Click here to watch.
Click here to watch.
In February Rearview Jim Rindfleisch of the Department of Environmental and Developmental Services, County of York, Va., provided a first-hand account of his efforts to create an autonomous sprayer. As Rindfleisch explained, “The idea was to come up with something that could spray baseboards and floors on its own.” A self-describer “tinkerer” Rindfleisch retrofitted an iRobot “Create” – which is a sophisticated relative of the Roomba floor vacuum. Visit www.pctonline.com/roboticsprayer.aspx to watch a video clip of this sprayer in action.
Giving Back Is Good Business
Each and every one of us has been approached — in our personal and professional lives — to donate to a cause. The pest control industry has always been generous. Even during turbulent times, our industry publications consistently carry stories on how we give back to the communities we serve.
So how do we turn this inherent generosity into something that helps our business as well as others? How do we decide which "cause" is worthwhile? Can we market the partnerships with a "cause"? Investing in the community is a great way to give back to those who have helped support and grow the business. In the sustainability business model, giving back in this interdependent world is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good business.
There are a lot of reasons why we give. But in a nutshell, choosing a cause we are passionate about not only helps the communities where we live and work, but also can mirror our business’s and industry’s values, beliefs and integrity.
The Top 5 Reasons We Give. What follows are the top five reasons we donate to charitable causes:
Determining which cause has the most value to the business and us personally may be one in the same. Many of the causes we support at Arrow Exterminators have to do with improving the quality of life of children, families and communities. This supports our core value of protecting families and their homes while caring for our environment. We also make it a point to be visible and participate in the causes we have chosen.
So how do you choose? Consider what is most important to you and your business. Make a list of the areas that interest you and go from there. Once you’ve determined the focus of your interests, think about the activities of the organization you wish to help. Most organizations engage in a variety of activities such as research, service or advocacy.
Once you’ve focused on your interest, consider how or if you want to partner with the organization and use the relationship in your "cause marketing" efforts. Will this partnership or donation to a cause allow you to leverage your participation to increase your visibility in the community, enhance your company image and possibly even garner some positive media coverage?
While sometimes you may wish to donate and stay anonymous, at other times promoting the value you are giving back with tangible dollars and time can improve your position in the community. You may be seen as a company your community wants to do business with. Again, it just makes good sense.
Look for community partners with a similar agenda whose goals can be better achieved by partnering with your business. Take inventory of the assets that make you an appealing partner in a cause-related venture. There are many types of mutually beneficial relationships you can form with your cause-related partner, including special events and promotions.
In my own personal view, giving back to the communities we serve supports the "sustainability" business model and not only makes us leaders in the communities where we live and work, but like-minded customers and potential customers may become our advocates. As we continue to identify the wide range of stakeholders — from homeowners to businesses, community groups and government agencies — to whom we are accountable, and provide tangible, credible financial and human resources, we will generate and establish good will.
Finally, cause-related marketing will yield mutual benefits. In the long run it will create more profit for our companies and more social, economic and environmental prosperity for society. By giving back to our community we have the possibility of enjoying:
I continue to be proud of the work we do in the pest management industry and overwhelmed by the generosity exhibited each and every day by my colleagues. We touch many in the communities we serve and provide a quality of life far surpassing anywhere else in the world.
The author is chief marketing and strategy officer for Arrow Exterminators, Atlanta, Ga. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Pest Management Firms, NPMA Donate to Haitian Earthquake Fund
The National Pest Management Association, as well as pest management firms, have donated resources to relief efforts for victims of the January earthquake in Haiti, which left more than 150,000 people dead and many more homeless and without food or medical supplies. What follows is a roundup of the information submitted to PCT magazine as of press time.
ANDERSON PEST SOLUTIONS, ELMHURST, ILL.
Anderson Pest Solutions donated $2,500 towards relief efforts in Haiti through the American Red Cross and is matching Anderson team member contributions on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to an additional $5,000.
"We’re just trying to do our part to help the Haitian people in the aftermath of this terrible disaster," said Mark O’Hara, president of Anderson. "We think the American Red Cross is an outstanding organization and we’re glad to be able to contribute in this emergency."
