Are you confident about your product rotation in commercial accounts? Here we give some helpful information about the different modes of action, with tips on how to combine and rotate the products in your toolkit.

New segment: Commercial pest control

Commercial pest control is a significant segment of the industry, although many companies often only focus on residential pest control. Commercial pest control customers come in varied shapes and sizes, including restaurants, offices, hotels and many more.

Managing such customers tends to have different requirements to residential customers, often requiring regular servicing, the need for additional paperwork and payment on account.

From a pest point of view, cockroaches, rodents and flies (of all descriptions) are probably the most common, and some of the considerations around product choice and treatment regimes are different to domestic situations.

Hopefully this new segment provides a bit more focus on commercial pest control.

Restaurants and food-handling establishments attract a wide variety of pests, making them high-pressure accounts that require trained technicians to accurately pinpoint and treat problem areas. It is important to frequently visit these accounts to confirm your control methods are working.

Servicing these kinds of establishments is exceptionally competitive; callbacks can be extremely detrimental to a pest controller’s profitability and time. Furthermore, negative reviews passed between restaurant managers can impact a pest controller’s ability to win new business.

Know your pest, improve your controls

Commercial pest control is not just checking traps; it is about knowing the pest, monitoring the environment and interpreting the data. Service reports are vital and should document more than where a pest is. The report should communicate the urgency of the problem and the short and long-term steps that must be taken to correct the situation and prevent it from reoccurring.

A professional’s approach

Given the heavy reliance in recent years on synthetic pyrethroids (SPs), professional pest managers should evaluate the products they are using, how often they are using them and on which sites. Rotation between insecticides of different modes of action (MoA) is key – the MoA group is specified on every label.

If you suspect that SPs have been used continuously at the same site or feel that SPs are not performing as well as expected, it could be that resistance may be occurring. Ask to see any records of chemicals applied to the property over the years and review your own records to assess if there has been consistent use of SPs over a long period. Different pyrethroids, still fall into the same MoA group (Group 3A), so if you suspect resistance, you may need to investigate other control options.

Arilon Insecticide is an excellent rotational product for use with SPs as it contains the insecticide indoxacarb, which has a completely different mode of action (Group 22A). Indoxacarb is singular in its group and controls a wide range of pests.

Arilon can be used in handheld sprayers, backpack sprayers and truck-mounted power spray rigs. Arilon can be used to help control heavy infestations or as part of the standard treatment protocol for extended control of ants, cockroaches, termites above ground and flies.

Cockroach control

Cockroaches are one of the key pests that exhibit resistance and every pest manager should have an insecticide rotation policy in place for cockroach control in commercial accounts.

Syngenta have a combination of products that provide effective cockroach control and fit well into an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan, as they belong to two separate MoA groups.

  • Advion cockroach gel combines a proprietary, high- consumption bait matrix with indoxacarb, a non-repellent active ingredient from Group 22A. The formulation of Advion was also developed to specifically overcome gel bait-aversion in tough cockroach populations.
  • Arilon insecticide also contains indoxacarb and is mixed to provide control of cockroaches and other general nuisance pests, including termites. Its non-repellent chemistry and unique mode of action make it an ideal partner to cockroach baits. Additionally, the versatile application methods of Arilon allows it to be used indoors and outdoors around households, as well as in commercial and industrial locations.
  • Demand insecticide with iCAP technology ensures the active ingredient, lambda-cyhalothrin (a pyrethroid – Group 3A), is protected in microcapsules to provide a controlled release. Demand provides outstanding, immediate and residual pest control for up to six months.
Demand Insecticide

Ant control

Although ants are not known to show any levels of resistance, rotation of products, especially bait products, is a wise strategy in ant control as they can exhibit ‘bait shyness’.

Ants continue to be one of the most problematic pests and keeping them in check is crucial to customer satisfaction and business success. Syngenta offers two market-leading ant gel baits to help provide comprehensive ant control on customers’ properties.

Advion Ant Gel is clear and odourless, and provides control of many key ant species, including sweet-feeding ants. The bait matrix is a carbohydrate-based formulation, primarily targeting sweet feeding ants. However, the bait will also appeal to a broader range of ants which are normally protein or lipid feeding species which often switch to carbohydrate food sources at various times during the year in response to colony requirements and changing feeding preferences. The active ingredient in Advion Ant, indoxacarb (Group 22A), shows highly effective transfer and allows ants to share the bait with other ants as they return to the nest.

Advion Ant Bait Gel

Optigard Ant Bait Gel containing the active ingredient thiamethoxam (Group 4A) also offers control of a broad spectrum of ants without disrupting your customers’ day-to- day activities. The clear, odourless formulation controls ant species including black house, Argentine, carpenter and odorous house ant without staining treated surfaces. High temperatures can neutralise some baits, but Optigard remains palatable and stable for at least 14 days after baiting.

Resistance management strategy checklist

The most effective strategy for avoiding resistance is to prevent it from occurring in the first place:

  • Understand the biology of the insect and the environment you have to treat. Be prepared to inspect, evaluate and decide on the best treatment option
  • Know your products and when, where and how to apply them
  • Mix and apply insecticides carefully and correctly. Not applying enough bait or making a less than thorough application (liquid or bait) can lead to resistant insects
  • Incorporate multiple control strategies
  • Rotate between insecticides from different MoA groups
  • Utilise different formulations
  • Incorporate products with different modes of action, such as Arilon or tank mix products that complement one another for greater control
  • Use non-chemical strategies as part of your overall plan.


Rotation between different SPs, such as bifenthrin and deltamethrin, is NOT resistance management, despite common belief. One may show greater efficacy than the other but as part of the same insecticide group, resistance is not being controlled. When looking at ongoing treatment plans, be sure you rotate between the different MoA groups.

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