The pest control business is a highly technical one. Not only do PMPs need to have a strong knowledge of animal behavior and ecology, but great ones are also well-versed in the toxicology of pesticides. Newcomers to the industry are often overwhelmed by the variety of materials, active ingredients, and modes of action, and it’s difficult to know where to start.

Repellent materials are those that act as a chemical barrier or knockdown agent. Want to keep occasional invaders like earwigs, springtails, or tiger beetles away from a home? Have cellar spiders and black widows building webs around a customers’ eves? Did indianmeal moths come in on a recent shipment from Asia with a 3rd party audit looming around the corner? A repellent material is just what you’re looking for. Some of them are designed to work quickly on pests, but don’t provide long-term control. Others are designed specifically to last for a long time, but don’t quite give you the knockdown you want. More recently, manufacturers have started formulating both fast-acting and long-lasting materials together to give you the best of both worlds, like Onslaught FastCap. Onslaught FastCap combines a microencapsulated material with a fast-acting synergist to knock down pests that are there, and give long-lasting control.

Non-repellent materials are those that are undetectable to pests, such as baits and insect growth regulators (IGRs). Because pests are unaware of their presence, many more individuals are exposed to the product, which is just what you want if you’re dealing with social (ants, yellowjackets) and communal (cockroaches). Non-repellents often have a good residual, though this varies from product to product.

If you’re new to the industry, or just need a refresher, knowing whether your product is repellent or non-repellent is the first thing you should be aware of. Using a repellent product in a situation that calls for a non-repellent can have consequences when it comes to the time it takes to control a pest and customer satisfaction. Be familiar with your products and get a step on the competition.

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