For more information about the firm, visit www.andersonpestsolutions.com.
CLARK PEST CONTROL, LODI, CALIF.
Clark Pest Control donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross earmarked for the assistance of victims of the Haitian Earthquake. "Our hearts go out to the survivors and victims of this tragic event," said a message on the company’s blog. "Please find it in your heart to give during these tragic times. Haiti needs us."
Visit the company’s blog at blog.clarkpest.com/blog.
NATIONAL PEST MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, FAIRFAX, VA.
The National Pest Management Association responded to the Haitian earthquake on behalf of the pest management industry with a commitment to help. As Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, has been overrun with pests including flies, rodents and mosquitoes in the aftermath of this natural disaster, NPMA contacted the Center of International Development, coordinators of in-kind donations, pledging the industry’s willingness to provide the inspection and treatment necessary to protect public health in the regions most impacted by the earthquake.
Although as of press time NPMA did not yet know the full extent of how the industry’s services will be called upon, the association was preparing for when member efforts can be utilized. "Although we have yet to be selected by the Center of International Development to help, I am hopeful that our members will continue to outreach with their generosity and consider offering their expertise and services to build our arsenal," says Rob Lederer, executive vice president of the NPMA. "We are extremely proud of the way our industry has united to support the humanitarian efforts in Haiti, and we thank you for your generous response."
Members who would like to pledge labor, materials, equipment or monetary donations are asked to contact Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Person: Building a Robotic Spray Can
The following article was written by Jim Rindfleisch of the Department of Environmental and Developmental Services, County of York, Va. E-mail him at Rindflej@Yorkcounty.gov.
A couple of years ago I decided to build something that could spray baseboards and floors on its own. Robots that spray pesticide are not a new idea (e.g., several manufacturers make miniature helicopters for aerial spraying). The challenge was to build an inexpensive robot capable of navigating and spraying pesticide inside buildings.
For this project, the iRobot "Create" was used. It’s a sophisticated relative of the Roomba floor vacuum, and comes pre-programmed with behaviors that are useful for navigating inside buildings. Some of these behaviors can be adapted to spraying pesticide. The spray module built for the robot is an industry-familiar FMI type "Q" metering pump driven by an electric motor. The assembly is miniaturized as much as possible and mounted on a Plexiglas frame with a pesticide tank attached at the rear. The pump motor uses a separate 12-volt battery stored in the robot’s cargo bay. The pump supplies pesticide from the tank to a nozzle located at the rear of the robot.
In real-world situations, the robot worked best in empty spaces. It’s not as quick as a human but sprays without intervention. This frees the operator to attend other details of the application. The Create is pre-programmed to follow walls by always navigating itself on the right side. If the unit becomes hung up it will attempt to free itself. If unsuccessful it will call for help, which is useful because robots have a way of getting themselves into situations involving overhanging furniture, protruding pipes, wires and crumpled rugs. Sometimes the machine may fall or get knocked over. For this reason it’s important to include a tip-switch in the pump circuitry. Alignment and vibration damping in the connection between the spray unit motor and the pump head is important. Excessive vibration interferes with the robot’s sensors, causing the machine to wander off.
Major drawbacks were lack of battery capacity and pesticide load. Too much time was lost re-charging pump batteries. Otherwise the unit worked well enough to try this idea on heavier platforms.
Many of us have thought about building a better mouse trap. Hopefully this project will stimulate interest in building an autonomous spray can.
Syngenta introduces Optigard Fire Ant Bait, the latest addition to the Optigard family of products. This new product offers a powerful, dual mode-of-action formula with both a stomach insecticide and an insect growth regulator to provide long-lasting control of both workers and reproductive fire ants, the company reports.
Optigard Fire Ant Bait is highly attractive to foraging ants and is readily taken into the mound and transferred to the queen, workers and ant larvae, according to Syngenta. The bait’s rapid mound reduction and brood decrease allow it to control a variety of fire ant species, including red imported fire ants and southern fire ants.
