|Michael Howe, owner and president, NPD, with the Sherman (left) and Herman insecticide applicators.|
You could call Michael Howe, a 26-year industry veteran, a “foam advocate.” But if you ask him, there’s a bit more to it than that.
Howe, owner and president, NPD, has been developing two new pieces of equipment that cast his affinity for the foam application of insecticides into stark relief: NPD is launching Sherman and Herman, two new, distinct insecticide applicators each with the ability to switch from spray to foam applications at the flick of a switch.
It sounds very convenient for the pest control technician — switch from spray to foam instantly, without having to clamber down a ladder, for instance, for another piece of equipment. But that sort of convenience, and the products’ versatility, is only part of the reason why Howe believes his new applicators are important.
“Our equipment does everything a liquid applicator can do, all these attributes a liquid has, we have the capability to apply in a foam application,” Howe said.
That embrace of foaming technology is part of Howe’s industry ideology — doing more with less. “Reducing pesticide usage wherever possible, and applied in a manner that’s more of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. Our equipment really supports an IPM program, because it’s all about doing specific locations, requiring less material to complete the job.
“We are extremely environmentally concerned on a lot of different things,” he said, emphasizing his vision of the NPD corporate footprint. “We can do it ‘greener,’ we can use less, that’s what we think our industry should be doing.”
Two Models. Sherman differentiates from Herman primarily in size and intended usage. Sherman is the larger model, with a capacity of seven gallons, meant for the application of termiticides, Howe said. Herman, meanwhile, has a four-gallon capacity, and is intended for more general pest control applications.
Howe said that both Sherman and Herman are powered by compressed air. Each unit is portable, and with the ability to switch between foam and spray, Sherman or Herman have the potential to replace individual sprayers and foamers, Howe said.
|Sherman in action: Raymond Meyers, RJM Contracting, uses Sherman for foam treatment behind a wall. Meyers said the product makes for easy treatment in tricky spaces.|
Raymond Meyers, an independent contractor who does business as RJM Contracting in Lake Mary, Fla., has tested Sherman, having used it for subterranean and drywood termite control. “My technicians have used it, I’ve almost worn the thing out. We like it,” Meyers said. “I’ve done a variety of applications. Precise application is what Michael’s technology does for the pest control technician. And the other side of it is, you reduce the amount of necessary exposure (of pesticides) to the environment you might receive.”
Meyers said he has used foam for the past 15 years, and enjoys the versatility of the application. “It moves into places that spray certainly can’t go. With the reduced amount of active ingredient, you cover a lot more space with a lot less material.”
“I’ve been at this a long time, and the fact you can switch between a complete water-based material straight to an extremely dry foam, that takes the place of two or three pieces of equipment, and you’re doing that with the simple twist of a knob,” Meyers said. “I want to get my hands on Herman. We don’t do as much subterranean work as we once did. It’s going to be a dilemma, which one to buy.”
A Whole Approach. Howe emphasized that Sherman and Herman are part of a holistic approach to foam application on behalf of his company. “We offer a system approach,” he said, noting NPD’s ProFoam Platinum, a foaming agent designed for insecticide applications. “Part of the whole evolution that has been key for us is the development of the foaming agent.”
ProFoam Platinum can be used with a variety of well-known insecticides and termiticides, Howe said. “All the major chemical companies, when they bring out a chemical now, it has foam instructions on the label. That is just a huge leap. So when foam instructions are on the label, there needs to be the carrier, and also reliable equipment.
“As an industry, we are absolutely moving toward an Integrated Pest Management approach,” Howe said. “This equipment supports that initiative to continue.”
See more at www.npdproducts.com.
The author is associate editor for PCT magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.