonso, Chris Gorecki, Bob Kunst, Russ Ives, Rick Bell, Joe Wilson and Donnie Blake. Recognizing the past recipients is FMC’s Amy O’Shea (far right).|
Clean Water Act. Legislative Day attendees asked their representatives to support H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act. This legislation was necessitated by a misguided 2009 federal court ruling that requires costly and burdensome Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permits for millions of pesticide applications. The permit will interfere with and add cost to longstanding activities such as mosquito control and aquatic weed work — work performed by some pest management professionals. Legislation exempting lawful pesticide applications from CWA permitting requirements passed the U.S. House with overwhelming bipartisan support last year. Despite widespread support, H.R. 872 has not been given an up or down vote in the U.S. Senate.
SEPA. Congressman Rush Holt (D-N.J.) is expected to introduce the School Environment Protection Act (SEPA), a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all bill that would require schools in Georgia to manage pests just as schools in Alaska, regardless of pest pressure or other geographical factors. Almost 40 states have laws or regulations in place specific to the management of pests in schools — some of which are more than 20 years old — and SEPA would only serve to undermine those laws and confuse the many stakeholders that have helped craft and are impacted by such policies.
|Dick Morris, one of the most prominent and outspoken political consultants in the country, gave his thoughts on this year’s presidential election. His presentation was sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.|
Legislative Day attendees encouraged their representatives to consider the industry’s position on SEPA: that any effort to move SEPA — either as a stand-alone bill or as an amendment to another measure — should be rejected, as states are effectively regulating the management of pests at schools and don’t need federal legislation interfering with and undermining their efforts in this area.
Sulfuryl Fluoride Uses. In 2004, EPA registered sulfuryl fluoride for control of insect pests in harvested and processed foods such as cereal grains, dried fruits, tree nuts, cocoa beans, coffee beans, and also in food handling and processing facilities. The fumigant is considered an alternative to methyl bromide, which is being phased out. However, the product has come under attack from the activist group FAN (Fluoride Action Network), which has a waged a lengthy campaign to remove sulfuryl fluoride usage in food-processing facilities. FAN claims the use of sulfuryl fluoride will introduce unacceptable levels of fluoride to consumers and can cause medical risks, mainly dental fluorosis, a condition where overexposure to fluoride can damage the enamel on teeth.
However, even U.S. EPA acknowledges that sulfuryl fluoride contributes no more that 2-3% of the public’s exposure to fluoride, noting that “Use of sulfuryl fluoride is responsible for a tiny fraction of aggregate fluoride exposure” and “Elimination of sulfuryl fluoride does not solve, or even significantly decrease, the fluoride aggregate exposure problems...”
Furthermore, over the last several years, U.S. EPA has aggressively encouraged the professional pest management industry and the food sector to move from methyl bromide — a fumigant identified as an ozone depleting substance and slated for phase-out — to sulfuryl fluoride, and both the pest management industry and food sector have been moving in good faith to sulfuryl fluoride.
|TOP: NPMA’s Bob Rosenberg (left) recognizes Dave Morris of Dow AgroSciences for Dow’s support of Legislative Day. BOTTOM: NPMA’s Rob Lederer presents an award to FMC’s Amy O’Shea in recognition of FMC’s support of Legislative Day.|
Some groups in the food sector are now completely reliant on sulfuryl fluoride and the loss of the product would have devastating economic consequences. The industry’s position is that the U.S. EPA should withdraw its misguided proposed order cancelling the food uses for sulfuryl fluoride and Congress should closely oversee the Agency to see that it does so.
Bed Bugs. H.R. 967, the “Bed Bug Management, Prevention and Research Act of 2011,” was introduced by Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH). It initiated and directed a common-sense strategic federal response to the bed bug pandemic. Specifically, the bill authorizes, as part of an existing program, federal bed bug research funding to resume, on a broad scale, work that has been neglected for 50 years and requires efficacy testing for minimum risk pesticides — pesticides that are exempt from U.S. EPA’s registration process — to protect consumers from products that don’t effectively manage bed bug infestations. H.R. 967 has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Nutrition and Horticulture, but NPMA believes there might be opportunities to insert provisions or language from H.R. 967 into the 2012 Farm Bill.
