The Eradicator Fire Ant Eradication System


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The Eradicator Logo

The Eradicator was a thermal fogging device based on a patented method of treatment which had been proven in a Texas Tech University study to have the highest efficacy rate of any fire ant treatment on the market. These scientific results are the basis for the EPA registered label making this the only treatment which can claim that it is for the "ERADICATION" and not merely "control" of fire ants, "wherever found"!

Treating a fire ant mound with the Eradicator

My friend, Bruce Devlin, was approached by the distributor of the original technology, called the "Earth Fire Injection System", to be a spokesman for the product.  He was offered a dealership in return for his endorsement.  Bruce brought the opportunity to me in 1994 and we decided to pursue it.  We traveled to Las Vegas to meet with the distributor, who was selling dealerships on a county-by-county basis.  We negotiated a deal for the rights to the entire State of Texas.  On the plane ride home I told Bruce and my partner, Tim Hagan, that I believed the distributor would be out of business within 1 year due to their marketing approach being totally wrong for this type of product.  It was my opinion that if we simply focused on building a better brand for the product, the patent holder would come to us to take over the product distribution.  I was wrong!  It only took 6 months.

My partner, Tim secured some venture capital from one of his ex-clients and Bruce and I called upon Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Rick Perry, who referred us to his top campaign contributors, who also became investors in the company.   We then set out to re-invent the hardware.  The original devise consisted of a 5-gallon, 45-pound backpack that fed the chemical to a wand which housed the heating coil and propane.  We contracted with Curtis Dyna-Fog in Indiana to engineer a light-weight devise using aerosol cans and eliminate the bulky, heavy backpack.  They designed the self-contained, 11-pound device shown in the picture above.

Using an ordinary bottle of propane (like camp stoves use), the thermal fogger heats pesticide from a 16 oz. aerosol can into a dry vapor. When injected into a fire ant mound, this vapor penetrates every cavity of the subsurface colony killing all of the queens before they have an opportunity to escape and recognize a few feet away. The active ingredient in the pesticide is Resmethrin, a pyrethroid deadly to fire ants, but less toxic than ordinary table salt. A 16 oz. container will treat approximately 25-30 mounds.

Eradicator Flyer

The primary difficulty with this business was that the EPA would only allow this product to be used by licensed pest control applicators.  They refused to give us a label that would have permitted this to be used by ordinary home owners, even though Burgess, a manufacturer of Mosquito Foggers that you can buy in Home Depot, uses the exact same chemical and thermal fogging technology for open-air injection.

As of this writing, the patent on this technology would have expired and I am not sure if this product is still available anywhere in the marketplace.  Curtis-Dyna Fog continued selling the injectors under the name, "Ant Bear" after we dropped the license to the product.

 

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Last updated May 11, 2012