The company recommends that PMPs use Optigard Fire Ant Bait as part of a two-step program. The first step is applying a uniform application of Optigard Fire Ant Bait over the target area without disrupting the mounds. Then, after about a week, apply individual mound treatments, such as a mound drench with Optigard Flex.
The bait comes ready to use and is packaged in a 2-pound jug with a shaker top. The product is formulated in a corn grit base with an oil attractant. The bait’s active ingredient, abamectin, is a slow-acting insecticide which allows foraging ants to transfer the bait throughout the colony and eventually to the queen.
Select #200 at www.pctonline.com/readerservice
LG Life Sciences
LG Life Sciences has introduced Fenvastar Plus 8.4% EC as part of its strategy to offer green formulations. In late 2009, LG introduced Lambdastar 9.7% CS with EcoCap Technology, which utilizes vegetable oil to form microcapsules. Now, LG Life Sciences is introducing Fenvastar Plus, designed to be a unique new type of emulsifiable concentrate. LG says it has incorporated solvents and emulsifiers that contain infinitesimal levels of petroleum distillates. As a result, Fenvastar Plus has an extremely low VOC rating, according to the company. Also, since there is no "flash off" of solvents, LG says, the odor of Fenvastar Plus is very low for mixing and at application. The company points out low VOC ratings are particularly important in states mandating VOC reduction in all products. Fenvastar Plus contains the food-area use active ingredient, esfenvalerate. PMPs can get 38 finished gallons from 1 pint of Fenvastar Plus, the company says.
Select #201 at www.pctonline.com/readerservice
TIGG Corporation announced that the TIGG Methyl Bromide Recapture System meets and in some installations exceeds the specification set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS).
For several years, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has directed research toward the development of methyl bromide alternatives and methyl bromide recapture systems. According to TIGG, the TIGG Methyl Bromide Recapture System complies with USDA requirements by reducing emissions by at least 80 percent, retaining approved fumigation and aeration times mandated by the Plant Protection and Quarantine treatment manual, and reducing the methyl bromide concentration in emissions to under 500 ppm. TIGG Corporation engineered and manufactured the TIGG Methyl Bromide Recapture System through a cooperative program between GFK Consulting LTD, USDA-ARS and Great Lakes Corporation (now Chemtura). During development, the Methyl Bromide Recapture System was proven in laboratory and pilot scale tests and has since operated successfully in commercial installations throughout the U.S, the manufacturer says.
Select #202 at www.pctonline.com/readerservice
Dow AgroSciences is offering a special promotion on its Hex-Pro Termite Baiting System. With the purchase of four cartons of Hex-Pro termite stations, pest management professionals will receive one carton free. With the purchase of four cases of wood monitors, they will receive one case free. The offer is good through March 2010.
For more than a decade, the active ingredient in Shatter termite bait, used in the Hex-Pro System, has provided effective control of termites, according to Dow AgroSciences. The company says its Hex-Pro System is environmentally sensible because it uses a minimal amount of Shatter termite bait to treat the termite colony only where and when termite activity is discovered.
Bird-B-Gone has been granted a patent on the company’s polycarbonate bird spike, Bird Spike 2000. Known as the "Original Plastic Bird Spike," the spikes are made from a UV-protected polycarbonate and carry a five-year guarantee, the company says. Bird Spike 2000 is designed to be an effective and humane way to deter pest birds from landing on window ledges, roof lines, parapet walls, I-beams, and more, the company says.
Select #203 at www.pctonline.com/readerservice
Rockwell Labs Ltd
Rockwell Labs Ltd introduced new SeptiTreat with InVade Technology. The company says SeptiTreat is a 100 percent natural, non-toxic, biological treatment designed to keep septic systems functioning properly and sewer lines flowing. SeptiTreat contains premium natural microbes that digest organic waste and reduce odors. The product can be used to treat fats, oils, grease, carbohydrates, proteins, cellulose and urea. As an add-on sale opportunity, one 8-ounce bottle of SeptiTreat can be poured into the toilet and flushed. Septi-Treat also can be poured down a drain, followed by about a gallon of water. One treatment is adequate for a typical household on a quarterly basis, the company says.
Select #204 at www.pctonline.com/readerservice