Inspired by the flies in his bakery, the Swabian confectioner and cough sweet manufacturer Theodor Kaiser (1862-1930) from Waiblingen reinvents the fly catcher. The glue of this new Fly Catcher is resistant to cold and heat, traps flies reliably and is distinguished by a long shelf life.
The first Fly Catchers, still under the brand name “Aeroplan”, are made by hand by home workers. The Fly Catchers are fitted with eyelets to affix them to the ceiling.
The Fly Catcher is registered for a patent in Switzerland. By 1910, 105 employees were working in the new production building at Bahnhofstraße 35, where the company still has its headquarters today.
The “Aeroplan” brand name has to be given up due to objections from the aircraft and toy industries.
A new brand name is introduced in 1911 and on 30 January 1911 the Aeroxon Fly Catcher is entered in the trademark register. The AEROXON brand is born.
The development of a “Tack Fixing Machine” is completed. With an integrated tack the Fly Catcher is much easier to hang up.
During the First World War, production continues consistently due to strong customer demand.
19.8 million Fly Catchers are produced in 1922.
The Aeroxon Honey Fly Catcher on an advertisement from the 1920s.
As production levels at the parent plant in Waiblingen begin to reach their limit at the beginning of the 1920s, a seasonal plant, "AEROXON Fr. Kaiser GmbH Würzburg", is set up in Würzburg. About 200 seasonal workers are employed there from March to September.
The plant is closed down in October 1939 after the outbreak of the Second World War and is completely destroyed in 1945.
In the mid-20s first export activities begin: 36 million Fly Catchers are shipped overseas.
The rapid commercial success of the Fly Catcher is due to effective and well distributed advertising campaigns.
International awareness of the company grows with global advertising in respective national languages. The adjacent picture shows a poster for the English-speaking market.
By the end of the t the 1920s 11 foreign companies are established to meet the increasing demand for Fly Catchers all over the world. For sales in the east, companies and branches are set up in Prague, Biala, Budapest, Maribor and Timisoara. For sales in the west, companies are established in Bregenz, Bolzano, Liestal, St. Louis and Mechelen.
During and after the Second World War all the companies to the east of Germany are lost. The companies in France and Canada (from 1933) continue to operate until the sixties. Only the branch in Austria (Bregenz) still exists today.
Introduction of mechanical production using machines developed and built by the company.
Approximately 124 million Fly Catchers are produced in 1930. Aeroxon takes advantage of the ever- increasing production figures for impressive advertisements and posters.
After a brief illness Theodor Kaiser passes away in December 1930, shortly after being made an honorary citizen of the City of Waiblingen in September of the same year. The former Staufenstraße, which runs adjacent to the company’s premises, is later renamed Theodor-Kaiser-Straße.
In December 1930 Friedrich Kaiser (1900-1988) succeeds his father, having spent a few years working as an apprentice and travelling in Germany and abroad.
A picture of the Fly Catcher from 1935.
During the Second World War, the Fly Catcher is absolute essential for fighting epidemics, particularly in agriculture. The slogan at the time is “KILL THE FLIES, OR THEY’LL KILL YOU”. Flies are considered to be a dangerous carrier of germs. Typhus, diphtheria and other diseases are widespread at that time.
Production decreases from 73 million units at the beginning of the war to 9 million units in 1945.
After the end of the war, DDT products, already well-established in America, also reach Europe. The highly toxic products are used in almost every household. The danger of the neurotoxin to health is not recognised for many years.
The construction of the shell of the new office and production building on Theodor-Kaiser-Straße/the corner of Bahnhofstraße is completed.
An evergreen tree is attached to the roof structure in a topping out ceremony to thank all the craftsmen who contributed to the construction of the building.
Construction works on the office and production building are completed. The offices and a conference room are located in the two upper storeys.
In 1964, Friedrich Kaiser requests support from his American son-in-law John G. Updike, the husband of his eldest daughter Ellen. The Updike family moves from America to Germany.
The plastic Fly Swatter is introduced in 1966.
Aeroxon Schädlingsbekämpfungsmittel GmbH is founded.
At the beginning of the 1970s, the Aeroxon range of products for controlling flies consists of two products – the Fly Catcher and the Fly Swatter. From 1965 the Fly Catcher is sold in a distinctive blister pack made from yellow plastic. This characteristic packaging is used until the mid-90s.
The Aeroxon Barn and Stable Fly Catcher is introduced for use in barns and industrial premises. The double-sided glue board with an area of 2 x 0.2 m catches over 4,000 flies.
Aeroxon extends its product range to include Ant, Silverfish and Moth Bait Stations.
Friedrich Kaiser resigns from his position as Managing Director of the company and is succeeded by his son-in-law John G. Updike (1929-2010).
On 28 August 1985 the Aeroxon Fly Catcher and the Aeroxon Barn and Stable Fly Catcher are authorised to use the “Blue Angel” environmental label, awarded by the RAL-Institute (Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung e.V.).
In 1988 Friedrich Kaiser died, surrounded by his family.
Thomas Updike (son of Ellen Updike, née Kaiser, and John G. Updike) enters the family business.
Aeroxon launches two new products - the Aeroxon Window Fly Killer Strip, which kills flies discreetly and effectively, and the non-toxic Ant Stop for controlling ants in the home which disrupts communication between ants, leading to a break-up of the formicary.
