With more than a decade of experience in the pest control industry, Nathan Christie has seen many pitfalls to serving commercial customers, particularly those whose businesses involve medical environments and food production, preparation or processing. Christie has seen a lot of great bait and trap systems, but the majority come with one nagging drawback: If they could only stay in place instead of being kicked, dislodged, washed away or moved from their intended location, they would be far more effective.
”We would use Liquid Nails and we’d try all kinds of different ways to keep traps in place. … With some, we’d even drill them into patio pavers ourselves.Nathan ChristieChief Operating Officer for three Mississippi Orkin franchises
Today, however, all of those headaches are ancient history, thanks to custom solutions from VM Products.
RODENT STATIONS THAT EXCEED EVERY EXPECTATION
About four years ago, Christie voiced his concerns about rodent bait stations to a VM Products rep. It didn’t take long for the company to respond with a solution that checked all the boxes for Christie’s technicians.
VM suggested its “EZ” line of rodent bait stations, which are built with a low profile to fit in tight spaces and are made of 100% recycled, heavy-duty plastic that also has a 5-year UV additive in it. The environmentally-friendly and durable stations can stand up to a lot of punishment, while offering considerable flexibility with what types of surfaces where they can be secured on a job.
Additionally, VM Products was able to produce a custom EZ rodent station that was anchored to a concrete paver. By Mississippi state law, rodent stations need to be anchored to a concrete block, Christie said, and the durable solution took all the messy work out of the technician’s hands, allowing his team to service accounts faster and with more confidence.
“Here in the south, battling the heat is definitely the name of the game, and this station has really been a tremendous help for our more important accounts. With the heat, you can often find stations falling off, but that’s not the case with these. And I love how the station comes with rods to secure the bait in place, too.”
– Nathan Christie
Christie’s employer now has about 800 of these VM Products rodent stations in place.
“They’re in my vital accounts, such as medical, and accounts that have an auditing body coming to them, like AIB (American Institute of Baking) or ISO (International Organization for Standardization),” Christie added. “These stations have never let us down. I’ve never had any come loose, which is a huge time saver. … We used to have to go out to an account and make sure everything was glued down the day before an audit, but not anymore. … With audits, if an auditor walks past and kicks a station that comes loose, you fail. We don’t have to worry about that.”
FLY BAIT STATIONS TACKLE MORE THAN FLIES
VM Products’ Fly Bait System (FBS) has also became a go-to solution for Christie and his team. Many fly bait systems on the market today expose the bait, which often has a dye in it. The dye can stain concrete a red or pink color, Christie said.
With VM Products’ FBS system, the baits are fully enclosed inside the station while still offering enough access for flies to enter. The enclosed bait is protected from wind, rain and other elements. And FBS’s high-grade adhesive allows stations to be securely kept in areas off the floor and away from sunlight and water. The product is also built with a low-profile for tight areas and is made with the same environmentally-safe materials as the EZ rodent stations. In addition, its compounded metal flake reflects light, creates contrast, and increases fly attraction.
“Having that bait inside the station saves you from staining the concrete, and you hide the bait from the elements, which saves it, so you don’t have to replace it for longer periods of time,” he added. “We can go for upwards of two months without having to replace the fly bait.”
– Nathan Christie
Christie even expanded his use of FBS to tackle a major German cockroach infestation.
“I have actually used a pheromone strip with cockroach bait for some of my sensitive accounts; one was an animal shelter. You can’t spray harsh chemicals in those environments,” he said. “(Inside the FBS) it really creates its own cockroach nest. They would come in there in droves. … It stopped the largest cockroach infestation I’ve seen in my 13 years. … I swear by them (the FBS).”
Christie uses about 200 FBS units in his market today. They serve him particularly well with animal feed manufacturing mill clients, food processing and manufacturing facilities and in many other environments where flies and roaches are a nuisance and health hazard.
PRIVATE LABELING, SIGNAGE
What Christie appreciates about both the FBS and EZ rodent station solutions is the ability to private label the devices with the Orkin logo. It allows for easy identification for inspectors and employees, and it also presents a branding opportunity.
“When they introduced the products to us, it came out with an Orkin symbol on top of it,” he recalled. “They’ve been great with putting the company name on everything, which is a big deal for us because we love our branding and love to have all that on there.”
Christie also likes how each FBS or rodent station comes with its own set of wall placards to alert inspectors or employees to a station in the area.
“These are things that make VM different from the competition,” Christie added. “When you receive a station, it’s not only a better build, but it has the placards, which prevents stations from being taken … and auditors always know where the station should be.”
Even though VM Products has made his job easier, Christie still calls with questions from time to time for specific accounts. He appreciates the company’s prompt customer service.
”They’ve been very quick to respond if I do ever have a question. They answer back within a couple hours. … From day one, they’ve been a great company to work with. - Christie concluded