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Yard Gard's Mole Story...

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Background of BGA Industries’ Yard Gard Mole Deterrent…

To understand where our Mole Deterrent product came from, you first have to know and understand our company, its people and the precepts we follow. Basically our name BGA Industries tells quite a bit about our company and our people. BGA is an acronym of By Grace Alone. Our company founder and our people understand this precept; it is by God’s Grace Alone that we are who we are and that we do what we do. We recognize this first and foremost, which attributes to one of the key ingredients of our product which is prayer; that is prayer to guide us in using the knowledge and abilities God has given us. No, we do not hear in the still of the night a voice tell us secret formulas, but we do ask for guidance in using the experience, knowledge and abilities God has given us and to be able to recognize how God blesses us in our business to His glory.

With this said, BGA is a marketing company that welcomes and receives ideas from people who have an idea or a concept for a product or a way to do something better. BGA evaluates these ideas and concepts and if we determine we can develop, manufacture, license and/or market the product, we will enter into an agreement with that person for them to receive royalties on sales when the product comes to market. There are no costs to these individuals for developing, producing and marketing the product.

Our first pest deterrent product came from an individual in Wisconsin who had an idea for a product to deter a gopher critter. We agreed to consider the idea, but we discovered that in order to evaluate the product formulas, we needed a gopher and this type gopher did not live in Florida, but we did have armadillos, we had a lot of armadillos. Armadillos are not native to the US, they migrated to the US from Mexico in the early 1800’s and are now considered a pest animal in at least nine southern boundary states. Armadillos are well equipped for digging and they have a keen sense of smell, in fact the animal can smell a grub or a worm six inches under the soil. When they do smell food, they use their digging skills to get to it; therefore, rendering the lawn to look like a plowed field and in turn causing the armadillo to be considered a pest. So not having this particular gopher in Florida we evaluated our formulas against the armadillo.Our formula works great for deterring armadillo; hence Yard Gard's Armadillo Deterrent was developed.

The name Yard Gard was a marketing concept to convey the idea that our product guards your lawn against lawn pests and our goal was to take you (“U”) out of having to be on guard duty in the process of guarding your lawn from these pesky critters. Hence the product is branded as Yard Gard. The “U” is removed from Guard, as you (u) are removed from lawn guard duty by using Yard Gard.

The first year of selling our armadillo deterrent was only in the state of Florida and through the internet. A friend of the owner managed four Ace Hardware stores, and after being introduced to our armadillo deterrent, he placed Yard Gard Armadillo Deterrent in all four stores. This led to other central Florida Ace stores stocking our product until most all Ace stores in Florida were selling Yard Gard. Eventually, Ace Corporate learned of our product and invited us to become a vendor, which meant Ace Hardware stocked our product in their Regional Support Centers (RSC) or warehouses. We started by stocking our product in five of Ace’s fourteen RSC warehouses. These warehouses supply product to the local Ace Hardware stores in the numerous states they service.

1- Why we started investigating to make a mole deterrent.

As our sales representative was presenting Yard Gard Armadillo Deterrent to various retail stores and in particular to golf course superintendents, we kept hearing the question, “Do you have anything that deters moles?” In looking at the products on the shelves in retail stores, we noticed there were a lot of mole deterrent products occupying the shelve space, yet we kept hearing the same question, “Do you have anything to deter moles?” We did a brief survey and determined that there was indeed a need for a “good” mole deterrent. This stared our study of the mole and how to deter it. To deter an animal you first have to know and understand the characteristics of the animal's habitat and foraging or feeding habits and this began a three year project to learn how to deter the pesky mole.

2- What we learned about the mole.

To learn about the characteristics of the mole, we read anything and everything we could, from different state university studies and reports, state extension service publications, different individual’s research publications, the how-to-do-it web sites and even the mole-lovers web sites. The mole is a very resourceful and hardy animal. In fact, there are seven different species of moles in the US. Moles do not hibernate and since their food source is primarily worms and grubs and they even have storage pantries for storing worms to eat later and they have their own underground roadway tunnels, which are located from two to four feet underground and they use these roadways to travel over large areas of their underground territory; they can dig a new tunnel at a rate of 18 feet per hour but then they can move through the completed tunnels at a rate of 80 feet per minutes, that’s pretty fast for this small critter.

