When you start a new business, money’s tight. That’s why Brandon Tribett used generic products with lambda-cyhalothrin when he opened Think Pest Control in Littleton, Colorado, three years ago.
The problem: “These knock-offs weren’t performing like we expected,” he recalls. As an exterior perimeter treatment, they were breaking down in Colorado’s brutal weather, which meant Tribett and his team were spending valuable time doing callbacks instead of serving new customers and growing the business.
Tribett was frustrated. He also wanted to expand into the Las Vegas market where the sun is even more intense and scorpions are a common pest, but he knew the knock-off products weren’t up to the challenge.
Tribett’s problem was solved last fall when he was introduced to the PestPartnersSM365 Program by Syngenta Territory Manager Scott Baldwin.
PestPartners 365 provides year-long rebate savings on Syngenta products. Even better for Tribett, it offers bulk-purchase discounts on popular Syngenta products, including Demand® CS insecticide.
The program gave Tribett access to a high-performing product – “there was no question Demand [CS] would work for scorpions,” he says – at a very affordable price.
“It made Demand [CS] so reasonable in price that for us it just made sense for us to make the switch,” he explains.
Demand CS is now the company’s “workhorse product” with the microencapsulated formulation providing “way longer control” than the generics, says Tribett. “Overall this year, our re-treats are down. It really is getting us the result we want,” he assures.
Bulking Up To Save
Making the commitment to buy in bulk was a concern at first for Tribett until he sat down with Baldwin to plan out his product needs for the upcoming season. Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) can also use the PestPartners 365 online rebate calculator or manual worksheet to do this.
Based on his projected usage, and after evaluating the program’s quantity-based pricing tiers, Tribett chose to purchase five master shippers of Demand CS, “which gets the price down really low” compared to buying individual bottles. A Demand CS master shipper contains 24 one-quart containers.
This initial order carried Think Pest Control through July, which relieved Tribett of the hassle of ordering product each month.
It also ensured he had enough Demand CS on hand to serve a growing number of new customers.
“Just knowing that we have a bunch in stock, that the price is great; there were a lot of perks to it,” says Tribett on participating in PestPartners 365.
The program’s SummerPay™ terms, which extend credit interest free on select Syngenta products through June, were icing on the cake from a cash-flow perspective, especially since Tribett placed his five-figure bulk order during the slow season when less money was coming in.
In fact, SummerPay actually helped Tribett expand his business. “We didn’t have to pull money out from anywhere to place the order. We kept our advertising budgets all the same through the springtime. We hit the growth level that we wanted and that made it easy to pay off the product,” he explains.
PestPartners 365 helps make saving simple by providing rebates on product purchases all year long after qualifying.
Here’s how it works: Each product package is assigned a rebate amount. To qualify for the program, PMPs must earn at least $200 in base rebate dollars during the seven-month qualifying period (October 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021). The more product you order during the qualifying period, the higher your rebate level. Once qualified, PMPs earn rebates on all Syngenta product purchases made through September 30, 2021.
Rebate checks are mailed in August and November of 2021. An Early Order Bonus check, mailed in February 2021, is earned for purchasing at least $500 in base rebates by December 9, 2020. Ordering the products you’ll need in 2021 before the end of this year can make it easier on PMPs to plan for the year ahead, reminds Marshall Gaster, market manager for Professional Pest Management (PPM) at Syngenta, North America.
With PestPartners 365, you don’t have to chase limited-time product promotions to save money. You also don’t have to register for the program or file rebate paperwork; your preferred distributor partner does it all for you. “It’s a really simple program,” assures Gaster.
Even more convenient: As part of the 2021 program, PMPs can check their rebate status online. Just sign in to your SyngentaPMP.com account – or create a free account – and go to PestPartners365.com/RebateStatus, which now tracks purchases and estimates your rebate level and amount.
Tribett planned to use his August 2020 rebate check, anticipated to be a few thousand dollars, to host a corporate retreat for his team. “The price makes it so great when you buy in bulk that the rebate is just kind of an added bonus, so we’re like, let’s just do something more fun with it,” he says.
Other PMPs have used PestPartners 365 rebate money to host company awards dinners, buy new equipment, and purchase more Syngenta products.
Tribett evaluated rebate programs from other manufacturers but found them lacking. He likes how the PestPartners 365 program lets him earn rebates on all Syngenta products, not just a select few.
