Dial effort touts health benefits of insecticide

SCOTTSDALE, AZ: Combat, a pest-control insecticide made by the Dial Corp., has launched an awareness campaign hoping to educate the public on the dangers cockroaches may pose to asthma sufferers.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ: Combat, a pest-control insecticide made by the Dial Corp., has launched an awareness campaign hoping to educate the public on the dangers cockroaches may pose to asthma sufferers.

The campaign was developed after the medical link between roaches and the hazards they posed to people's health concerns became clearer. The National Institutes of Health, for instance, determined that the proteins that cockroaches give off are allergens that worsen asthma symptoms even more than dust mites or pets.

Combat hopes to use that information to position the product as an easy and affordable measure to prevent the worsening of an asthma condition. The company is working with Liggett-Stashower, the Cleveland-based agency, on the six-month campaign.

"People have long identified roaches as these really gross creatures, but they don't know why. We're trying to raise awareness of what they can mean to people's physical health," said Henry Hendrix, brand manager for Combat insecticides.

Part of the campaign has included a satellite media tour with representatives featured on "spring cleaning" segments or other allergy and asthma-related media spots. A radio tour is also ongoing, and media outreach will continue through the summer. Hendrix said various campaign activities will be spread out across the season to ensure the topic remains top of mind with consumers.

In May, the company will launch a microsite, featuring an interactive game where players can stomp roaches and a sweepstakes for numerous prizes throughout the summer. The site will also include relevant information about the dangers insects can pose to both asthma and allergy sufferers.

"We've been digging through a lot of the research that's out there and realizing that the impact it's having is really quite significant," Hendrix said. "We want to make sure people are aware of ways they can improve their health, and specifically [of] Combat."

Hendrix said Combat is more effective than the standard spray insecticide because it is a bait product where the bug returns to the nest with it and exterminates the entire problem.

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