As more people become aware of pesticide use due to recent negative attention generated by high- profile cases, they’re paying closer attention when they see application in progress or notice the chemical smell typical of pesticide use. There are products on the market that are poised to make lives much easier for plant health care technicians by virtually eliminating the inevitable calls and complaints of chemical odors from nearby residents and businesses following pesticide application.
Surfactants aren’t new in the green industry. For those businesses that spray pesticides, surfactants have been used to slow the drying process; increase spreading, wetting and penetration; and reduce odor.
Quest Products has created a new technology that does all of these things in one simple step. Misty Pro is an adjuvant and odor reduction technology (ORT) that effectively masks the chemical smell of pesticides until the application dries leaving a light, fresh scent that has been compared to cut grass. Also available in Quest’s product line is Fresh Cut which is purely an ORT. These can both be added to your existing spray tank mixture and are compatible with all pesticide formulations on the market.
Rob Fustos, account manager with Great BASIN Turf out of Layton, Utah has been selling Misty Pro to his customers for two years. As a distributor and an applicator, Great BASIN Turf has seen first- hand the benefits of stocking and using Misty Pro. “We get a lot of high-profile residential customers, along with hospitals and schools, where people are more conscious of the smell generated by pesticide application,” says Fustos. “That fear factor results in a lot of calls from concerned residents. By reducing that chemical smell, people have been less likely to get in touch.”
For distributors, adding Misty Pro to the product assortment is easy. “It does something different. We replaced other ORTs in our product offerings,” Fustos says. “If our customers are spending more on other surfactants, Misty Pro saves them money, allowing them to reinvest elsewhere in the business.”
In addition to odor reduction, Fustos has observed other benefits of using Misty Pro. “This technology actually slows down the drying process. Here in Utah, it gets hot and everything dries so quickly,” he says. “Since incorporating Misty Pro into our sprays the drying has slowed down and, as a result, we’re able to get better coverage and spray less.”
Similarly, Wade Berry, owner of Devil Dusters in Artesia, New Mexico, an aerial applicator specializing in agricultural and right-of-way applications, recognized the benefits of ORT right away.
Before using Fresh Cut, Wade received odor complaints from people up to two miles away from the properties where he applied insecticides. “I was talking to my distributor about how far-reaching the smell can be in the valley where I work. They gave me 30 gallons of Fresh Cut to try,” says Berry. “Shortly thereafter we began ordering totes of the product. It’s just part of our service now.”
Easy to scale up for larger, aerial applications, it’s simply a matter of maintaining the designated ratio when mixing ORT into the pesticide. “We use it a lot in springtime. It’s simple to do, easy to use and it doesn’t cost that much,” says Berry. “If a client complains about the chemical smell after application, I’ll cover the cost. But we haven’t received complaints since using Fresh Cut.”
Wade’s experience has been that the average person no longer notices the odor of pesticides. “Our consultants can still tell when a pesticide with Fresh Cut has been applied, but no news from the public is good news. Called-in complaints about odor have stopped.”
Selecting the ORT Product for Your Needs
While these products both offer odor reduction, Fresh Cut is best for applicators who already have a preferred adjuvant spray technology and want a surfactant to reduce the chemical smell of pesticides. Misty Pro is best for applicators who are seeking an adjuvant spray technology that slows the drying process; increases spreading, wetting and penetration and also reduces pesticides’ chemical odor. Misty Pro can effectively be used anywhere, however those operating in dry climates will see immediate benefits from the slowed drying times.
Where to Purchase
Applicators looking to purchase Fresh Cut or Misty Pro may contact the team at Quest Products to find the nearest distributor. Distributors interested in adding Fresh Cut and/or Misty Pro to their product offering may contact Quest Products.
About Quest Products
Quest Products Corporation was incorporated in 1994 to develop and to bring forth the unique and novel application of pesticides, surfactants such as Pentra-Bark and Influence Surfactant, products and unique fertilizers such as Main Event Dry Iron Complex and Main Event Dry Manganese Complex for application in agriculture, turf, horticulture, and aquatics. Visit https://www.questproducts.us/ or call the Quest team at (785) 542-2577 for more information.