Termites Have Met Their Match
Apr 03, 2012 11:47AM
Just over a year ago Macy’s Termite & Pest Control introduced a new product to the market that, if successful, would be the last straw for subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are the number one cause of damage to homes in the state of Florida. The product, Altriset, was developed by DuPont and is the only liquid, soil-applied termiticide to earn reduced risk classification from the U.S. EPA for control of termites and to not require a signal word (a word or words which alert the consumer as to the toxicity of a product). DuPont began an active effort to develop green products over 20 years ago. Macy’s Termite & Pest Control went green nearly five years ago and has been named Green Business of the Year for the past three years, so it only seemed natural that when DuPont created the first “green” termiticide that Macy’s was the company to introduce it to the state of Florida. Dean Burnside, Macy’s owner, represented DuPont at the national marketing introduction for Altriset in February of 2011 at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota. Over 200 pest control companies from all over the United States attended the event. Since then Burnside has become a national spokesperson for DuPont and has represented the company at meetings in Gettysburg, PA, Fredericksburg, VA, and most recently in Boston, MA.
As for Altriset itself, Macy’s has treated over 300 homes locally with the product. Having been a year since the first homes were treated, Altriset has seen Florida’s first “Swarm Season” come and go and is nearing the end of its second. “Swarm Season” is the term pest management professionals use to describe the periods of time when conditions for termite activity are at their most favorable. According to Burnside, “It must be working. We’ve treated over 300 homes and haven’t had one callback requesting a re-treat. That’s unheard of when it comes to termites.” Burnside continues, “We used to see a 10 percent re-treat when we used the, now banned, toxic chemical compounds to treat termites, so not only is Altriset green, it’s also more effective.”
Customers appear to be happy with the new product as well. They like it because of its excellent environmental profile and are much more prone to allow it around the house as opposed to previously used toxic poisons. Says Burnside, “The sunscreen you use has warning label on it. Altriset doesn’t. This makes people feel much more comfortable to use the product.” According to Burnside, “They’re right in being comfortable because Alriset is non-toxic and is literally the safest termiticide ever produced.”
So if Altriset is so safe, how can it effectively eliminate termites? Altriset attacks muscles, not the nervous systems of termites. The largest muscle in termites is the mandible; it’s jaw. The key to the success of Altriset is it halts feeding behavior within hours of contact. That fact, according to Burnside is the number one reason consumers connect with the product. Termites literally cannot chew once they consume the product. In addition, walking breaks down. Termite grooming and feeding behavior translocates the active ingredient to other members of the colony quickly. Studies have proven that termites are eliminated in less than three months when the product is used in accordance with the label.
Since introducing Altriset to its customers, Macy’s has doubled the amount of sales of termiticidal treatments. Burnside calls Altriset “termite insurance.” Homeowner’s insurance does not cover termite damage. Says Burnside, “Customers are now willing to treat their homes with Altriset before they have a problem. In doing so, it eliminates the likelihood that termites will ever get the opportunity to infest their homes.” “Using Altriset,” according to Burnside, “is truly the definition of preventive maintenance.” He adds, “ How can termites destroy your home if they never get invited in?” Traditionally homeowners wait until they have termites to try to get rid of them, which, in many cases is too late. The damage has been done. “Employing Altriset as a deterrent gives the homeowner a renewed feeling of confidence that they’ll never have to try to repair the damage cause by major infestation,” says Burnside.
One would think that not having to “re-treat” would cut into company prof-its, however, according to Burnside that’s not true. He says, “Not having to re-treat allows us to focus on new customers. It also reduces the amount of product that used to be wasted.” Burnside adds, “Also, the word of mouth success stories that spread naturally increase interest in the product throughout the community.”
So it works, and it works well. That means it must be expensive, right? Not according to Burnside. “When we made the commitment to go green, we did that consciously knowing that one of the main reasons people do not adopt green practices or use green products is they’re usually more expensive.” Burnside says, “Other companies might be charging more for Altiset, however, Macy’s Termite & Pest Control believes it’s more important to get the product to its customers than to charge more than traditional treatments would cost. We think it’s our responsibility to offer a product that is environmentally friendly and adds value to the service our customers have come to expect.” That being said, at Macy’s Termite & Pest Control, Altriset does not cost more just because it is labled a green product.
If you need a customer’s opinion of Altriset, just ask one of Macy’s green conscious clients such as Natural Awakenings. Their headquarters in Bradenton was one of the first properties in the state of Florida to be treated. According to Publisher Jason Cross, “We’ve seen no termite activity of any kind in the year or more since our property was treated with Altriset.” He adds, “It’s a great product and we’re pleased that we can eliminate termites and not harm the environment in doing so.”
As the title of this article suggests, it appears in Altriset, termites have truly met their match.
For more information about environmentally safe termite control with Altriset from DuPont, contact Macy’s Termite and Pest Control Company at 941-412-9610 or visit them on the web at macyspestcontrol.com. Troy Larkin is a Community Liaison for Tri County Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. He specializes in green building education and developing marketing plans for green companies. He can be reached at [email protected].