Arizona Pest Management Professional sees 50% less water and 33% less time spent on the job with new termiticide
BASF: What do “trials” mean for companies like ProBest Pest Management?
KB: I’m a BIG believer in actual field trials and who better to participate than someone who has seen both sides of research and field work?
ProBest Pest Management gets the chance to participate and gain valuable hands-on experience with the new termiticide/pesticide and also gets to check any data the manufacturer has with other areas across the U.S. The topography in Arizona is different—we have a ton of rocks and it is often very difficult to dig into the soil, so it’s nice to see that the technical people are also aware of our day-to-day impediments versus just clay or sand.
BASF: How did you get involved with the Termidor HE trials and why?
KB: I have been involved with this industry for more than 20 years and I believe that if you don’t adapt and change with the times, you will get left behind. Social media has pretty much proven that—I left the phone book six years ago and just like pest work you must adapt.
It’s also imperative that you stay current to provide your customers with technological advantages. You know the saying, “if you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will”? It’s the same principle.
We really must use our knowledge and the manufacturing changes to get ahead of that curve. We no longer have some of the old options and honestly I think we should update and change to make things better.
BASF: What did the Termidor HE trials entail?
KB: We worked with BASF Technical Specialists to perform and compare two different termite treatments on homes willing to participate. The applications compared a Termidor® termiticide/insecticide SC Exterior Perimeter/Localized Interior treatment (EP/LI) to the new Termidor® H•E High Efficiency Termiticide Copack with Termidor H•E Technology.
The first test using Termidor EP/LI, compared 16 homes, similar in size and the amount of work needed to complete the job. I secured the jobs and supervised the applications.
The second test was performed on an additional two, yet identical, homes—one using Termidor EP/LI requirements of trenching four inches deep by six inches away from the home and 12 inch drill spacing. The second home used Termidor HE requirements of trenching four inches away from the home and two inches deep with 18 inch drill spacing.
After application, we performed follow-up inspections as usual.
BASF: What did you see?
KB: It was actually amazing! It was 117ºF that day and I almost died—and I was supervising, not doing the hard work. But we saved about 33-50 percent of our labor time with the new Termidor HE protocols.
We used less water and saw better movement of the surfactant in the soil.
No stem or angle drilling was a definite advantage for the technicians. The new technique helped reduce wear and tear on our equipment. Less work always makes it easier on the technicians. Less back pain and eventually fewer trips to the chiropractor. From an owner’s point of view, we could maybe get two jobs done instead of one stem drill a day.
The amazing part for me was inspecting the 16 originally treated homes. For some, we were not able to get into the garages and we missed a few mud tubes. On the very first inspection I believe we encountered rebuilt tubes in eight out of 16 homes but with no live termites. Period. Amazing.
So as long as the termites were in contact with the termiticide, there was transfer. We are currently on the 12-month inspection and so far, no signs of reoccurring termites or tubes.
BASF: What advice do you give PMPs seeking partnerships or participation in trials?
KB: I try to keep an open mind about any study or research. That mindset tends to keep me focused on the solid results without any prejudices or misconceptions I may have had. All the lab research can be done but without real world data nothing is an absolute in the field. I enjoy working with manufacturers and it does give you some street credibility to peers and the industry as a whole. So I say, go for it.
BASF: What advice do you give PMPs when learning to work with Termidor HE?
KB: Termidor HE is a great product and this new process will streamline certain processes and work—50 percent less water and 33 percent time savings. But we must understand this final point.
If you like this product because you could pass the savings onto the consumer, there really isn’t a reason to give away your labor savings with Termidor HE. With Termidor HE, the consumer gets a better treated zone using the best termiticide technology available and has less drill holes and trenching disruption to his structure.
I remember 20 years ago in Florida when pricing for termite work on an average home was $1,000 – $1,500. In Arizona, I’ve seen Termidor pricing go for $299. If we continue this trend we will be doing the homes for free.
Use common sense and offer termite treatments considering the home, termiticide and labor. Don’t give it away. Profit is not a four letter word and pest management professionals deserve to be paid a fair price for the work.