Pests of all sizes and shapes, flying or creeping, dangerous or just plain annoying are everywhere. Ants, fleas, ticks, lice, mites, aphids, beetles, and mosquitoes plague home and business owners in major urban areas and rural countryside alike.
Sisters Jana McDaniel and Jessica Thompson grew up on a farm in Oklahoma. Working alongside their father on the farm and in his limestone business, they knew that limestone was commonly used for pest control in agriculture. Lime works to control pests by drying out insects, eggs and larvae, but sometimes limestone products might burn their skin and masks and gloves might be needed when using it. When McDaniel became a mother, she wanted something effective but safe for her children and animals to be around. The family also had a small local restaurant and McDaniel was uneasy about the monthly spraying required to control insects. She was determined to find something safe. In 2016, she enlisted the help of her sister, Jessica, and they began experimenting with lime to come up with a formula that would be effective but safer than the standard lime mixture they had always used.
With the help of a chemist, they created a non-caustic lime formula that is safe for humans and pets. First Saturday Lime is an insoluble hydrated limestone, so it doesn’t react with moisture or cause burns or contribute to respiratory issues. It is mined, manufactured, and refined in its own facility, and is not mixed or rebranded from other products. As the name suggests, it is packaged in a quantity that is meant to be effective for pest control for a month, and the company even sends out reminders to customers to repeat the application on the first Saturday of the month! All of the ingredients in First Saturday Lime are considered GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the Food and Drug Administration and McDaniel says they took the extra step to have the product tested to ensure it exceeds the purity requirements. The product is available through their website or Facebook page, as well as on Amazon.
After developing the formula, the sisters purchased 1,000 bags, created a label and began to market this new, patent-pending product to farm and garden stores. Not surprisingly, they were sometimes hampered by the fact that farm, lawn and garden industries are historically male dominated. In a story by Shelby Woods ofon the development of First Saturday Lime, McDaniel recalled that initially most male store owners seemed skeptical about the product, but the female sales people often expressed interest. McDaniel and Thompson didn’t allow this to discourage them and eventually they were able to convert skepticism into sales.
McDaniel doesn’t make excuses, however, and says the most important thing is to believe in yourself. Everyone–woman or man–needs help starting and promoting a business. Networking and being willing to accept help is crucial to success.