For years, hundreds of municipalities throughout the country, primarily in Arizona, California and New Mexico, have been waging a war against one of the oldest creatures on this planet -- roaches. In hot, dry climates, these incredibly resourceful beasts head for the town's sewers where it's cool and provide enough moisture and food to meet their needs. Turn over a manhole in many of these western towns and it's a scene out of a Stephen King novel, with hundreds of roaches clinging to the underside and below.

Enter JABco, the St. Petersburg-based sales agency that holds worldwide distribution rights for leading pesticidal coatings products, and Acry-Tech Coatings, Fort Lauderdale, FL, whose toll manufacturing division designs, formulates, tests and manufactures coatings products. The heads of the two companies, Jim Lawrence of JABco and Dan Hittenberger of Acry-Tech, found themselves together in January 2001 at a waterfront restaurant in Florida. The conversation soon turned to coatings.

Although Acry-Tech had been toll manufacturing coatings products for more than a decade, they began to talk about the inherent benefits of having Acry-Tech toll-manufacture a pesticidal coating for JABco. Hittenberger pointed out possible economies from such a strategic alliance. Acry-Tech could produce latex-based insecticidal coatings that contain chlorpyrifos, the active chemical insecticide, in a polymer base, in quantities required and make shipments directly to JABco's clients.

"Other benefits of such a strategic alliance between JABco and Acry-Tech become especially apparent when there are sporadic surges in demand for product," Hittenberger said. "When that happens, the company can avoid such moves as adding more people to the workforce, enlarging the plant, storing excess inventory and increasing overhead. Acry-Tech would handle the heightened demand, with none of these costs incurred by JABco."

"What's more," he said, "if Lawrence would like, Acry-Tech's director of Research and Development could analyze and evaluate the formula and perhaps improve and enhance the product itself at no extra cost. We're also currently in the process of designing some other companion products for JABco's line."

Lawrence explained that he serves such cities as Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale, providing sewer treatments by airless-spraying thousands of their manholes up to an 8-foot depth. The three mils thick coating solution keeps killing insects for two years. Applicators use 7-foot wands to do the job. In Coachella Valley, CA (Palm Springs), JABco is contracted to treat 5,700 manholes on a continuing basis. The company says that no product equivalent to its premium coating exists.

The product is also an effective killer of black widow spiders and fire ants, which are fond of snacking on wiring and electrical connections. Each year, JABco treats the wiring at the Houston Airport, to prevent blackouts and electrical hazards.

That seaside luncheon resulted in a toll-manufacturing contract and JABco's continuing outsourcing to Acry-Tech production runs of its products as well as a close friendship between the two principals that's now entering its third year.

"We're very pleased with the job Acry-Tech is doing," says Lawrence. "Their paint chemist personally monitors every batch produced by Acry-Tech. They also correlate all the shipments and make sure every ounce meets our high quality control standards, within our pricing parameters. And, of course, everything they do for JABco is held in strictest confidence. They're doing a great job."

For more information, contact Acry-Tech Coatings, 3601 NE 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33334; phone 800/771.6001; e-mail; visit; or Circle Number 143.