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Simon Lean, technical manager for Rentokil in Sydney, believes gel baits should be the go-to product for use in commercial accounts. 

New products and technologies are helping shape the pest control industry in a positive way according to Simon Lean, Rentokil Australian technical manager, based in Sydney.

Mr Lean said the company had many large and small customers in the commercial sector that essentially wanted out of sight, out of mind pest control.

“They don’t want to see pests, they don’t want to know about pests, and they want to be compliant. They have to be compliant to all sorts of audits that happen to them during the course of their license to operate. Therefore we need to be doing things out of sight, out of mind.”

He said that commercial clients essentially require a preventative pest management program that involves a lot of inspections and minimises the amount of products they have to use.

“Spraying is still an important application technique for a lot of insect pests and when we have to go in and spray for particular reasons, we really can only do it after hours when there is no one there.

“It is a health and safety concern – not that the products that we are using are highly toxic to the people in their environment, but it is the perception of safety and not wanting to be in there spraying when there are people present.”

Mr Lean said many of the applications had to be conducted after hours, although this was changing because of advances in technology.

“We are seeing better formulations, more innovative formulations and different delivery formats for the chemicals being used,” he said.

“There are all sorts of different products out there now and there are some pretty good innovations. A lot of these innovations are evident in formulations like baits and granules that are very safe but also very effective.

“This gives us the opportunities to utilise these pest control products, in some instances when people are present, because we are either baiting in bait stations or using gels in cracks and crevices. We are not spraying anything and that is acceptable to the customer. We don’t want to be doing everything out of hours as this becomes a very costly exercise.”

Mr Lean said companies such as Syngenta were leading the push towards new technologies that were effective and a good option for treating commercial premises.

“Certainly Syngenta have been very innovative in bringing new active ingredients onto the market, and with their purchasing of the DuPont range of products, they now have a comprehensive range of products that we can use.”

He said the gel form Advion products that target ants and cockroaches were widely used by their organisation with very good results.

Advion Ant and Cockroach Gels are well formulated, very attractive as well as being very easy to use,” he said.

Mr Lean said Advion Cockroach Gel was applied where the pest was feeding and could be easily hidden in commercial premises.

“We put it in bait stations or cracks and crevice treatment so it can be used when people are around. It is a very quiet and easy method to apply without getting anybody worried about us spraying or dusting or anything else like that.

“Certainly the ant gels, whether it is exterior or interior, can be used with confidence that you are not perceived to be damaging the environment or causing anybody any illness because pesticides have been applied.

“Their formulation and safety are key factors as to where we actually get to use it.”

Mr Lean said the industry was going through some interesting times with safety, health and environment becoming more critical.

“The majority of people want the safest possible product, applied in the safest possible manner, to give the best result.

“So they want to feel comfortable that you’ve explained to them what product you’re using, about how safe it is and where you are going to use it.

“More and more, there is this scrutiny on what’s being done and the way pests are controlled, but moving forward, everybody is looking for safer and better options.”

Mr Lean said it was up to chemical companies to come up with innovative technologies that include chemicals, but also application systems that make it highly effective and as safe as it can possibly be.