Speakers & Sessions. Other highlights of Legislative Day included presentations from noted political figures Haley Barbour and Dick Morris. Barbour (R-MS), former governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, gave his thoughts on a variety of political topics, including the Republican presidential primary. He said this primary is unique in that no candidate pulled ahead in the early going, and he doesn’t expect either former Sen. Rick Santorum or former Gov. Mitt Romney to do so until late in the process. Barbour’s presentation was sponsored by FMC Professional Solutions.
Morris, one of the most prominent political consultants in the country, gave his thoughts on this year’s presidential election. Morris said that President Barack Obama is in real danger of losing because of a demographic shift. He said when Obama was elected in 2008 that 5 more percent of people classified themselves as Democrats than Republicans; now three more percent of people classify themselves as Republicans rather than Democrats. His presentation was sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.
Larry Treleven Presented with FMC Legislative Day Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Larry Treleven, vice president and co-owner of Sprague Pest Solutions, Tacoma, Wash., was presented with the FMC Legislative Day Award at the event. Treleven was recognized at NPMA Legislative Day for his 40 years of involvement with legislative issues impacting the pest control industry.
Amy O’Shea, director, FMC Professional Solutions, said, “It’s fitting that Larry is the choice for this prestigious award at the 25th anniversary of NPMA Legislative Day since he has been a member of, or a correspondent to, NPMA’s Government Affairs Committee for 20 years, and has attended nearly all 25 Legislative Days.”
Larry, along with brother Alfie Treleven, have grown Sprague Pest Solutions from a three-person operation into the largest pest control company in the Pacific Northwest/Inner-Mountain region with yearly revenues in excess of $17 million. He’s been an active member of the Washington Pest Management Association and the National Pest Management Association, where he served as president in 1995.
In accepting the award, Treleven noted that Hal Stein, who served as NPMA president in 1974, encouraged him to get involved in NPMA. He also said he was inspired by a 1971 presentation at the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce by legendary businessman George Weyerhaeuser, longtime CEO of Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest forest products companies.
“He said, ‘Be involved at the federal and state level because the decisions being made in the legislature at — both the federal and state — have just as much impact on the business at Weyerhaeuser as the decisions being made in the board room,’” recalled Treleven. “So, it was our marching orders to get involved. Legislative Day is an embodiment of exactly that.”
The FMC award is presented annually to individuals who have distinguished themselves in the pest management industry through various activities — particularly legislative involvement — and through their contributions to advancing the industry.
VIDEO: Visit Online Extras on the PCT Online homepage for a video interview with Larry Treleven, vice president of Sprague Pest Solutions, Tacoma, Wash. Treleven reflects on his involvement in NPMA’s Government Affairs Committee and the significance of having been recognized as the FMC Legislative Day Award recipient.
Legislative Day also included several educational sessions covering a variety of issues important to the pest control industry, including a panel discussion about how changes to pyrethroid labels will impact the pest control industry (see page 70).
The author is Internet editor and managing editor of PCT magazine and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PCT’s online coverage of Legislative Day includes articles, video interviews and a slideshow of photos.
|LEFT: Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, gave his thoughts on the Republican presidential primary. Barbour’s presentation was sponsored by FMC Professional Solutions. RIGHT: Attendees (from left to right) Kim Kelly-Tunis, Cleveland Dixon and Ron Harrison listen to a Legislative Day speaker.|
|LEFT: Legislative Day attendees from Georgia share a laugh. Prior to heading to Capitol Hill, attendees met in their state caucuses to discuss strategy and review regulatory issues they would be discussing with their Congressional representatives. RIGHT: NPMA’s Gene Harrington reviewed issues that Legislative Day attendees would be discussing with their representatives.|
|A Legislative Day highlight is the annual kid’s program in which “the next generation of pest management professionals” enjoy the sights and sounds of Washington, D.C.|