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

I’m always amazed at the beauty of a simple Spider web.

I took the above picture last night as the sun was starting to set.

Simply beautiful for a split second, with time and hour and planets lined up just right. like a tiny moment of Zen.

10 seconds later a yellow jacket hit the web and a short battle ensued, with the spider using all eight legs like a mad typist. The objective was to avoid that stinger, encase the victim in webbing, and supply a food source for her unborn progeny.

Half way through a weird year…what a long strange trip it’s been!

Apologize to you Grateful Dead fans out there!  But it has been an unusual year for weather, which in turn has a direct impact on the professional pest control market.

From coast to coast there has been more snow, rain, flooding, and inclement weather than in the past 10 years.   BC, Calgary, Toronto, Winnipeg and the Maritimes have all had their share of it.

No Spring was evident it seemed, and the inclement weather just continues to drag on.

Across the country the initial carpenter ant flush in March and April was non-existent.  And so far this summer swarms or colony explosions have been limited.  Started off for a week then a cold snap for 10 days took care of that.

Indoor ant populations, such as little black ants and pharaoh exist, but in talking to folks the populations don’t seem as heavy.  Even our faithful black ant colony in the Gardex kitchen was sparse.

The first application for spiders was hit and miss, with second applications hopefully starting now with the warmer temps and humidity.  Will we get a third?

Wasps and hornets?  They drowned with the last downpour.

Surprisingly, there have been a few more reports of termites in the GTA and on the West Coast.  With all the wet soil they can move freely about.

Seems we went right from Winter to Summer this year. Turned off the heater one day and the A/C the next.  But the rain has kept us with lower than usual treatments.

The big surprise is most customers are holding their own though, counting on contracts to keep income flowing while picking up one-times as they come in.

The key word is “steady” I suppose.

Luckily we all aren’t down further.

Let’s hope for more favorable weather in July, August and September.

We always hope for a long Indian Summer…but that never happens.  We’re in Canada remember?

Another One bites the Dust: Permadust that is

Just received word BASF will cancel Permadust production for Canada come end of 2012.  Hate to see another product fall by the wayside, but the market didn’t support it as much as required to keep it on the BASF range.

Since the aquisiton of Whitmire we have lost Avert roach bait stations and gel, plus Avert piston cans.

Problem is simple really.  The entire Canadian pest control market doesn’t even add up 1% of the products sold to the state of California, so when a giant company looks at what products to support, and where to invest, we don’t make the hurdle rate or the return on investment required.

That’s why I hate to see smaller companies bought up.  A small niche product may not mean diddly to a huge bazillion dollar chemical giant, where as it could be a nice add on for a smaller corporation. 

But let’s hope some of their new chemistry will come to the market sooner than later.

Really too bad, but it’s all about the money folks.

Tis the season…

No I’m not talking Holidays!  Basically it’s that time of year when the degree days are adding up and insects are on the move. 

Biggest issue I am encountering now is carpenter ants, with high activity levels indoors, more so than outdoors.  No swarmers as of yet, or in very limited pockets, but should be expected in the next few weeks.

Hopefully we will be seeing some new active ingredients pass through the PMRA as we are in dire need for new ant baits to fit everyone’s IPM programs. Plus if we continue to rely on the same actives year in and year out, although we may not have a “true” resistance problem, overall effectiveness will start to diminish.  I firmly believe we have developed resistance to some pyrethroids used on cockroaches.

There are at least 3 new actives waiting in the wings, with the capability for dusts, baits and dilutable formulations.  Look for more posts on these in the coming weeks as I am trying to check on the status of each.

Next up…more on the Rodenticide re-evaluation decision and some major concerns and actions from Industry that is going to take place.

Plus an overview on resistance management, or lack thereof, in the Canadian market.