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

Does our lack of products make us work smarter? Or just harder? Part 1 of 2

I was looking at my latest version of PCT and was marveling at the number of products they have available to them for invasive species management (okay…pest control).  It would sure be nice to have half of the products they use.  Efficacy, bait shyness, resistance management and rotation would be words we could add to our vocabulary.

So why don’t we have all these different active ingredients and formulations?

There only one reason we work with limited resources…economics.

We don’t get registrations, or new product launches, simply based on ROI, return on investment, that suppliers will obtain in the Canadian marketplace.  It simply doesn’t justify the upfront spend.

We’re too small to make it worth a big companies time and trouble.

You would think a country with about 10% of the US population would have 10% of the pest management problems, and subsequently dollars.

Au contraire….

First look at our climate.  Without sustained warmer temperatures we miss the biggest US market with termite infestations, pre-treatment and control.  That’s half the market, so now we’re down to 5% of their value?

Then throw in all the other species they deal with in the southern US.

Fire Ants, scorpions, brown recluse and black widows.  All those fun things that aren’t just a serious pest, but a health risk to boot.

Toss in the mosquito market for good measure.  Sure Winnipeg has it’s swarms, and the “north” over run with Black Flies 2 weeks out of the year.

But have you ever been to the Everglades in July?  Those are mosquitoes.  Big ol suckers that will haul your children and pets away.

And they carry so many diseases and viruses that you have to spray…no ifs ands or buts.

So what’s that take the Canadian market to in overall value?

Rather small…tiny… compared to our Southerly neighbors. Not to denigrate the importance of pest management in Canada…it just points out that the overall dollars available make it difficult for a supplier to justify the spend to bring a product to market.

This isn’t a problem for products that don’t require government registration.  You can send the same piece of plastic you sell in the US into Canada without a problem (although you should have French, Inuit and Urdu on the label).

But for those in the PMRA managed pesticide industry, forget it.

Can any supplier justify a $250,000 expense, and trials and tests on each insect pest, to go into a market that might gross 10% of that amount per year?


And can you blame them?  Nope.

This leads back to my argument from a few months back.  Why manage pesticides at all in Canada, if the EPA is already doing the job south of us?  Can’t we trust them?

Isn’t a roach in Buffalo pretty much the same as one in Toronto or Hamilton or Windsor.

Are Vancouver Pharoahs a completely different beast than Seattle based ants?

But that won’t happen, no need to hope…

So it’s a plain fact that we won’t have the same tools as our good buddies, and even sister companies in the States.

We’re used to it, and it won’t change.

Now to my point.

So with the lack of new products, registrations, formulations and expanded labels, how do we manage to do pest control at all?

That’s the question.  And I’ll let you in on the answer next week!!!!