That’s important because besides Demand CS, Tribett relies heavily on Advion insecticide brand gel baits for ants and cockroaches, Optigard® Ant gel bait and Tandem® insecticide.
“We hope that the flexibility we provide in offering rebate savings on all of our products gives PMPs the flexibility they need to make the best product decisions for their businesses without missing out on savings,” says Kristen Oakley, marketing communications manager for PPM at Syngenta, North America.
Just as important is the technical and business support that Tribett gets from Syngenta and Baldwin in particular. “From a people standpoint, a product standpoint, you can just rely on Syngenta,” he explains.
Now in its seventh year, PestPartners 365 was the first rebate program of its kind in the pest control industry. “We’re helping fulfill our mission of providing a life uninterrupted by pests by allowing our PMPs to do so with ease and with the right tools in hand,” says Oakley.
Tribett couldn’t agree more. “Nothing compares to the Syngenta reward program. It’s laid out, it gives you discounts right up front for buying in bulk and it gives you a pretty decent incentive come fall for having done so,” he says.
Learn more about the PestPartners 365 Program online at PestPartners365.com or contact your local Syngenta territory manager.
©2020 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Advion®, For Life Uninterrupted™, PestPartnersSM, SecureChoiceSM and the Syngenta logo are trademarks or service marks of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).
Pest management is a problem-solving profession. A customer has a problem with an infestation of some pest, and it is the pest professional’s job to solve it. Each situation is different, with many factors influencing an infestation — the type of pest involved, number of pests present, construction and maintenance of the building, contributing conditions, and sanitation practices.
Experience is the best teacher in the pest management profession. One can learn all about a pest’s biology and habits, but until he or she deals with that pest in actual situations, the professional will not appreciate just how different pests act and live in the field. A skilled professional learns from his mistakes — and his successes. As he progresses in his career in pest management, his ability to solve pest infestations will increase with each experience.
Review of “case studies” is a good way to pass knowledge learned to other pest professionals. The following cases describe situations involving fly infestations in structures. Here are four case studies — two about small flies and two about filth flies — that might be similar to a current situation you’re facing.
Small Flies Case #1 — Fruit Flies & Fungus Gnats
A 40-story office building reported flies in the offices on the first six floors. No live flies could be found during an inspection of the offices on these floors. The customer also had failed to collect any specimens as they had been asked to do on the day prior to the inspection. By inspecting window sills, dead fruit flies were found in some offices on floors 2 through 5 but not on the sixth floor. Fungus gnats, however, were found on the sixth floor.
Further investigation showed that the fungus gnats were living in the soil of potted plants on employees’ desks. These plants were being overwatered, which promoted the growth of fungi in the soil. The employees were educated on proper watering procedures and were asked to allow the soil to thoroughly dry to kill the fungus gnat larvae.
The fruit flies proved more challenging. Inspections of drains, coffee stations, trash containers and restrooms revealed no fruit flies or breeding sites. The lowest floor of this building was a garage and loading dock, and an elevator that ran up to all floors was located in the loading dock area. A trash dumpster was found in the loading dock area approximately 75 feet from the elevator. An inspection of the dumpster revealed that garbage and wet, decaying organic debris had been allowed to accumulate under the dumpster. It appeared that the underneath of the dumpster had not been cleaned in some time. Fruit fly larvae, as well as blow fly larvae, were found living in the organic debris under the dumpster. Hundreds of fruit fly adults were seen flying about the loading dock area.
The fruit flies were attracted to the lights in front of the elevator and entered the elevator when the doors opened. The flies then would fly out onto the various floors when the elevator opened and proceeded to fly about the different offices. The office building’s management was shown the dumpster area and was provided a list of written recommendations. The primary recommendation was to establish a regular cleaning schedule of the dumpster to prevent problems of this type from occurring in the future. No insecticide treatments were needed to solve this problem.
Lessons Learned: The breeding source is not always near the area where flies are seen. Sometimes, it can be a good distance from that area.
Small Flies Case #2 — Fruit Flies
A homeowner was experiencing a problem with fruit flies. Inspections of trash containers and the pantry did not reveal any flies or fly larvae. The flies were found breeding in the garbage disposal in the kitchen. Cleaning the disposal subsequently solved the problem.