In 1995 Aeroxon is one of the first brands to offer a pheromone trap for food moths. The male moths are attracted by a special moth pheromone contained in a small rubber lure and stick fast to the glued surfaces of the trap. Today, the Aeroxon Food Moth-Trap is the market leader in Germany (source: AC Nielsen Household Insecticides 2010).
The “white” Window Fly Screen for controlling flies, gnats and moths is introduced as well. An anthracite-coloured screen follows one year later.
The Aeroxon logo is developed to include the fly-catching chameleon.
The Aeroxon product range is given a new look. “Aeroxon” in yellow lettering is placed on the upper part of the packs along with the chameleon image. Graphic images on the front side show the product in use and quickly explain to the consumer how to use the product.
Aeroxon introduces Lavender Bags with real lavender blossoms from Provence.
An advertisement from 1997:
Aeroxon offers a wide range of products for the prevention and control of flying and crawling insects, as well as clothes and food moths.
A new fly control product is introduced – the Aeroxon Window Fly Killer. With an effective bait containing a food attractant, the Aeroxon Window Fly Killer controls flies in all domestic situations. The “Butterfly” finds its way into many houses in 1998 and still adorns the windows of countless homes. It remains the top-selling decorative fly bait in Germany to date (source: AC Nielsen Household Insecticides 2010).
The company name is changed from Aeroxon Schädlingsbekämpfungsmittel GmbH to Aeroxon Insect Control GmbH.
From 2000 Aeroxon offers Cedarwood Rings as natural protection for fabrics against clothes moths. The characteristic odour of the untreated “Red Cedar” wood repels clothes moths from wardrobes and chests.
In addition to the transparent Window Fly Trap Aeroxon starts producing the “fruit design” Window Fly Traps, which attract flies onto the glue-coated plastic strips with a colourful fruit motif.
Aeroxon launches the Clothes Moth Trap. The male moths are attracted by a special clothes moth pheromone contained in a small rubber lure and stick fast to the glue surfaces of the trap.
John G. Updike resigns as Managing Director and hands over the management of the company to his son Thomas Updike (born in 1962).
Aeroxon profits from good test results in the Öko-Test magazine for the design of its “Moth Control” trade advertisements.
The Aeroxon brand logo is redesigned in the form of an ellipse.
All products are subjected to a packaging relaunch. The uniform colour and logo design ensures that the products remain distinctive.
A second production facility in Klatovy (Czech Republic) increases production capacity from 2003 and enables the company to set up additional production lines.
Aeroxon wins the ECR Award and is recognised, together with EDEKA Minden-Hannover IT-/logistic service GmbH, for outstanding logistics competence. The ECR Award is awarded to companies and individuals from commerce, industry and the service sector for exemplary practical ECR management.
The new laboratory in the Aeroxon research and development department is equipped with the latest analytical apparatus. A gas chromatograph (GC) allows for complex mixtures of materials to be analysed in a very precise way. This procedure can, for example, be used to test the pheromone on Clothes and Food Moth Traps in a very exact way, both in terms of quantity and quality.
In addition, the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) also makes the analysis of solid materials possible– a procedure that is of great importance to many Aeroxon products when it comes to monitoring the correct amount of active substances.
Aeroxon develops the Yellow Glue Trap for indoor and balcony plants, a non-toxic glue trap with a special attractive colour for harmful flying insects. Aeroxon offers the Yellow Glue Trap with separable trap surfaces for hanging and placement.
Aeroxon introduces the Aeroxon Tick Removal Card in handy cheque card format, which allows ticks to be removed easily and safely from both people and animals.
Aeroxon’s 2009 advertisement concerning clothes moths.
The Aeroxon product range includes approximately 40 products for controlling effectively flying and crawling insects and moths.
John G. Updike passed away on 23 January 2010 at the age of 80.
With the successful introduction of the new product Aeroxon Longterm Moth Protection, Aeroxon brings a fresh fragrance into the wardrobe and allows clothes to be kept moth-free for six months.
Aeroxon is global market leader in the field of fly catchers, and is included in the "Lexikon der deutschen Weltmarktführer" (Lexicon of German Global Market Leaders) in 2010 (Dr Florian Langenscheidt and Dr Bernd Venohr (ed)).
From 2011 Aeroxon’s fly breeding centre and test rooms for fly and moth products are accommodated in a facility with an area of 126 m².
Test series which are necessary for testing new products can now be carried out in three test rooms under constant, controlled conditions. The test rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with a simulated daylight mechanism which can be programmed with a predefined light/dark cycle.
The current Aeroxon logo after its relaunch in 2011.
The packaging design is updated as well. Yellow and red continue to be the characteristic Aeroxon colours. Striking images with a realistic photographic style on the front side support the clear instructions for use on the rear side of each pack.
Aeroxon introduces another extremely effective moth product into the market – Moth Protection Scent Bags. The three small, convenient scent bags control clothes moths and their larvae and reliably prevent any new infestation.
Aeroxon adds the Aeroxon Fruit Fly Trap to its range of fly control products. The non-toxic Aeroxon Fruit Fly Trap catches fruit and vinegar flies. The flies, attracted by the natural attractant, are reliably caught by the sticky surface in the internal side of the trap.
Today the fourth generation family business is run by Thomas F. Updike.
Other family members who work for the company are Alice Pfau (née Updike) who is responsible for trademark law and the historical archive and Dorothea Beitinger (née Updike) Head of the Controlling Department.