Written by Rachel Erin McKeighan
Tony Gonzales and Aaron Gonzales are two Valley fathers and childhood friends who founded their Gilbert-based pest control companies to help protect families after their own negative experiences with scorpions. I was able to speak with Tony about what makes their company and product so unique
Could you tell me a little bit about what makes AVERZION so special?
The most venomous scorpion in the Northern United States, the bark scorpion, climbs vertically to get into homes. When poison control found that over 90% of scorpion stings happened inside the home, the question arose of how do we keep them out. Pesticides do not always work to keep scorpions out because scorpions have an exoskeleton that prevents them from dying immediately when exposed to pesticides. AVERZION is a one-time application that coats the exterior of your home in a hard, clear, durable glass-like surface. Scorpions are incapable of climbing up glass, so AVERZION similarly prevents scorpions from climbing into your home.
Scorpions are constantly trying to get into your home. In the summer, your home is a haven from the heat. When they come out of the walls of your home, they are often coming to feed, which makes them very defensive. In the winter, they want the warmth from your home. They hibernate in your walls then come out in the spring. Scorpions nest; if you have one scorpion, you certainly have more.
What was the process to create this product?
Aaron and I both grew up outside Santa Fe then both went to Arizona for college. Aaron’s home was scorpion infested, and nothing worked to fix it. In order to keep them out of the house, there needed to be a coating that the scorpions could not penetrate. He tried different paints, oils, and other items to make the texture, but nothing worked. Once he figured it out, he called me to set up his intellectual property agreements since I am an attorney. At the time, I did not really see scorpions as a problem. Then my three-year-old son almost died from being stung by a scorpion, and I joined the team. We hired chemists to find a one time application and to improve the product.
After patents, we went to market in 2018. By 2022, we want to have this product in every house in Arizona. Although it began as a service company, we branded the product as AVERZION and sold it to pest control companies so everyone can have the protection they deserve.
For people who do not think that they have an issue with scorpions, why is it important to protect your home against scorpions?
People may not know that they have an issue because scorpions are hard to see. If you get out a black light, you will find plenty inside and outside of your home if you have not properly protected your home. AVERZION also protects against other pests, such as crawling pests and rodents. 80 percent of all people in the U.S. have dealt with pests. Why wait until it becomes a problem to protect your home from pests? Not only is our product sustainable in that it will last for years, but it also can provide you with peace of mind knowing that your home is safe.
What are you most looking forward to this father’s day?
I have four kids. I am also building this company and running a law firm. This Father’s Day I will be reflecting on the growth of not only the company, but also the growth of my family. Father’s Day is a day for me to just be a father, not a salesperson or the face of a company. It is important to me to treasure the time I have with my family.
Is there anything else our readers should know about Scorpion Repel or AVERZION?
We know this product is special. It prevents hundreds of thousands of scorpion stings, and a Texas A&M study found that it also works on roaches. This product cuts down on pesticide usage because you longer have to spray inside your home, only outside. Additionally, the coating of AVERZION prevents pesticides from seeping into your walls, so the pesticide remains on the outside of your home where it needs to be to keep the pests out.
The physical barrier of AVERZION coupled with the chemical properties of pesticides more effectively and efficiently keeps pests out of your home. The fewer pesticides needed, especially inside the home, are safer for everyone.