The mole is an underground dweller and we only see signs of the mole’s presence by the evidence they leave above ground; I am talking about the proverbial mole-hill or mole mounds, which is created when the mole clears out excess dirt from their tunnels by pushing this excess dirt to the surface. The most common sign you may see of the mole’s presence is the “mole-run”. The “mole-run” is caused by the animal pursuing food (grub or worms) that is in close proximity to the surface of the ground. This action of the mole moving just inches under the ground surface causes damage to the root system of grass and plants leaving an ugly "dead-grass" trail across the lawn. . This root damage, not to mention the unsightly mounds of mole-hill dirt in the middle of a beautifully landscaped lawn causes the mole to be considered a pest. The damage to the root systems causes a scarring on the lawns surface that can take weeks or months to heal. Mole also get blamed for damage to plants caused by the vole; moles do not eat the root system of plants but the vole does and the poor ole mole gets the blame.

3- Failures and Successes in developing the product.

Before you have an “eureka” moment in a research project, you most likely will have many apparent failure moments, but failures are not failure if you can learn which ingredients do not work, as was the case in our moles study. If you learn form the  "failures" then you are advancing. This very point illustrates our mole deterrent project.  We tried many different ingredients and formulas and in doing so we learned which ingredients worked and which did not work.This process of eliminating ingredients led to our zeroing in on the ingredients that did work. Not only did we discover the correct ingredients but we also worked out the proportions and concentrations as well as the pre-manufacturing preparation processes of these products.

Our mole project was time consuming since we monitored each formula test site for 100 days to ensure the final product formula would have an efficacy of approximately three months. Our study was a double blind study, the team assigned to apply and monitor the affects and results of each formula only knew the product as a number, so no formula ingredients were divulged to this team. The application/monitoring team would apply the product to sites with high mole activity. Each evaluation site was divided into three equal sections. The sections were designated as either: (1) Formula zone, (2) Negative zone, or (No-3) Positive zone.

The (1) Formula zones was treated with the unknown formula; the (2) Negative zones received no product; this site was used to monitor the mole activity in the area, to ensure the mole was still active in the area. And finally the (3)Positive zones were treated with Yard Gard Armadillo deterrent. The armadillo deterrent is known to repel moles for a limited time period.

The monitoring team visited each evaluation site daily; they observed and recorded any mole activity. After recording the activity results, each evaluation site was raked-over and mole runs tamped down (the black-board was erased) in order to enable the evaluators to see any new mole activity the next day. All daily activities were recorded and charted for one hundred days. Attached below are the final formula charts for your review.

Activity (Animal Events) are indicated on the left side of the chart (vertical axis); while the Time (Days) of the evaluation are indicated on the bottom line of the chart (horizontal axis).

Chart 1: Yard Gard Mole Deterrent, Evaluation of Activity after application of product.

Activity (Events)

Time (Days) ->

4- How we compared it to others products.

We had goals for the efficacy of our mole deterrent product, and things worked out as we had hoped, but we needed to know how we compared to the existing products on the market, since we kept hearing the question, “Do you have anything that deters moles?” So to understand why we kept being asked this question, we did the same double blind studies on the existing products on the market that we did on our own formulations. The results of the studies provided an answer as to why we kept getting questions about having a mole deterrent, they were not satisfied with what they were getting on the market.

Compare "Chart 2" and "Chart 3" below with the Yard Gard Mole Deterrent "Chart 1" above.

Chart 2: Competitor Product 0822 Mole Deterrent Evaluation, of Activity after application of product.

Activity (Events)

Time (Days) ->

Chart 3: Competitor Product 0912 Mole Deterrent Evaluation of Activity after application of product.

Activity (Events)

Time (Days) ->

As explained above, the Activity (Event) scales is  indicated on the left side of the chart; while the Time (Days) of the evaluation are indicated on the bottom line of the chart. The products were applied on Day 1 and the site's number of activity events were recorded each day. The  graph "spike" above a specific day number, indicates the amount of animal activity for that particular day. Any activity above the “0” mark (left column)  indicated mole activity. Now you can see why people kept asking us the question. Chart 1 above shows why we can now answer, “Yes, we have a proven solution for deterring moles.”

5- Testimonial from a satisfied customer.

There is a gratifying feeling when you see a customer get the results they desired from your product, and as the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The photos below are of a section of a local golf course. The course superintendent had been fighting a mole problem on some the  “Tee Boxes” for months. The top photo is before treatment with Yard Gard Mole Deterrent. The photo on the bottom  was taken seven days after the product was applied and as I said, the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words could not be truer, observe… (Note: And two years later, it still looks like the photo on the bottom.)

0001 Before

Before Treatment

0002  After

30 Days after Treatment with Yard Gard Mole Deterrent

(And it is still clear after two years)

Yard Gard Mole Deterrent is easy to apply and is designed to act fast and last for several months.

Yard Gard contains no harsh man-made chemicals and most importantly, it is safe to use around children and

house-hold pets.

Yard Gard, Mole Deterrent - The Proven Solution

by BGA Industries.