The Metamorphosis of the Insect Fighter

How do you go from an insect fighter to an insect rescuer? Biocidal entrepreneur Dr. Reckhaus has been changing his business model since “Rescuing Flies in Deppendorf”.

Dr. Reckhaus tells us his story.

The art of combining respect and business

“When I entered the Atelier für Sonderaufgaben (studio for special projects) by conceptual artists Frank and Patrik Riklin in 2011, I had no idea what was coming. I, Dr. Hans-Dietrich Reckhaus, who took over the parental biocide company more than ten years ago, wanted to commission the Riklins with the idea for the market entry of my new fly trap. Instead, the two cross-thinking artists turned the tables and confronted me with the effects of my insect control business. They asked me to question the relationship between man and insect: What is the value of an insect? This question has not let me go to this day and gave the impetus for the unusual art action “Rescuing Flies in Deppendorf”.

Rethinking and renegotiating

“In the background, the event led me to consider a fundamentally different approach: In collaboration with the biologists from ARNAL – Büro für Natur und Landschaft AG (Office for Nature and Landscapes), we calculated the damage caused by insect control products on insect populations in detail for the first time. From this we derived a scientific model to compensate for this intervention with compensatory surfaces (compensation areas). This compensation model served as a basis for INSECT RESPECT®, the world’s first mark of quality for a new approach to insects. This finally offered me an alternative to classic insect control.”
Atelier für Sonderaufgaben Frank and Patrick Riklinks with Dr. Hans-Dietrich Reckhaus

Rescuing instead of killing

“With INSECT RESPECT®, a ball started rolling that gives me a daily incentive to do more and more for insects. I recognized the value of insects and saw how much their numbers were declining. I even made an animated film about it and wrote a book about it, called: Why every fly counts. At some point, the restitution for the loss of insects due to my products by means of compensation areas was no longer enough for me. We need to fight fewer insects, we need to use fewer products. Therefore, I provided numerous prevention tips on my products. But the next logical step must be: to completely refrain from killing. This is a difficult and very scary thought for a traditional biocide manufacturer – but it is not impossible! The radical rethinking triggered by art, led to the idea of developing live traps. This is the logical next step for the insect control industry. The Fruit Fly Rescuer is just the beginning. We want to find a way for all insects to come back outside alive or not even to get into the house. It is a big social rethink: insect killing is no longer necessary. This cannot be done overnight – but something that is conceivable can also be feasible. We want to pave the way for this, and we need you for that. Help save insects.”