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No one ever said that creating and perfecting a resetting, toxin free pest trap was going to be easy.

The guys at Goodnature would be the first to agree, but, 12,000 or so sold traps later, the Wellington company that kicked off in 2005 is still trucking, slowly getting bigger.

A sticK story 18 months ago outlined how three Victoria University design school mature students bootstrapped their way to developing two unique traps that use compressed CO2 to power the possum, rat and stoat killing piston that instantly kills the pest.

They’ve since grown to eight people, and are continuing to learn lessons and modify their systems.

Goodnature’s head of marketing and market development Stu Barr says the company still has a design-led philosophy (and, as what is an attract and assassinate system these traps look good).

Stu Barr

As is almost invariably the case when creating injection moulded componentry that is assembled into a final unit, Goodnature had a few teething troubles with its new A24 rat & stoat trap.

A24 rat & stoat trap

“We had to resolve some moulding and technical flaws,” says Barr. “The reliability wasn’t up to where we need it to be.” Those challenges have now been overcome.

What has particularly been the team’s focus are new, highly effective lures, which ideally last a long time.

“We’ve developed a new food-based rat lure and possum lure and now working on non-food based lures and different delivery mechanisms for them all,” says Barr.

“We’re also working on a few simple things that support the traps in the immediate future, and other big developments that will take us a few years to perfect.”

And while New Zealand is the home base for Goodnature, the market opportunity for its traps is global. This is in a world-wide environment that is tending to move away from pest poisoning as a control method.

A recent trial of an E2 trap (a renamed A24) in Indonesia showed the potency of its system.

In the first night of the trial the two traps each killed seven rats..

“Our Indonesian partners never get that sort of kill with conventional traps,” Barr says.

“In terms of marketing, that story is better than any brochure. What people realise pretty quickly is that they can set the trap just once and kill multiple pests.”