From a small fly problem so bad a restaurant had to close its soup and salad bar to a fruit fly problem in an empty apartment that “looked like a scene from a horror movie,” McCall Service in Tampa, Fla., deals with its share of commercial pest nightmares.
“Often, restaurants have structural problems that can’t be fixed,” says Dave Johnson, branch manager of the mostly commercial operation. “But our customers still expect quick results – if their guests see even one cockroach, it’s a bad day for everyone!”
Though cockroaches are the highest priority pest in commercial accounts, flies are the most persistent pest problem. “People are just annoyed by flies,” says Johnson, who manages six technicians and handles accounts from horse farms to factories to apartment complexes. “And where there are flies, there are usually sanitation issues.”
Because the McCall Tampa branch is largely commercial, they are often a test market for new products. So when EndZone™ insecticide stickers from FMC became available late last year, McCall was one of the first companies in Florida to try them out.
EndZone stickers are 4″ x 4” clear adhesive squares that can be placed on windows, under counters, near floor drains or on other surfaces where flies congregate. An arrestant, Endzone contains a formulation of acetamiprid and a food source that kills flies as they feed on the sticker.
Trial by Fire
McCall technician Mark Hubbard first tested the product on an empty apartment. “The tenant had cleaned up the kitchen but unplugged the refrigerator without taking food out,” he explains. “Nobody knew there was a problem until they pulled the refrigerator door open and discovered thousands of fruit flies – and rotting food.”
The panicked apartment manager called McCall and wanted to send someone into the unit with a crawl suit, respirator and fog machine. Instead, Hubbard opted to put out EndZone stickers and seal up the apartment for three days.
“When the owners went in, there were dead flies everywhere,” Hubbard notes. “They were astounded at how well these little stickers worked — it was a very dramatic example of the product’s effectiveness.”
Since then, Hubbard has used the stickers in many accounts, including numerous restaurant and quick-serve establishments, as well as a chain of gas station/convenience stores.
“We had problems in these locations because they have huge drink dispensary counters, where you’ve got pipe leakage and drainage issues,” he adds. “But if you climb under the counter and put a couple of stickers on the wall, it ends your problem and you don’t have to treat with liquids or powders in that confined space and risk contaminating a drink line or paper products like cups and napkins.”
Tested on Different Flies
Hubbard has tried EndZone stickers on house flies, fruit flies and blow flies — all with good results. “They are completely clear so customers don’t notice they are there,” he says. “And as long as you keep them clean and dry, they’ll last for months – I love them!”
Johnson adds that Tampa is a varied market in terms of commercial accounts. “You could have a dairy farm and fish processing plant right next door to an office park or somewhere that doesn’t attract flies,” he says. “EndZone gives us another line of defense in these situations.”
McCall has instituted several different treatment programs for ongoing fly problems, including baiting, additional spraying or wiping down surfaces. He encourages all accounts to fix their sanitation and structural problems, where possible.
“We’re happy to add EndZone to the repertoire,” Johnson says. “It is low dosage, and doesn’t cause drift or runoff. We definitely think it will reduce our callbacks. That’s a good thing, because nobody gets paid for going back.”
McCall Service is a family owned and operated pest control, lawn care and petroleum-distribution company. It has served Florida and southern Georgia since 1928, covering both residential and commercial accounts. Headquartered in Jacksonville, the company has branches in Gainesville, Tallahassee, Ocala and Tampa. McCall is affiliated with Copesan Services, Inc.