Robert's Rants
Robert's Rants
A personal blog on the Canadian pesticide industry and other pet peeves and interests


If you are a registered user of this site (basically a Gardex active customer…although we may have a few dead ones subscribed) you get the occasional email blast showing products we have on sale.

Seems the world is full of Sales and Discounts.  BOGO…gotta love that one.  Is it in Webster’s yet?  Senior’s Day for chrissake….

Why do we run the Specials?  Why not just whack the hell out of the price and leave it there???


Supply and Demand…with complexities x 1000.

And to think it all started a millennia ago!

About 40,000 years ago actually.

Caveman Groot finds an apple tree, eats his fill of ’em, then gets a smart idea.  old Groot starts trading  a peck of apples (the forbidden fruit) for 10 pounds of wooly mammoth meat to Caveman Grunt.  Good deal.  Groot has an apple tree, Grunt loves to hunt.  Birth of the balanced diet even!

Peace abounds.

Then all of a sudden..WHAM…all my apple trees produce at once and Groot has more apples than he knows what to do with.  There’s too many to store, and the shelf life isn’t so good.

SO…WHAM…Caveman marketing idea ONE.   Put them on SPECIAL!

“How about 10 pecks of apples for maybe 80 pounds of mammoth meat!” Groot hollers from his cave.

“You betcha”,  grunts back Grunt!  “I got a bunch of mammoth meat just ready to go!  Got run over by a T-Rex so might be slightly chewed….tenderized I call it”  (Grunt’s been thinking on how to market the slightly ripe meat).

And marketing is born!

So look at our little corner of the world today.

The Canadian Pest Control Industry is small…less than 5% of the US market in terms of product supplies (chemicals and plastic)

So in order to serve the customer, and partake in manufacturing efficiencies, some suppliers to the Canadian market run their products in batches.  Maybe once a year, maybe 2 – 3 times.

Too many apples for them to manage.  They need to move some out into the market.

So they make a deal.  Trade their apples (which are now plastic bait stations maybe) for something better than mammoth meat….MONEY!

And Gardex steps up to the plate, with new warehousing facilities, operational efficiencies (operational excellence actually – gotta blow my own horn) and the wherewithal (always wanted to use that word) to market the product move effectively through the channel.

So once or twice a year we have an uptick in product inventory.  And hopefully at a better price.

And then pass on any cost savings to you the customer.  (Not all of it…that would be stupid….)

But with the added cost saving and extra profit…or savings…obtained it’s a good business practice.

The supplier sees manufacturing efficiencies and cost savings.

Gardex sees cost savings in volume discount and more efficient use of the warehouses.

The PMP sees cost savings on raw materials…with “SPECIAL PRICING”

So the SPECIALS will continue….

And hopefully life is good for all the cavemen of today.

All because of an apple tree and good old Groot and Grunt.

So LONG 2014 and good riddance…blahblah…

Yes it was pretty blah…

I missed those creepy crawly biting stinging infestations swarms…plagues even.  No…not Ebola….bugs baby!

What a year this one was…and a slow one for Pest Control Professionals.

It wasn’t terrible as far as business, but never really got that “swamped” feeling from a customers point of view in the amount of calls…which correlates to the extent of the insect population.

And don’t believe it if someone says it was a great year.

The consensus of responses I get when I ask “how was your year overall” basically was summed up as:

“meh”   (some text phrase the kids taught me)

The Winter dragged on and on and on…

The Spring lasted for 3 days.

Summer brought 47 days of rain and 1 week over 85 degrees….

Fall fell through…but man we had a gorgeous 4 day stretch in there….remember?

AND back to Winter starting up November 1st with the first snowfall of the year.

Carpenter ant market was down by at least one good application, spiders were limited to non-existent, bees and wasps hit for about 2 weeks.

Even the bed bug business was down.  New research has found bed bugs do react to more favorable weather conditions, and are more active in the warm summer months.

So limited pests…limited phone calls.

On the Product side we didn’t see anything major, but did launch Altriset Termiticide from Syngenta with optimal results.  The product works well and more than meets expectations.  I keep thinking there is a pre-treat termite market to be had out here in the hinterland, but more on that later…

Optigard was also launched by Syngenta, as another offering that had been on the drawing board for a few years but finalized with their acquisition of Dupont.  This new bait was super on both carpenter ants and those pesky little pharaoh ants.

Kudos to Syngenta for bringing these to market.

What to expect in 2015?  Can only go up from here….(Shania fan)