New pest management technology

by Tim Husen
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Everywhere you look there’s another new piece of technology changing the way we work. From wearable technology to the fancy apple peeler your cousin got you as a present, technology makes life easier and more efficient.

Pest management is part of the trend, with new technologies emerging every year. This is good news, because even as we adapt technologies, pests are keeping up and finding ways to either avoid or adapt to our methods to control them. Some pests already have built up resistance to products we’ve relied on heavily in the past.

Cockroaches, for instance, have built up resistance to dozens of compounds found in pest control products. Pests are evolving – getting smarter and more resilient – making pest management professionals evolve as well, and technology is helping.

For pest management companies, this means that a dedication to innovation must be part of the company DNA. If you’ve ever been around when your pest management professional arrives, you’ll notice he has a vehicle equipped with numerous tools to handle different pest problems and innovative products to try.

One way you can get a head-start on pest control is to establish an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. In fact, with IPM, the focus is on keeping pests out, monitoring for sightings and routine sanitation. Often, by implementing these steps, you can keep the use of chemicals to a minimum. In IPM, your pest management professional finds innovative and creative ways to reduce reliance on traditional pest control methods.

In accordance with recent Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations, an IPM program is scientifically proven to be the most effective way to keep pests out of a facility. The proactive approach focuses on prevention and exclusion methods to keep pests out, using targeted product treatments only when necessary. If you want to learn more about what your plan should include, contact a professional. Your plan should always be tailored to the needs of your facility, because there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to pest prevention.

Still, even with a strong IPM program, pest problems can arise. If this is the case, it’s important to act quickly and often it’s best to bring in an expert. Using the specialized tools at their disposal, they’ll be able to identify the pest and work to resolve the issue.

pest
Flow meters work well for treating outdoor areas to reduce fly and mosquito populations, among other pests. 
Photo courtesy of Orkin.
 

Eight new products

Here are some of the tools a pest management professional could use to monitor, detect and remove pests in your facility:

  • Bait applicator gun: Allows for neater and more effective application of bait gels, which can be used to draw pests away from products and toward traps and monitoring devices. This tool is great for resolving cockroach issues.
  • Precision flow meter: Measures the rate or quantity of a gas or liquid. Every situation has different needs, and this tool lets technicians control the exact amount and placement of a product to great effect. It is great for treating outdoor areas to reduce fly and mosquito populations, among other pests.
  • IR Thermometer: Takes surface temperature measurements instantly and from a distance. These are critical for determining potential pest hot spots because many pests are attracted to heat. Rodents, cockroaches and flying pests are prime examples.
  • Digital moisture meter: Detects the amount of moisture in building materials beneath the surface. Nearly all pests need water to survive, but this tool is especially helpful in detecting areas where dampwood termites are most likely to be present.
  • Foam and precision injector: Injects customized amount of product to combat specific pest populations. Can be outfitted with different treatment options targeted to smaller infestations in localized areas, allowing for a less intrusive treatment.
  • Telescoping cameras: Used to find pests in hard-to-reach areas. These cameras can be run into cracks and crevices to spot pests in walls, inaccessible crawlspaces or in drains. Great for finding cracks in piping that create fly breeding grounds in the soil below.
  • UV lights: Usually implemented as part of a fly trap, these lights attract flying pests to a non-toxic, sticky glue board. Trapping flying pests in this manner not only decreases populations, but allows a technician to monitor activity levels over time.
  • Monitoring and trapping devices: Depending on the pest, there are different monitoring and trapping techniques. Glue boards, bait stations and snap traps are all different examples and can be used to control crawling pests, flying pests, rodents and more.

It is easy to see why pest control professionals need a van or truck to carry their gear – and these are just a sample of the many tools they use daily.

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Liquid injectors injects customized amoiunts of product to combat specific pest populations.
Photo courtesy of Orkin.
 

Future of pest management 

Looking forward, the future of pest management is following the trajectory of the consumer world. The Internet of Things will become increasingly important by ensuring the integration of monitoring devices, online dashboards that update immediately after inspection and trend maps that analyze hot spots around a facility.

Baiting and monitoring systems are being developed that would be even more responsive and automated then we humans can be. For example, one technology would alert the technician and customer when a pest is detected. This could trigger a call for the technician to come out and inspect. As a result, a facility manager could know of a pest problem immediately and follow along step-by-step as a technician works to resolve it, creating an almost effortless system that will bring peace of mind.

Can you imagine never having to worry about pests in your facility again? Thanks to new technologies, it might become reality a lot sooner than you think.

 

 

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