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As pest control takes off, armadillos beware

Getting your product into the Ace Hardware warehouses is a coup for many vendors, especially those that supply niche products used in only some parts of the country. But BGA Industries, a Holly Hill, Fla. company that makes armadillo deterrent pellets, has crossed the pest-control threshold at four of Ace Hardware’s distribution centers, according to an article in the Daytona Beach News Journal

BGA Industries recently signed a deal to supply 20-pound bags of “Yard Gard” to Ace warehouses that supply the co-op’s dealers in 16 states throughout the Southeast, from Virginia to Texas and Kansas. 

Two years ago, BGA started out with Ace like most vendors, on a drop-ship basis. In this case, it was just a few stores and the delivery vehicle was a Ford Excursion.

The product started out as a gopher repellent but was modified into an armadillo deterrent. Yard Gard is an all-natural pellet that is applied to yards via a spreader. It bothers the nose and mouth of armadillos so they stay away. It is not harmful either to armadillos or to household pets. The product requires just a couple of waterings to dissolve. 

The first Ace hardware store owner to try the product was Pete Brechwoldt, manager of the four Ace Hardware stores in Florida’s Flagler County. He and Mel Mathisen, president of BGA Industries, know each other from church. Mathisen was an instant convert to Yard Guard, and persuaded other Florida Ace dealers to try the product.

Mathisen is hoping that increased distribution and sales will help the company invest in more automation. Much of Yard Guard’s production is now done manually at BGA’s manufacturing plant in Holly Hill.