Best-Kept Industry Secret

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An expert at controlling pests in food handling facilities says ‘insect-activated’ Arilon insecticide is a great fit for challenging control environments, and more PMPs could benefit from its use.

October 10, 2018

Arilon comes in two different packaging configurations for pest management professionals (PMPs); an 8.25-ounce bottle (right) and .33-ounce pouches (left).

Dan Collins comes across a lot of challenging pest situations. Usually these are in food handling facilities, which account for most of the business at his company, Collins Pest Management in Evansville, Ind.

His go-to solution is Arilon® insecticide from Syngenta with the active ingredient indoxacarb. “Arilon, to me, is the best kept secret in the industry. Why more people aren’t using it is beyond me,” said Collins.

What’s the appeal? “Number one, it’s effective. And two, it has a pretty good label,” explained Collins, who used it to gain the upper hand at a bakery with a chronic German cockroach problem. Collins already was using cockroach bait at the bakery, “but sometimes you can’t get the baits where (the cockroaches) are,” such as into the voids underneath the large commercial ovens.

That’s when he started applying Arilon as a foam. On weekends when the client isn’t baking, “we can foam that (area) and fill those voids up and that really helped us” get control, said Collins.

He also uses Arilon to control pavement ants as a crack and crevice treatment at these facilities. If you have an expansion joint where pavement ants are coming through because of degradation, you can treat it and the void underneath, explained Collins. “You put it in there and it just wipes them out,” he said.

And nothing works better on springtails, said Collins. When his big warehouse clients start having issues with this pest in summer, he applies Arilon as a perimeter soil spray. “It flat out wipes them out. It is fantastic,” he said.

“As applied, the material is a ‘non-pesticide’ but once it’s ingested, specific enzymes in the insect’s digestive system break that molecule down and it’s the secondary metabolites from that process that actually are toxic to insects.” Eric Paysen, Technical Services Manager for Professional Pest Management at Syngenta, North America
Eric Paysen


“What’s cool about the indoxacarb is that it’s insect-activated,” said Collins. It has a unique mode of action that requires the target insect to ingest it before it will work.

“As applied, the material is a ‘non-pesticide’ but once it’s ingested, specific enzymes in the insect digestive system break that molecule down and it’s the secondary metabolites from that process that actually are toxic to insects,” explained Eric Paysen, technical services manager for Professional Pest Management at Syngenta, North America. “This secondary metabolite – the MetaActive™ technology – is what targets the insect’s nervous system, leading to death of the insect.”

The bio-activation process is not as efficient with non-target pests, which are less likely to be affected as a result.

Collins likes how Arilon is “highly non-repellent. It stays in place and the insects get in it and they don’t even know it’s there.” Plus, you get transfer from cockroach to cockroach or ant to ant for exponential control, he said. Lethal doses of the insecticide are shared when insects feed on the feces, exudates or dead bodies of their brethren, carry these dead bodies or engage in mutual grooming.

And when it comes to preventing insecticide resistance, it gives PMPs another class of chemical to rotate into the treatment protocol. Indoxacarb is an oxadiazine – not a pyrethroid or neonicotinoid – and Arilon is the only sprayable oxadiazine on the pest control market.


The insecticide’s “liberal label” lets PMPs “do a lot of things that you can’t do with other chemistries that are a lot more restrictive,” added Paysen, who urged PMPs to always read and follow the label instructions.

This includes being able to apply it 10 feet out from the exterior perimeter on concrete. In California, where some chemistries are under regulatory pressure and use restrictions, Arilon is “very effective” as a high-volume perimeter application to control Argentine ants, said Paysen. “We’re seeing good results in field trials with California PMPs for this treatment,” he said.

PMPs also have more flexibility in food handling facilities. Technicians can apply Arilon even while the facility is operating, as long as food is not out in the open and they adhere to the application restrictions on the label, such as not treating areas that are routinely washed, said Collins. This means less disruption for clients and less off-hours work for technicians.

“It’s just a great all-around product” that is “super efficacious,” but technicians must follow the label directions and mix it correctly, said Collins.

It’s also a “no-brainer” when it comes to cost, he added. He said it is “short sighted” to be “super sensitive to price” when the cost of a callback is more than a gallon of Arilon.

Syngenta provides the technical and business support that PMPs need, as well. “They’ve been a great business partner of mine since I started my business. The products are good and you can stand by them” and “it doesn’t hurt to have good rebates, either,” said Collins. (Read about the Syngenta loyalty program, PestPartnersSM 365.)

Syngenta spends $1.4 billion each year to develop new products, classes of chemistry and novel pest control ideas like Arilon. Every day the company’s 28,000 employees worldwide are “actively looking for new solutions that are environmentally friendly and that meet the needs of our customers; that’s our mission,” according to Paysen. It is this commitment to innovation that has allowed Syngenta to continue to be a leader in new product innovation for the pest control industry.


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