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Gilbert's Shark Tank Entrepreneurs

A local companies invention to keep our homes and families safe from creepy critters

When April hits, Spring is in full force here in the valley and with that comes a great awakening of insects, bugs, and rodents. That has left residents seeking help in getting rid of the pesky pests – and thanks to one Gilbert man, that has become his life’s mission.

It was in 2012 when Aaron Gonzales decided to make it his career to take care of these creatures after his Gilbert home became infested with scorpions. He used pesticides regularly, but the scorpions still found their way inside their home. Armed with the knowledge that scorpions can’t climb slick surfaces, he came up with an idea that has taken off and helped protect homes valley wide. After connecting with his now co-founder Tony Gonzales about patenting his idea, and a near-death experience with his son following a scorpion bite in their home, Aaron decided it was time to start Slick Barrier.

Slick Barrier is an innovative pest control solution designed to physically stop insects and rodents from entering homes and other structures without using pesticides. Slick Barrier is a clear coating applied to the exterior base of a home or a few inches above the ground. Drying to a smooth, glass-like finish, Slick Barrier prevents pests from gripping or gaining a foothold, rendering climbing impossible. Gonzales says the idea is to protect valley residents. “If pests cannot climb, they can no longer get into homes and structures.”

In January 2023, nearly a decade after he began the business, the pair took their idea and invention to a national level, gaining recognition on ABC’s Shark Tank. “It was a once in a lifetime experience,” shared Aaron Gonzales. “Almost like filming a movie, and we were part of the cast. The whole experience was surreal.”  Even more, the two business partners decided not to apply for the show in the traditional manner. “We made several videos highlighting how our product works. We even had one of our partners stand on a brick with 200 scorpions,” said Aaron. “You could see the scorpions getting very close to his toes but could not reach due to the slick surface.  And it worked.  Next thing we know, we are filling out applications and being interviewed.  The entire experience took 8 months, from start to finish.”

For Tony Gonzales, the whole experience of facing the Sharks was daunting. “Tony felt presenting to them was more challenging than any courtroom argument he’d ever made,” shares Aaron. “Our actual time in front of the Sharks extended beyond an hour, with our pitch barely underway before they came up to scrutinize our product closely. The competitive atmosphere among the Sharks was even more intense than it appears on TV. We're incredibly proud to count ourselves among the Shark Tank alumni.”

The two received an offer from Shark Lori Greiner on the show and now, Slick Barrier is now available at Home Depot stores in Arizona and Texas. There are also many pest control companies offering Slick Barrier to their customers as well. The products have undergone successful testing at three universities and it offers many pesticide-free products that are affordable, one-time use, and easy to apply. 

For the two founders, the reasons why people like using their products are pretty simple. “It works. Slick Barrier doesn’t just keep the bugs out, it provides a physical barrier that even scorpions cannot get through. It’s also cost-effective, priced at $99, when consumers can spend hundreds of dollars on scorpion prevention and other pest control. And it is eco-friendly and free of pesticides.”

For more information on where you can find Slick Barrier and the products themselves, log onto the website www.slickbarrier.com

“The competitive atmosphere among the Sharks was even more intense than it appears.”

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