Category Archives: Product Management

Skeeter Defeater: My Newest Project

Skeeter Defeater kills mosquitoes on contact

Since starting my new job with NCH Corp. back in July, I’ve primarily had one major responsibility: The Skeeter Defeater Mosquito Defense Unit. I haven’t been able to fill any of you readers in on it until now, so I wanted to take the first opportunity I had to introduce you to the best mosquito killer on the market (yes, I’m biased).

The launch has had more obstacles than the Eliminator on American Gladiator, and there have been more lessons learned than Bill Nye the Science Guy could’ve ever conjured up. And there’s still a lot more to go. For one, I’ve never done much work with retail before, so interacting with buyers and manufacturer’s reps has been amazingly tedious and occasionally difficult. But we’re getting there.

Quickly, here are the main points about the Skeeter Defeater:

  1. It’s a mosquito killer, not a mosquito repellent. There’s a big difference there, as you can read here at
  2. It sprays automatically at dusk and dawn. The Dispenser incorporates a DUSK/DAWN sensor to actually measure the sunlight every day, spraying when mosquitoes are the most exposed – at dusk and dawn.
  3. It kills mosquitoes on contact using pyrethrin, a botanical insecticide.
  4. It covers up to 300 square feet, perfect for porches, patios, decks, etc.
  5. It’s portable and battery-powered. You can take it just about anywhere – can’t say that about the big systems.

Obviously, you can read all about it on the website, and contact me or leave a comment with any questions. This year will be a limited launch, with most of our focus being in Texas, learning what we can so we can really launch nationwide next year. However, you’ll find it in random hardware stores all over the country currently, and in SkyMall magazine (if you ride American, you’ll see it on the cover for another month).

While I’m definitely proud of the work that’s been done on it so far, there’s still a long way to go. If you’ve got feedback or ideas, you know I’d love to get it. Drop me a line, tell me what you like, what you hate, and what you don’t understand.

Regulatory Affairs and Marketing

The small print means nothing.

If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that no one reads the small print.FDA Cartoon

But when they do, they still don’t really care what it says. Because we have grown numb to the warnings that so many government agencies have made mandatory.

Think about it: when you see that a product contains an ingredient that the state of California deems as harmful or causes birth defects, don’t you normally just make fun of the granolas in California rather than think much of the warning?

When you hear a commercial on TV for a pharmaceutical, don’t you just laugh when they start rolling through all the possible side effects?

And yet, we as marketers often fight tooth and nail for certain claims, cussing the institution that ever said a supplement can’t treat a disease, or that an insecticide can be “botanical” but not “natural.”

Keep fighting, but don’t fret the ones you lose. Thanks to the over-saturation of governmental warnings on products today, nobody really thinks much higher of them than you do.