Lessons Learned: Even garbage disposals need regular cleaning to prevent them from becoming breeding sources for flies.
Filth Flies Case #1 — House Flies
While performing a routine quality control check in a hotel kitchen, an entomologist noticed that a large number of house flies were present in the kitchen. During the inspection, a number of brown fly pupae were found on the floor beside a stove. Closer inspection of this area revealed numerous fly pupae on a shelf under a table next to the stove. Two boxes of potatoes were stored on this shelf. The top box contained clean, fresh potatoes. The bottom box, however, contained rotting potatoes in which large numbers of house fly larvae and pupae could be found. Evidently, an employee placed a new box of potatoes on top of a box in which all of the potatoes had not been used. The second box was overlooked and potatoes began to rot, creating a breeding source for the house flies. Removing the infested box of potatoes and cleaning the area thoroughly solved the infestation. A space treatment was applied to kill the remaining adult flies.
Lessons Learned: Although house flies do not generally breed indoors, it does occasionally happen. Usually a situation as described here is involved or a trash receptacle has not been cleaned properly. Always be on the look out for fly pupae when inspecting.
Filth Flies Case #2 — House Flies & Blow Flies
A hotel was experiencing a problem with flies in its restaurant kitchen. The kitchen had a short hallway that led to a back door located by the dumpster area. The dumpster area was cleaned regularly and no fly breeding sources could be found. The dumpster also was surrounded by a concrete block wall and was located only 12 feet from the hotel’s back door. Unfortunately, even clean dumpsters attract flies. The dumpster’s close proximity to the door attracted flies to the area of the door where they entered as the door was opened and closed.
Whoever designed the hotel provided a feature that ultimately helped control flies inside the building. The back door opened into a small entry vestibule which had an additional doorway into the kitchen. A corner-mounted ILT was mounted in the corner of the entryway to the right of the door and facing away from the door (see figure at right). Most of the flies and other flying insects entering the door from outside were eventually attracted to and captured by the ILT before they could enter the kitchen. Subsequent checks of the trap’s catch pan showed that flies, beetles, yellowjackets and moths were captured by the trap.
In addition to the installation of the light trap, a schedule of monthly insecticide applications to the walls around the dumpster where flies often rested was instituted. These treatments of fly-resting areas further reduced the number of flies in the area of the back door.
Lessons Learned: One properly placed insect light trap can be invaluable in solving a fly infestation.
Back in 2016, Reliable Pest Solutions added backyard mosquito control to its service offering by using the SecureChoiceSM Mosquito Assurance Program from Syngenta.
The program was just the push District Service Supervisor Chuck Houston needed. It provided the Hannibal, Missouri-based company with a proven protocol and a guarantee: If the program failed to control mosquitoes as promised, Syngenta would provide product free of charge to perform a re-treat.
Four years later, the mosquito business at Reliable Pest Solutions continues to grow, both as a stand-alone service and as an add-on to the company’s premier, year-round pest control service. “It’s definitely been worth our while,” says Houston.
Many customers who sign up for the mosquito-only service – they’re often referred by neighbors happy with the program – eventually become pest control customers.
And when customers add mosquito control onto their year-round pest control service, technicians can save time, often performing both services at once. “It’s helped us eliminate one trip around the house,” explains Houston.
More Choices, More Support
A lot has happened since Syngenta launched the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program in 2014.
Not only has the company introduced additional assurance programs to help pest management professionals (PMPs) confidently control fleas, ticks, scorpions, spiders, fire ants and cockroaches, but it’s developed a deep bench of virtual and hands-on learning tools to help support participants’ success:
Online Learning Modules – These tutorials explore specific pests, various control protocols, best application practices, insights on products and more. To access the free learning modules, visit SyngentaPMP.com/SecureChoice and create a free SyngentaPMP.com account if you don’t already have one. Short videos and webinars are also available as training resources that can be a quick refresher for technicians.
Application Academies – The academies combine classroom and hands-on learning on how best to use and calibrate different makes and models of equipment, from outdoor mist blowers for mosquito control to the tools needed to control cockroaches in commercial kitchens. Attendees learn best practices founded in research and how to demonstrate proficiency with each piece of equipment.
“The industry has gotten away from demonstrating and teaching application and calibration, especially onsite. We saw the need for that,” says Dave McCormick, territory manager for Professional Pest Management (PPM) at Syngenta, North America, and an organizer of the academies.
