While some pest managers may know that StarrdustPRO is a double strength insecticidal dust, some of its other benefits are not so well known.
When it was launched in 2015, StarrdustPRO Industrial Strength Insecticidal Dusting Powder offered something unique for pest management professionals – a dust product containing double strength permethrin. However, the dust offers more benefits than meets the eye.
Firstly, not only does StarrdustPRO contain double strength 20 g/kg permethrin, it has the added bonus of an insect growth regulator (IGR), triflumuron.
Secondly, the double strength permethrin used in StarrdustPRO allows it to be applied at half the volume per square metre compared to other dusts, meaning the amount of visible product in voids is drastically reduced.
Thirdly, while most are aware of the advantage of the double strength permethrin, very few would realise the significance of the 40:60 cis permethrin as written on the front of the label on StarrdustPRO. So what does the term ‘cis’ actually mean?
It is useful to know that the active ingredients of many synthetic pyrethroids consist of a mixture of various optical isomers, typically those called ‘cis’, and those called ‘trans’. Permethrin has four isomers: two cis, and two trans.
Manufacturers of active ingredients usually supply the raw material in standard qualities, for permethrin typically in a 25/75 or 40/60 cis/trans ratio. Of significance, cis isomers are more effective insecticides. So a cis/trans 40/60 mixture is more potent than a cis/trans 25/75 mixture.
Active ingredients with a higher cis content are typically more expensive, having been refined to increase the percentage of active cis isomers. Of technical significance, the higher the percentage of the most active isomer, the lower the rate that is required for achieving the same efficacy.
“When developing StarrdustPRO we decided very early on to adopt the more efficacious 40:60 cis permethrin to give pest management professionals the absolute best that money could buy,” said David Priddy, CEO of Sundew Solutions. “Second best was not an option.”
Gaining insight into the needs of pest managers was also an essential step in the product research phase.
“During the development phase of StarrdustPRO we spoke with pest managers across Australia asking what else could we do to improve a dust product. The two things that came back were the desire to add additional pest claims and to provide a tool to ‘legally’ decant dust into application equipment,” explained Mr Priddy.
This feedback led to Sundew adding four pest claims unique to StarrdustPRO: millipedes, slaters, clothes moths and darkling beetles.
For as long as insecticidal dusts have been available to pest professionals, finding ways to ‘legally’ decant dusts in bulb dusters and power blowers has proven challenging. Many technicians have found themselves at the wrong end of the law using spoons and other food-handling utensils, which is strictly forbidden.
“We worked with a local industrial designer to develop what we affectionately call “the scunnel” (scoop/funnel). Countless 3D-printed prototypes were produced, trialled and modified before the final model was settled upon. We’re proud to have created Australia’s first legal tool for decanting dusts,” said Mr Priddy.
To give pest managers flexibility of use, StarrdustPRO is packaged as a 10 kg bucket with flip-top lid, a 2 kg grab-n-go convenience pack, and 400 g one-shot pods.
A little known fact about StarrdustPRO is that the product is entirely Australian. “The plastic buckets are injection moulded by an Australian family business, and the labels are printed by another Australian family business. The talc comes from a Australian mine, while the ‘scunnels’ are manufactured by an Australian family business using 100% Australian recycled plastic,” added Mr Priddy.
The product itself was researched and developed by Sundew Solutions, an Australian business and continues to be formulated and produced by an Australian family business.
As well as being an effective treatment for general pests, StarrdustPRO is a powerful weapon against the less commonly encountered pests, giving pest managers even greater bang for their buck.