The mulch bed demonstration – where attendees apply water at different dilution rates to a mulch bed lined with water-sensitive paper that turns blue when wet – is a favorite of Marshall Gaster, market manager for PPM at Syngenta, North America. Participants who apply the commonly used 1-gallon per 1,000-square-feet dilution rate (versus the 4-gallon rate recommended for mulch) find the paper under the mulch – where the ants would be – is not blue.
“It’s just so eye opening for everybody. It shows how a proper application can mean the difference between going back to that house probably a week later,” says Gaster.
Employees can earn continuing education credits for attending application academies, which can be customized for a company’s specific business needs. Syngenta is developing virtual components and outdoor-only academies to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. To learn more, contact your local Syngenta territory manager.
“The learning modules and application academies are ‘a total A-to-Z’ road map for using our products in the best way possible,” says McCormick.
SecureChoice assurance programs promise control of specific pests, a commitment Syngenta does not take lightly.
That’s why the Syngenta technical services team worked with university researchers and PMPs to research and test protocols and application methods in the field. This process can take years to complete with the findings used to further improve the programs.
“Each SecureChoice assurance program has been extremely well-planned and well-researched before being released to customers,” says Nicky Gallagher, technical services manager for PPM at Syngenta, North America.
As such, PMPs can feel confident using the programs to introduce new services or enhance existing ones to control pervasive and challenging public health pests. In many ways, the hard work has been done for PMPs, which Houston found with the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program. “It’s been a solid program that’s just been so easy to do. It works,” he says.
That confidence spreads to clients, as well. “There’s peace of mind for customers knowing you’re using something that is tested and proven,” says Gaster.
While the guarantee is important, Houston says it was the Syngenta customer service that really drove him to embrace the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program.
He says Syngenta Territory Manager Mike Weissman “does great by us,” providing training, answering questions, helping with issues and periodically checking in to see how things are going.
“That definitely goes a long way; when you’re walking into a new program that you can be assured that you’re going to get backed by Syngenta,” says Houston.
Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted with permission from Techletter.
On a carpenter ant call, one of the main things you need to determine is whether the ants are nesting inside or outside. If you can interview the customer, you can gain a lot of useful information that will point you in the right direction. Here’s a list of nine questions you should ask the customer and why they’re important:
- Was your home treated for carpenter ants before? An earlier treatment may have failed, or a nest might have been missed.
- When did you first notice the ants? If indoor activity has been going on for some time, the chances are greater that the ants are nesting inside.
- How many ants do you see? Large numbers of ants foraging inside make an indoor nest more likely.
- Do you see the ants indoors year-round? Ants are not active outside during winter months in cooler climates. If ants are found indoors in the winter, it likely means an indoor nest. In cool climate, if carpenter ants are seen only during warm months, it’s more likely that they are foraging in from outside.
- Where do you see the ants most often? If ants are regularly in a room that does not have food, there’s probably a nest nearby. If the activity is in a bathroom or near another moisture source, the nest is probably very close. If carpenter ants are mainly seen around an outside kitchen door, they’re probably coming in from outside looking for food.
- Have you had any wet wood, broken pipes or a leaky roof in the last year or two? If so, where? A structure that has had water-damaged wood or moisture problems is much more likely to be infested by carpenter ants than a building that is dry. Even after the moisture problem is resolved, carpenter ants can continue to nest in the softened wood.
- Have you seen any ants with wings inside? If carpenter ant alates (swarmers) are seen inside, a nest is almost certainly within the structure. It would be rare for swarmers from an outside nest to end up inside. An indoor nest that produces swarmers has probably been there for at least three years.
- Have you heard any strange noises inside the walls? Carpenter ants in their nest make a rustling sound sort of like crinkling cellophane. If you hear this with your ear next to a wall, you’ve found the nest.
- Have you noticed any little piles that look like sawdust? If so, where? Carpenter ants keep their nest galleries clean by pushing excavated wood, dead insects and other debris out through a tiny slit. These “dump piles” are usually located just below the nest site. If no dump piles are found, it doesn’t necessarily mean the nest is not inside. The piles could be inside a wall void and not visible.
The authors are well-known industry consultants and owners of Pinto & Associates, publishers of Techletter.